Sunday, March 27, 2011

27 March 2011 Update!

We've had a great week here in Peru.

The best...
  • Haylee had another GREAT report from her rheumatologist. Her numbers continue to show progress as she continues to fight Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her doctor has again decreased her medication. Thank you for your prayers. Continue to pray for healing.
  • March has been such a busy month but God has been working. We saw the start of a new church and there are several more Bible study groups meeting who are almost ready to start their own churches. Please continue to pray for opportunities to make disciples here in Peru.
  • Fish Robinson and the crew from North Oxford Baptist Church returned to Peru! I wish all student teams were this easy to work with. Although they did not need our help, Liesa and Jeff tagged along with this team. It was so encouraging to be with them and see how a properly prepared and trained team can be so effective in cross-cultural ministry. Great Job Fish!
  • JAY COOK was here. Jay was here from Argentina for some meetings and we were able to have him with us here at our house for a couple of days and then spend a lot of time with him during the week. Jay is one of those guys who is walking with Jesus and you just want to always be around him. Thanks for hanging with us, Jay.
  • Liesa was able to attend meetings this week to get great information for use in Community Transformation Training. Basically, she learned some new ways to use Health Strategies to open the doors for church planting.
  • Our Stateside Assignment is scheduled for June 25, 2011 to January 5, 2012. We'll be living in Brandon, MS in the missionary home of Crossgates Baptist Church. Liesa and Jeff will also be serving at Mississippi College as 'Missionaries in Residence'. We are excited about the opportunity to serve and disciple students while on stateside.
  • We've had great news about future workers who will come to Peru to fill in the gaps left by personnel who are finishing up their terms. Please pray for them as they prepare to arrive in Peru in August.
  • Jackson had serious thoughts about working on his research paper. Hey, it's a big deal for us! Now, if we could just follow-through. :-)
Prayer Requests...
  • Pray for the future. Big decisions must be made soon about where God will have us working. We are trusting God to show us His Plan and we're trusting YOU to be praying.
  • Continue to pray for Haylee and Jackson. They are doing great because of the prayers of so many!
  • Pray for our teammate Amber Smith who will be finishing up her journeygirl term on April 20. Pray for her as she seeks God's Will about the future.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support of the work of missionaries around the world through your giving to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Most Important Missionary Weapon.

We meet each morning as a family and study God's Word. For the past few weeks we have been in the Old Testament and a while back we began reading through the book of Joshua. We've been learning the past few days about Israel's attempt to capture the city of Ai.

You may recall that God's people were forbidden from taking any of the valuables from Jericho when they captured the city. However, Achan took a robe and some silver and gold. He hid the items in the ground, but he could not hide his heart from God. With this sin, Achan caused Israel to lose their most powerful weapon: pure hearts.

His sin affected his whole nation. They were whipped like the Ole Miss football team playing Alabama during their first attempt to conquer Ai. Then, Achan's sin was exposed, dealt with (harshly), and the people of God were able to take the city of Ai. And, God gave them the possessions of Ai just to mess with our minds.

There are lessons here for a missionary. God has empowered us with all we need to carry the light of the gospel to the nations. God has given us His Word as the best tool for battle. He has empowered us with the Holy Spirit to guide us, reveal to us words to speak, and fill us with strength for the battle. But if we focus only on the external assignment before us we ignore the internal work that must be our own hearts. It's always much more enjoyable to determine the strategy to reach the lost than it is to determine the deficiencies in our own spiritual condition.

We are mistaken if we think the missionary task is to only make disciples of the nations. The first task of a missionary is to 'discipline' his or her own heart; to remain 'discipled' as we disciple others. Do you think the Enemy convinces me that I am responsible for the lostness of the whole world so that I will ignore the 'deficiencies' I have buried in my own tent? I wonder if the Deceiver uses the responsibility of managing a team of missionaries to cause me to put aside managing my own spiritual condition? I must remember that God must always be conquering "I" before I can be used to conquer Ai. A pure heart is the most important missionary weapon.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

6 March 2011 Update!

We've had a couple of weeks of 'office work' to keep us busy since the last update. There's this tool we use called the 'CPPI' to keep track of all the work that is going on with the people groups that our Strategic Partners are working with here in Peru. So, for the past few days Jeff has been entering data from reports from all of our teams in 2010. It is tedious work but it must be done.

Liesa has been busy working on logistical support for teams coming to Peru over the next few weeks. Buying bus tickets, arranging transportation, making hotel reservations, reserving equipment, and the other things that have to done to make the REAP North Peru machine run smoothly.

Haylee and Jackson are doing well. They are counting down the days until they get BRACES on their teeth. That big event will happen on Wednesday, March 9. Pray for them as they deal with BRACE FACE issues. They both are glad school has started. On Tuesdays and Thursdays this month they have swimming classes after school so they've been worn out from all of that hard work.

We are excited about some Oxford folks coming in on Thursday. Liesa and I will be working with this team in the Central Jungle. We're praying that the Christians in the community where we have been working are ready to form a church. Hopefully, that will happen this week.

Thank you all for praying!

Jeff, Liesa, Haylee, and Jackson