Mudslides, Spiders, Snakes, Bats, Iguanas… Ministry?
May 12, 2015
What does all this have to do with ministry? I’m glad you asked! Keep reading to find out! Before we get to that though, let us share some milder happenings on the mission field.
I am so blessed to have my wife Carla working alongside of me. She stays busy teaching English classes, Children’s church, cooking classes, helps direct the women’s ministries in our church, and now is planning a Women’s Conference for the end of this month. Please pray that this will be a great success in ministering to the ladies.
Recently, I was surprised when we were contacted by fellow missionary Stacy Dassow, who has successfully started a Christian school in Lima. God placed it on his heart to come and help us look into the pre-requisites of starting the school that we have been praying about. He, along with his school director, spent the week with us talking to private schools in our area and visiting government offices. We found that there are several hurdles that must be faced before we can start the school. Please pray for wisdom in this process as we seek God’s will in this endeavor.
Bible and Tract Ministry – We continue to send out many boxes weekly of both tracts and Bibles. In a short time, we have shipped or personally delivered 4,830,000 tracts (over half) and over 6500 Bibles. Through saving for several years and some special gifts, we were able to purchase a 4-wheel drive truck for our ministry. This allows us to get to those more remote areas in the jungle and mountains around us. It has also been a great blessing for hauling the Bibles and tracts for delivery. We have received many emails of thanks from pastors and missionaries all over South America, explaining how this valuable material is helping them reach and train more souls for Christ.
I hear from many pastors through the Bible ministry. My heart breaks each time to hear of the many souls who have never had their own Bible to study. There are churches whose members only have a New Testament, if anything at all. For this reason, so much false doctrine enters in. It is like a darkness of necessity for the lack of the Word of God. But, my heart shouts to think that we are now a part of the solution, providing the light that is available through God’s Word to many whom before, could only trust in what someone was telling them.
I have just returned from two trips. The first trip was up the coast of Peru and into the country of Ecuador. Worth Johnson, a brother from a supporting church came from the US to travel with me. He and I delivered Bibles and tracts to at least four ministries in Peru and six others in Ecuador. A week after returning from this trip, Carla and I headed to the jungle. We placed around 1000 Bibles and 130,000 tracts on a barge to be taken up river to the jungle capital of Iquitos. Rodrigo, the barge captain is a former alcoholic who loves sharing his testimony of how God saved him in the 90’s. He took great care of the Bibles, placing them in one of the sleeper cabins on the barge to keep any moisture from reaching them. On the way back from this trip, we met with three national pastors in the jungle to discuss training for many untrained or poorly trained pastors.
This trip was not without its challenges. There were mud slides in the mountains that caused us to be delayed more than one full day, while at least one lane of the road was cleared, allowing traffic to pass. We saw parts of the road that had collapsed, leaving only a large hole where the road used to exist. We encountered goats, donkeys, an iguana, a snake (now deceased), and a tarantula, among other animals crossing the mountain road. The road was sometimes covered with clouds, making it hard to see more than a few yards ahead. While visiting with the three jungle pastors, we entered one room where at least eight bats were flying all around us as we visited. Life is anything but boring on the mission field! (see our website for pics… www.rich2peru.com)
Praise the Lord, we have seen at least five more saved recently! A baptism is planned for next Sunday.
We want to remind you of our next Furlough, beginning this September. Most of our meeting dates are now filled with very few openings left. If you would like to have us come by while we are in, please contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call us at 678-921-5116.
Thanks for your faithful prayers and support,
Don & Carla Rich
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