December 22, 2021
Merry Christmas Praying Friends!
October 13th marked five years since we arrived in Puerto Maldonado as full-time, international disciple makers. It amazes us to think of all that God has done here during that time. What a privilege it is to be servants of the King! May this update cause you to rejoice with us in God and his power to save. Thank you so much for your consistent prayers and encouragement!
Group from our church that participated in the Christmas,
gospel outreach to the village of Santa Teresita last Friday.
Thank you God for giving us a wonderful time together serving you!
Disciple Making 2021: The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are a new creation. They pass from spiritual death to spiritual life. What a joy it is for us to see more and more people being transformed by the powerful work of God's word and his Holy Spirit!
We thank God for producing perseverance in our church as we sow and water the seed of the gospel. Several of the people who have recently come to faith in Christ are people to whom we have shared the good news of our Savior for several years. Many times the seed has fallen on the path, among the thorns, and among the rocks. Some seed, though, did fall on good ground and by God's power has grown up to produce an abundance of spiritual fruit. Praise God!
Recently we have seen several couples come to faith in Christ. God's word is helping them see that we exist to do his will. They are recognizing that their unmarried, multi-year, live-in relationship is not pleasing to God. One couple got married several months back. Another couple is planning a wedding for December 28th. We pray for this work of God to continue as more disciples of Jesus are made in this jungle town and the many villages along the rivers. Would you pray with us that God would rescue many more families that are greatly suffering under the effects of sinful, lifestyle choices that have spanned several generations?
1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (NIV)
"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
Amen! Praise God for the washing, justifying, sanctifying work he does! Nothing is impossible for our God!
God has been producing a hunger and thirst for his word in our church. We thank the Lord for providing us with a place to meet to study the Bible multiple times a week. I recently enjoyed teaching a twelve-session class on how to study and teach the Bible. The class was well attended and well received. I thank God for giving me the mental and physical stamina to prepare for and teach the class for his glory. If it is God's will, I will be teaching classes on systematic and biblical theology in 2022. Please pray that God will guide my study and writing time. May God receive all the glory for what is accomplished. We greatly desire for God to teach our church to carefully interpret and obey his Word.
Several people, Lord willing, will be baptized this coming Sunday. It is always an enjoyable time to hear and see people give testimony of their faith in Christ and the transformational work that God is doing in them.
Cultivating an Appreciation for God's Creation: I recently updated the photo gallery here on our website with some of my favorite photos I've been able to take of God's creation. Click here to be taken to the gallery. Please feel free to save a copy of any of the pictures you would like. Click on any picture in the gallery to be taken to a higher-resolution copy of the picture, which you should be able to save to your computer by choosing that option from your right-click menu.
May the photos inspire you to praise God for the beauty and diversity in his creation that showcases his matchless creative power.
Job 12:7–10 (NIV)
"But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind."
May God be praised in and through our family: What a privilege it is to be married to a woman who fears and serves the Lord. God is at work in Kelly's life. She sets aside daily time to spend with God, and through that he strengthens her to do his will. She carefully stewards the work and service opportunities God gives her in our home and in the church. I am so glad that our daughters are being taught by their mother what it is to know and serve the Lord. Please pray that each of our girls would repent of their sins, believe in Jesus Christ alone, and seek and serve the Lord throughout their entire lives.
Proverbs 18:22 (NIV)
He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord.
We pray that God gives you a joy-filled end to 2021 and a tremendous start to 2022 for his honor and glory. May our faith be demonstrated by joyful perseverance as we serve our King.
Hebrews 10:36–39 (NIV)
"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God,
you will receive what he has promised.
For, “In just a little while,
he who is coming will come
and will not delay.”
And, “But my righteous one will live by faith.
And I take no pleasure
in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved."
Thank you so much for praying for us and sacrificially giving, so we can serve the Lord here in Peru. May the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord! Have a wonderful day serving our King!
Jay & Kelly Cross
Alexia, Isabel, Esther, & Lilian
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