Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July Update and Merida Vacation

Dear Praying Friend,
It would be great to always write about victories and the power of the gospel transforming lives. If you expect encouraging news this time then you will be disappointed. If you are “joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer” as it says in Romans 12, then you will find much to bring before our Lord in intercession.
Last week, Peter and two other men went to the drug rehab residence to relocate furniture and other items. The drug rehabilitation program that had so much promise has come to an end for the time being. The son of the owners of the property, who at first was a positive influence, has continually sabotaged the enforcement of rules and challenged authority. Therefore, until we can find a suitable location, this ministry will be on hold. For the time being, suitable arrangements have been made for the several men according to their needs.
During the first week of August our church will host the first ever intensive Child Evangelism Training in our area. CEF operates mainly in the central and western area of Venezuela, but this year they are giving the training in different regions. Over 30 churches have been contacted. We would like to see as many workers as possible take advantage of this opportunity. It should prove to be an invigorating time as we get to know and encourage one another.
The IBM church is in charge of promotion for the work among the Panare Indians. Do you remember that a group of 4 men flew to an unknown area to stay for 6 weeks and witness? No sooner had they arrived than they were told that they could not preach out in the open. So they had a “family meeting” in a big hut which houses 4-5 families. Again, they were told not to talk about the Bible. They were able to visit with people out in their gardens in the surrounding jungle. Finally, the only person with contact with the outside world, without their consent, sent word that they were “bored and wanted to be picked up already.” They had to cut short their stay to only 3 weeks. While in some ways they were not able to communicate as much as they would have liked in this village, they were able to learn more about other neighboring villages that have never heard the gospel. Plans will be made to send another team to those areas.
An unstable woman, who had left our church years before because she did not want to heed counsel, has now been back for almost a year, exhibiting the same attitude as before. Unfortunately, a certain leader who has been so dependable, and such a good example, is determined to marry her, despite all advice to the contrary. He refuses to acknowledge the debilitating effect the relationship is having on him. He has been relieved of his responsibilities for the time being.
Two weeks ago we had to wear coats
and gloves! The temperature was at 40° and white fog and snow surrounded us as we carefully placed our feet on the ice. One night it dropped below freezing and as we had no heat in the room it went down to the 50’s. Where were we? We took a week to drive to the Andes and enjoy a cooler clime. Except for the 2 times that the car broke down, it was relaxing and refreshing. (Actually, the only time we were surrounded by snow was in Merida, at the top station of the word’s longest and highest cable car.)

Construction update: the hold-up at the moment is that we are waiting for the former owners to sign a document stating that the land is all paid for. The owner has been in the US for about 2 months and is supposed to be coming back next week. We need that document so the city can put the land in our name and unify the two lots and thus allowing us to submit the construction plans.
Here’s the good news about our apartment, after being given the run-around for several months. The buyer, who is also a lawyer, finally informed the city register that he was going to sue them for not doing their work, as well as not giving him a receipt for his share of the procedural costs. All of a sudden the tide changed our way! A supervisor came out of nowhere and invited us into her office. She looked over the papers, told us that she would personally take care of arranging for the signing, and that it would be ready that very day! By noon Friday, we had signed and the money was transferred to the mission’s bank account.
Steve and Cheryl, formerly partners with us here in Lecheria, have been working on a new church plant in Tenerife, Canary Islands, for over a year. For the next 2 weeks, a couple from our church, Lisandro and Anita Marcano, along with a work team of 18 people, is helping them with an evangelistic outreach.
Other prayer concerns: A part time church secretary; training of deacons and wives and other leaders for more responsibility; finding a replacement couple before our departure anticipated at the latest for June, 2009; and last but not least, finding the best option for Melissa’s senior year of high school.

Due to complications with our old address we have changed our address to:

Thank you for praying,

Peter and Sharon