We believe that praying makes a difference. When we work, we work but when we pray God works! We got together with our students and asked the question “How do we make praying for our university friends a part of our daily life?” We had tried before with only limited success. How we could make praying a daily habit, one that we would never forget?
All of us brush our teeth every single day and we never forget. Could we make praying for our friends a new habit by connecting it with an existing habit (brushing teeth)? We started with 3 students and we now have 16 students praying daily. We hope to keep expanding this.
What do we do?
When we start brushing our teeth we smile and give thanks to God for the many things he has blessed us. We then pray for 3 university friends - the same three friends everyday. We pray that:
- God will open their heart
- God will create opportunities for us to listen to our friends and share how Jesus has impacted our life
We keep each other accountable by posting in a WhatsApp group and each student has another student who reminds them if they forget to brush their teeth.
We look forward to seeing what God will do through prayer.
The Great Commission is a mandate to go and make disciples in all the world. Churches in Latin America are capturing the vision to send, not just receive, missionaries.
SIM seeks to empower churches to send missionaries to go into unreached parts of the world. Chris Conti, a SIM missionary in Lima, has been working to empower the Latin American church in missions for several years. Peruvian missionaries have sent missionaries to countries in Africa and Asia - including areas that are difficult for westerners to enter.
We’re excited to play a part in helping Latin American churches send missionaries. Chris Conti’s team, worked with hundreds of pastors and missionaries around Latin America and have got together a huge volume of resources to help mobilise churches and help prepare Christians who want to serve in missions. I’ve been helping get this information online so it’s available to anyone with access to the Internet.
The task has been huge. With more than 1400 resources, PDFs, Powerpoint, Word documents and videos, I realised that it would be impossible to do alone. I was able to automate the process of creating pages and uploading files but some things only a human can do. So it’s been great to bring together a team of University students to work on the project. I trained students in the basics of web development and in turn they worked on this project 4 hours a day, 4 days a week during a part of their University break. Most on the team are Computer Science students so they picked up the concepts quickly but we also have an Education and an Mechanical Engineering student. As a team we’ve been able to progress at a rate that I never could have imagined before.
Examples of resources that we’ve uploaded (in Spanish)
- Help get Pastors involved in Missions
- What is an unreached people group and why?
- Search Mission Resources
Praise God for the demand for these mission resources and that it’s constantly increasing. We work with two websites that together have more than 20,000 visits per month. There are plans now to have this translated into English and French.
- Thank God for our little web team
- Pray for Chris Conti and her team who produce the content
- Pray that the Latin American church becomes a powerhouse in sending missionaries - especially to the unreached.
The ladies conference went very well and we had about 45 people attend which is a big jump from the 15 who attend the weekly meetings. The theme was “Loved by God” and we certainly think they got the message. We also found they loved the ‘Pineapple story’ which is a challenging story and they could relate to it. A picture tells a thousand stories so below are some photos.
I made a silly face to make them smile and they did.
We still have a slight generational difference, especially in terms of education but God is slowly breaking down barriers. At the last meeting I asked everyone to comment about what they were learning from God and 95% were confident enough to respond which is a big step forward and an encouragement. Some of the ladies went up to the kids club (at church plant) yesterday to serve Christmas treats and give a small gift. How wonderful is that? They’re serving others.
This is where the seed was first planted in my heart last Mother’s day- the idea of teaching women about God’s love and empowering them to serve. It is almost full circle… So join me in praying that by Mother’s day 2018 (May) we can see the women’s group leaders teaching the kids club mothers. Now that is my dream… Let us see what God has planned.
Many ladies are from the Quechua speaking highlands. Very different to student ministry with modern youth.
We provided lunch and a craft for the ladies.
Ana is a faithful servant with good questions and willingness to learn. Rosa is a great spiritual leader who is now using her own examples in teaching the ladies. Pray for them.
Amanda - a beloved friend, talked about God's love for us and how we can love our spouses and families.
- Don't try and to sleep before 11:30 and 12:30 as you will be woken by the continuous noise at surprisingly close proximity - fireworks - they love them here.
- Most evangelical churches don't have services Christmas eve or on the 25th. We miss this tradition. This year was an exception because Christmas eve was on Sunday.
- You have to learn to love Panetón (fruit bread) and hot chocolate as everywhere you go you will get it or give it. If you have an employee you buy them one.
- Peruvians celebrate on the 24th evening with their families and open presents at midnight, and eat at midnight but each family differs slightly - some eat early, some eat at midnight and some wait for the morning and food varies too between chicken or turkey.
- Great tip from a taxi driver - buy your turkey live (though many Peruvians eat chicken) - get the turkey drunk on Pisco (like wine) so it tastes better when you kill it and cook it. (We didn't follow this tip).
- Churches and other Christian groups often do charity events at Christmas. This may be a Christmas outreach or play, a gift for children or a hamper basket and of course chocolatada - hot chocolate and Panetón.
Merry Christmas from our family
In Peru, expect the unexpected. At the moment, we’re visiting lots of churches to share our about the University ministry and invite students to join. On Saturday night, we visited a church youth group and peering in the front door, it was completely dark inside. I looked back out on the street and there were no street lights on. I looked back into the church and I could vaguely see a small group of young people at the front.
We enjoyed a Bible study from Exodus, led by the pastor. He had someone standing behind him with his phone, slightly illuminating the Bible so that he could teach from it. At the end we shared about our university ministry called "Comunidad Bíblica Universitaria” and I showed a short video from my laptop. After the meeting we chatted with students who were applying to enter university and got their details. Several had their entrance exam the following day so we took the opportunity to pray with them.
Here are two photos I took that night with my phone in the darkness. For the second photo we used the light of a mobile phone.
Please pray as we visit churches and connect with students, that many will be keen to study the Bible on campus. Pray that Christian students will be bold and not be afraid to identify with Jesus, in universities where many are embarrassed to stand out, especially with their faith.
Presenting an adorable new addition to our family. Her name is “Dusky" and she was given to us by a friend. Christine is happy to finally to have a member of the family that takes after her blue eyes :).
Our kids enjoying their new little friend