"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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Continue to Pray for the Friday Night Youth Fellowship Nights

Another exciting evening with the youth as they came to our house for the Youth Fellowship Night! Please continue to pray that ears and hearts will be open to hear the love of Jesus Christ. Many of the youth live in a neighborhood that connects to the large prison. Many families members are hurting in this area, as fathers are sitting in prison and the mothers are having to take the role as the leader of the family. Young boys are growing up without a father in their home to help raise them to be God-honoring young men. Please pray that each young adult and child who does not know Christ as their Savior, will put their trust in the Heavenly Father, no matter how bad their circumstance or situation is here on Earth!

"But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God." 
- John 1:12


Jesus Walks on Water

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, 
“It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. 
“Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”

“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. 
“You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

-Matthew 14:22-33

Youth Playing Futbol

New girls arrived this week...loving the game of Volley Ball!

Preparing for the Bible Study!

Activity for the Youth...each person walking across the grass on newspapers being cheered on by their team members to cross the finish line!

Janneth reminding them of Peter when he walked on water and had "little faith". 

The hunt for the bag of candy...one young teenager finally finding the BIG bag!

Teaching the Youth that Jesus "really is the Son of God" (v. 33)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Peruvian Fiesta Celebrating A Very Special Birthday

"So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do 
for the Lord is ever useless." 
- 1 Corinthians 15:58

Wonderful evening celebrating a very special Birthday and 28 years of service to Villa Milagro Ministry. Happy Birthday (Feliz Cumpleanos) Anita Huaman! Thank you for all your years of hard work and dedication to Villa Milagro and your heart for faithfully serving our Heavenly Father! We love you Anita!

Snapshot of the Fiesta

Happy Birthday Anita!

Lake enjoying a Birthday Dance!

Autumn enjoying all the music from the Peruvian Mariachi Band!

Watching the Fiesta with Gleny!

Amazing Music...Mariachi goes beyond just music, as a group of musicians dress in charro suits, celebrating their traditional passion with music and instruments...this was a beautiful cultural experience!

By the end of the night, all our boys were out dancing!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our AWANA Friends From Beulah Baptist Church

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." 
Deuteronomy 31:6

Thursday, March 22, 2012

First Friday Night Youth Fellowship

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." 
- John 3:16

This past Friday night, we had our first youth fellowship at our home. After many days of prayer and preparation, thirty youth arrived at our gate, to join us in playing sports and to participate in a small group study looking into God's Word. PLEASE pray that God will use our house weekly, as we hope to open our doors every Friday night to youth in the area. We hope and pray that we can provide a safe place for them to fellowship with their friends and peers and to most importantly, to help them learn about God's amazing love and grace that he gave us all when he sent His only Son to die on the cross. Lord, we do not know where any of these young children and teenagers are spiritually, but we pray for your guidance and for the Holy Spirit to help give us the words and strength to mentor and love them. We pray that each young person will continue to invite their friends to join them each week and that You will continue to open doors to share your love to so many here in Peru who do not know Your name. Thank you Lord, for providing all the soccer, volley ball, and ministry supplies we needed to start this outreach ministry. Thank you for the hearts of the individuals that you led to faithfully give and for the prayers that they are lifting up daily to support us in the Cajamarca area. 

First Youth Friday Night Fellowship at our home...inviting teenagers to join us for 2 hours of fun playing soccer (futbol), volleyball, and to learn about Jesus Christ during a Bible Study!

At 4pm, youth were lined up at our gate...thank you God for bringing 30 youth in the area to come fellowship and learn more about your love and grace!

Thank you Nancy Sheets and Sharon Karriker for teaching us to love "our neighbors" without judgement or prejudices, but to strive to minister to youth and love them just as Jesus loves them. Thank you for mentoring us and encouraging us to follow Christ during the many nights you opened the door for us to help you minister at the Upper Room Ministry, located in Statesville, NC. 

Members of the local church joining us to reach out to many who are lost and have never heard the name of Jesus!

Enjoying their favorite sport of FUTBOL!

Younger children playing with older youth!

Pray for Janneth, each week as she helps us translate the Bible Study. Janneth spends most of her weekends, as a young woman desiring to walk as Christ walked, sharing God's love to others and ministering to young children and older youth!

Pray for strength each weeks as Janneth prepares and shares biblical truths to her peers!

During the bible study, kids ran around for a scrimmage hunt to find pieces of God's Word...that when they all got together, the pieces fit together and made verses in the Bible!

During the lesson, Janneth taught them about the "light and darkness"...challenging them to put their trust in God!

Lots of singing and praise coming from the youth at Monte Sion Church!

Precious children all needing God's love!

Our children challenging the girls in Volley Ball! 

Youth playing the exciting FROG game!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Consequences of the Fatherless

"And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” - Joshua 24:15

Reading through the book, The Resolution for Men, from the creators of the movie Courageous, the authors, Kendrick and Alcorn, challenge fathers and men all over the world to courageously take a stand and live their lives for what matters most. Challenging them to fulfill their God given responsibilities and to live with faith and integrity. To acknowledge who they desire to be as a man and the priceless influence they have on the next generation. (The Resolution of Men, pg. 4)

As we walk the streets here in Peru, we see many single mothers holding onto their children, and like we see in the United States, families broken and no fathers to be found. From one culture to the next, we see this increase of fatherless homes, leaving the wives to take the responsibility of nurturing and providing for their children. "Too many men sadly waster their lives. They don't really know the God they claim to worship and have not ultimately concluded what they are living for. Halfhearted and indecisive, they spiritually wander through life in a fog of confusion and apathy. They can tell you what you're doing this weekend, but they have no clue about their purpose in life or in eternity. As a result, they go through the motions day after day, wasting most of their time on trivial matters." (pg. 1-2)

Unfortunately, the effects on the family and the children are horrifying. One man's decision to walk away from his God given role and responsibility to train and teach their children, to lead their family spiritually, generates major consequences for their children and the outlook on their future. "They don't realize how negatively their wives and children are affected by their lack of spiritual direction and leadership." (pg.2) In fact, children are faced with pressures of using drugs and alcohol, dropping out of school, and higher rates of suicide. "Boys are more likely are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens." (www.fathers.com The Consequences of Fatherlessness) 

"Sadly the majority of kids today are forsaking their church and faith after they graduate from high school. This is primarily the result of poor fathering. When dads lead spiritually, studies suggest that kids are up to twenty times more likely to stay in church longterm than when moms are the spiritual leaders at home." (The Resolution of Men, pg. 77)

But with Jesus Christ, there is always HOPE. Hope for all of us to step back from our own earthly desires and self-centered lives that we unfortunately have fallen prey to following. Asking God to forgive us of our selfish desires, repent (turning from this sinful lifestyle), and making a decision today to FOLLOW CHRIST. Walk as Jesus walked, and through the grace and strength we gain from only Him, transform our lives, surrender our all to HIM, and follow God's design for marriage and the family. 

"Throughout history, men who lived incredible lives and left a great legacies did it intentionally. They knew that men do not stumble upon integrity or accidentally find themselves being faithful to God. Passivity merely leads to futility. A man cannot be passive about what Scriptures tells him to do for his family and expect to be found faithful to God in the end. He must see the spiritual eyes and realize that future generations are directly impacted by his daily decisions." (pg.3) The reality is, most men will not choose to step up, most men will continue to live their lives selfishly considering themselves before all others. So what do we do? We still step up, we lead and mentor other fatherless children and youth. Praying that God will use our lives to help draw this young generation closer to Christ. We pray and ask God for guidance on how to lead and help give this next generation the love and biblical training that that they deserve. Orphanages all over the world are full of God's children, with many who have been forgotten by their biological parents or saved by some young women's decision not to abort her baby. Streets and neighborhoods are full of young children and teenagers, from broken homes or who have been neglected or beaten by their fathers, helplessly searching for acceptance and seeking love in all the wrong places. 

"But there are some men who, regardless of the mistakes we've made in the past, regardless of what our fathers did not do for us, will give the strength of our arms and the rest of our days to loving God with all that we are and to teach our children to do the same - and whenever possible, to love and mentor others who have no father in their lives but who desperately need help and direction." (pg.249)

"Even if your kids are grown and gone, it's never too late to reach out to them and become a positive influence in their lives by praying, encouraging, counseling, and cheering them on. Until a man dies, his powerful position as a father and a grandfather still lives on." (pg.77)


Monday, March 19, 2012

Sean's First Week Teaching at Monte Sion School and Spending Time with Special Friends

What an exciting week as Sean starts teaching soccer (futbol) and Bible in one of the local schools. As summer comes to an end, families begin to prepare for a change in their daily routine. Traveling through the city, we see children of all ages dressed in school uniforms. Buses quickly fill up as students young and old head off to meet their new teachers and join their old friends. Pray for all the children at Monte Sion School, where Sean will be teaching Grade 1 through High School each week (approximately 150 kids). Pray that many will hear God's Word and accept Him as their Lord and Savior. Pray that God will guide Sean daily as he teaches Biblical truths to these students. Pray that through the game of soccer, Sean will be able to build strong relationships with these children and draw them closer to Christ. As this new school year begins and the rainy season comes to an end, we are reminded of how quickly this life is going to pass us all by. Without a moments notice, many today will take their last breath. Pray for the lost souls in Cajamarca who have never heard the name of Jesus or who continue to choose darkness over the light. For the believers in Christ here in this city, I pray that God will give them strength as they try to share God's love this school year through their actions and love for others. Pray that God will give them strength to hold on to their faith, even if they face 
suffering or persecution. 

"For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us 
with his comfort through Christ." 
-2 Corinthians 1:5

Prepping for the new school year..Sean is working with Pastor Helmer and other youth to help him translate God's Word!
Thank You to our Soccer Advocate Team (team leader Kevin Hope) for helping us get the much needed soccer supplies!
Special thanks to Cross Coatings (Bryan LeFever), Mike & David Heintz, Sandy Edmonds, Terry & Cherilyn Davis, and many others for  collecting and donating all the soccer balls!
First Day at Monte Sion

Working along-side the volunteers of Villa Milagro (Arkansas Baptist High School)

Many thanks to Dr. Walker and family for all the wonderful donations and the help you have given us this week!
A very special THANK YOU going out to my dear friend, Donna, at Elkin Pediatric and Adult Medicine (North Carolina), for knowing my favorite lipstick and sending it down from the States! (It's our 99cent secret!)

Thank You Donna...you made me SMILE!

Dr. Walker sharing medical advice on how to treat our new puppies!

Camille taking time to give them lots of tender love and care!

Katelyn getting a "tough" workout as we spent the day with the Walker Family. Training was led by Sailor and Autumn, as they made her do lots of sit-ups and push-ups!

Playing a game with the neighbors!
Lots of laughs as we watch Dr. Walker and his family compete!

My kids loved playing with Jonathan and Katelyn, as they played on the new field that Dr. Walker's family helped us prepare for the upcoming Youth Event!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Preparing for the first Youth Fellowship

Special thanks to Dr. Walker's family and friends for helping us prepare our home for the first Friday Night Youth Fellowship Event. During the day we were able to get the soccer field put up with the new nets that arrived from the States and also all the poles set for the volley ball field. After a trip to the market to buy some of the needed items for Friday's event (and Linda, Dr. Walker's wife, getting hit in the head by two dead pigs as a local man was carrying them to the meat market), we all made it back and had an opportunity to walk through near by neighborhoods to pass out flyers and invite youth to come play games with other youth and to study God's Word! Pray that this event will be the first of many on Friday nights to reach young adults and allow them to play in a safe area with neighboring friends. Working along side the youth at Monte Sion Church, we are praying that this will open doors for outreach and evangelism as many of the youth from the church have an opportunity to connect and meet new friends and encourage others to join them in church. We really appreciate your family, Dr. Walker, and for giving your time to come to Peru to help us reach others for Christ.

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." 
- Ephesians 2:8-10

Setting up the goals

Working hard with limited tools...and puppies in the way!

Finally able to make the pole work with the help of the Villa Milagro Wood Shop!

Linda and Karen attaching the Volley Ball Net!

A Whole Family Event!

Working together to tie the nets!

Camille and Linda pumping up balls and making sure they are all accounted for!

Preparing for the neighborhood walk...inviting young adults to attend the Youth Fellowship Night!

River and Lake excited to lead the way and enjoying their time with Jonathan, Camille, and Kaitlyn!

Meeting some of the neighbors!

Encouraging them to come and play and to join us for the Bible Study!