We travelled to a small town called Jaen and conducted a Bible training course to prepare leaders for the churches that God is calling together in that area. We had 25 taking the course. Now we’re back in Cajamarca where each Monday I wake in the middle of the night to make it up to the Porcon community and preach a 6 a.m. service that these dedicated Christians attend before starting their work week. Then on Tuesday of this week we began a vacation Bible school. A public school teacher from Lima came with some other sisters to help us in this work.
Next up is another Bible training course with the church leaders in the Cajamarca region. We need to prepare workers to plant new works and make disciples. We appreciate your prayers and support.
Below: The group of participants in the Bible training course at Jaen.
We just finished one week of classes with our Missions Institute. It was tiring, especially for my son Gerson who taught many of the classes. (He is a professor in a seminary in Lima.) We held classes in Bambamarca, and I took advantage of this time to check out a number of questionable requests for literature that were coming out of Bambamarca – addresses provided to me by the staff at Christian Triumph Company. Sadly, I was not able to find any of the addresses or people that have been requesting literature (and Bambamarca is not a big place). It’s sad that people will abuse a free resource like this to turn a profit.
Tomorrow begins a general strike in the city of Cajamarca and the news reports are that it will last indefinitely until there is a resolution to the concerns about the mining companies in the State of Cajamarca. I’m concerned that the strike will close the roads and airport, so Udelia and I are leaving here on Wednesday to go to Lima, to make sure I can travel to the States on June 13.
This morning I spoke to two groups of workers at Granja Porcon. Services there start at 6 a.m. – they start each day out this way! I have to get up and going by 4am to get there on time because traffic is bad going up the mountain if I leave any later and have to compete with the commuters to the gold mines.
Tomorrow I leave for the mountains with two other men. We’re taking literature and the projector and films with us to help reach the people there. Pray for us!
We are starting this semester of missiology and ministerial studies on the 10th. Additionally we have a group of Sunday school teachers that we are going to train in a two-day event.
My wife Udelia’s health is better now and thank God, my 10-year visa to the U.S. was renewed.
I am in Chota now; I got here last night and today Pastor Jorge, another brother and I are taking literature, films and Bible courses to work with during the day as we invite people to attend an evening service.
Last week I was going through the mountains, travelling toward Trujillo, in a town called Magdalena that produces fruit and sugar cane. It’s between the high mountains. I walked up the mountains to visit a man had been with the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.) a long time ago. But when my wife and I left for mission work in Ecuador and Chile, no one ever came again to visit this man. There were three churches in this area and I met with the three leaders and they told me, “We are from the Church of God, but we’re all alone up here. No leader has ever come to visit us. We have received visits from pastors from other churches, but nothing from the Church of God.”
So in talking with these leaders and one other, they decided to join us. We are incorporated separately from the other Church of Gods (Anderson, Ind.) in Peru. To do that, we had to change our name, so we are actually recognized as a new movement, which is why the Church of God leaders in Peru have told me they don’t recognize our organization as being as part of theirs. But in actuality, each region has its own corporation, and ours is the largest of the Church of God in Peru. There are three churches in the jungle, two in Lima, five between Chepen and Chiclayo on the coast and we have 16 churches in Cajamarca. And we have a plan for each congregation to plant another church within the next two years, working in conjunction with other denominations if we need to. We are praying that God will provide leaders to continue this growth.
Well, the rains have begun in Cajamarca and they are complicating our meeting in the church in Cajamarca, because rain comes in everywhere with just our ill-fitted tin roof. I think we will move evening services to twice a week, one in one home, another in another home. While it doesn’t rain in the mornings, we will continue to have Sunday school for the children who come to sing, pray, do crafts and Bible Studies. We’re hoping these rains bring the blessing of funds for a proper roof.
In October, I will travel to Piura to visit a man who is asking for 10,000 tracts from Christian Triumph – I hope to be able to find his home! Then the following week, I will be travelling to a new place where we will hand out testaments and tracts and have some meetings in a school for some Bible studies. We’re praying that God will give us victory and that people will accept Jesus as their savior. The place is far from here – four hours by car then two on foot. We will have to carry the literature on horseback. It might also be possible to take our projector and show a film – that brings people in.
We´ve just finished our week at Granja Porcon. Monday-Wednesday was a pastor´s conference. Donna had two speaking sessions and Jeanene and I enjoyed meeting the conference attendees and also the Porcon people. During the teaching sessions we three would sit in the near back rows so that Donna could translate for Jeanene and me. They were excellent topics and I´m glad God placed me there.
On Wednesday evening Donna and I, along with Narcisso, Udelia and Alberto, a Chilean pastor rode back down to Cajamarca. Thursday morning the two of us were off to shop for children´s supplies. This was great fun. Our first stop was an internet cafe were Donna printed off Bible lessons she had previously downloaded. This took over an hour and our bill was enough to make the man behind the counter smile. Then to the print shop. Donna had two print shops busy printing a total of 2000 copies. Again we left with smiling shop owners. Down to the liberia. In a small book store, we hardly had room to stand. Colors, glue, markers, and the like were on display in a glass case. It was much fun to shop this way. Ask to see a product, ask for the price, agree on the item and then ask for 14 more. The shop lady had to run upstairs to her store room several times. She happily did so. We left Cajamarca with our arms full.
Thursday-Saturday was another conference, the 24th convention of the iglesia de dios in Peru. I believe we were close to 100 in attendance. And this time we had work to do. Friday was work day. Donna, Jeanene, Evelyn and I worked from 8:30 am to 11:30 pm organizing Bible lessons and making flannel figures, only stopping briefly for lunch and dinner. Donna´s father Bill, Baltazar, and a friendly helper Daniel also helped making the flannel boards. At the end of the long day Jeanene said with a smile, ´`It feels like Christmas Eve!“
Today we passed out teaching material for children ages 3-12 to 15 different churches. Donna gave a brief instruction on how to use the lessons and flannels. It is our understanding that most churches have limited to no resources for the children in their congregations. We sent these lessons out with prayer that they will be used to teach children about our God and his Word and change lives.
This evening we are all back down in Cajamarca at the Zamora´s home. Total capacity this evening is 15! I´ve been told this is not unusual, their home has been used for many years as a welcoming respite for hermanos y hermanas en Cristo.
Granja Porcon in itself deserves a full post, but it´s late and we have an early start tomorrow. Google it. It´s a Christian cooperation. A farm and tourist spot and community of 2000 people living simple lives harmoniously.
I have few pictures of Porcon. The latter are of this afternoon in Cajamarca.