Prayer Requests for our upcoming week in Mexico

Our team plus a believing woman from the village and our translator and his wife.

Our team plus a believing woman from the village and our translator and his wife.

It feels like I just returned from Peru and now in about one hour I (Trevor) will be going to Mexico for the week with our church planting team. Ethan and Titus will come with me. For Betsy it feels like I was just gone for 9 days. We will be ministering in 3 villages (CO, EZ, and C). We will focus on doing evangelism in these three villages and strengthening the church in CO. Betsy will be home with Nora and Ellie. Please pray for us in the following ways.

  1. Safety in travel and freedom to minister while we are there
  2. Boldness and clarity in our gospel proclimation
  3. Time in non-believers homes having good gospel-conversations
  4. The believers in our church plant in CO to be strengthened and encouraged
  5. Betsy to have a great week with Nora and Ellie enjoying some quality girl-time.
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Peru Indigenous Pastoral Training Recap Video

Below is a video recap of our amazing trip to the “eyebrow of the Amazon jungle” that took place from October 11-19 through Reaching and Teaching International Ministries. We had the privilege of training approximately 35 indigenous pastors from villages throughout the surrounding Amazon jungle. For more on the background of these brothers click here. I will post more photos in the weeks to come. For now just enjoy the video…

 

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Destination: Chazuta, Peru – Leaving tomorrow. Helpful info for prayer!

Myself, Josh McKenzie, and Dustin Greenup. Honored to team up with these men!

Myself, Josh McKenzie, and Dustin Greenup. Honored to team up with these men!

I will be leaving tomorrow with some dear brothers from the Center for Pioneer Church Planting. We will spend the week training indigenous pastors who live throughout the amazon jungle surrounding the village of Chazuta, Peru. Below is some additional information regarding the training and the men we will be training. Hopefully this will help you pray. As you will see we are in desperate need of the Holy Spirit to work in power! That is a good place to be.

Q: When the pastors are teaching in their home congregations are they teaching in Spanish or their tribal language?

A: For some, at best, it will be a mixture of Spanish and tribal languages, but often only tribal languages in their communities. However, some of the students are Spanish speakers primarily as are their church members.

Q: I know we will be teaching in English, and it will be translated into Spanish, and are literate in Spanish or just orally speaking of Spanish? (The answer to this question helps us with our teaching methodology as we prepare our material)

A: Some will be literate, some will pretend to be, and some will be clueless. However, even if they can read, their mindset will still be oral. That is, the way to teach them best is to use illustrations that they know and lead them to things that they do not know. “The kingdom of heaven is like….” “There was a man who had two sons.”  etc. Think of the class like jail ministry, some of the students will come from backgrounds that render them literate and from good churches, others will be more oral and preliterate and from new Christian experiences or untaught pastors. It is a mixed bag.

Q: Are there other snippets of information that could be helpful in our understanding the context from which these pastors are coming from prior to our arrival in Peru in a few days?

 A: Many of these guys are high school trained and some are from the pure jungle and very simple. Some are older and some are the representatives from their communities to get the training. Some will have traveled for days and days down jungle rivers and trails to get their.

Q: Approximately how many pastors/leaders might be attending our week of training?

A: There should be 30-40

 

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Exciting Ministry Opportunity!!!

Recently an exciting ministry opportunity presented itself – an opportunity to go help train indigenous pastors from the jungles of Peru.  Myself and two missionary trainees (Dustin Greenup and Josh McKenzie) from the Center for Pioneer Church Planting will be heading to Chazuta, Peru to train pastors from surrounding jungle villages in hermenuetics (how to interpret the Bible). We will be going with an amazing ministry, Reaching and Teaching International Ministries (Founded and led by Dr David Sills of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary). Our team will be there for one week (October 11-19) and we will be covering topics such as: poetic literature, narrative, parables, espistles, prophecy and revelation. I will be covering prophecy and revelation. Reaching and teaching building

Below is the description from the Reaching and Teaching website: “Reaching & Teaching established our training center in Chazuta, Peru in the summer of 2013. Chazuta is a small community at what is referred to as “the eyebrow of the jungle,” where pastors from as far away as a week’s journey via trail and boat are able to come for training through Reaching & Teaching. The men divided themselves into basic and advanced classes, so all material at this center is taught twice each day.” An interesting note: Before Reaching and Teaching began working with these pastors they were preaching on their dreams and many of them come from villages that practice head-shrinking.. It is a huge privilege to go train these men through this terrific ministry. It should be a great trip and I am really blessed to be working with these two gifted and godly men (Dustin and Josh).

Please pray that:

  • We exalt Jesus in all we do and say
  • God uses us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to have a profound impact on the ministry of these men and the advance of His Kingdom
  • We would be able to communicate clearly through the translator
  • There would be unity and joy among us
  • Safety and smoothness in all the travel
  • The Lord would bless us with staying healthy and having strength and energy everyday
  • For Betsy and the kids to have a great week while I am gone. I have an incredible wife! I know it gets very difficult (and tiring) at times bearing all the responsibility at home when I am gone.

A HUGE thank you to all our partners who sacrifice to pray and give generously! Without the Lord blessing us through you we would not be able to take advantage of these opportunities.

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Advancing While Stuck – Recap and Photos from Recent N Mex Church Planting Trip

chickens in mudDriving through the sloppy, wet, muddy “roads” of small villages in Northern Mexico is always an adventure…until you get stuck…again (I wasn’t driving this time so at least I was off the hook for the jokes). Our village consisted of lots of standing water and mud everywhere. Our time in the Suburban consisted of a delicate balance between sliding from one side of the road to the other while determining when to “floor it” through small lakes in our way. Ultimately we got stuck about 50 yards from the church building in Village CO so it could have been much worse.

RAINI love the rain when I can stay in the house all day and lounge around in my PJs (as much as you can lounge with 4 kids – 7 years old and under). However, when the rain ruins my plans I get VERY frustrated. Our team was supposed to arrive in Village CO early Monday afternoon and spend the rest of the day visiting with the believers around the village as well as trying to meet new people. However, we ended up spending all of Monday afternoon and evening in the church building – difficult for me to swallow. In the end we could see God’s grace in the whole matter as we got time to further bond as a team around God’s Word, praying together, and singing together.

After that we had a great few days. Our team was able to split up and spend time in two neighboring villages that we did ministry in last year. It was fun to reconnect with the children of the village through “escuelita de la Biblia” (little Bible school) as well as spend time with several families and individuals we have relationships with. We had a church gathering in Village CO on Tuesday night which we had people from multiple surrounding villages come to. I taught on Luke 12 and we had a rich time together. The night ended with a first birthday celebration for one of the children in the church.

Nora posing with the birthday boy and his mom, grandmother, and aunt.

Nora posing with the birthday boy and his mom, grandmother, and aunt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord answered prayer as we saw Him deepen existing relationships and use our time to help encourage and strengthen the believers in our church plant in Village CO. Below are photos from the week. Check back in the next couple days as I will be posting about an exciting upcoming ministry opportunity.

The kids love the chihuahua puppies that are next door to the church building

The kids love the chihuahua puppies that are next door to the church building

Our team plus a believing woman from the village and our translator and his wife.

Our team plus a believing woman from the village and our translator and his wife.

Ruby and Ellie Nora and dog

Nopales (cactus) are a staple food in our village. They cut the thorns off and cook them. We have had them like this or chopped up and put into rice. They are not bad.

Nopales (cactus) are a staple food in our village. They cut the thorns off and cook them. We have had them like this or chopped up and put into rice. They are not bad.

muddy street2 Maria's house

The ladies of the team getting lunches ready for us as we prepare to go to some surrounding villages.

The ladies of the team getting lunches ready for us as we prepare to go to some surrounding villages.

The luxurious Holloway family accommodations for the week.

The luxurious Holloway family accommodations for the week.

Evangelism in the village leads to a stop at a tienda for Takis and ice cream

Evangelism in the village leads to a stop at a tienda for Takis and ice cream

Escuelita in EZ. Bryan is giving a good gospel presentation.

Escuelita in EZ. Bryan is giving a good gospel presentation.

Betsy and Kids in EZ

Going from house to house visiting with families in Village EZ. The kids enjoyed catching tadpoles in the puddles there.

Betsy and Ellie

Mr and Mrs E (believers) were delighted to meet Ellie.

Mr and Mrs E (believers) were delighted to meet Ellie.

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First Mex Church Planting Trip of New Training Year

Tomorrow morning I will lead our church planting team into Northern Mexico for our first trip of this training year. This year will be different than last in that we will be based in Village CO* where we have an active church plant going. Our goal in Village CO will be to further encourage and equip the believers there. Another difference from last year is that we have a team of 7 missionary trainees plus families. We have a larger team because we will continue to minister in two nearby villages that we had teams in last year (Villages C and EZ). Village CO is kind of a hub village for the other two – CO has a secondary school and a small clinic that the other villages use.

I am also REALLY EXCITED because the whole family will come on this trip. We will only be gone M-W.

Please pray for:

  • Team Unity – The team is made up of mostly second year trainees that were on different teams last year. We have one first year trainee.
  • Boldness and clarity of the gospel going forth from our team in our evangelism and in our teaching of believers. We will be doing a VBS-type time with the children in Villages C and EZ on Tuesday and I will be teaching the church in CO on Tuesday night.
  • Strengthening of old relationships and building of new relationships in the villages.
  • Logistics – A team of this size serving multiple villages has a lot of moving parts and good communication is crucial as things in this area of Mexico can change rapidly. It is also supposed to rain everyday which makes moving about very difficult on the muddy roads.

*Village CO was referred to a CD in former posts. Also a reminder that we do not use specific names of villages for our safety and the safety of the villages we work in so as to not draw attention to them.

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What can missionaries learn from 1 Thessalonians

1-Thess bibleHave you ever spent significant time studying Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonian church? Most of us have not. It is often a forgotten letter lost in the pages between Colossians and 1 Timothy. However, this week in the Center for Pioneer Church Planting our missionary trainees discovered many of the riches of this letter as well as why it is important for pioneer missionaries to know.

As missionaries we can learn a lot from this letter. Some brief observations are listed below:

  1. A church can be established in a very short amount of time. It seems that Paul and his team were in Thessalonica for only 3 Sabbath days – 2-4 weeks (Acts 17:2-3).
  2. However, further teaching and instruction was needed. Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica not long after they left to “exhort and establish” them in their faith (1 Thess 3:2). Now Paul and his team are writing a letter to this newly planted church reminding them of the instruction they were previously given (1 Thes 4:1-5:28).
  3. Even in the face of persecution new believers can have a widely known gospel impact. The Word of God was going out from this new and persecuted church throughout Macedonia (the Roman province it was located in) all the way to Achaia (about 200 miles away) (1 Thess 7:8).
  4. Paul’s missionary team was very intentional about their motives and conduct among those whom they were planting a church. They are described in following ways: pure, “approved by God”, “entrusted with the gospel”, speaking to “please God”, did not use “words of flattery”, did not “seek glory from people”, did not “make demands”, labored and toiled, worked “night and day” so they were not a burden while they proclaimed the gospel, “holy and righteous and blameless” (1 Thess 2).
  5. We learned about the heart of a missionary team for churches the Lord has allowed them to plant. Paul describes this by using phases like, “being affectionately desirous of you”, “we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves”, “you are our glory and joy”, “like a nursing mother taking care of her own children”, “like a father with his children”.
  6. We also get a peek into Paul and his team’s teaching ministry among them. They proclaimed the gospel of God (1 Thess 2:9) as well as “exhorted and encouraged and charged” the Thessalonians to “walk in a manner worthy of God” (1 Thess 2:12). Furthermore, we discover some of the practical instruction that Paul’s team gave in their short time with Thessalonian believers (see 1 Thess 4:1-5:28).
  7. Finally, it is important to note that the overwhelming flavor of this letter is to encourage the Thessalonian believers to continue in the faith and love they are standing so steadfastly in and to grow in it. Paul clearly wrote this letter to encourage the new and heavily persecuted church. In fact, there are no corrections or rebukes of any kind in this letter – a good lesson for those who will most likely plant churches where persecution is expected.
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