A lot has happened since I last updated! I first of all want to say THANK YOU to all of you who have prayed for and financially given to buy food for Peruvians and Venezuelan refugees in this horrible crisis that the entire world is experiencing. I was blown away by the support from our incredible donors. God used YOU to provide in amazing ways like I have never seen before. it was literally miraculous the way that God used people in the States to provide the funds to buy food for thousands of people. As I was writing this newsletter to update on what God has done in 2020, I received the horrible news that Peru is going back into a mandatory lockdown again. I'm working right now with people in our ministry to see how we could start giving out food during this quarantine as well. I am actually in the US right now. I came home for a quick Christmas visit and ended up having to stay a bit longer due to having to have throat surgery. Below are some pics and a summary of what God did in 2020 in Peru, the pics are in order by activity not chronologically. Thanks again for everything!
I could write a novel with everything that happened between the end of March until the end of October. The stories are endless! I would be happy to share with you more on a personal basis once I get my voice back. :) For now, I will just leave some statistics, so you can see all that God did!
- Over 20,000 text messages received asking for help.
- 13,670 Peruvian and Venezuelan refugee families received a bag of food. When they received the food bag, the gospel was shared with them.
- 1,150 bags were given to our church members, volunteers, and neighbors. These people received food on several different occasions.
- Over 14,000 people heard the gospel because of this food ministry.
- Each bag contained: 2 cans of tuna, 1 bottle of cooking oil, 2 rolls of toilet paper, 2 packages of spaghetti noodles, 2 packages of soup noodles, 2.2 pounds of rice, 1 bag of beans, 1 bag of peas, 2 packages of oatmeal, 1 can of milk, and a paper with Bible verses on it.
- We were able to give new and gently used clothing to 100s of people.
- We were able to give Bibles to 100s of people as well.
God used you to do help do so much for his kingdom! I am forever grateful for the generous ways that you gave. Right now, Peru's hospitals are collapsed, there are no ICU beds in all of Lima and only 141 available ICU beds in the entire country. Because of that the Peruvian government mandated another lockdown starting January 31st. It will initially be for 2 weeks, but will most likely continue. If you would like to give specifically so that we can help more people in these hard times, you can write a check to Para Peru and put in the memo line - food ministry. More than anything we covet your prayers for the Peruvian people and the Venezuelan refugees. They are hurting in so many ways: many have experienced sickness and death in their families, and the great majority have experienced great economic distress, and many have experienced hunger. We know that God can do ANYTHING, so we are asking that you would please pray that He would provide, heal, and most of all that people would understand the gospel and come to know HIM!
We had a lot of pre - pandemic fun! Summer in Peru starts in about November and ends in April. The kids are out of school at the end of Dec - mid March. We had so much fun this past summer. Here are some of the things we did from January to March:
- Youth camp: 30 Peruvian youth attended and 11 volunteers came from the States to run it!
- Played games using 7,000 water balloons in the month of February at all of our neighborhood Bible studies.
- Pool days with all of our neighborhood Bible studies.
- Sports tournaments.
- Outreach events in new neighborhoods using water balloons.
- Our youth came almost every day of the summer to help run the various different summer activities. They did a great job!
- Bible trivia competitions with prizes.
- Each kid in our Bible studies received a bag of school supplies.
- Our youth went one day to do ministry at the homeless shelter that we help with on a frequent basis.
- End of summer youth field trip.
Meadowbrook Baptist Church came and did Carnivals in all of our regular neighborhoods and some new ones, led our church service, and did a youth day. They did a fantastic job. Peru loves Meadowbrook!
Michelle and Chris Cagle, dear friends of mine, came to visit and help with the ministry then we did some fun tourist stuff at the end of their stay!
These are the main highlights from November and December:
- Gave out 46 food baskets to neighbors, volunteers, and stores that helped us during our food ministry. Anyone who we hadn't previously shared the gospel with, we took the opportunity to share with them at the time when we gave them the basket.
- 66 families from our church and neighborhood received a Christmas dessert bag.
- Gave clothes and food to a needy family of 9.
- We were able to start in person church finally in November. In person church was banned from the end of March until the beginning of November. We had been meeting since September online, and now we do both (in person and online).
- Youth socially distanced Christmas party
- One carols and candles service
God did a lot of amazing things in 2020, and I look forward to what He will continue to do in 2021! Thanks for your support and prayers!