Friday, December 31, 2010

31 December 2010 Update!

The last post of 2010.

Thank you to all who pray for us. I know you get tired of reading this but your prayers are so very important to us. Please don't ever stop praying for us and the work that is going on in South America with our REAP NORTH team. You are a very important part of what God is doing and plans to do in South America.

We have had a blessed time here in Mississippi with our families. On Christmas morning we celebrated with Jeff's mom and family in Petal, MS and later that day we traveled to Brandon, MS to celebrate with Liesa's family. Earlier this week Liesa and Jeff spent two days in New Orleans celebrating 20 years of marriage. We had a great time exploring the French Quarter and eating the best food on the planet. We're back in Petal, MS tonight shooting fireworks and hanging out at Jeff's mom's house. On New Year's Day we'll be at Jeff's brother's house watching some football and playing with Madilyn (Pete and Carrie's daughter.)

We'll try to update as we are able. We're on vacation but are still supporting teams as they contact us with needs...hotel reservations, transportation, I suppose it's good to be needed. And, we're enjoying visiting with some very special folks in churches while we are here in Mississippi.

Here's some specific prayer requests for you to lift up...
  • Please continue to pray for Haylee and her treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis. She is responding well to treatment and we are thankful.
  • Please pray for several new works among the people groups of Peru. Please pray specifically for work among the Lamista Quechua. First Baptist Oxford is very close to seeing a new church started in the village of Bella Vista. The Enemy will seek to put a stop to that.
  • Please praise the Lord with us for at least 9 new churches started among the people groups of Northern Peru during 2010.
  • Please pray for changes to our work that is coming in 2011. Because of IMB funding priorities, several of the positions on our team will not be able to continue. Please pray for wisdom for Liesa and Jeff as we lead our teams in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador to adjust to these changes.
  • Please pray for us as we travel Mississippi telling about the Lord's work over the next couple of weeks. Pray for those who will hear and respond to God's Call to be Disciplemakers.
Thank you so much for your support of our work through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program.

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

22 December 2010 Update!

We have had an eventful week. Last week, a team of students from First Baptist Church Oxford arrived in Peru to continue the church's ministry to the Lamista Quechua people in the northern jungle area of Peru. (See photo to the right.) We had finished three long days of ministry and were asleep when Jeff's cell phone rang around 2 a.m. Liesa was calling with the news that Granny (her grandmother) had died suddenly. Many of you know Granny because she has been such a big part of our lives for so many years. Granny is now in perfect presence of our powerful Lord Jesus.

On Wednesday morning Jeff left the FBC Oxford group in the capable hands of a national partner (Thank God for Jose!) and flew back to Lima. Although we were grieving, we were comforted by the certainty of Granny's faith. After talking with the fine capitalistic folks at Delta Airlines (I like making money, too), it was determined that they would not be willing to change our already purchased tickets to Mississippi unless we put $6,000 bucks in their pockets (Jerks.). Well, that's not good stewardship so Liesa's family graciously agreed to wait for us to get to Mississippi for the funeral.

We arrived in Mississippi on Monday morning (Dec 20) and prepared for visitation at the funeral home that evening. The funeral was yesterday (Dec 21) in Brandon, MS and Meridian, MS. Jeff was honored to be able to speak at the funeral. Here's the scripture he used...

Matthew 2:9-12
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Jeff talked about two important gifts that Granny had given to her family in her lifetime: A Life that loved God, and a Life that loved family. It was a very meaningful time of remembering the way God was faithful and worked miracles through Granny's life.

Today, December 22, Liesa and Jeff are celebrating 20 years of marriage by doing all of our Christmas shopping! Lots to do! We plan to be Latin Americans today... break in line and drive like crazy maniacs. Should be an adventure.

We'll be able to speak in several churches while we're in the USA. Here's our schedule:
  • Sunday, January 2, 2011. First Baptist Yazoo City.
  • Wednesday, January 5, 2011. T.B.A.
  • Sunday, January 9, 2011. Morning at FBC Oxford. Evening at West Heights, Pontotoc.
  • Wednesday, January 12, 2011. FBC Oxford AWANA group.
  • Sunday, January 16, 2011. Salem Baptist Church, Lauderdale County.
  • Tuesday, January 18, 2011. Crossgates Baptist Church, Brandon, MS.
  • Wednesday, January 19, 2011. Open Date! Call us!
Finally, Thank You. God has used each of you who pray for us in so many ways. 2010 has been a challenging year...
  • Haylee being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Being far away from family and friends in the USA.
  • Our REAP NORTH PERU team is slowly being taken apart using methods and for reasons we don't fully understand.
  • Trying to be team strategy leaders that are led by the Holy Spirit and trying to make sure our team members have what they need to do the jobs God has called them to do and at the same time trying to figure out how to manage so many different wonderful personalities.
  • Learning to be patient with national partners who seem only to want resources/funding from us instead of allowing us to learn from them and work with them.
Through all of these challenges, God has blessed us more than we deserve. Thank you for your prayers and support. We are blessed to have you as a part of our team.

Merry Christmas!
Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

16 December 2010 Update.

Our 'Granny' went home to be with Jesus on Wednesday, December 15. This is Liesa's mother's mom. We'll be headed home to the USA this weekend for the funeral. Thank you for praying for our family during this time.

Granny is seated front and center in this photo with the family.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

2 December 2010 Update

Hello to all of you out there.

Thank you so much for your prayers on our behalf. Just this week one of our faithful prayer warriors emailed us letting us know she was praying that "God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ" and "that every time I open my mouth I'll be able to make Christ plain as day." Those words are from Colossians 4. We are constantly reminded of your prayers for us. You need to know that your prayers are so important to the work here. Please keep praying.

Thanksgiving Week here was a blessing for us. We were able to travel to the Southern Conchucos area of Peru to visit with our missionary family members: The Bredbenner's and the Pennington's. We had a blast being with them and seeing their part of Peru.

December brings six mission teams from the USA to Peru. Teams from North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Colorado will be working to bring the message of HOPE to the Quechua and Ashaninca peoples of Peru. Please pray for the Father to use these teams according to His plan.

We are looking forward to some time of vacation in the USA. We'll be in Mississippi from late December to late January. We are excited about being able to spend some time with our families and friends. It will also be good to spend time in churches telling about the things God is doing here in Peru and other parts of South America.

Before our trip to the USA, our home church, First Baptist Oxford is sending a team. We are excited about seeing them and Jeff will be traveling with them to work among the San Martin Quechua. This project will focus on middle and high school students. Please pray for open doors of ministry among these folks.

Thank you so much for taking the time to support us.

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson