Watch What God Can Do
Happy New Year! We hope you all had a merry Christmas and an exciting New Year. We apologize in advance, this letter will be much longer than others. So many wonderful things happened this month, one page will not contain it.
A member of the church contacted us asking for prayer for his daughter, Luz, who was suffering from horrible nightmares. We sent him verses to help, but he asked us to speak with her in person. The following Sunday she came to church and Patrick had the opportunity to counsel her. She said she had prayed with her mother's pastor, so she knew she was saved but that same pastor told her that her nightmares were a sign from God. This sign was He was going to take her womb or that she was demon possessed. After listening to her whole story, Patrick, realizing that she was most likely not saved, showed her the true and simple gospel of Christ, and she began to cry. She told him that she had never heard such a thing and wanted to accept Christ. Right there she prayed and asked God to save her. After her glorious salvation, she learned that now that she was one of God's children, she didn't need to fear about demon possession. The last update from her was that the dreams had stopped.
Folks, this is not a Peruvian problem, this is a world problem. People telling others that they are saved without actually giving them the true gospel. This keeps happening over and over in our ministry where people come to us sure they are saved and then when presented with the true gospel, they are shocked at what the Bible says and jump at the opportunity to accept Christ. Preach the gospel, let the Holy Spirit work, and watch what God can do!
After our Sunday with Luz, the next Saturday was our Christmas outreach. We wanted to do something different this year, so we invited the village to come and enjoy a Christmas movie, fruit cake, and a free drawing for Christmas boxes and appliances. We had it all set up for an expected fifty people. Excited, we showed up early and prepared the church by adding seats and cutting up fruitcake. As the hour grew closer it seemed that we would not have as many people as we thought. Then, within only a few minutes before we wanted to start, it seemed like the whole village showed up. We stopped counting when we hit one hundred, but more people kept coming.
We ran out of seats and had people standing outside and looking through the windows just to be apart. Ending the movie early, we took the opportunity to give a very clear presentation of the gospel and six people accepted Christ. As our small church started to become an oven, we then gave away all our gifts. Each gift included a new Bible, the most precious physical gift that can be given.
After the event, a woman approached Patrick and told him that she was the daughter of an older church member, Julian. She was someone we had been praying for, for quite some time. She told Patrick that she never knew what her dad was going on about when he talked about the church, but that now she understood. The church was a warm and inviting place that felt like family. She explained that she had to work every day, but when she had time, she would be in service. Please pray for Nancy that she would find the time to be a part of our church and, most importantly, accept Christ.
Once the event was over, we could focus on our private celebration of Christmas. One of our favorite family traditions is on Christmas Eve, we put together plates of fruitcake and a cup of hot chocolate for the guards that have to watch our building. We also give them a gift, including a gospel tract and Bible, to say thank you for protecting us all year. One such guard's name is Pablo. He was speechless to receive a Bible and thanked us profusely. Two days after Christmas, Pablo stopped Patrick and asked if he could teach him what he was reading. Pablo explained that people talk about religious things but he didn't understand any of it. He really wants to learn and understand what the Bible says. Of course Patrick jumped at the chance, and they had their first discipleship meeting on New Year's Eve.
As far as our personal lives, we want to say thank you for all your prayers and letters of encouragement. We were very discouraged before the Christmas season as we fought against many attacks, fought against homesickness, and navigated through difficult situations. We felt very alone in our battle and needed those extra prayers to feel rejuvenated. We thank you for reaching out to us and the great encouragement reminded us that we are never alone in this great work of serving Christ.
Christmas was a wonderful time for us to re-adjust our focus, take some time to enjoy our little family. We did invite other missionaries over that did not have family to celebrate with and had a lovely Christmas dinner. We then celebrated Patrick's birthday the next day with a cookie cake and a new cook book.
As for our health, we have ordered some new medicine from the States that will hopefully help Teresa. It will arrive in January. Please keep her in your prayers. Some days, she is not able to get out of bed due to low blood pressure. Other days, she deals with extreme fatigue and all day tachycardia. Not only Teresa has had some issues but Patrick also had to have another MRI for his lower back, due to some nerve pain. It was discovered that he has another herniated disk and a degenerating disc in his lower back, but the doctor was optimistic that they would not cause too many problems, as long as he continued with his special exercises and didn't overdo it.
If you are still with us after such a long letter, we wanted to ask for some assistance. This upcoming year will be our last before furlough, and we have so much to do. We ask for prayer as we start to prepare. We need to find a place to store our items here in Peru, as well as fill our schedule while we are Stateside to increase our lower support level.
In our preparation, we also want our kids to be more involved in Peruvian culture and most importantly, the language, so while we are State-side they will not forget Peru. To that end, we are going to send Isabel, and possibly Ezra, to a daycare for a few hours a day. This will help them learn the language as a native, as well as giving us time to get things done. Day care here is nowhere near the cost in the Sates, but it will still be a stretch for us to put one of them in it, much less the both of them, due to our low support level. Our goal is to raise our support level while back Stateside to include our children's education costs, so we are only asking for help for this year. If you feel like you would like assist us in this, please contact our mission board with a note saying it is for our kid's schooling.
It has been an amazing month and it would not be possible without you all and your prayers and support. Please feel free to contact us via email or through our Facebook page at “Pruetts in Peru”. Most importantly, we are ever so thankful for your support. We cannot do what God has asked us to do without you. Thank you!!