Sunday, April 10, 2011

10 April 2011 Update!

(Jackson and his buddies. No idea what they're doing.)

Greetings to all out there wherever you are!

Thank you for praying for us over the last few weeks. Here are some answered prayers to celebrate:
  1. Haylee continues to do very well with her Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her doctor continues to reduce her medication. Your prayers are so appreciated.
  2. Jackson is doing well. Growing up fast and doing great in school.
  3. Liesa and Jeff are doing well. We have seen God do some amazing things over the past few weeks. New believers. New churches. Your prayers are so important to the work here.
Here are some important things to be praying about:

The spread of the Gospel and the planting of churches in Peru is going extremely well. We have seen hundreds of people open to the possibility of becoming followers of Jesus. We have seen villages meeting to make decisions about starting churches. We are very blessed to work for the Southern Baptist Churches who support the International Mission Board. For a variety of reasons, mostly economic, we will soon begin losing key members of our team in addition to the personnel we lost in 2010.

We say 'see you later' to Amber Smith next week. She is the one who handles all of the camping equipment, cooking equipment, buys supplies for teams, arranges printing of Bibles and tracts. She rents trucks and arranges transportation for teams. She also accompanies jungle teams to areas in the Amazon Basin. Basically, she is a KEY component of our team.

In a few weeks our National Partner Trainers will head back to the USA. Brian and Felicia Henderson are responsible for teaching English three days a week so that our teams will have translators. They disciple over 100 translator/students each week. They also teach missiological principles to our Peruvian partners so that they are ready to take the lead as missionaries in Peru. They lead the work among a segment of the North Lima Quechua.

In a few weeks, Liesa and Jeff will begin a six month stateside assignment in Mississippi and possibly a new assignment with the IMB. Although we are a small part of the REAP NORTH team, we know our departure will cause our teammates added stress. We are very, very concerned about this.

In a few months we will lose Jim Gilstrap as a funded position on the REAP NORTH team. Jim's assignment on our team is a HUGE one. Jim is responsible for leading the work of several of our new SC church partners among two key people groups (One a key UPG in Peru). Jim is also responsible for supporting all of our National Pastor/Leader Training Events among all Quechua people groups and the Tambo River Ashaninca area. Jim leads two Bible studies in his home each week for Peruvians.

These personnel losses are in addition to key losses among our teammates in Ecuador and Bolivia.

Obviously, the loss of these key positions on the REAP NORTH Peru team means our Strategy Coordinator partners will need to carry even more of the load of their work without direct missionary involvement. It is likely that our Strategy Coordinator Partners will need to send people a couple of days early in advance of their teams to help coordinate equipment needs, food purchases, translator needs, rent trucks, etc. Many of our Strategy Coordinator Partners who are used to having a 'real, live, Southern Baptist missionary' serve along-side them will have to adjust to working without IMB personnel (this is not necessarily a bad thing.). But, when our unaccompanied Strategy Coordinator Partners make missiological mistakes, will those in the missionary world display grace toward mission volunteers and the missionaries who work with them?

We share these things with those of you who pray for us. The challenges of your life probably make our concerns seem very small. We do ask that you would pray with us for these concerns. Pray especially for Amber, Brian, Felicia, Skylar, Sydney, and Jim.

Psalm 32 teaches us an important principle:

8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

Our God has a plan. We must trust Him. He is watching over us. Do not be a mule.

Thank you to all who pray and hold the rope.

The Holemans in Peru.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for listening and following God in all the hard work you do. His plans are always bigger and better than what we can come up with on our own.