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 www.extremenazarene.org. 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