NEW YEAR! 20-20 too!
January 1, 2022
As we enter this new year may it be another one of vision, “refocusing” ourselves on Christ and our part in His Kingdom work. Instead of 2022, may we look at it as 20-20 too! In 2020 and 2021 many became so focused on avoiding the virus that God’s Church began to suffer great losses. Although the majority seem to have returned to in-person services, there are so many churches who continue to see drastic declines in attendance and faithfulness. Hebrews 10:25 instructs us that in these last days we need to exhort one another to ‘not forsake the assembling of ourselves together’. Let’s refocus on winning the lost and finding the wandering sheep! There are so many teaching false doctrine. We need the fellowship of believers and the preaching of the pure doctrine of God’s Word.
Let me share something that for lack of room was left out of our last letter. Around October we realized that the “Mother God” cult, aka “the World Mission Society Church of God” had moved into our area and started a church at the end of the street our church is on. When the ladies of our church had a bake sale on our little city square, I helped them set up then passed out Romans booklets to passers-by. I noticed a young lady talking with a man nearby and she had a Bible in her hand. I got closer and could tell she was from the cult “Mother God”. I started a conversation with her and listened to her twist scripture to fit their beliefs. By the time I finished “discussing” Bible truth and their false religion, 5-6 guys and an older woman from their church surrounded us. I quickly figured out which was their pastor and told him some of the Biblical reasons that their beliefs were false doctrine and asked how long he had been studying and following this religion. He responded, “4 yrs”. It is so sad. The battle is so real between good and evil in these last days. I’m so glad I had just studied this cult and had already planned to teach on it the very next day in our church. BTW, three police officers heard our “discussion” and saw our small “gathering”. They came in close listening and watching. As you read in our last letter, we saw 2 saved that day. God is good.
Carla and I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to those who sent special support that allowed us to purchase many KIDS’ GIFTS! Because of you and the ladies bake sales in our church here in Peru we were able to provide Christmas gifts to children in three local pueblos – Shaullo, Puylucana, and Jesús, along with kids in our churches in Baños del Inca and Guadalupe, and another small local church with low finances. We were also able to share with some Venezuelan kids brought by parents to Peru to escape poor conditions in their country. In all, we were blessed to distribute around 550 gifts. Each child also received a coloring book with a Gospel presentation and many adults received a New Testament. Pastor José presented the Gospel at the chocolatada (Christmas party with hot chocolate and fruit bread) in Shaullo. Many hands of children and adults were raised at the invitation. Only God knows the decisions made that day.
Our Cajamarca church held a special Ladies’ Christmas Dinner. They had around 50 ladies present and had a great time of fellowship, food, and the Word of God. It was a beautiful evening for them to enjoy.
We had some special holiday restrictions in Peru on Dec 25th and Jan 1st: “All gatherings and social events, including those at home and visits with family, were prohibited in all four levels of alert in Peru.” Also, churches are now required to “card” everyone coming to regular services to prove vaccination. If not vaccinated, they are to be turned away. Just so you know, we will not be turning anyone away when the deadliest sickness that anyone can have is unrepented SIN and they need the healing salve of the Gospel, of which the church has a big supply.
The container of Bibles arrived this week here in Cajamarca! On Wednesday we had a great group of around thirty-five volunteers from our church help us unload the nearly 24,000 Bibles and over 8400 John/Romans booklets for a total of 1742 cases. Distribution will begin on Jan. 3. What a way to end 2021 and begin the new year, 2022!
PTL, we’ve seen at least 3 more saved since our last prayer letter!
We have posted four new photo albums here on our website. Please take a look and see how God has been working here in Peru! May God bless each of you and may you all have a wonderful New Year!
Don & Carla Rich
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