I think of the the time Jesus sent word through John’s disciples letting him know, in essence, great things are happening! Jesus is the Christ!
Receiving good news can be a great encouragement. I pray this will be encouraging to the churches back in the U.S. that great things are happening here in Cusco. As you read this very long post. Remember that you are a part of this work. Thank you for your prayers and support to our team and the young church here in Cusco.
Before i get into all the good news, difficult things are happening as well. We’ve lost teammates.. again… (see Jen’s post), and we’ve gained teammates. We’ve lost many members, and gained many members in the past several months. There are a lot of transient people that come through the church and sometimes the seeds fall on rocky ground or among the thorns. There are times when it feels like we are losing ground and it’s hard to get a foothold. But then looking back over the past 6 months as i write this newsletter I can see that a lot of wonderful things are happening too.
Carlos came to the church struggling with many issues in his life and began to study the Bible with Barton. Please continue to pray for Carlos.
Coritza and her mother came to know the church the the March Medical campaign. Her mother is a police officer and was a part of our protective detail. One of our ladies at church Teresa began a study there at the med campaign. We invited them to follow up with us and help them get the eyeglasses they needed. We continued to study and Coritza, the daughter, has been with us ever since.
Danny has been around for years. I believe at some point most of the missionaries in turn had studied with Danny. About the time Barton had gone home on furlough Danny decided to put on Christ in baptism. He waited for a while hoping he could wait till Barton came home, but decided it was far too important to hold off any longer. We develop deep relationships with all of our students, not only through study, but also through helping them untangle the consequences of sin.
David came to the church in panic. Desperate for a way to save his marriage and gain the respect of his family once again. We studied a long time about repentance and what is takes to make those changes. David put on Christ in baptism and did manage to make things right. Unfortunately for us, he had to move to another city to find work. That’s the case with many of our members.
In the month of August, Diego, a former atheist (recently baptised pictured above) stood up and lead our young congregation in the Lord’s supper. Diego has been a translator for our Medical Campaign for two years. The first time he volunteered he told me directly… “i’m here to help, but i am not interested in the Bible or church.” Later he told me that through meeting a visiting couple of visiting Elders in the church (thank you, Kerry Couch & Craig Waddell) that he was so impressed by these men. He could see that they are different. It was just what he needed to open his heart and mind to the possibility. So we studied, and he is doing great! Now he’s one of my best buddies here in Peru.
It may not be as dramatic as the lame walking, the deaf talking, and giving sight to the blind, but Christ’s purpose in coming is being fulfilled. Truly great things are happening in Cusco, Peru.
Enrique is the father (and grandfather) of some of our members. His daughters studied the Bible with him and he recently became a Christian. Praise God.
Hector is the father of another of our members and his daughter Patricia studied with him and since his re-birth he’s been coming every Sunday.
Henry is another tough case, where sin and living in a broken world was about to get the best of him. I’m sure this is true of all of us, but in his case it’s more clearly seen, but he is still struggling daily. But he is forgiven. Please pray he has the strength to persevere.
Jhafet (Japheth) is one of our newest youths. His dad (Percy Magan) came to the church first through a newspaper ad and has since been working hard to Bring his family to the church. His son pictured above was the first to respond to the Gospel.
Jharel is the second son of Percy Magan to respond to the gospel. He has done a great job leading publicly and active in the youth. He and his brother Japheth both have intentions to study theology and work in the church.
Julio (pictured above) and his family asked me to come to their home and begin Bible studies with them. The reason they contacted me is because of Lucrecia (pictured below). She is their housekeeper and noticed struggles they were having and suggested the church could help. They invite me to their home and feed me every week and then we study the Bible.
Lucrecia (pictured above) is the same just mentioned. She came to the church through her daughter Carmen, and her sister Teresa and niece Adreana.
This is the original Lucrecia. She is the mother of all the ladies mentioned above. Every Wednesday night, she and all her daughters and granddaughters come to my house for a Bible study along with many other members. This family of wonderful ladies has been one of the greatest blessings to our congregation.
Maria Pia became good friends with Allison Kiser and the two over time began to study the Bible. Her children are good friends with the Kizer’s kids and have become a welcome addition to our church family.
Milagros is from the northern jungles of Peru and came to Cusco to study. She came to church through one of our members and ended up studying the Bible with Corinne. Since becoming a christian she too moved back to the north and we keep in touch mostly through Facebook. She expresses how lonely it is not having a church “like ours” in the north. (maybe one day). Please pray for Milagros.
Nora is another who came directly to the church looking for answers. She and Corinne studied for 6 weeks and Nora put on Christ in Baptism.
Pictured above is Percy Magan. He is the father of Jhafet and Jharel. Even though my job is principly to do evangelistic studies. Percy is always wanting to continue in his studies with me, even though i tell him all the other avenues of study offered through the church. He is hungry for knowledge, and his boys are very much like him in that.
This is Percy Chumbes. Percy was baptized the week of our medical campaign after having studied with one of the campaigners. Please pray for Percy.
Reyna came through a home Bible study in the house of Jorge. Brother Jorge (pictured above) has been really good about inviting new people to these studies and bringing them to the church. Please pray for Reyna.
And, last but not least.. for now. Scotty is one of those guys that surprised us. He is the serious boyfriend of one of our young ladies. I’m not sure we took him seriously enough,(i know shame on us) but Adriana his girlfriend did. While we may have thought “he’s just here for the girl. She continued to work and study with him. So, she planted, we watered and God gave the increase. Scotty has turned out to be one of the guys leading our young people in weekly studies and prayer.
If you do not follow Cusco missions on Facebook. Perhaps much of this is new to you. But seriously… what a great last few months!!
We spend an average of 6 weeks with each of these people before they are baptized. Not everyone stays, though a great majority do. Sometimes i focus too much on the ones who got away when i need to praise our Father in heaven for this great harvest that has been taking place.
In the meantime we continue to send letters and check on our brothers and sisters who aren’t attending regularly. And we continue to seek new people. The greatest blessing of all is watching how many of our new converts are coming through friends and family already in the church.
Next Sunday. The 25th of October our congregation will complete 5 years together!! We have poured a lot of time and energy into this, and hope and expect to see a minimum of 300 in attendance this next Sunday. Pray for great weather and a great harvest. We’ll let you know soon how it went.
In Christian love,
“whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” 1 Cor 10:31