Ambassadors for Christ in Peru
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you so much for your consistent prayers for us. We thank the Lord for bringing us safely back to Peru.
Finishing stateside ministry and arriving back in Peru: We arrived back home in Puerto Maldonado on Wednesday, November 13, around 5pm. We thank the Lord that the transition back to life here in Peru has been smooth. The thirty-two months that we lived in Peru on our first term have helped us adjust quickly to life and ministry here in the city of Puerto Maldonado. We thank the Lord for allowing us to reconnect with Peruvian friends and fellow foreign missionaries over the past few days. It has been enjoyable to share with one another what the Lord has been doing in, through, and around us.
We thank the Lord for placing so many encouraging people in our path. Family and friends did so much to help us as we prepared to fly back down to Peru. May he richly bless you for your service to him by serving us.
We thank the Lord for giving us a very encouraging stateside ministry over the past four and a half months. He allowed us to visit thirteen churches which are in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It was encouraging to reconnect with Christian brothers and sisters and hear about what the Lord is doing through the ministry of each church. What Kelly posted on Facebook a few days ago sums up really well our thoughts and prayers for each of you. "We are all packed and headed to the airport! We are grateful for all our supporting churches / individuals who are dear friends to us. Thank you for your friendships and encouragement these past four and a half months - keep serving God and being faithful where God has you! We are eager to, Lord willing, get back to Puerto Maldonado tomorrow afternoon! Hasta pronto amigos!!” We look forward to the opportunity to be with you again in the USA in God’s timing. Please know that you are always welcome to come visit us here in Peru! You are in our prayers also. Please let us know how we can specifically be praying for you, your family, and your church.
I really enjoyed preaching about the privilege that we all have to make disciples in our local context and at times around the globe. May we always have confidence in God’s powerful work to shine the spiritual light of Jesus Christ into the darkness of human hearts as we boldly proclaim the gospel to all.
Sickness, healing, and schedule changes: Some of you might have heard that at the end of September I had a fever that lasted for about eight days. During that week we had planned to spend several days with First Baptist Church of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. God, however, had other plans for us. What at first seemed like a common virus turned out to be Lyme disease when several Lyme disease rashes appeared on my skin. I never saw a tick, but one must have found me at some point during our time in Pennsylvania.
We thank the Lord for his healing and for the great medical attention he allowed me to receive in the USA. I took an antibiotic for three weeks and have been feeling fine since the fever left. Through the whole situation, God has opened up many doors to share the gospel and talk about his providential work. Our youngest daughter, Lilian, had also had a fever that lasted for two days just before I came down with the fever in September. No rashes showed up on her until about a week and a half ago when a Lyme disease rash appeared on her arm. She is now on antibiotics and seems to be fine as well. May God be glorified in us through every trial and blessing through which he leads us. We thank him for allowing Kelly and me to fly up to Pennsylvania in October to be with the church that we had missed during my sickness.
We were looking forward to being back with our local church here in Puerto Maldonado this past Sunday, but Alexia and Lilian had a stomach virus. We thank the Lord that they are feeling much better now. We look forward to more opportunities to spend time with Christian friends this week. We really enjoyed being at the Bible study and prayer time last night.
Below is the first-term-ministry-overview video that we showed in churches.
Disciple Making 2019: We pray that God would use the time he gave us in the United States to raise up many more workers in his harvest fields. He has used many faithful Christians along the way to direct us to service for him here in Peru.
We have enjoyed being able to participate in the evangelistic, disciple-making opportunities here with Iglesia Evangélica Bautista Vida Nueva. The boys and girls at the youth and soccer clubs are just as silly as ever, but they listen as JR Dudeck, Daniel Nuñez, and I preach the gospel to them. We pray that God will cause the seed, that has been planted and watered in many lives, to grow and produce fruit for his glory.
It has also been very encouraging to reconnect with our neighbors. Some of them are Christians, and we have enjoyed great times of Christian fellowship with them. Others are not Christians and God has already opened up some doors to tell them again of salvation by repentant faith in Jesus Christ alone. The verses below give us great confidence to continue planting and watering the seed of the gospel while trusting in God’s power to give the growth.
1 Corinthians 3:5–7 (CSB)
5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
December Gospel Outreach: We thank the Lord for the growth that is taking place in the members of Iglesia Evangélica Bautista Vida Nueva and their desire to proclaim the gospel and make disciples of Jesus Christ around them. There is a need to take the gospel and sound Bible teaching further into the jungle. We are glad for the opportunities that God is opening for the church to be a part of that work. The church is planning to take a couple special trips in December to a nearby neighborhood where we have a weekly children’s Bible club and a village along one of the nearby rivers. I look forward to sharing with you what God does through those trips. Please pray that the people of the church would be able to free up their schedules to be able to participate. We look forward to seeing what Christ will do to build his church in these needy areas. We pray that these trips would build a bridge to further gospel outreach in those places.
Thank you again for your consistent prayers and financial gifts. We are glad to have you “holding the ropes” for us as we are down here in Peru. May the Lord always find us faithfully serving him. By his grace let’s finish this year with our eyes on Jesus.
Jay & Kelly Cross
Alexia, Isabel, Esther, & Lilian
Ambassadors for Christ in Peru
and for a few months here in the USA too :)
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you so much for your consistent prayers and encouragement. We thank God for allowing us to have a good finish to our first term of service for him in Peru. It was sad for us to leave our friends in Peru, but we look forward to arriving back in Peru on November 13, 2019 to continue being a part of the disciple-making work that God is doing in Puerto Maldonado and the surrounding jungle. Please continue to pray for God's glory to spread in Peru. As is the case wherever you live in the world, there is much spiritual darkness that needs the light of Jesus Christ the Lord.
God has also been so kind to give us a great start to our first furlough. We have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with churches, family, and friends here in the USA. So far we have spent time with these churches:
Calvary Baptist Church in Winter Garden, FL
Holiday Bible Church in Holiday, FL
Calvary Baptist Church in Lutz, FL
Centerpointe Baptist Church in Huntersville, NC
Harvest Bible Church in Lancaster, PA
It has been encouraging to see and hear about what the Lord has been doing in these churches since we moved to Peru in October 2016. We have enjoyed reconnecting with friends and meeting new people that have become part of the churches. We thank the Lord for their partnership in the gospel and for the opportunity God has given us to encourage them to keep proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Below are links to two messages that I preached to our sending church in Florida. I've enjoyed preaching from passages that teach us about our work as disciple makers to proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Lord and the spiritual light that shines into the darkness of human hearts.
2 Corinthians 2:14-4:7
Questions and prayers answered to the glory of God! Our biggest questions before coming back to the USA were travel schedule, housing, and vehicle. God once again showed his sovereignty over all things and provided for those needs in a way that only he can. The schedule to visit our twelve partnering churches came together very easily after we prayed and emailed each of the churches about a specific Sunday. Eleven of the twelve pastors responded by saying that the specific date would work, and with a slight tweak the twelfth church was on the schedule as well. We praise God for working that out for us. The schedule God provided gives our family some stability by being able to spend several weeks at a time in our geographical hubs - Florida, the Carolinas, and Pennsylvania.
We asked you to pray that God would provide housing in Florida. He did that by directing us to an airbnb rental house that we rented for our first stay in Florida and have reserved for the last few weeks that we will be in the USA. It is less than a minute drive to our sending church's property and very close to family and friends. Thank you, God!
He provided us with a very nice Dodge Caravan from First Baptist Church in Bellefonte, PA. And it "just so happened" that a couple from the church had a trip planned to Florida that took them very close to where my parents live - making it relatively simple to drop the van off for us before we arrived in the USA. Kelly's parents plan to drive the van back up to Pennsylvania from Florida when we head back to Peru in November. Only God could bring all those details together in just the right way and timing. We thank God for providing safety for us in our travels.
Disciple Making 2019: We thank the Lord for spiritually and physically sustaining us through the travels, transition, and reverse culture shock from Peru to the USA. Through it all, God remains faithful and has been daily encouraging us through his word to keep persevering in disciple-making work for his glory. That disciple-making work begins with our family and expands out from there. We thank God for giving us daily opportunities to teach our girls about the Lord. We thank him for family and friends that help in that work.
We are also praying that God would send more laborers out into his harvest fields. God has given us specific opportunities with each of the churches to encourage others to continue following Jesus. When we were growing up, God used the testimony of visiting missionaries to direct Kelly and me toward serving the Lord in South America. We pray that he would use us to direct others toward that type of service as well.
We thank the Lord for giving us opportunities to proclaim Jesus as Lord. Would you pray that he would open up some doors like that with our neighbors here in Pennsylvania? Thank you so much for praying for us and supporting us financially. We look forward to seeing you soon as we visit your church!
Jay & Kelly Cross
Alexia, Isabel, Esther, & Lilian
"For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’s sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us."
2 Corinthians 4:5–7(CSB)
2019 USA Church Visits
6/30 Calvary Baptist Church (Winter Garden, FL)
7/7 Calvary Baptist Church (Winter Garden, FL)
7/14 Holiday Bible Church (Holiday, FL)
7/21 Calvary Baptist Church (Lutz, FL)
7/28 Centerpointe Baptist Church (Huntersville, NC)
8/4 Harvest Bible Church (Lancaster, PA)
8/11Harvest Bible Church (Lancaster, PA)
8/18 First Baptist Church (Lebanon, PA)
8/25 Community Baptist Church (South Riding, VA)
9/1 Temple Bible Church (Elizabethtown, PA)
9/8 Harvest Bible Church (Lancaster, PA)
9/15 Open Door Bible Church (Middletown, PA)
9/22 First Baptist Church (Bellefonte, PA)
9/29 Collierstown Baptist Church (Collierstown, VA)
9/30 BJU Global Opportunities Week (Greenville, SC) 9/30 - 10/3
10/6 Iglesia Bautista de la Gracia (Hendersonville, NC)
10/13 Grace Baptist Church (East Flat Rock, NC)
10/20 Calvary Baptist Church (Winter Garden, FL)
10/27 Calvary Baptist Church (Winter Garden, FL)
11/3 Calvary Baptist Church (Winter Garden, FL)
11/10 Calvary Baptist Church (Winter Garden, FL)