July 2014

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Every year, somehow, some way, God puts together an amazing Cross Street – Peru Youth Team. This year was no exception as God lined up one of our best teams ever! This group was genuinely focused on serving God and serving the people He loves. When we left for Peru, we knew it would take overflowing Godly passion to accomplish all that we had to do. Every member of the team stepped up to meet the challenge.

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Prefab home built by the team in Pachacutec with Pastor Fabian.

This year we stayed at our Hearts on Fire (Corazones en Fuego) Bible School in Marquez. That saved us two or three hours a day in travel time and kept the whole team together. Another blessing was having with us some of the Peruvian teens and youth leaders from Corazones en Fuego join us. The Corazones en Fuego group is the Peruvian version of Cross Street Youth. These young people and their leaders added abundantly to what we were able to accomplish.
Our first week in Lima,Peru kicked off with an eyeglass clinic and outreach in Brena. We shared Jesus with the 120 people who received glasses and with those on the street through our outreach and personal sharing. A few days later we conducted a similar outreach in an area called La Siberia, a drug-infested section of the port area of Callao, west of Lima. At our eyeglass clinic there, another 110 people received eyeglasses and heard the gospel. Some came forward to give their hearts to the Lord during the street concert, drama, and the testimonies and message we presented. A dental clinic was also conducted simultaneously at La Siberia.
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Chaclacayo, Peru – Youth Camp 2014

That first week, the team also ministered in two public schools; built two prefabricated homes; conducted a one-day mini-Vacation Bible School (VBS); and ministered at the Peru Youth Camp that we sponsor each year.  For me, one of the highlights of the Peru Youth Camp was2014-06-28 22.31.28 seeing about 70 Peruvian young people come forward as Marco gave the call to missions. They came forward in response to God’s call to reach Peru and “even unto the end of the earth” with the gospel. More young missionaries to train and send!
The second week, our team built another prefabricated home and ministered in three VBS meetings in three different churches and also in a couple of church services. It was an amazing time with some amazing people and with our super-amazing God who always does what He promises!
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The Team that stayed for two weeks built this house.

We praise God for all of you who helped send this team to Peru, supported a young person for youth camp, or helped with the home construction. (Some of you helped with all three projects!) By God’s grace – and with your help – we accomplished all of our goals in Peru and so much more this summer. A big thanks and God bless you to all of our supporters and partners in Christ.
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Well, where to begin? its hard to put this experience into words . We saw abject poverty like you wouldn’t believe. The team split into two groups to build prefab houses. One was for a family of four headed by a single mother. Her children, Miller, age 7, Juliana, age 4 and Dorado, age 3, were living in a tent like structure on the side of a sandy mountain at the top of their world, Seis de Abril. No bed, no couch.
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Adi in front of her home made of sheets.

Tonight I will rest on a comfortable bed in a warm room knowing that tomorrow everything I need and many things that I want will be available to me. Not so for Adi, Miller, Juliana and Dorado. Sure, Tonight they will rest in their new home, that was built with love by an amazing group of teens and adults. And tomorrow, they will even wake up with a new hope…but many of their basic needs are still unmet. We are trying to empty the ocean with a bucket here. Are we making progress? Well, yes. Look at what was accomplished in 3 days time.
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Juliana inside their old home.

Knowing that just one family will have a sturdy home and a roof over their heads is an accomplishment! It’s something I’m sure Adi never dreamed would happen. She cried out to The Lord and He heard her and delivered her from that temporary dwelling. It’s humbling to see this kind of poverty and realize there is only so much that we can do to make a dent. And even though we can make a dent…it’s a small one. It’s humbling to know, with all that I have and all that I discard, that true poverty is just a 6 hour flight away.
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Our team in front of Adi’s new home.

We gave her a special clock for her new home. It was donated by Susie Gorton in Bradford, Pa. It’s a special ministry The LORD has called her to. Clocks, something so simple but surprisingly very significant.
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Anne sharing about the clock with Adi.

As I showed Adi the clock, and explained that every hour it plays the hymn “Amazing Grace”, she started to cry, saying, “I have never had a watch, a cell phone or a clock. I never know what time it is.” She was sobbing and praying “Thank you Father for hearing my prayers. Thank you for all these blessings. This clock, this home…thank you.” She told me, “I don’t have a mother or father but I have my Heavenly Father”.  The tears were falling from all of us. We have so much to be thankful for.
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Anne and Marco bringing gifts for Adi’s new home.

Adi came to Lima in search of her husband who left Iquitos to find a job. She brought her three children here hoping for something better. This is a common story in these sandy slums. The details change but there are so many single mothers here and really no jobs to speak of.  I’m not sure how they survive. How did we find Adi? Pastor Carlos and his family live in this area, they are very poor as well.  They have a ministry here and Adi comes to their church. When we are coming to Peru we ask the pastors we work with to help find someone that needs a better home, it’s not hard to find here in Seis de Abril. Pastor Carlos knows the people and helps us build the houses as well. We can count on him to finish details we run out of time on.
You can read more of Anne’s stories  
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The only reason that we have any right at all to go out into the world and make disciples is because Jesus has all the power. He said in Matthew 28:18: “All authority in heaven and on Earth has been given to me”. He is the king. He has the power. He has the authority to convict, to save, to heal, to cast out demons, to restore, to fill with the Holy Spirit, and more… and he is waiting to exert it. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations” (v.19). That’s the order that he said it in. God forbid we try to make disciples without a personal knowledge of his authority! 
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JJ sharing the gospel with a woman who was healed in Brena.

Jesus never asked us to preach without power. In fact, he forbids that we preach without power. When the disciples hadn’t yet received the power of the Holy Spirit, he didn’t say “go and preach”… he said go and “wait… and you will be clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Only then would they have power to be effective witnesses for Jesus (Acts 1:8). Every ministry promise in the New Testament relies on the Holy Spirit, so if we don’t begin to seek God to pour out his Spirit on us, we can’t expect to see any of them in our lives. But when God the Holy Spirit is at the helm, amazing things happen through otherwise weak people like you and I. 
This was the case on our recent trip to Peru. God did incredible things through the simplest means. I watched the shocked look on the face of a man as he read a gospel tract over and over for 3 minutes straight.  A tract! What a simple thing it was for my team member to hand it to him…but God convicted him through it. Simple, humble, & even nervous prayers for healing were offered up throughout the week…and people were healed, again and again! We aren’t healing evangelists. We’re teenagers! People were saved, lives were rededicated to Christ, and Christians were discipled. 
It is incredible to imagine the repercussions of all that God did. That is the only possible explanation for all that happened on this trip: God did it. I hope that at the end of our years, we can all look back and say “There is only one explanation for all that happened in this life…God did it”. 
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Hello from the Orient,
I really appreciate your prayers for me here in this dark land.  I call it dark because there are so few Thai people who have any interest in knowing about the Living God.  They live in spiritual darkness completely ignorant that there is an alternative.  Africa was called, “The Dark Continent” not because the people were mostly black but because of the great spiritual darkness.  At this time, Asia is the “Dark Continent.”  Two out of three people who have not heard the Gospel live within a thousand miles of Chiang Mai.  Not only are they ignorant that they live in darkness but there are so few to bring the Light.  It is so sad that 19 out of 20 Thai people you see on the streets are going to Hell when they die. They live in complete spiritual blindness. 
I often ask the Lord what I’m doing here since I can’t seem to learn to speak Thai.  My hearing as damaged years ago and I cannot distinguish tones in the language.   However, I am having a wonderful time mentoring young, mostly Asian, missionaries who can speak the language well.
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Jim in Cambodia

One missionary that I mentor via Skype regularly is Manoj, from Nepal working in India.  Another is Matt, a young Canadian missionary working in Chiang Rai, Thailand.  A new one is Robert, a Filipino missionary leader who leads a network of 50 pastors in Myanmar and Cambodia.  There are several others in Malaysia and Cambodia that I have regular opportunity to advise and encourage.  I meet with local missionaries here in Chiang Mai and have also picked up a couple of leaders in Africa that I correspond with as well.

Sometimes I get discouraged because I am not out doing what the younger missionaries are doing but then remember all those that I am investing in on a daily basis.

Please pray for:

    1. I have an invitation to go to Vietnam to mentor a leader there who is in major transition and needs help.  I will probably go at the end of this month.
    2. I will go in August to Myanmar with Robert (above) to conduct a one week leadership school for church planters.
    3. I am working on several connections for missionaries to do BAM (Business As Missions) involving several types of businesses in Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. 
    4. Sandy Cohen is not coming until mid September but I have new connections for her with Christian business people here in Thailand, south China and Myanmar.
    5. I have two important BAM meetings this week.  One with Josephine, a business missionary from Malaysia and with Eng, Director of Finance for OMF, who will move to Myanmar in the fall.  I will introduce both to a non-Christian Thai businessman with whom God has given me favor.  The purpose of BAM is to reach lost business people as well as finance missionary work.  If we don’t connect with the lost business people how will we reach them.
    6. I have hurt my back and getting therapy but REALLY need healing.  Can’t sleep well.

Thanks for praying !!!  I would love to hear from you so please feel free to send me a note if you have time and especially if you have a word from the Lord for me.

Blessings,  Jim