Monday, April 27, 2009

It's happening here in Arequipa...

OK things are really starting to roll now! Just this morning, our team met with the mayor of Arequipa. Our goal was to ask for his support for our mega event in June of 2010. We asked for his support in a number of ways. Our meeting went extremely well. We asked the mayor to exert pressure on the local businesses to assist us in what we are doing, as well as ask for his attendance at our event in order to announce that the Guinness Record has been set. He is excited about it, although he does not believe it is possible. Which, for me, is a good thing. We don’t want to do possible things. That would go against our nature. It will shake him to his core when he realizes that his city has come together and set an extraordinary world record. Everyone except Satan and his foes stand to gain from our project being a success.

Some other exciting news is that we have our first approvals for our Peruvian 40/40 church plant missionaries. These, along with their American counterparts are the rockstars of our mission. They are going to be in the trenches planting churches. It is so amazing to see how God is coordinating our effort.

In two and a half months, our first group of short term volunteers will be arriving in Arequipa. On one hand it seems like a long way out, but then I realize the mountain of details that needs to be tended to. Please keep us in prayer as we tackle this monster that has been created. God is good and will surely prevail. The prayer is not for God it is for our people. They are going to be working extremely hard to make sure that our projects are purposeful and effective.

We have been meeting with the local pastors to develop plans of how we can reach the people of Arequipa as well as the other locations in which we will be working. It is amazing to see how the group of pastors is so in tune to this project. They all have concluded that the project focus will create explosive growth within the church in Peru. That is so exciting!

The Englund family report is pretty simple. Keep praying for us as we are in the midst of a spiritual war. I am glad that Satan does not want us here. That tells us that we are in the right place. However, it doesn’t make it any easier. Culture shock is tugging on us little bit by little bit. I am not sure how bad it will get, but I had my first real “missing the US” moment just the other day. I was looking at some pictures on my computer and just really started to think about what I was missing. I am sure this is normal, but it sure makes me long for home. We really miss all of you. The girls seem to be having a rough go of it lately as well. The lack of English speaking friends is taking its toll on Kayle and Emma. Please keep them in your prayers. Pray that God will provide them with a great friend or two that can stick with them for the rest of their lives. It is hard to realize how important relationships are until there is 18,000 miles between them. God is a surely present and will provide support for all of our needs.

Teri is jumping into her work here as the prayer coordinator. She has been leading the prayer ministry here. She is just getting started and is working to develop a couple of key programs that will be vital to the success of our project. She seems to be doing well, but there are times where the new environment really gets to here. Please keep her in your prayers as well. She is an integral part of what we are doing and we need her to be ready to tackle the things that Satan throws at her.

We have been blessed too participate in a couple of hands on ministry stuff over the past week or so. I went to my first Jesus Film showing and was blown away at the results. There were about 15-20 kids present, as well as many of their parents. In addition there were others from the neighborhood that just showed up because they could tell something was going on. I was able to play tag with the kids until my lungs were about ready to jump out of my rib cage. After that I sat down surrounded by a bunch of kids and watched the movie. They asked me questions about the movie and I did the best I could to answer in my limited Spanish. It was a fantastic time with about a dozen people making decisions. This is a great ministry that works! I am a big fan of the Jesus Film.

Emma and I were able to spend last Saturday in on of the poorest areas of the city, Huacshapata. We have a mission(daughter) church in the area. On Saturdays, they have a bible class for the kids, then lunch is served, then it was play time. My job was to help with the games. Andrew, one of our 40/40 church plant missionaries, was also there to help. We got a big game of soccer going. It was a blast. Those kids ran us into the ground. I forgot to mention that Andrew and myself along with a group of others played soccer for 3 hours that same morning. We were pretty much spent by the end of the day. It was long, but well worth it. Emma was able to participate in the mission. She was able to interact with the kids. She was a big draw to those kids as they had never been around such a beautiful white princess. She was not sure that she liked all the attention, but she assured me that it was a good time.

Teri, just this morning, had the chance to visit a state ran facility for adolescents. There were many troubled kids there and she had the chance to interact with many of them. She mentioned that it was an amazing experience. That ministry will be ongoing and will take place each week. What an amazing opportunity. Pray that God will keep the doors open for that type of work.

This is a more nitty gritty type of report. I hope this gives you an idea of what is happening here in Peru. There are many more things coming. I cannot wait to write more in the near future. Please keep us in prayer. We are living life to the fullest and are all honored to be serving God in His will. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and financial suppport. We could not do it without the faithhfulness of so many of you.

I do want to encourage all of you to sign up for the Extreme 7 second update/newsletter. you can visit Down at the bottom of the main page is a newsletter sign up. This is a great little blip of info every two weeks.

Dios te Bendiga

The Englund Family

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hello all!

We are about 3 months into this crazy adventure here in Peru. So far, we have not died, been kidnapped, killed anyone else, nor have we spent any nights in jail. Those are all good things as far as I can tell.
Many of you have asked about how we are doing. We truly appreciate your concern. Your prayers are felt and we are sure that God is answering prayers in which we are not even aware. He is definitely good.

Our ministry here is really starting to get rolling. Teri and I have only two more days of Spanish School left. We both feel like we have a long way to go to be able to speak really well, but right now we both feel adequate in our new language that we can have a conversation with another person. We can get around town, ask for directions, have simple meetings, and be able to read the signs and even be funny at times whether it is on purpose or not.

Our projects are taking shape right before our eyes. Some new and exciting things that have recently taken place is that we have purchased the first real estate for our 40/40 cluster support housing in Puerto Maldonado and we have secured the facilities for housing our groups here in Arequipa. We have a lot more to do, but it is se exciting to see things rolling. Once our language school is done this week, our days will be devoted to the mission project and not just cramming our heads full of Spanish.

We have been enjoying our first group of 40/40 missionaries that have recently arrived here in Arequipa for language school. We have a solid group of young people that are on fire for the work that God has asked them to do. You will surely hear more about the 40/40’s as time goes on. They are the church planters that will be supported by this huge project. Everything we are doing here is to support their work in planting 120 churches throughout the country of Peru. These young missionaries are Rock Stars for Jesus, and I am excited to be able to work with them.

Our time here has been full of getting used to things such as culture, food, new areas, language, and things to do. We have been having fun exploring the city and its surroundings. There is a lot more to explore. We have yet to climb El Misti, but rest assured that is on the list. It is only 19K + feet and a little thin on oxygen.

We have had a few funny things happen. I am not sure if you all have heard about my recent haircut, but here is a picture of the end result. Let's just say that I forgot to put the guard on the clippers before Kayle went to town on my head. A lesson learned. Checkout my Facebook page for more details and the real video. Kayle, Emma, and I also went on an adventure with Andrew Kendall(one of the 40/40's). See some of the video results of that on Facebook as well. For our day to day stuff, Facebook is the best place to go. We continue to post new stuff on that quite often. Check it out if you want a view into the life of the Englunds.

Kayle and Emma say “Que pasa?” to all their friends back home reading this. They are doing good. School has been getting easier day by day, but it is still a tough transition. They are really picking up a lot of words and don’t realize that they are learning another language. It is really neat to see how they are progressing.

Teri has been putting in a bunch of time helping with the school work for the girls. They have an enormous amount of homework each night. Teri works with Kayle and Emma by translating some of their homework and helping them with understanding the subjects, and just overall motivation. She is a real trooper. The girls are working really hard and it shows. Please keep Teri in your prayers as it is very difficult to do what she is doing each day and night.

God is keeping us moving forward. We are excited to be where we are doing the work that He has given us to do. Please keep us in your prayers. There are many more stories to come. Things are just now getting exciting. Know that you are in our prayers and we miss you all.

Hasta Luego
From the Englund family