And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord…

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“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord…”

   How many times do we hear or say, “time flies”?  It doesn’t matter how hard we try to harness, save, or manipulate it, time is one thing we can’t control.  It is already 2019!  Happy New Year!  Last year went by very quickly for us as we stayed busy, and we don’t expect this year to go any slower.  So… let’s get as much done for our Savior as humanly possible (with His help) with the time that we have!

   Carla and I observed Thanksgiving with some missionary friends who invited us to Lima for this special holiday.  We enjoyed great fellowship with them and another two families.  We played games, attended their church services on Wednesday, and of course enjoyed some great food prepared by the ladies.  It was a great time to remember all that we are thankful for, including our ministries.  1 Tim 1:12 says “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;” 

   Carla and I had the privilege of having another missionary couple stay with us for several weeks while they were working on the paperwork to adopt a baby from our area. The baby boy was delivered on October 13thby a midwife and was brought to our home that same day. He and the adoptive parents stayed with us while the tedious governmental paperwork progressed.  Their ministry is on the coast, and in this country, you cannot travel with an infant who does not have his paperwork.  It is a sad but necessary law that helps prevent the black market of babies.  Please keep this family in your prayers as they continue the process of adoption.

   We had a great time at Christmas celebrating with our Guadalupe church.  We had a sweet service and ended it with the traditional fruit bread and chocolate, along with some other sweets that members brought. 

   We praise the Lord that we have seen three more saved in our ministries since our last prayer letter.  God continues to work in the hearts of souls.

   Life as a missionary isn’t always the excitement of winning souls, baptisms, handing out God’s Word, teaching classes, traveling across a third-world country to deliver Bibles.  Life is just that, life.  We pay our bills, clean the auto, have to change the oil, and cut the grass (however little that might be).  There is also the maintenance involved, such as changing water pipes on toilets and sinks, etc.  One of the items that we have been putting off for a while was painting and refinishing the woodwork on the building where we live.  Peeling, cracks, finish is gone, leaving exposed wood.  One reason it was put off is because of how busy we have been.  Included in that is that when any work is done, we have to be here to oversee it.  I could tell stories of crooked walls, angled footings, bricks improperly lain, etc.  Let’s just say, it can be a challenge.  Much time in the past couple of months has been focused on the building maintenance. We have come a long way, but still have some more projects to complete.

   With the new year already here, we are looking forward to what God has for us. We have several plans, including another Bible Institute class, a special men’s study, and we should be receiving another shipment of Bibles around March.  We are planning a night of fellowship and music, inviting other churches to participate.  We also hope to get the Mobile Ministry active again.  All of this will keep us very busy.  We have an intern coming in February to learn more about the mission field. He will be with us until June.  We are looking forward to working with this young man and seeing how and where God leads him.  We will be mentioning him more later this year.

   We’d like to take a moment and ask a special prayer request for our ministry.  It is not a new request, but one that we are still waiting to see fulfilled.  For a while Carla and I have been praying for God to call a like-minded couple or family to work with us here in Peru.  God knows the need.  Thank you in advance for your prayers.

   May God bless each of you for your heart for missions,

        Don & Carla Rich