Thank you very much! We can't thank you enough for your kindness to consistently pray for us and give toward our financial needs. God provides for our needs through you and opens up opportunities for us to be a blessing to others. Through the various Christmas / year-end gifts that came in we were able to help a Peruvian missionary family of eight move from northern Peru to Puerto Maldonado. They are currently serving with the same local church as us and would like to help take the gospel to other needy areas in this part of Peru. We're glad to partner in the gospel with people who desire to see God glorified in them. Thank you for your part in making that a reality!
Another part of the money that was gifted helped purchase a high-powered Stihl trimmer. It has been a great tool to help our friend, JR Dudeck, clear a 27 acre piece of property that he purchased 8 months ago. We are working on developing the property into a Christian camp. I'm glad to help JR with the workload and give input on administrative details that come up.
Thank you for praying for the Lord's provision. The camp will need more tools as time goes along. To learn more about the camp project you can click here to visit JR's ministry website. At this point JR has two large mission teams scheduled to come in June and July to help with some construction projects at the camp.
Thank you also for praying for protection. There are some venomous snakes on the property as well as plenty of stinging insects. We are taking necessary precautions and are working hard to develop the property into a space that can be safely used by the churches in Puerto Maldonado. It is a beautiful piece of God's creation. We'll see what the Lord has planned for the future!
JR recently hired a crew to cut a road into his property and put gravel down. This added traction will be very helpful. Previously that part of the road was impassable by vehicle when wet.
Disciple Making 2020: We thank the Lord for his help as the church we are partnering with here in Peru (Iglesia Evangélica Bautista Vida Nueva) coordinated several specific gospel outreaches at the end of 2019. We were glad to also have the help of believers from a church in Lima and believers from a church in Puerto Maldonado that is pastored by our friend Buddy Fitzgerald. The gospel was clearly presented and the Lord gave us many opportunities to show the love of Christ. One area, the neighborhood of Pacalito, is where the church holds a weekly Bible club. The gospel seed is sown to those children each week. The other area, the village of Santa Teresita, is about a 45-minute boat ride from one of the "ports" here in Puerto Maldonado. We are making plans to revisit that village in July with a medical mission team - should the Lord allow. We will probably make a visit or two to the village between now and then.
We thank God for sustaining and encouraging us to serve the local church during the two months that the Nuñez family was in Lima serving in churches and a Christian camp. We thank God for giving us wisdom as we have many opportunities to teach the Bible each week. I have recently really been enjoying teaching through Job, 1 Timothy, Proverbs, and other selected passages.
We thank the Lord that the Nuñez family made it safely back to Puerto Maldonado. Pray for them as they adjust back to life in Puerto Maldonado. Pray for their family as Beki’s father (a Christian) recently passed away from cancer. Beki was able to be with her family in the USA at the time of his death.
Family life and quarantine status: We thank God for strengthening us through some mild sickness that has recently passed through our family. We thank God that he is providing for all our needs and giving us grace to help others during the 15-day quarantine that Peru is in. To this point, there have been relatively few confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Peru. We thank the Lord for allowing us to make the most of in-the-house family time and work hard with the extra time at home to prepare well for upcoming preaching / teaching opportunities - should the Lord allow.
Pray that God would open more doors for the gospel message during these times of fear and uncertainty for so many. We thank God for giving us hope in him. Pray that God would help the men of our church to lead their families in worship during these weeks that we are unable to meet together in person as the local church. We are using various means of technology to stay connected with the church and encourage them to follow the Lord.
Pray that God would allow mission teams and family that have scheduled trips to Peru in May, June, July, and August to be able to travel here and serve the Lord. Pray that God would strengthen, heal, and save the handful of people in our town that have been diagnosed with coronavirus.
Cultivating an appreciation for God's creation: One of my favorite hobbies is to investigate the beauty and detail of God's creation all around us. Paying attention to the created world is a great daily reminder for adults and children alike that God is the creator of the universe. Though this world is marred by sin, it still brings glory to the one who created it.
Nehemiah 9:5–6 (NIV)
"And the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah—said: 'Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you'."
Sometimes it's just a quick picture with my phone and other times I'm able to take the time to get out the camera with longer lenses. Either way I enjoy the adventure and challenge of documenting the creation around me. I hope you'll enjoy the pictures of the interesting things we've noticed lately.
Just as we finished the men's Bible study one night this beautiful and delicate insect landed on my hand and got blown around by the fan. I was able to pull my phone out and get a quick video before it flew away.
Thank you so much for all you do for us. We are glad to be ambassadors for Christ here in Peru. Please let us know how we can be praying for you. What a great comfort it is to know that the Lord is in control of all things. May we use all our days for his glory!
Jay & Kelly Cross
Alexia, Isabel, Esther, & Lilian