We are having a 2 phase project that starts on the 11th of June and ends on the 29th of June. There are going to be 7 separate projects all taking place in various locations around the jungle and mountain areas of the eastern and southern parts of Peru. In all, there will be about 300 short term volunteers and about 100 long term volunteers arriving at various locations and at various times. During the first phase, the groups will be arriving at their project city first to spend a week doing community impact and helping our church plant missionaries in church planting efforts. Then, on the 17th of June, they will all travel to Arequipa Peru to join the second phase group that is coming to Peru. In all, we will have the entire group of phase one and phase two in Arequipa for a period of 4 days. We are putting together the housing, the food, the transportation, safety, and probably some things we have forgotten about. These volunteers will be tackling a huge task of putting on the largest Extreme event in history; a day long mega event designed to jumpstart a church plant movement in Arequipa. It is a monster, but we are going to tackle it head on. There is a large group of local pastors, laypeople, Extreme 40/40 missionaries and others preparing for the task of discipling those that make decisions during our event. We have a plan put together to bring these new converts to a closer relationship with God by connecting each and every new convert to a local discipler that will take the responsibility to assist them in their new spiritual journey. They will be making personal contact with hundreds and possibly thousands within the few days of the event. There are also retreats planned for the new believers to attend so that they can learn some key things about a new life with Christ. This is so exciting! This is where the rubber hits the road. I cannot wait to see how many people get tied into one of our local congregations. This will surely make a huge difference in the city of Arequipa. I am honored to be a part of it.
During the days before the event, we are slamming the city with tons of impact which will include everything under the sun. We will be having medical clinics, Kids festivals, drama presentations in schools and universities, concerts, prison impact, orphanage impact, promo events, and many other items that will make it onto the schedule at the last minute (that is how Peru works…). All of these items are designed to impact the community, but also promote our mega-event.
Each of the project cities will be having similar projects taking place. Tons of impact and church plant work. Some will have medical clinics, others will have Jesus Film showings, and others will have folk dancing. Pretty much everything you can imagine. It is going to be a crazy hectic good time with a well needed break at the end.
That is the scoop on Love Extreme. It seems like that might be enough, but it’s not really even half of it. We have a recently received our third group of 40/40 church plant missionaries. The American partners have recently finished language school and just last week were joined by their Peruvian partners. Now, this group is neck high in bible training and missionary classes. All in Spanish!
While that is happening, the 4th and final group of 40/40s is arriving on Monday the 24th here in Arequipa to begin language school. This comes with a little twist. We are starting a language school here in Arequipa in which a part of our 40/40 group will study. They will be having classes at our crazy and jam packed office. It is exciting to see them come! However, with that comes a lot of extra pressure and stress. Pray that God will grant us the patience and peace to sustain us in these coming days.
With all of this going on, we have not had much breathing room to take a break and send you all an update.
As far as our family goes, we are hanging in there. The kids have just now gotten caught up on their school that they missed as a result of the numerous back to back projects. The projects were awesome, but the catching up was torture. I think we are out of the woods now. Just in time for another. We will make it work.
Emma has been keeping the Tooth Fairy busy lately as she lost two teeth in two days. Teri and I have been busy keeping things in order both at home and at the office. Not much time right now to breathe, but things are really exciting. Please keep us in your prayers as we enter this strenuous time of late nights, hard work, lots of chaos, all the while keeping a hospitable attitude for our volunteers that are participating in our projects.
God has continued to bless us during our time here. I want to express my thanks to all of you that are continually supporting us with prayer and finances. We are a blessed family! We are looking to return to the US towards the end of the year for a visit. God is not finished with us yet. We are not sure where God’s direction will take us over the next few years, but I am sure it will be exciting. We will keep you up to date on our project in June. Please take a look at the Extreme website. There are some interesting things on there that pertain to the mission here in Peru. You can find it at www.extremenazarene.org.
So for now, I am going to sign off. Know that you are prayed for, appreciated, and in our thoughts often. Please keep us in your prayers. There is an immense battle raging now in our midst and I doubt it will get any easier. We are attacking Satan’s army. He does not like it. Pray for protection and strength for our family, our missionary families, our staff, our planning teams, our pastors, pray that God will prepare the people of Arequipa for our event, and pray for all the project cities and their events and impact work as well.
I am looking forward to writing a great report after our project is done. If communication is a little light over the next month, I ask for your forgiveness in advance. I will surely update you after the project. If there is any chance of doing it during the project, I will give it a shot.
We love and miss you!
The Englund Family