Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
It seems that at least two of the trainees from this last training (Eliseo & Nestor) are very interested in joining the Xtreme Team. Please continue to pray for these young men; that they may obey wherever God leads them.
And finally, I have just 19 more days left in Peru; only 7 left here in Iquitos. It is amazing to think that my three-year term is coming to an end! It seems like yesterday that I was leaving the States to come down here... Wow... I ask for your prayers for the transition that I will begin when I return to the States; please pray that everything goes as smoothly as it can, and that I don´t experience reverse culture shock too strongly. Also, I still have nothing concrete planned as far as a job, or where I´ll be living, and that´s fine. :) Please pray for me to listen to Him for opportunities, and to obey whatever the Lord tells me to do.
I do have a confession to make... Before about a week ago, I wasn´t spending time daily in the Word; I would read from time to time, but it wasn´t a constant habit I had cultivated in my life. But for about a week now, I have been spending time every morning in His Word, reading the Scripture and meditating on what I have read throughout the day. It´s amazing how that "little" habit can make such a huge impact on your daily life! I say "little" because it doesn´t necessarily have to be an hour at 5am every morning reading the Word; it could just be a chapter, or even a verse, before breakfast, and then all day just think about that chapter/verse, and how it applies to your life as a Christian. Maybe I was the only one not reading his Bible consistently, but if I´m not alone, I challenge those like me to open it in the mornings, make it a part of your routine, and just see how it transforms every single thing you do all day!
Monday, September 6, 2010
The training ended the 27th of August, and all of the students did incredibly well on their final exams! Thank you so much for your prayers for them during these extremely hard three months of training. After their tests, we had a party for them, congratulating them for a job well done. The picture is of the students at the party showing off their Xtreme Team jerseys; every person who has ever passed the training has gotten one of these. Left to right is: Juan, Felix, Pedro, Nestor, and Eliseo. We visited with the students shortly after they left Iquitos, and all of them are really enjoying the home cooking they missed for the three months. I think all the mothers are trying to ‘fatten up’ their children by shoving as much food as they can down their throats… even though each student actually gained weight!! Haha They were all pretty skinny to start with, so they added a lot of muscle throughout the training, compliments of the exercise they had to do almost every morning. Please be praying for the five students as they readjust to being back home, trying to incorporate the teachings they learned in training into their everyday lives, and for direction for their lives. Adam Huser, the Iquitos Team Leader for our team, is returning from vacation on the 23rd of this month, and after a couple days of readjusting, he’s going to ask the students if the Lord is telling them to join the team at that time. Adam needs at least two team members so they can start the work necessary in this area. Please be lifting up the students, and ask for obedience to the Lord whatever He may call them to do.
J and I have pretty much wrapped up the Xtreme Team training manual… in English. Haha. J is going over the final copy now before we ‘officially’ complete it, but after that the English version is done! Thank all of you so much for praying for us for the last who knows how long since we started putting this manual together. Now, I am focusing my efforts on the Spanish version… haha The majority of it has been translated already (maybe 80%) but I need to translate the classes and changes we added the past few months to the English version to the Spanish. This is my last and greatest task that I have left before I return to the States next month, on the 21st. Wowsers… I can’t believe I can say, “next month,” that’s crazy!! Please continue to pray for focus and strength for me this last months and handful of days.
The biggest question I’ve been asked the last couple of weeks is, “so Jeff, now that you’re so close to being done, what are your plans for the States?” That’s a good question; if anyone has a good answer for me, please let me know! Haha :) Honestly, I have no firm idea of what I’m going to be doing once I get home beyond resting for a couple of weeks at my parents’ house in Wichita Falls. I’ve considered staying in WF, getting a job there that’ll support me while I work on the Emergency Management masters program, or moving to the Dallas/Fort Worth area… even Stillwater has crossed my mind. Holla Mike!! :) But truthfully, my future is in the Lord’s hands, and I’m just trying to wait on Him to tell me what I should do. My biggest prayer is that I can obey Him; that’s why I’m not planning anything for sure, because God has a way of turning our plans inside out, and upside down.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Let me apologize for the lack of updates over the last few months; life down here is far from routine every day, and writing a blog was always on my list to do but it never made it to the top until today. I know that many of you have continued to pray for me even though I have not provided you with specific details; I want to thank you so much for those prayers. I let this fall by the wayside while I was focused on other things, mainly the training that is going on here in Iquitos.
In this current training we have five young men participating: Pedro, Juan, Felix, Nestor, and Eliseo. All five have been going strong since the beginning; that’s not to say that there haven’t been rough patches along the way, of course there have been. Most recently, they passed through the first church classes, and had a very hard time releasing their traditions in favor of the simpler model found in the New Testament. In their favor, I still have trouble some times with releasing my unbiblical traditions that are no more than that… After those classes, I partnered with Felix, and we all went on a seven-day trip to the communities so they could share stories with people who haven’t heard the Gospel yet. I had a great time with Felix as my partner; we had quite a few deep, profound conversations about the training and life in general. I also experienced some great alone time with the Lord away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, standing on the bank of the river at sunset, singing His praises and listening to Him. It was a welcome escape from sitting in front of a computer every day, but by the end of the trip I was anxious to get back and get trucking on the training manual once again. Right now, the guys are on another seven-day trip, sharing more stories they have learned in the same communities. While they’re in the communities, J and I are working full-speed on the manual; we hope to have it completely finished in English by the end of this week, before the guys return for their final week in training.
Please be praying that we can be open to the Spirit to guide us as we make the final touches on the manual. Also, pray for the students, as they are finishing up the training. Ask the Lord that He may guide them to what He wants from them afterwards, and that they may have the strength to obey Him, no matter what He asks. Finally, I have just over 2 months left here in South America... That's crazy to even try to wrap my head around right now! :) Please be praying for me that I might finish strong and focused on the work here, and not turning my attention to things back in the States.
I will send out another update on the 1st of September, when the training has ended to inform everyone as to how it went, and what the next step is for me.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
It's been a long three months since I last updated y'all as to what is going on down here. I apologize (it seems every time I write an update, I'm apologizing...). I had plans to write at least one while I was in Ecuador, helping out with the training (it was even already typed up), but then the worst luck hit me when my laptop got stolen... among other things. But I promise to write every two weeks, until I'm finished down here in Peru. I pinky swear, there! ;-)
- Patience for me to get this training manual done.
- That everyone's travels to our annual meeting in Lima is safe.
- That I can stay focused on being in the here-and-now and get my jobs done, instead of thinking only about going home in 6 months from today (not that I'm counting... :D).
- All of our teams are going to be able to make it to the annual meeting! There was a large possibility they weren't going to be able to, but they are!
- This training manual is almost done; there IS light at the end of the tunnel!! haha
Sunday, January 24, 2010
A little update as well as to what is going on down here in Peru because I know that not everyone has ways of finding this stuff out... Right now I am in Lima, the capital of Peru, but am heading to Ecuador today by bus (25 hours.... yipee.... and then another 12 hours.... woohoo...) to get everything ready for a training there. We have at least 10 confirmed trainees; they all know that it is 3 months long this time, and we have a really good feeling about it. Please pray for the trainees, and for the teachers as well during the next 3 months: that everyone can stay focused and seek God in all things. I will try to let y'all know how training went once it's over. Thank you very much for your prayers, and support.