"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being ROOTED and grounded in LOVE, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the LOVE of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

~Ephesians 3:14-21

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meet the Newest Members of our Family

As we were walking to church on Sunday, an unexpected surprise ran across the road and laid down on my foot. She was the sweetest little baby puppy...and the kids went crazy. We looked around and asked some of the locals walking by and we could not find out if she had a home. The kids just held her in their arms. One of our good friends who was walking with us told us that a lot of the female dogs get thrown in the river or tossed out of cars. Here in Peru, there are dogs EVERYWHERE and the females are not desirable because they will likely become pregnant (over and over again). 

Well, I could not imagine leaving her...so the kids held her in their arms and Sean helped them take her home to get her some food and milk. As they were walking home, the kids saw more puppies on the side of the road (appearing to have no home) all bundled up on each other. To see so many dogs homeless, wounded, and lonely just breaks your heart. (I know...we cannot save them all:)

We immediately called her "Grace" and we spent the day nursing her back to health and taking turns rocking her to sleep. During the night, the scene was not quiet as beautiful...she cried all night long. Sean and I were worried she was too young to be away from her Mama. We tried our best to get her to sleep and found that the only thing that worked was to hold her in our arms. Sean took the night shift...and for some reason the next morning, I begged Sean to go see if she had a sister. I just knew she would be lonely and I did not want her sister to die if she had one due to total abandonment. River and Sean took off to seek out the litter that they saw after finding Grace. After asking around some more, we found out that the litter did indeed belong to someone, and there were six more puppies (some looking just like Grace). The very nice gentleman gave us one of her sisters. We could not really understand how old they were but he seemed happy to find new owners. 

Meet "Faith"(pictured below)...so unlike little Grace who cries and wants all the attention. Faith sleeps all the time and is the most peaceful dog we have ever seen. No worries or signs of stress from her...appearing to have total faith in everything. 

The kids are madly in love and they are so proud to have their new guard dogs! 

Meet Grace

The kids will not put them down!

Here's Faith!

Sweet Girl!

Sisterly Love...Nap-Time!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One Special Table

Last week during the Pastors Conference, Sean would head out early to Monte Sion Church and the kids and I would stay home to work on school work. We were very fortunate when we arrived a little over a month ago, and realized that this house already had furnishings, including a small round table in the kitchen. We were able to move things around and use random pieces of furniture here and there and thankfully we had almost everything we needed to live on. Villa Milagro let us borrow two sets of bunk beds for the kids room. We are very thankful for the furnishings and for VM lending us the beds! We started adding up what it would have cost to buy even one piece of furniture and realized the blessing from God. 

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." 
- Philippians 4:19

Using the round table, we serve buffet style meals at dinner time and all six of us sit close together around the table. Working on school initially had its challenges with all the school books spread out on the table, but within a couple of days, all the kids found different places around the house (on their beds or sitting on the couches to do their school work). Sean and I both talked about one day building a table out of plywood that would be big enough to comfortably sit us all and room enough where we could all sit together for school. We were not sure how much this would be, but we thought making it would probably be cheaper than purchasing one in town. 

As most of the kids were working on school, River decided to spend time with Sean and they both headed off to the farm at Villa Milagro and were going to visit the pastors and church leaders helping with the conference. Sean walked by the wood shed and several of them were working on a table. They asked Sean if he could help them deliver it to a family in need...and River and Sean jumped in the back of the truck. They told Sean they were taking it to a home and it would take about thirty minutes. Sean noticed that as they started the drive, that they were heading in the same direction as our home...and finally within a few minutes of leaving the farm, the truck slowly pulled in front of our house. With the volunteer church leaders laughing, they smiled and said that they made the table for us to help during school and a place for all of us to eat. I ran out and realized as they were unloading what was going on...and I was so THANKFUL for new table they had built and so THANKFUL for their hearts to do this for us. 

Autumn was super excited and all the kids tried to help as they were bringing in the table. Right before they arrived, I was reading the bible lesson in Chapter 12 of Romans, as the kids were working on their other school work. 

"For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faithor ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness." - Romans 12:4-8

For we are all members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function. God did not create any of us exactly alike, we are all unique with special gifts and blessings that he has given us. As I looked at the beautiful table hand made with love and the new chairs that were donated by two churches and individuals from the States, these verses came alive. We are all one body, all having different gifts, abilities, and talents, all needing and depending on each other to help encourage and support one another as we take the gospel to the ends of the Earth.

What a special gift this was for our family! Thank you so much Kent Terrill, Pat Jackson, and Justin Kervin for your faithful time and hard work you put into providing this table set for our family. We wanted to especially thank your sending churches for all the support given during the Pastors Conference and for the teaching/sharing of God's Word and for all the many special donations given during the week to help families in this area. We really appreciate The Journey Bible Church (San Angelo, Texas) and Grace Temple Baptist Church (San Angelo, Texas) for all the love and support! May God Bless You All!

Pictured: (Front Row- River, Lake, Sailor & Autumn Heath)
(Second Row- Sean Heath, Kent Terrill, Justin Kervin, and Pat Jackson)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Villa Milagro Hosts Pastors Conference

Posted by: Sean Heath

This past week Villa Milagro brought eight pastors from the US to help encourage and train over 150 church leaders from all over Northern Peru. Prior to the conference beginning, I was told that a Pastor from Texas, who is also a retired IMB missionary, holds the conference every two years to help equip the local church body for service throughout this region. It was an amazing site to see so many come from far away, some even taking a day or two bus ride. Most of the leaders or pastors are bi-vocational and had very little means to get here. Thankfully, some of the churches from the states that support this mission provided most with transportation and accommodations to get here.

During the four day conference that was held at Monte Sion Baptist Church here in Cajamarca (about 2 miles from Villa Milagro), I had an opportunity to participate and meet some of the pastors in the surrounding area. I was completely amazed when I realized that almost all 150 participants were being housed in the classrooms of the Monte Sion School. Mattresses were brought in for most to sleep on and they had to share two one toilet bathrooms with no showers. Then I thought back to last year when I went to Johnny Hunt's Mens Conference in Atlanta. We had a very nice hotel room (I did have to share a room with Mike Holland), steak dinner, and a big, beautiful, church building with a worship band, stadium seating, and of course Johnny Hunt! There was such a contrast between these two conferences that it is almost impossible to consider them in the same category, but the excitement and passion for the truths of God's Word reminded me that all those extras of Pastor Hunt's Conference were just that...extras!

This conference was made possible because of the hearts of some American churches who have a passion for missions and want to see the Good News of Jesus Christ spread throughout the world. There is no doubt in my mind that God has blessed many in the US so that they can be a blessing to others throughout the world. I was able to meet a few of them this week. Their hearts were full of giving, with the desire to do God's will. I am very thankful for many individuals who have a heart for missions. In fact, without the support from many back home, our family would not be here in Peru serving along side the local church.

Now, I want to share a very interesting article I read this week on missions. The article is titled, Good News and Bad News in the North American Missions Movement by Michael Jaffarian. Within the article, Jaffarian shares some interesting thoughts and perspectives on missions including:

Good news: Much is being done. Christians in North America are giving about six billion dollars per year to overseas missions. They send and support about forty-three thousand long-term missionaries...the United States sends almost four times as many missionaries as number two (South Korea). Bad news: Much more could be done. Maybe six billion dollars sounds like a lot of money, but then, Americans spend fifteen (15) billion per year on pet food and fifty (50) billion on toiletries and cosmetics.

As the article continues, the writer summarizes that there is so much being done, but he also encourages all that we can do more! Lets pray that as Christians we will see the needs around us and feel compelled to act. God in His mercy saw our need and acted as Jesus gave His life for all on the cross nearly two thousand years ago. May we all strive to be more like Jesus by taking the knowledge of God's Word and putting it into action into our own lives, so that many without Christ, can see and accept His great love.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Living Eternally

For most of my life, I will have to admit that I have always had a passion for reading. I remember at a very early age hiding under my parents staircase in the basement and getting out my paper and I would write stories of what I thought at the time was a book. I remember I had these two imaginary friends names Marcy and...I cannot even think of the other friends name (mom and dad I need a little help here). As I grew up- it was the Baby-Sitters Club and all the Judy Blume favorites. Books can have a special way to touch your heart or emotions that you never thought you even had.

I am saying this because one day I ran across this book entitled Not A Fan written by Kyle Idleman. I will have to admit, that this book has really made me look at my life...where I've been and where I am heading. The sad part is...I realized for most of my life- I have only been a FAN of JESUS...not a FOLLOWER. Sometimes it is hard to swallow some of the words that I read in this book. Sometimes if I really sit back and think about CHRIST and all He did for me...how could I have let the world and so many things get in the way.

I remember telling my church family about how for so many years...church was just something to do on Sunday morning- it was what our family did. I still remember the day I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was twelve...but as I look back now...I realized I only gave God part of me. When being a Christian was easy or comfortable- I was all in, but God don't ask me to give up this or that- God what would my boss think...God my friends are around (and they don't believe)...God, life is going good now...I will do it when this gets done. God, let me do it my way...I will only SIN a little- I am nothing compared to this person when it comes to living in sin. Then as I got older, it turned into STUFF and having more...more things...taking MORE time away from God. Even the so called "good things" got in the way- wanting my kids to be apart of every sports program, volunteering, and helping others out here and there...

The more I read the Bible...and seek His word and will for my life...nothing makes sense of what I thought being a CHRISTIAN was or being a FOLLOWER of CHRIST. How can I honestly read His words and compare my life and see CHRIST? To be quiet honest, my life has been mostly about outside appearances. What do you think of me? Am I involved enough at church or do I pray the right way when others are around me...do I REALLY care if someone was dying and going to hell (tormented day and night) - separated forever and ever without CHRIST. If I was real with myself and God...and I believe one day we will all have to answer for this and how we lived our lives when we were here on Earth...I would have to say for most of my so called Christian life....the answer would be NO. (I realized a few years back, that if I looked back on my years of being a Christian, I could not even count on my hand how many times that I had actually shared with someone else who Jesus Christ was and how to accept Him as your Lord and Savior). That was about 18 years of my Christian life. To put it in another perspective, that was about 157,000 hours of living day by day pursuing wordly passions or things I deemed more important...and only a few hours of sharing CHRIST...but I called myself a follower of CHRIST.

I firmly believe that we all live in a world full of DECEPTION. I firmly believe that Satan knows exactly how to try to set us all up for failure....MONEY, JOBS, BIG HOUSES, INTERNET, STOCK MARKET, LUST, RELATIONSHIPS THAT TAKE TOP PRIORITY, SPORTS...the list can go on and on. The reality is, it is not like all these things are bad in itself...but if we all stop and ask ourselves one question. WHAT CONSUMES MOST OF OUR TIME AND EACH OF OUR DAYS? For many of us, we always have a good excuse. This needs to be done, or I am so busy I have to take care of this...this person needs me or I need to work 50-60 hours a week to support and take care of my family (even though your child is begging you at home to spend more time with them).

BUT...at any moment, your life can END. All of the sudden the reality will hit for all of us on how short our time was here on Earth. I met a pastor this week and he reminded me of what Jim Elliot once stated (this is a man who was a missionary who gave his life and his time on Earth reaching many in Ecuador):

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

Put it in a different way, who cares how much wealth, material possessions, time you spent "working" and not with your family, time you spent enjoying your hobbies and not reaching others for Christ, hours you spent on the internet chatting or on Facebook....on and on and on...NONE of this is going to matter...when you take your last breath on Earth and cross over...NONE of these things that you fill your day with is going to matter...the only questions at that point is DO YOU KNOW CHRIST? DID YOU LOVE JESUS WITH ALL YOUR HEART? DID YOU FOLLOW HIM? WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND ETERNITY? (Our brains cannot even fully grasp and understand this concept of eternity. Unfortunately, we consume ourselves with the present...things that we can see with our EYES...living only for the moment). I love this illustration that Francis Chan presents on Living Eternally. The first time I saw this...my whole perspective of life changed! I love trying to show this demonstration when talking to small groups or when we have an opportunity to share our testimonies at churches. I wish the whole world would stop for 3 mintues to watch this video.

As I watch this video again, I can't help but think about the verses in Revelation (and please allow me to emphasize):

"Then the devil (the great DECEIVER), who had deceived them (all who followed worldly pleasures and things other than CHRIST), was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever."- Revelation 20:10

Then as the chapter goes on...

"And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire." (tormented day and night forever and ever) - Revelation 20:15

I turned 34 years old this year, I am not going to be spend the rest of my life regretting or looking back and wishing I would have done things differently. This is a new day for me...a brand new day for all of us. Only you are going to determine how you are going to finish this race. God, my prayer is that You will bring us all to our knees in prayer seeking Your will for our lives...Lord, what if we all just took a moment and asked You how we can step up and lead our family, Lord, how can I best serve You at work and in my community, Lord, I know that my neighbor across the street does not know You...please give me the strength and courage to go right now and share the love and grace You offer to us all when you died on that cross to pay the penalty for each of our sins- regardless of the outcome of whether they choose to accept You or not or if they choose to never speak to me again...Lord, how can I be a better wife and mother to my children, Lord, help me with my control issues and help me to become completely dependent on You...help me to love my neighbor. Lord, help guide me to find another job that may not take me away from my family for so many hours. Lord, help me to see the things in this world that I really do not need...things that one day I know will be so meaningless...help me to share all the things You have given me for others in need or going to bed hungry tonight. Lord, help me _____________________.

Only we can fill in the blank of what we need to ask or give to God to help us finish the race strong...do not wait until it is too late. Make your life count. 

"But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen." -1 Timothy 6: 11-16

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Special Godly Women...

We are so thankful for our church family and for some very special people within our church. Every day we thank God for so many loved ones at home that sacrificially give their time and resources to help support the ministry here in Peru. Daily, our hearts are filled with joy as we receive emails full of love and encouragement, special prayers, and hearing how many are using their God given talents and gifts to help support missionaries overseas.

We would like to take this time to recognize and send our love and thanks to three sweet Godly ladies, Jean Roseman, Linda Anderson, and Betty Guthrie. These ladies work for hours every week on making beautiful button bracelets, beaded hair accessories, hand-made pillows, and hand-sewn pillow dresses to display at Legaci Salon, located in Statesville, NC, to help share the ministry here in Peru. All items are available as a donation only, and all funds go towards helping our family purchase needed items and ministry supplies to help us share the LOVE of JESUS CHRIST to adults, children, and orphans here in Cajamarca, Peru. We are so grateful for these ladies and for all the hard work they have put into making each hand-crafted piece. The hearts they have for missions, displayed through their hard work, is such a blessing to our family. 

Jean Roseman, Betty Guthrie, Linda Anderson

Beautiful Bracelets made from very special vintage buttons!

Each piece displayed at Legaci Salon located at 921 Davie Avenue, Statesville, North Carolina!

Colorful Patterns and College Themed Pillows, Hand-crafted Hair Accessories, and Beautiful Pillow Case Dresses

We are also very thankful for all the hard work in packaging these items and work put in to help share the ministry, as Lou Ann Dyson and Cheryl Dellinger, have given many hours each week to help these ladies with their beautiful pieces that have been specially made. THANK YOU so much for all the love and hard work...we really APPRECIATE all that you are doing to help support our family. What a blessing you are to us! ALSO, thank you for all the support given by the community through the financial donations given for each item and for the prayers sent our way encouraging us to continue to be obedient to Christ in sharing His love.

Lou Ann Dyson (best mom in the world) and Cheryl Dellinger (one of my favorite sisters)!

We are reminded by the words of Paul regarding spiritual gifts..."but to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift" and that Christ "makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love." - Ephesians 4:7,16

May God Bless You All!

With Love- 

The Heath's

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Special Edition...Peruvian Style

Well...we have been in the house for most of the weekend. This has been tough at times, but we are trying to stay safe and protect ourselves from the city's festivities that are underway this month- the famous CARNIVAL (with the peak being this weekend). We were able to make it to a wonderful church service this morning and we had an opportunity to hear some beautiful music (below). 

Again, this month in Cajamarca, Peru, everyone is celebrating the Carnival. This weekend we were advised to stay in our home due to the "paint filled" balloons that everyone throws at each other (not just water:) Our luggage arrived yesterday and the driver's van got attacked by a paint balloon (see below). 

View sent from our friend's apartment- overlooking the "paint" being thrown at each other
...cars and all!

Poor Driver!

History of Carnival
Cajamarca is a lovely and tranquil place... except during Carnival! The city is famous for its annual celebrations, which involve the whole city and surrounding area, and if it fits in with your schedule then we know you'd enjoy it. The celebrations last for a whole month but you may decide to miss the eight days in the middle - in some ways they're the most lively but you also risk getting soaked with water in the traditional Cajamarca Carnival greeting!

Here is a youtube clip on the Carnival posted a few years ago- just so you can get an idea of how many people are here:

We were also told that as of tomorrow ALL POWER will be turned off all over Cajamarca for the whole day due to the festivities. We are not looking forward to this...but thankfully we had an opportunity to prepare things around the house and hopefully we can salvage most of the food in the refrigerator. (Blessing:)

So this weekend, as we "bunkered down" in the house, we have watched "Courageous" a million times and had fun hanging out as a family. Tomorrow is Sean's 35th Birthday...so the kids wanted to celebrate with some Family Dance time! We heard it is snowing in our home time in North Carolina...we hope you all enjoy (...maybe no school)!

(Seriously, who does this Roger Rabbit or some version of it anymore? The kids just laughed and laughed at us! We have been in the house WAY too long!)

Love to you all- 

The Heath's

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Surprises from Home

So excited...the bags finally arrived!

Waiting to open the bags...feels like Christmas!

So thankful that both bags arrived today...it truly was like Christmas as the kids opened the bags coming from the States with supplies and lots of CANDY from the grandparents, aunts, and the cousins. We GREATLY appreciate Pastor David Gallispie's team for bringing them down. We want to THANK YOU your church so much for helping us get these two bags full of much needed ministry supplies and Spanish New Testaments. In addition to the kids special "Valentine's" candy...we also had several other supplies that brought smiles to our faces as we opened. 
Autumn really appreciates her church sweaters donated from her cousins, Whitley and Wesli, and from 
our friends, Stephen and Rachel Gibson...Autumn sends her love!
Eva...we loved the beautiful picture you drew. We love all the churches and really appreciate this special gift!

By: Eva Austin

We also want to thank the grandparents and the sisters for getting all the medicine, cooking supplies, grape jelly, PEANUT BUTTER, and Hershey CHOCOLATE! (The kids had their first peanut butter and GRAPE jelly sandwich today...they have not had one of these in weeks...they kept saying that "it feels like HOME")!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all! Thank you God for the safe arrival - pray for all the Bibles and opportunities to share God's Love!

Lots of Love- 

The Heath's

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Redemption- VBS 2012

I want to thank you God for all the children and youth you brought to Bible School. It has been almost a week since Bible School ended at Monte Sion Church. Throughout the week, between 140-175 attended the Vacation Bible School daily. Many of them coming for the first time to church and hearing about the LOVE of Jesus Christ. I can't help but to sit back and think about what a believer right here in Cajamarca has to give up when making the decision to Follow Christ. A decision that would be so simple for many in America...leads many here homeless and rejected from their family and friends.

Jesus never promised it would be easy...

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me." 
-John 15:18-21

I am currently reading the book written by Kyle Idleman, called Not A Fan. Kyle discussed recent findings by Barna research published in a book called UnChristian, "that 65 percent of 18-42 year-olds in America have made a personal commitment to Jesus that is still important. He went on to say that on the surface that seems really encouraging. But how many of these are followers? Because, their research also showed that only 23 percent of those people believed that sex outside of marriage is wrong. Only 13 percent said getting drunk is a sin. And the list goes on. In other words, 65 percent say they are committed to Jesus, but most of them aren't committed to Jesus in every area of their life. And Jesus never left open the option of selective commitment." (pg. 146-147)

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!" 
- Revelation 3:15-16 (NLT)

As I think about some of the stories of new believers in Christ here in Peru, I realize they were choosing JESUS over everything (families, comforts, and conveniences). 

Kyle also mentions in his book that, "Followers are willing to deny themselves and say, I choose Jesus. I choose Jesus over my family. I choose Jesus over money. I choose Jesus over career goals. I am his completely. I choose Jesus over getting drunk. I choose Jesus over looking at porn. I choose Jesus over a redecorated house. I choose Jesus over my freedom. I choose Jesus over what other people may think of me. A follower makes a decision every day to deny himself and choose Jesus...even if it costs everything." (145)

I can't help to think of my own life and as I read more and more in God's Word...I realized so many times I chose ME! I see the courage in strength in these new Christians and how powerful their testimony and faith shines to others. Lord, I pray for all the new believers here in Peru. Lord, I pray for all the youth and children that heard your Word and pray Lord that one day they will make a decision to follow You if they have not already. I pray that you will give us all strength to choose YOU and face each day with courage to do Your will (not ours). Amen.

Redemption - VBS 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Early Days In Peru...Dying Daily

"Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." - Luke 9:23

Everyday we are all faced with a question - as believers in Christ. Are we going to die to ourselves and live for Christ? For most of my life, this passage was just a verse. It is easy to sit in a comfortable church and memorize, highlight, and have wonderful discussions on this verse...but to really "die to self". Most nights when I lay down to sleep here in Peru, I cannot help but lay there and wonder what Jesus really meant by this. I used to believe being a Christian was only making the one time decision, repenting of your sins, turning from them, and asking Jesus to live in your heart...what happened to picking up our cross daily and following HIM? Is following Jesus a one-time decision? What does Jesus really mean in Luke 9:23? Have we become numb to the fact, that Jesus lives in us? Have we become numb to the fact that one day Jesus is coming back? Have we become numb to the fact, that one day we will all stand before God's judgement or that one day many will not enter into glory with Christ in Heaven?


“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me..." -Matthew 7:21-23a

In just a few short weeks that we have been here, God continues to open our eyes. The comforts we once knew, adjusting to the cultural differences, and our new day to day activities. And to be honest, for many days, guilt has consumed us. Tears roll out of our eyes as we look around to so many without a warm bed to sleep on, filthy clothes, and for many no food to eat. Scrapping our leftovers on our plates into the trash back at home in the States, was nothing to us. Yet, even in Statesville, North Carolina, there were so many in the same condition as they are here. We've become blinded and numb to our surroundings. If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that for most of us we would have to question...dying to self daily and taking up our cross...really JESUS...who has TIME? For many of us, picking up our bible for a quick devotion is all we have time for.

I can't help but stop and think about the lyrics to this song...JESUS PAID IT ALL. (Period) There is nothing we could have done on our own..."it is finished" (John 19:30) No longer should guilt consume our days...through God's grace we are set free. God's grace, so freely given for you and for me.

So I stop and pray to ask (and it is never too late for any of us to stop and ask what carrying our cross and dying to ourself means)...Lord, what does "dying to yourself" look like for me? God show me each day, through your Word and through the Spirit inside of me, what this looks like each and every day? Lord, what does this mean for my family and for our lives? Lord, what can we give up for the sake of the 4.5 Billion people that are lost and who will spend eternity...forever and ever separated from You? Lord, please lead us everyday and teach us to FOLLOW you.

Early Days in Peru...JESUS PAID IT ALL

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Prayers from Peru

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I'm writing you with a sincere request for prayer. I will be part of a Kairos team going to minister at a maximum security prison in Alexander County. Our team needs this weekend covered with prayer to be successful in sharing the Love of Christ. If you could please commit to praying during a specific 30 minute period, beginning Thur Feb 16 at 4PM EST until Sun Feb 19 4PM. We will post a large 
"clock" with the names of all the prayer warriors. I've heard these hardened men are intimately touched when they read of so many caring people praying for those they've never met.

"Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily as something done for the Lord and not for men. Be earnest in your prayer, being both alert and intent in your prayer with thanksgiving."
Thank you!

In Christ Alone,

This is a letter from a dear friend Rusty McLelland. As you just read, he is a part of a ministry that is ministering to prisoners. My family just finished lifting them up in prayer and are honored to be a part of the prayer that has been and is continuing to be lifted up this weekend. I want to encourage you to pray for this ministry as well. These prisoners do not know us, but imagine the overwhelming feeling they must feel when they hear that people far and wide are praying for their salvation. 

Matthew 25:40 

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Words cannot even describe the feeling that took over my body when we brought the kids home tonight from Bible School. There was an indescribable shock of pain that went from one part of my body to the other. My legs got weak and I almost thought I was going to hyperventilate or pass out. I never in a million years would have ever imagined that I would have come home to this...and all I could think about was the first week we arrived in Cajamarca and during the night I was bit by something in my sleep...ON MY FACE!

I know God made this creature...but I hope and pray that I do not have anymore encounters with this type of spider...it's a TARANTULA!!!

"Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so." - Genesis 1:24

Actual pictures from our home in Peru...please PRAY that we will never see one of these again! (After seeing the Youtube clip...I am wondering why we were so close to take pictures!)

Please note: Sean was the photographer (Autumn and I were hiding inside the house looking out through the window!)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Showers of Blessings

"I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing." 

- Ezekiel 34:26

Day 1: It has been raining for days here in Cajamarca. Early each morning we look out the window and see more dark clouds creeping over the mountain into the valley. When we arrived for the first day of Bible School, we were wondering if any children would show up because the streets were flooded in front of the church and more cold rain was falling from above. Within minutes, we realized that God is always in control. He sends the rain in the proper season...and reminds us daily of His many blessings. One by one, children began to enter the iron gates of Monte Sion, with smiles on their faces - never once complaining of the rain

The street in front of Monte Sion Church!

Volunteers waiting for children to arrive!

One by one...each child arrived!

The church filled up with 144 children on the first day. We were so excited to see so many children full of energy and joy...and coming to learn more about Jesus Christ. Sean and I are in charge of games for the week and helping out where needed. We thought we had it all planned out as game time began...and within minutes we had 144 children rushing to the center of the church room screaming and asking us in Spanish what we were going to play. As we tried to communicate with our little Spanish...things began to turn into MASS chaos. Being inside due to the rain, made it difficult for all the kids to hardly stand (much less play a game). Little three year olds were being pushed around by the older children. Sean and I were praying inside for strength and help. Other adult volunteers quickly jumped in to help and somehow or another we made it through with some sort of organized play. We realized at that moment that we could not do it alone and were so thankful for our new church friends who helped us communicate and organize the crowd. Thank you God for reminding us to depend on You in all we do...thank you God for helping to make each child smile as they played with others and learned about You.

What a beautiful sight...the Pastor leading the crowd with praise and worship!

So many SMILES!

"But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” - Matthew 19:14

Day 2: You would not believe how quickly we crashed last night when we made it home from VBS. All our energy was completely drained from our bodies from spending the day preparing and helping for the first day of Bible School. As day two began, we all prayed for children to come back and for additional children to come and join us. All the volunteers worked together to figure out how to handle the crowds better with each section of Bible School. When the doors opened, 170 children arrived on another cold, rainy day. Thank you Lord for Your showers of blessings. 

Sean and I planned to have groups participate one at a time (depending on age) during the games. During this time, smaller crowds participated and all the children had an opportunity to play with others their age. We decided to bring candy today to pass out to the winners of each game and to pass out to the little ones who were just happy to be there. Once I opened the candy and pulled it out of the bag...(two words happened) MASS chaos! All the kids covered me as I tried to hand out candy one by one. The crowd never got smaller...I just saw the same faces coming back begging for more with sweet little smiles on their faces. It was so hard to say no, but I knew the candy was running out fast. 
Meet Nicolle...immediate connection to this beautiful girl. Thank you God for bringing her into my life. Nicolle walked by on Day 1 in front of the church and she kept walking past with her family. I asked her to come in and join us for VBS. After talking to her parents about how fun VBS would be, she entered the church. We love to talk (she tries to use English and I try my Spanish)...and we both try to get to know each other better. Looking forward to our time tomorrow!
Very proud of Sailor...standing and holding the Christian Flag in front of all the kids!

Lots of hugs and kisses from all the sweet children!

Singing Jesus Loves Me (Cristo Me Ama)!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Please Pray for Vacation Bible School This Week!

On Sunday, church members from Monte Sion all gathered together on a cold, rainy day to walk from house to house inviting many children to this week's upcoming Vacation Bible School. No mass emails, no mass mailings...just one by one traveling by foot...to share this exciting time for children to gather together and come to hear about Jesus Christ. Please pray everyday this week that many children will safely arrive and fellowship together in the God's House. Pray for resources to be provided for the games, crafts, bible studies, and snacks for the children. Many thanks to all the workers that have been preparing for this special time! Pray especially for hearts to be open and that this will be the week that many will come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! 

"I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents..." 
- Luke 15:7a

Meeting at Monte Sion...ready to walk to invite many to VBS!

Going Door to Door!

Norman and his family!

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." 
- Proverbs 22:6

Many Thanks To Samaritan's Purse

Thank you for ALL the many prayers on the shoeboxes that were expected to arrive from Samaritan's Purse. Receiving them this week in Cajamarca was truly was an answered prayer! We know there has been lots of hard work and prayers in the hands that packaged and in setting up the delivery coming all the way from Boone, North Carolina. THANK YOU SAMARITAN'S PURSE for this special gift! Please pray that each box will be given to children in need and pray that their hearts will be open to hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Many boxes will be delivered to numerous pastors outside of the Cajamarca area this week, please pray for safe delivery. 

"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under the heaven..." - Ecclesiastes 2:11

So great to see something from our home area of North Carolina!