It has been an amazing last few days. Our team here has been blessed to have Sheli Gartman come and do a workshop with our group. She specializes in bringing people together and showing them their value to a team. Wow! It was just what we needed.
In an environment where Satan is using every tactic to destroy our esteem, Sheli was able to sit us down and remind us of the reason that we are all here. God did not accidentally put all the miracles together that allowed each and every one of us to be here in Peru. HE has a purpose for each of us. We have heard this message thousands of times over the course of our lives, but how easy it is to forget as Satan is constantly distracting us.
I am not much on the emotional string pulling of such conferences, but I must say that this was exactly what our team needed. I have gone through many of these types of sessions in the past, and have never walked away with such a WOW factor as this. There were many tears, hugs, spoken words that have been held back for way too long, and an overwhelming sense of God’s presence for sure. In the end, our team became equipped to tackle the rest of our enormous schedule that is laid before us.
Here are some pics of a team building exercise after the conference-Daring to drink Frog Juice-Way to take one for the team.
The conference was held at the Larry and Addie Garman Missionary Training Facility in Arequipa. Just to remind you, this is the building that was built during our last two projects here in Arequipa. There are a few more things to do for absolute completion, but it is being used and was a blessing to have good meeting space. What a miracle that has been!
On the project side of things, I must tell you all about our upcoming projects that we have in Puerto Maldonado. Our PM1 project starts at the end of this week. It is a small group of professionals that are equipped to serve with their talents and knowledge to get a large portion of the missionary housing facility completed. We have a full schedule of work and ministry planned out for them. They will surely make a difference in that community. We have 4 of our staff heading up this project. Dennis and Denise Linnell as well as Brad and Michelle Hunt will be running this one. They have been preparing for this for many weeks and now is the time to begin. They are heading out today in advance of the short term volunteer group so that they can be ready for the group to arrive on Friday AM. There will be a few more of us that will be supporting the leadership effort, but this group is ready to handle the task. Please keep the Linnell’s and the Hunt’s in your prayers as they will be up to their ears in work. Pray that God will cause a stir in the hearts of those volunteers coming down. Our goal is to help others mobilize into full time Kingdom expansion work. These projects are designed to help foster this.
About a week and a half after PM1, the second PM project will begin. During that project, there will be completion of the missionary housing, as well as a large amount of impact within the community. There are still a lot of details that need to be worked out with the local pastor and leadership on the specifics, but it is going to be big. I love being involved in big things!
Our 40/40 missionaries are neck deep in learning Spanish, getting to know each other, and trying to gain a better perspective on this culture. It is so exciting to see them developing such strong friendships. These are the types of bonds that will last a lifetime. It is so imperative that they connect personally. It will help them as they dive into the enormous task of planting 120 new churches. By the way, our first group of 40/40’s will be joining us on the PM2 project as they will be finished with their training. They are finishing up their process and are all chomping at the bit to get to work. They are anxious to start the work that God has put before them. All of our impact will be assisted and directed by these ambitious young missionaries. I get all excited just thinking about it!
On a personal note, we have had some house guests over the past few days. Teri’s Mom and two little brothers (not so little anymore) have been here taking in the sites and helping us to take a few days away from the office. It has been exciting to run around and see different parts of the area that we have not been able to see up to this point.
Machu Pichu was amazing. Not much sleep, but we got it done. Many of you have seen pictures, and I can assure you that they do it very little justice. It is beautiful. God knows how to amaze us, no doubt!
They will be heading back to the US at the end of the week. It has been good for our family to have family around. We miss the togetherness that comes from parents, siblings, and other relatives. I sure don’t take that for granted anymore. Please keep our family in your prayers as we tackle these next two projects. They are very stressful and taxing on us. Our kids are doing better in school, although it is not easy. Little by little we are making progress. It sure is sweet to listen to my little princesses talking in Spanish. Talk about warming a Daddy’s heart!
I cannot tell you how wonderful of an experience this is. Living here, working to enhance God’s kingdom, making friendships with other committed people, and tackling such a huge project are all part of this life that we are living. Your partnership in our ministry here has been such a blessing to us. We are able to live without having to work in a secular environment to support our ministry. We feel your prayers. We are constantly reminded and confirmed through the miracles that God provides on a daily basis. I wish I could write a description of the feelings I have in my heart for the gratitude I have for those of you that are supporting our work here in Peru. Thank you! Know that God is here making this all work out for His good.
We love you!
The Englund Family