Lena continues to minister to students on three universities in Lima and through our monthly bilingual worship services. We love ministering to university students. It's a joy to introduce them to Corn Hole, cheeseburgers and Jesus!
The Ragin Cajun team from the University of Louisiana Chi Alpha returned teaching step dancing and evangelistic Bible studies. In the pictures, below, you can see the U of L team helping lead English Bible Studies for hundreds of students at two local universities and a cookout at our house.
Human plans are good. Holy Spirit plans are great! One of the U of L students had a dream of the team ministering amidst ancient ruins. We prayed about it and decided to take a trip to Cusco -- the ancient capital of the Incas. Students from a local Assembly of God church helped us minister on two campuses and three people prayed to receive the Lord that day! (Thanks to our Assembly of God missionary colleague, Karen Nelson, for coordinating the Cusco outreach.)
ChildHope provides hope, education and the Gospel to impoverished children. In Galatians 2:10, Paul wrote, "All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along. (NIV)" Ministry to the poor is a primary value of the Gospel. With that in mind, I was overjoyed to have my friend, Pastor Greg Glodkowski, bring a team from Chester Christian Center to build classrooms in an area of extreme poverty in Peru's northern desert (Catacaos, Peru). I rejoice knowing that children for generations to come will come to know Jesus and learn the skills for successful living in these classrooms.
In January, we traded in one of our best interns for a son-in-law. Anthony Baird, who served faithfully with us last year, moved back to Ohio and married our daughter, Hannah. You can see in the picture on the left, Anthony celebrating that he gets to keep working for us -- but without pay! So, while most fathers give away their daughters, I (Bill) gave away my intern. Thankfully, I get to keep him and my daughter, too! As Ecclesiastes says, it was a time to dance.
Unfortunately, the Ecclesiastes passage also speaks of a time to mourn. On August 5, Bill's mother, June, passed away. The picture on the left is her greeting Hannah after the wedding ceremony. I (Bill) am saddened by her loss and deeply touched by the love and affirmation I've received from so many of you. Thank you! I'm also grateful to to my sister, Leisa, and my brother-in-law, Tim, for the loving care they gave my mother while I was away serving the Lord. Those who are family members of missionaries carry a heavy responsibility. They too deserve the missionary gem in their crowns.