Monthly Archives: December 2016

Celebrating the end of the school year!

Since here in Peru, on the southern side of the equator, summer is about to start, Christmas break marks the end of the school year and the start of summer vacations. So, yesterday was our last day of the year of normal programming at our Castillo Fuerte (Mighty Fortress) Mercy House in La Victoria, since we’ll be taking a couple of weeks off before starting up our summer programming. But, of course, even when our mercy ministries are taking a break, we’re never taking a break from offering our weekly Bible studies and church services, always giving people a chance to hear God’s Word and be eternally changed by it.

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Some of the kids at Castillo Fuerte waiting in line to wash their hands before eating lunch–one of the many yet simple ways that we’re teaching basic life skills to these kids.
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Some of our older kids helping out by setting the tables
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Enjoying the reduced rate lunch from our “Comedor Popular” that seems to always be serving yummy Peruvian food
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Having some fun in the younger kids’ class while also learning
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Mostly just having fun in the older kids’ class

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Levi, teaching Bible class to the younger kids. Levi utilizes some puppets to act out the story of Jesus’ birth, while playing a Spanish audio Bible.

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Waiting for chapel to start
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Hearing God’s Word during our daily chapel service
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Some festivities after chapel, celebrating the end of the school year for Castillo Fuerte
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Having some fun while waiting for the food to be served during the closing celebration.

Levi Karth–December ’16 Video Blog!!!

Hey everybody! Check out my latest video blog episode:

Dec ’16 Video Blog

Also, here’s a story from my latest newsletter:

There’s nothing like seeing people come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And even more than that, there’s nothing like seeing people continue to grow in their faith-walk with Jesus here in this life while waiting for the eternal life that is yet to come. And because of all of that, I am so glad that God has sent me here to Peru to use me as his missionary to help people know Jesus and grow in their knowledge of him.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we celebrated the opening of our latest church plant in San Juan de Lurigancho (the largest district in the metropolis of Lima, Peru). To celebrate this event, transportation was arranged to give all of the attendees of our churches throughout Lima the chance to celebrate with us in San Juan de Lurigancho. I was in charge of gathering together all of the members in the church in San Borja and getting them onto a bus, which would then take us to our church in La Victoria to pick up some more people. From there we would head on to San Juan de Lurigancho. This whole trip probably took 1 ½ to 2 hours, since Lima is so huge!

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The church service in San Juan de Lurigancho

During that whole trip, I could see God’s hand at work, for he used that long time in the bus to let us missionaries work on building our relationships with the different people that came with us. After all, mission work often starts when God’s people (whether they be paid missionaries or just normal Christians) reach out and befriend those outside of the Church. With those friendships comes the opportunities to share God’s Word and, from that Word, the good news of Jesus Christ and the eternal life that we can have through him. And through that friendship also hopefully there is the chance to not only tell that person about Jesus just once, but rather to continually guide that person as they grow in their faith relationship with God.

Thus, throughout that bus ride, as well as the ride back from San Juan de Lurigancho, I was busy moving up and down the bus from one conversation to the next. I was seeing God help me form new relationships with some people whom I didn’t even know that well but who had interest in becoming active in our churches. Some of these conversations were with people my own age, while other people were easily 2-3 times older than me.

And of course, if you’ve ever seen any of the pictures before on my blog, you’ll know that I was also enjoying that time to build my relationship with the kids who (accompanied by their parents) came with us as I encouraged them in their own faith relationship with God, while also just having fun with them.

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During the church service in San Juan de Lurigancho

After the church service in San Juan de Lurigancho, we had a lunch to celebrate the new work that God is doing in that community. Even as I was busy running around, trying to help pass out the food, I also took advantage of the time to be with some of the youth who had come from our church in La Victoria. Even the simple act of working together with the youth to carry heavy serving trays back and forth turned into moments to strengthen my relationship with them while also modeling for them what having a Christian servant-attitude looks like.

On the bus ride back home, the vast majority of us were far too fatigued by the heat to talk much (we had gotten a lot of sunshine up in San Juan de Lurigancho). I thought I was too tired to do anything other than sit back and relax…until I heard up in the front a couple of the kids from La Victoria trying to remember how to sing the songs that we sing all of the time in the Castillo Fuerte Mercy House there. I just happened to have a songbook in my backpack, so I pulled it out, dashed over to where they were, and while handing them the songbook, I joined along in singing with them. We were singing for so long that I was starting to fear that I would be losing my voice!

Thus, God was using me in amazing ways that day to connect with a bunch of people. And since that day, I have seen God continue to let those relationships grow and blossom as he continues to use me to share the good news with those people, and many more.

 

FORO Weekend

This past weekend has been super-busy for us missionaries here in Peru. We are currently hosting our semi-annual “FORO”, which is a conference for all of our major partners who are supporting us financially and spiritually. Besides just updating them on what we’ve been up to, we’ve also been having taking them around to some really special events within our churches here.

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Carolina, one of our Castillo Fuerte staff, was confirmed in the Lutheran church in the Saturday night service at our church in La Victoria. 
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Pastor Eddie Hosch helps to lead the opening service for our new church plant in the district of San Juan de Lurigancho in Lima. We’ve had a Castillo Fuerte Mercy House in San Juan de Lurigancho for about a year now, so this was a major step in adding to the mercy and Gospel work being done in that community.
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During the opening service in San Juan de Lurigancho, Pastor Eddie baptized a number of children.
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The different families who had children baptized, as well as our missionary pastors here and a couple of pastors visiting for the FORO.
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Pastor Joshua Gale preaching during the service in San Juan de Lurigancho
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Pastor Eddie and his family. Pastor Eddie is the main pastor at the new church plant in San Juan de Lurigancho
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Some of our Castillo Fuerte staff at the opening service in San Juan de Lurigancho