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Posts Tagged ‘prayers’

What God is Doing

I’ll have to add the picture later, but I am so excited to tell you what God is doing in Callao.  Matt was unable to go visiting in Callao this past Saturday.  Pretty discouraging, right?  Well, yes it was!  But God delights in doing what we see as “The Impossible”!

On Sunday morning, we stopped by to see Olinda, as always.  We have been inviting Olinda since I have been going to Callao, and she has never come.  A couple of weeks ago when we stopped by, she assured me she was coming.  I looked and looked…waited and waited….no Olinda.  Yesterday I was thinking about that as we walked to her house.  I was really starting to feel pretty discouraged.  When she came to the door, she really didn’t look happy to see me like she normally is.  I just chatted with her for a couple of minutes, and then told her I understood that she was really busy, full schedule, etc. and told her I wanted to pray for her before we left.  I prayed, and we went on to church.  About 15 minutes after we got to the church, Olinda came walking through the door!  What a wonderful surprise and delight it was to see her.  But it got better!  Frank asked me to get ready to teach Olinda, since she was the only one there.  Then Matt greeted Olinda and she told him, “There’s more outside.” MORE DEAF?!?!?!  Matt went to see, and sure enough there were MORE Deaf outside!!  We had a total of 13 in our service yesterday – 7 Deaf, 1 hearing daughter of a Deaf couple (who were part of the 7 there), Frank, and the 4 of us!  We were overjoyed!  We had a wonderful service.  Many of the Deaf that came yesterday are already saved.  Please pray for their spiritual growth.

Just when we thought our cup was full, God decided to let it overflow – according to His promise!  We saw three Deaf people (two men and a woman) standing on the side of the road at one of the places the “combi” stops at.  Matt quickly got out three tracts and asked the “cobrador” (the person who collects the fare from the passengers) if he would give those tracts to those three Deaf people just standing there!  He was willing, and we had the world’s shortest conversation with Deaf people that there ever was!  All we can do is pray that God will bring them to church!  As we went along, we got to talking about how amazing it was to see those Deaf people and how wonderful it was to have 7 Deaf people come to church.  It was then that we realized, so gratefully, that GOD had brought them!!  There was not one thing we had done to bring any of them – no visits, no reminders, no communication on Saturday, but God brought them!

After we had been home for a while, Jerod (one of the Kotvas boys) came by the house to get Matt.  He said that there was a lady here from Callao who wanted to talk to Matt.  We couldn’t imagine what was going to happen next!  When I looked out the window a few minutes later, all I could see was Matt standing with a group of Deaf and hands were flying about rapidly!  I was convinced in my heart that something terrible was happening, so I got down on my knees and starting praying!  A little while later, Matt came home and explained what was happening.  Olga, who is Deaf, came to church here in Villa El Salvador yesterday morning.  She lives closer to Callao, but I’m not sure where exactly.  She came by to tell Matt that she would like to come back to the church in Callao, and she was willing to “give us a try.”

Today, a Deaf man named Alberto showed up here at Efata.  He had been a member of the church in Callao before.  He has gotten out of church, but he came by today to talk to Matt.  Alberto had heard that we were helping the Deaf church there in Callao.  He is not against us – he is definitely on our side, but he is not willing to come to church on Sundays.  Please pray for him – he is saved, and has a desire to be a Pastor, but right now “Futbol” (Soccer) is King in his life – not the Saviour.  We also learned today that Vanessa (another Deaf person from Callao) wants to go visiting with us on Saturday in Callao.  She wants to take us to her Deaf friends that are not yet saved!

We know that everything that is happening is all because of the Lord!  We also know that all of this is because of the faithful people who pray for us and for the dear Deaf people of Callao!  ”Thank you” seems like such a small token of the gratitude we feel in our hearts for the people who pray for us.  Isn’t it exciting to know that you have a part in all these blessings that God is pouring out?  Won’t it be so wonderful to have all of eternity to rejoice together at what God is doing at this very moment in the hearts and lives of the Deaf here?

Map Making and Open Doors

This past Saturday found me employed once again as “Map-Maker Extraordinaire”!  Matt decided we needed a map of where all the Deaf that we know live in Lomas.  So, on the way home, as I held a sleeping Ian, I drew him a rough map of where the Deaf in Lomas live.  Now I need to get busy and get these maps transferred onto something more permanent than a 3×5 card!

Claudia

I promised I would tell you about Claudia coming to church.  She came to church last Sunday.  Elena (Deaf) and I went to get her.  It was a dreary, rainy day last Sunday, but if you had seen the joy in Claudia’s face, you wouldn’t have thought any more about the weather!  She was so happy to come to church!  She had gotten up early and cooked lunch ahead of time for her family so she could come to church.  She doesn’t really know a lot of signs, but she sure had a great time at church!  She wasn’t able to come this past Sunday, but keep praying for Claudia.  Please pray also for her family.  She has five children (all grown up, I believe) that need the Saviour as much as she does.  Please pray for wisdom for us as we teach her the Bible, and for Claudia – that her spiritual eyes would be opened and she would be saved.

We have an open door God has set before us.  The city is Iquitos, Loreto, Peru.  You should look up Iquitos on Wikipedia – the city has a very interesting history.  I don’t have time or space to tell you all about this city, but here are some interesting things about Iquitos:  The population is 406,340 souls (Deaf and Hearing).  Included in this population is a Jewish community!  It is the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road.  It can only be reached by airplane or by boat.  It is also the largest city in the Peruvian Rainforest.  It is surrounded by three rivers -  the Nanay, the Itaya, and the Amazon.  It is a major port city in the Amazon Basin.  What does all this have to do with us?

God has given us the opportunity to visit this city.  We will be leaving Lima on July 31 and returning on August 6.  Our language teacher is preaching in a Missions Conference there.  We are going with him and his wife.  We are excited to see all that God has for us on this trip.  Matt and I have been praying about this city for a long time.  I started praying about this city when I started praying for Matt as my future husband!  There is a Deaf church there, but it small and in need of some help.  We are waiting patiently (okay, I’m not so patient, but I AM working on it!) to see how the Lord will lead us concerning this city.

A couple of mornings ago, in my quiet time with the Lord, He drew my attention to a verse.  I was not searching for this verse to fit my plans and desires – it was in my Bible reading for that day.  I Corinthians 16:9 says, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”  Again this morning the Lord showed me another verse – “…and a door was opened unto me of the Lord.”  2 Corinthians 2:12b  We believe this door has been opened by the Lord.  There is absolutely nothing that we have done to try to open this door by ourselves.  It is easy to take the first part of that verse without the second part.  But we must always take the Word of God wholly, not just in part.  ”…and there are many adversaries.”  I’ve heard it said many times that Satan fights the hardest when God is about to do something great.  That has certainly been the case for us.  I don’t know what God has in store for us, but I know whatever it is, it will be great.  Whether it is big or small to the eyes of man, it will be GREAT because everything that God does is GREAT!  ”Brethren, pray for us.”  I Thessalonians 5:25

The Blessing of Being Busy!

Tres Leches

 

Chocolate

What you see here are Matt’s birthday cakes!  Yes, there were two of them.  One for his physical birthday and one for his spiritual birthday – both of which were this past Tuesday.  I planned a surprise party, and actually managed to pull it off!  A special thank you to each one of you who sent a birthday greeting!!  We are still getting birthday greetings – thank you for those also!  He told me he was suspicious at the very end, but overall – he was very surprised!  We had a whole house full of people and it was great fun!  Until this morning, Martha and Ian were still playing with the balloons!  We had “beautiful things” (Martha’s name for the streamers) also, but they didn’t survive that long.  We let the Efata children enjoy the balloons this morning.  Matt mentioned to me a couple of days ago about dropping the balloons out of Ian’s bedroom window when the children were playing on the playground.  We decided that would be a marvelous thing to do with the balloons, so that is what we did this morning.

There may be some of you wondering what kind of schedule we have.  I would like to give you a glimpse of a “normal” week for us (is there any such thing as a “normal” week?) – We have Language school every morning Tuesday -Friday.  It is going well.  We are now in book 2 – learning PAST TENSE VERBS (said in a deep, booming voice!).  The Lord has been so good and gracious to us in helping us to learn Spanish.

On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, we have practice with the Deaf Choir.  They are doing really well.  Our next special is the last Sunday of this month.  The guys are doing a special – we girls get to sit and watch!  Wednesday evening is church.  Martha and Ian normally sit with us in the service on Wednesdays and Sunday nights.  Friday nights is Deaf Youth Group Meeting.  Since Frank (Deaf) is in Pucallpa, Matt is helping Pastor Antonio Suarez with the Youth Meeting.  Matt is in charge of the “concurso” (game) time!  I would just like to take a moment here and publish the fact that although there were only two girls last week – the girls won the competition!

Saturdays are soul-winning and visitation days.  We got to go as a family this past Saturday!  What a joy it is to me to see my children handing out tracts to the people around them!  We give Martha and Ian each a couple of tracts, and soon they are asking for more!  I have started making sure that Martha wears a dress with pockets in it on Saturdays – then I can put tracts in her pocket.  When her pocket is empty – she asks for more!

Matt started going with Ghuido (Deaf) to Callao on Sunday mornings.  Callao is another city about an hour away (more or less).  A Deaf ministry was started at the hearing church there because some Deaf showed up one Sunday morning.  Ghuido had been going with Frank, and now Matt is able to go with Ghuido.  Yesterday, they had one Deaf man show up.  His name is Jose.  Jose has been influenced by the JW’s.  It is not clear whether or not Jose is saved.  Matt and Ghuido were able to witness to him.  Please pray with me that God will bring more Deaf to the church in Callao, souls will be saved, and lives will be changed.

So you see, my weeks are fairly busy – but what a blessing to be busy in the work of the Lord!  What a privilege to be able to teach my children to serve the Lord!  Have a blessed busy week!

 

My Eyes and My Heart

Almost every day this past week, the Lord has brought the following verse to my mind:  ”Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.”  Lamentations 3:51

I went to visit a dear sister in Christ in the hospital Monday night.  She has cancer and needs an operation, but because of her heart problems, surgery has to wait until they can get her heart stabilized.  Hermana Miriam and her husband, Pastor Henry, are Peruvian missionaries in the city of Pucallpa.  Please pray much for this precious couple and their children, Dolly and Isai. “Mine eye affecteth mine heart…”

In the evenings, I look out the window of my house at all the city lights.  It is one of my favorite views.  I especially love it when it is dusk, and the lights are just coming on.  I’ve never lived in such a huge city before – for me it is very different to see and hear the hustle and bustle until all hours of the night!  As I look at all the lights of “my city,” I can’t help but wonder how many souls live within the glow of each light that I can see.  How many souls that are still waiting to hear the Good News of Salvation?  Our language teacher recently told us that the Gospel has been here in Peru for only about 60-70 years.  When I think of America, and all she has been given by God – a rich heritage of the Bible – truly “mine eye affecteth mine heart.”

Last week we had Missions Conference.  It was a great week!  Pastor Juan Pacheco was the guest preacher.  The messages were so challenging.  The first night he spoke about our eyes – seeing the need – not just our own personal needs, but the needs of the lost around us.  The next night, he spoke about our mouth – using it to pray – pray for our families, for our missionaries, and for the salvation of the lost.  Then he spoke the next night about our hands – using them to serve others.

On Tuesday, Frank (Deaf) and Jonathan (Hearing) left for Pucallpa.  They will be filling in for Pastor Henry while he is here in Lima.  I look forward to seeing how God is going to use them.  We are already missing them here, but we know God’s plan is perfect!  ”Mine eye affecteth mine heart.”

A couple of the ladies here recently asked me if I liked Peru.  How glad and thankful I was to be able tell them with tears of joy in my eyes how much I love it here!  My eyes sometimes get side-tracked with my own small problems and worries.  When my eyes get focused on my problems, my heart is affected – negatively.  Then the Lord gently reminds me where I should be looking – not inward, but outward and upward.  Upward toward Him, and Outward to the lost around me.  Everywhere I look, there are myriads of houses.  Houses full of families that have never heard perhaps even one time that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again to save them from their sins!

“Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.”  Lamentations 3:51

 

 

My Heritage from the Lord

"Wearing Martha's hats from Aunt Boppy!"

You know, God has given each of us a heritage.  Mine comes in the form of children.  I am so thankful for the children God has given me.  It is such a joy to watch them learn and watch them grow!  It is not always smooth sailing, but God has given me much grace and a healthy sense of humor.

We took the kids with us on Saturday visitation about two weeks ago.  They did really well as we taught some children about Jesus and the Bible.  While we were teaching the children, Pastor Alfredo (one of the assistant pastors here at Efata) had the opportunity to lead the mom and the two oldest girls to the Lord.  We rejoiced with them about their salvation.  As we left, Martha asked me, “Mommy, what did that lady do?”  I carefully explained to her that she had asked Jesus to come into her heart and wash her sins away.  I concluded by telling Martha that now the lady would go to Heaven.  I asked Martha if she was going to ask Jesus to live in her heart, and she replied, “I will.”  I was happy to hear that, so I asked her when, and she very calmly responded, “When I get to Heaven!”  Praise the Lord for a tender heart!

I have been teaching Martha and Ian from the Wordless Book.  Martha has a little one in her “Busy Bible” and many times she will come and ask me to “tell her the story” as she hands me her wordless book.  She knows what all the colors are and what they mean.  She gave me a practical application to these lessons the other morning.  She has a jumper with three hearts on it.  Two of the hearts are red and the one in the middle is cheetah print.  I let her choose which jumper she wanted to wear recently.  She told me she wanted the one with the “blood hearts.”  I couldn’t imagine what in the world she was talking about!  She then repeated that she wanted the one with the “blood hearts.”  As I looked at her for some sort of explanation, she went on to point to the other heart and tell me (rather fiercely), “That one has yucky, dirty sin!”  Suddenly I realized what she had been saying – she was making a practical application of the wordless book to her own clothes!

About a week ago, we bought the children each a pair of alpaca slippers.  The word for slippers in Spanish is “pantuflas.”  We all think that is just about one of the funniest words we have ever heard.  It sounds like it came from a Dr. Seuss book!  Martha and Ian both love their pantuflas!  I will tell them in the mornings to put their pantuflas on because the floor is cold.  If I fail to mention why we are putting the pantuflas on, Martha will run to her room, shouting over her shoulder, “Because the floor is cold?”  Even Ian will make a beeline for his room to get his “tuflas”!  I found him the other morning sitting on the floor trying to put his pantuflas on.  He was rather disgusted because he couldn’t get them on over his footed pajamas!

My love for the Peanuts comic strip has manifested itself even in my children!  I have my own “Linus” in the form of Ian.  For the past few weeks, he has wanted his blanket close by his side!  It is normally in the pack and play during the day and he is fine.  But when evening comes, he comes and tells me that he wants his “banket”!!  Nothing and no one else will do until I get that blanket for him.  Then he’ll sit and play with the blanket as well as his other toys!

Recently Ian was insistent about have the “hoolie.”  I wasn’t sure what he was asking for, then I saw Martha with the “Woo Woo.”  In our family, the “woo woo” is what we call the cardboard roll from the end of a roll of paper towels or toilet paper.  We call it the “woo woo” because of the sound it makes and because that is what my cousin called it when he was little!  Breaking with tradition, Ian has given it his own name – “Hoolie”!  Oh, the simple joys of childhood!

This past Saturday, I had a group of 4 girls and 1 young man with me as we went to visit the Deaf.  We got on a combi (a small van used for public transportation) to go to a different area.  There are bench seats in the combi, but in the front part, you sit facing your fellow passengers, with your back to the driver.  So, we all piled in, and I found myself sitting in the front facing toward the back with Elena (Deaf) next to me, and a stranger to my right.  Martha was on my lap, and Ian was with two of the other girls in the next row back.  Across from me was a Mom with a little boy and an even smaller girl.  We no sooner got settled, when I felt something warm on my foot (I just HAD to wear flip flops!).  I looked around, and noticed that the little girl was sick!  Oh, how I wanted to join her!  But as always God is SO good.  I had put extra wipes in the backpack I use for the kids.  I very calmly got out the wipes and started helping the lady clean up the little girl.  We got her all cleaned up, but by that time more people had gotten on the combi, and Elena and I had gotten separated.  I couldn’t get to my tracts, so I had Cynthia (also Deaf) reach over from her seat behind the lady and give her a tract.  I told the girls later what an opportunity the Lord had given us!!!  He allowed that little girl to be sick right when we got on the combi so that we could have an opportunity to show God’s love in action to that woman.  I believe she accepted that tract much more readily because of showing her God’s love!  I wasn’t able to actually witness to her, but she did read the tract, and who knows…..maybe we’ll see her at church one day saved and serving the Lord!  I don’t know her name, there really weren’t any words that actually passed between us except “Gracias!”

Have a wonderful week enjoying whatever heritage the Lord has given you!

Ordinary Days?

There is a Hallmark movie called, “The Magic of Ordinary Days.”  I have never seen the movie, but I was thinking about that title recently.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that for a Christian there is no such thing as an “Ordinary Day.”  Each day is given to us as a precious gift from our Heavenly Father.  He allows us to fill each day however we choose.  I don’t know about you, but I can look back to some of my days and see how much “wasteful stuff” I put into my days.  Then there are days when I say, “Thank you, Lord, for helping me fill my days with things that will last for eternity.”

Saturday was one of those “Eternity Days.”  Matt and I went on a “date” down to the market!  Isn’t that romantic?  Anyway, there is a man there who sells all kinds of plasticware.  We discovered Henry’s shop the other day, and we have bought most of our plasticware from him since then.  While we were there this past Saturday, his wife, Vilma, came by.  We have already given Henry a tract and invited him to church.  Tomorrow (May 1st) is a holiday here in Peru.  Efata is having what is called an “Anticuchada” in honor of the occasion.  We were given 5 tickets for our family, but we only needed 3 – one for Matt, one for me, and Martha and Ian will share one.  I asked Matt if we could use the other one to invite Henry.  When we asked Henry if he wanted to buy the ticket, he readily agreed.  We decided to add in the other ticket at no cost to him, so he could bring his wife!  We are excited to see what the Lord is going to do in the lives of Henry and Vilma and their 3 children.  Please pray that the Lord would use us to bring this precious family to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ!

For a couple of weeks, Martha kept asking me to rock her before she went to sleep.  I would always tell her that I didn’t have a rocking chair to rock her in and her face would become very sad!  I finally told her she needed to start asking Jesus for a rocking chair for Mommy so we could rock in the chair!  She quickly accepted the advice and started praying every night before bed for a rocking chair for Mommy. I forgot to mention the rocking chair one night when we were praying together, and she was very quick to remind me!  This past Thursday, Jesus answered Martha’s prayers – we went shopping for a rocking chair for Mommy!  At the first shop we stopped at, we found the perfect chair.  So now there is a beautiful, pine rocking chair sitting in my living room!  I have put it in the exact spot where I can see the mountains out the window.  I have put a couple of pictures of our answered prayer on the Photo tab here on our blog page.  Martha is not the only one who is enjoying the rocking chair.  Ian loves the rocking chair too!  He will often come to me and say, “Rocket”!  That’s his way of saying he wants to rock in the chair.  Of course, he says the same thing when he is on the swing!

Have a blessed week!