Unlucky Christians Need More Prayer?

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Tulio and his family start their journey homeward at the end of the August training week.

Hi Folks,

I don’t know where you stand, dear reader, on the subject of spiritual warfare. I was not raised in a charismatic church, but I do choose to conclude from Scripture reading and empirical observation, that often the world provides a distinctly unfavourable environment for living and working as a Bible-practicing Christian.

A couple of years back I had the bright idea of filming some video clips of local people associated with the Training Centre. I think one was Pedro, the then Site Mantenance Man and the other was a pastor, Alfonso, from a small village called Santo Tomás, on the River Momón. I was generating some new material for my next Home Assignment (HA) in the UK and I knew it’d been a good idea when Pedro and Alfonso, without being particularly strongly prompted, spoke about the value of the integral nature of the Training Program and all the other projects that we are undertaking at the Centre. It was heart-warming, deeply satisfying stuff. Off I went on HA feeling mighty chuffed that I had some great material to show the churches.

Everyone was delighted with the video clips. Then after one meeting a lady approaches and I’ll be honest, I don’t recall the conversation verbatim but the gist of it was that she encouraged me to be praying specifically for Pedro and Alfonso because now that I had presented them and their positive words about the ministry before the churches, the Enemy was likely to target them big-time for attack. I’d never thought about that before and I think I said something like “Oh yes, of course,” and then I continued on my merry tour of the country without really thinking about it. By the time I returned to Perú, Alfonso had got himself involved with a young lady from his village who he’d apparently tried to help because she had a physical disability but now they were co-habiting, and not in the platonic way. He subsequently abandoned the church, which almost folded completely. (By God’s grace it didn’t fold completely, and Pr. Luis made it his personal commitment to visit the village every couple of weeks for a year or so to disciple the young Christians that were left wondering what it all meant. The church still exists today and I’m visiting it tomorrow.)

I think it was about then that I thought: we really need to be praying for our students and this whole project, in a specific way, as a team…And then life being what it is even when you work with Christians, for Christians, we only got around to designating a monthly team prayer meeting specifically for the Training Program a couple of months ago. Which is why I left Nauta at 7:30am this morning to come to Iquitos, to sit down with Pr. Luis, Michele and Dave for this month’s prayer meeting. Clearly, by the time you’re reading this, the meeting has already started, taken place and finished, yet the prayer needs remain valid. Please feel free to join us in prayer:

1). 5th-7th September, Pr. Luis and I travel to Alfonso’s old church on the Momon River, to visit and encourage the current leader and perennial student of the Training Program: Llino Pinchi

2). 10th-12th September, Pr. Luis and Dave go travelling on the Nanay River, including a visit to the village of current students, Tulio and Elizabeth, and Dina, Tulio’s mother.

– This family really fought through to get to the last training week in August. Their boat capsized with the whole family (including children) as they were returning home to get ready to come to the training week; then heavy rain almost prevented them from being able to leave their village (about 8-9hours by river from Iquitos); after the training week and endeavouring to get home, they discover that their boat has been stolen.

3). And for the other students: Pedro, Alberto and Leonardo (from Iquitos), Alfonso (a different one! – from Tigre River).

4). And for us, the teachers and organisers: Pr. Luis, Dave and Michele, Pr. Percy, Paolo, Tessy, Pr. William, Neil and Lori Brighton, and me.

5). For the next training week: 1st-6th October. The local elections inconveniently take place on the 7th October and everyone is obliged to vote, in person, in the town where they are registered, under pain of a monetary fine if they do not. Another obstacle for our students and we are modifying the training week timetable to accommodate this.

Thank-you for your prayers, sisters and brothers.

Lots of love, Laura