Dear Praying Friends,
My guiding principle for these updates is to magnify the Lord's work. I enjoy writing about God's faithful work in, through, and around us. May we consistently be marveling at all that he is doing. Today Kelly and I are happy to celebrate fourteen years of marriage. It is incredible for us to think about all the Lord has done in these years. To him be all the glory!
Psalm 115:1–3 (NIV)
Not to us, Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
Why do the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.
Investing in the Next Generation of International Disciple Makers: In our last update we asked you to pray for a BJU Cross-Cultural Service major who was preparing to travel to Puerto Maldonado for an eight-week internship. His desire was to be mentored by missionaries who are faithfully serving the Lord. We rejoice to tell you that God allowed Jacob to travel here and God accomplished a tremendous work among us.
Throughout Jacob's time here, God gave him many opportunities to learn and put into practice what the Lord has been teaching him over the past few years through his college experience and service in a local church. Though he was not able to speak or understand much Spanish, God strengthened him to serve in any way that he could. God gave him a humble, learner's spirit. He now has a better understanding of the type of linguistic, theological, and cross-cultural preparation necessary to be an effective cross-cultural disciple maker. Kelly and I enjoyed sharing with him how God has prepared us for the way we are serving him now in Peru. We really enjoyed having Jacob with our family. We look forward to seeing how God will continue to use Jacob's life for the expansion of his kingdom and glory around the world. Please continue to pray that Jacob will have wisdom and direction from the Lord for the next steps in his life and service to our King.
Disciple Making 2021: In our last update we also mentioned a large mission team from Texas that was preparing to travel to Puerto Maldonado to help host medical gospel outreaches in three locations. We thank the Lord for allowing the team to come. Several Peruvian Christians from Lima and Piura also came to help. Several doctors and dentists were among the groups. God gave us a very fruitful, full week of service to him last week. We really enjoyed serving alongside of the mission team members. It was encouraging to hear the stories of God's grace at work in their lives. We hope in the Lord to have more opportunities to work alongside of them in the future. We thank the Lord for opening many doors to share the gospel in the village of Santa Teresita and two locations here in Puerto Maldonado.
The doctors and dentists were able to help many people. It was neat to see our church people jumping in to serve. We also enjoyed seeing our girls help translate for the visiting group and be ready to help in other ways. May our family always be committed to serving the Lord!
God gave us the opportunity to teach the Bible and answer many questions in the village of Santa Teresita on the day of the medical outreach. We look forward to returning to the village in the coming weeks to continue proclaiming Christ and teach the whole counsel of God. We pray that God will save and equip those people to teach the Bible in their village. We thank the Lord for providing funds to make trips to Santa Teresita and purchase Bibles. We hope to have another shipment of Bibles arrive soon, so we can distribute them to the many people we meet that do not have a Bible.
Peru Covid-19: Throughout the past few months we were having our Sunday services at a soccer complex. That worked well for those months, but we have been looking for a new place to rent. That way we would have a consistent place to meet for other Bible studies and kid's Bible clubs as well. God directed us to a new location; and over the past couple months he provided the materials and workers to build a building for our church to meet in. We thank the Lord for a man in the church, who is a construction contractor, who oversaw the project. God has given our church many opportunities to share the gospel with the workers and at a few points work alongside of them. May we be faithful stewards of this place to meet to worship the Lord and preach his word. We thank the Lord that through decreased Covid restrictions and our new location, we are now able to have all of our Bible studies and services in person. This has been a tremendous blessing!
Lord willing we will be restarting our children's Bible clubs this Saturday. We plan to have one on Saturday morning in the neighborhood of Pacalito and another on Saturday afternoon in the building where our church meets. As things continue to stabilize after all the Covid restrictions, we should be able to add the soccer / Bible club back in as well. Pastor Daniel and I enjoy going out several days a week to visit people in the church and teach the Bible. We thank the Lord for the growth we are seeing in the church members and their desire to be a faithful witness for Christ in their home and at work. We are also encouraged to see many of the church members eager to help with the various facets of church ministry.
Cultivating an Appreciation for God's Creation: God is so kind to give us things to enjoy in this world. May the dangers and hardships of this life not prevent us from recognizing the beauty of God's creation around us and thanking him for it.
Psalm 145 (NIV)
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.
Please let us know how we can be praying for you. Have a tremendous day serving our Lord!
Jay & Kelly Cross
Alexia, Isabel, Esther, & Lilian