Updates

IMG 3174

Come and see what God is doing in the jungles of the Amazon basin! We feel humbled and honored that He has chosen and enabled us to serve Him in this beautiful place.


Details.


IMG 5847

God sent us help this month in the form of some of our dearest friends from Georgia! They came with hearts willing to serve, and a professional knowledge of construction to help us in the completion of this mission house. They skillfully and painstakingly put the exterior molding on almost all of the windows, which is a detail that will finally seal them from the extreme tropical elements and insects. What a huge job, since each window casing has to be custom built with wood that is hard and its sawdust gives you an instant coughing fit. We are so very grateful for their sacrifice of time and resources to come and help us! It is an honor and an encouragement to have a visit from our old home country to bless us in such a big way in our new home country.

IMG 5804

 Vann and I have finished the rest of the exterior molding on the windows and doors since they left, which made us all the more grateful for the time that they saved us from having to do it all on our own! The house looks so much more finished and pretty with its exterior trim!

IMG 5857
IMG 5858

Remeber the pic last month of Vann with a chainsaw standing on top of a slab of wood? They look like this now! He hand-finished the bar and island tops, and they are super beautiful. The drywall still has yet to be finished, and then all of the finishing details that make a house livable inside have yet to be done; like paint on the walls, tile in the showers and flooring installed. These things take time to do alone, but finishing well is important. We are very much looking forward to being done with this project, and able to move on to other things. Through even this construction, we seek to glorify Him with the work of our hands. God is the Master Builder, and he cares about details. He spent a lot of time giving detailed instructions for the building of the ark and the temple and all of the things in it. Excellence is His only standard. We are not building an ark or a temple, but like Noah and Solomon, we have faith in God, trust in His leading, and look to Heaven as our ultimate home. (Heb.11: 10)

IMG 5793

Our Clara turned 11 years old! She is growing up so fast, and is such a delight to all who know her. She loves Jesus, and is a deep thinker. God has a very special purpose for such a special girl, and we feel so blessed to be her parents!

IMG 5795

Vann has fixed several washing machines this month, and helped with an emergency electrical issue for our neighboring missionaries. The slightest detail can make the biggest difference between life and death, or success and failure. Life sometimes seems so fragile, but we trust God to be in control of all of the details.

IMG 5843

 We’ve had some health details to look after recently. The kids have each needed trips to the dentist and a visit to the ENT team here on a missions trip in the last weeks. Thank God that everyone is healthy, but we have some upcoming expenses for braces and a possible tonsillectomy should the US team be able to come again in the future. God knows. Details are His business!

Are you trusting God to be in control of all of the details of your life? He will take perfect care of you if you surrender control to Him. He is able and loving! 1Peter 5:7

“It is not only wrong to worry, it is unbelief; worrying means we do not believe that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything but those details that worry us.” Oswald Chamber

13 Years.

P1130049

This month is our thirteenth anniversary living in Peru! Thirteen years of adventure, hard work and experiencing firsthand the goodness of God. Anniversaries supply appropriate opportunities to reflect on all that God has done and to count our blessings. We started out as a young family with two babies, moving to a foreign country alone, by faith, without a full service mission board to guide us, or a safe mission base of our own to receive us. We had to learn the language, culture and figure out all of the hurdles of paperwork to live here legally all by ourselves. Not the easiest way to begin for sure, but it was the way that the Lord was guiding us. He was all we needed, and has been so faithful to supply all of our needs through all of these years. He has also made it clear to us time and time again that this mission is His, and He is the one bringing it to fruition. It is our job to remain faithful in the work He has called us to.

IMG 1655

Thank you for your prayers for me. I am almost completely healed from my fall! It was certainly a bump in the road, but God has been so gracious in healing me quickly! I have full use of my arm and only have to take care of my blood clots with the compression sock and blood thinners until December. I am able to help some in the work now, as long as I’m super careful not to hurt myself while on this medication. Should something happen, there is no possibility of intervention to stop bleeding internally or otherwise. 

We sent out an S.O.S. to some very dear friends from Georgia to come and help us finish the drywall mudding and possibly even the finish molding in the house, and they said yes!!! We are so excited for their help! They are coming next month for a whole week. Praise God!

IMG 5731

After much work, the ceilings are finally finishedIt is our hope that we can move into the house by the end of this year. It is with great trepidation that I even write that down. If building were the only thing that Vann spent his time on, we’d be well finished by now, but life here requires more than that. He has spent some time this week grieving with a friend over the sudden loss of his father, diagnosing the problem with our internet connection, and right now is helping a neighboring mission with two broken washing machines after spending the morning in a meeting about camp ministry ideas for the future. He is looking forward to the completion of this building project so as to be able to dedicate all of his time to serving others; which gives him great joy. In other news, Vann passed two kidney stones in one week! Poor man. That has got to be a record somewhere. It certainly is for him!

IMG 1715

Thank you to all of you who have so faithfully prayed for us for all of these years! You have held our arms up like Aaron and Hur did for Moses. We couldn’t do this without you. What a blessing each of you are to us that support us in prayer, financially, and with an encouraging word. Please pray for our friends who are grieving the loss of their father, and for Vann’s shoulder which is still bothering him significantly. May the Lord bless you and yours abundantly!

“If you want Jesus to teach you to walk by faith, be prepared for him to ask you to step out of the boat.” - Jon Bloom

Brokenness.

IMG 5676 2

Our plans changed this month when I, Vanessa, had an accident, and fell nearly ten feet off of a ladder at another missionary’s building site. I have broken my arm, and bruised my leg, which then a few days later turned into a massive hematoma and three blood clots, two of which are deep vein thromboses. It could have been so much worse having fallen from such a height! I am so very grateful for God’s protection.

There is no useful emergency care in this jungle city of ours, so when we went to town to get x-rays, they told me that my arm was not broken. From past experiences, we knew not to trust their medical opinion whatsoever. To their credit though, we couldn’t see any obvious breaks either. Vann took a picture of the x-rays and sent them to Dr. Cole and his team, who from an iPhone photo of a handheld x-ray against the sky diagnosed exactly the location and severity of the break. Amazing skills. My arm will heal without a cast or surgery! After a week and a half of immobilizing it in a brace, I am now free to start moving it as much as possible – of course without any weight bearing - for six weeks. As far as breaks go, this is possibly the very least that could have happened. Praise God!

At first, the bruise on my leg wasn’t even a blip on my radar compared to the pain in my arm. For three days I was walking around, trying my best to participate in life with one arm, but on the fourth morning that changed drastically. As I was getting out of bed, I swung my feet to the floor and instantly recognized that pain. It was intense, and oh too familiar.

Ten years ago I had a surface vein thrombosis where, an entire vein in my leg shut down completely. It seemed that nothing out of the ordinary had happened that might cause a clot to form, but probably had something to do with my Fibromyalgia/Adrenal Fatigue symptoms of low blood volume and low blood pressure, and poor circulation. Back then, we found the one machine in Pucallpa that could diagnose what was happening in my leg. The doctor gravely informed us that it was “a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), my life was in danger, and I needed to fly to Lima immediately!” Of course, it frightened us. We believed that at any moment I could die. Under the advice of my doctors in the States, I took Coumadin, and was very still for three days, and then flew to Lima. The amazing doctor there, who happens to be the top cardiovascular surgeon in Peru, took one look at my leg with his portable Doppler ultrasound machine and told us that while my condition was intensely painful and unusual, it was not a DVT, and my life was not in imminent danger. I did however have to take blood thinners for four months.

So, this time around we didn’t even bother going to the doctor in Pucallpa. Vann put me on Coumadin for three days, and then took me to Lima to see the same doctor. The diagnosis unfortunately, was a bit different. I have three clots; two DVT’s and one surface clot that is about four inches long, and a massive hematoma. The treatment is the same however; I will be taking blood thinners for four months, and wearing a compression sock.

Living where we do, and working like we do is a risk, but God has already taken care of every detail. He provided every bit of advice from our precious doctors in the States who take their time to try to help us long distance, and the exact professionals that we needed on this side of the world. God is so good.

Doctor Cole’s team was just here and able to take a look at my arm, and Vann’s shoulder. Vann has struggled for several months now with a debilitating pain in his shoulder. It feels like it’s coming out of joint if he moves it a certain way, but has continued to work through it all. The doctor says that there is visible damage to his shoulder, but nothing severe enough to require surgery. Praise God! He should be resting it with heat and gentle exercises. That’s not going to happen because it’s Vann Brock we’re talking about here. He doesn’t stop. He works through constant kidney stone pain and migraines anyway, so just add chronic joint pain to the list. I pray for extra grace for him daily. He stays so kind through all of his long years of pain and hard work. I am so very blessed to work with him, and learn from him. Please help me pray for him.

The building project continues without me. Vann has had a double load on him with the construction, and having to take care of me and the family all at once, so progress has slowed down a bit this month. We have been very blessed by our missionary family here that has taken care of the children while we were in Lima, sent us meals when we returned, and have even provided our children their lunches at school so that Vann didn’t have to worry about one more thing. Have I mentioned how blessed we are?

The children went back to school this month! We were in Lima for their first day, so we missed that send-off, but are grateful for friends that are family to care for them and take pictures for us. Corynn is a freshman in high school!!! Ethan is in 8th grade, and Clara is in 5th!  Over the summer we started going through an apologetics course with them to dig into why we believe what we believe. We are so very proud of our precious children, and how they are each growing in their walk with God.

IMG 5720 2

Thank you so very much for all of your prayers and care for us. We couldn’t be here without your support. We pray for you, giving thanks to God for the privilege of living and serving here in Peru.

Physical brokenness, and my helplessness to accomplish anything on my own is a clear reminder that I should walk in brokenness, so that the only thing being accomplished through me is the mighty work of God.  ~Vanessa Brock

Connected.

19955968 1426134884120950 5047544909692850708 o

Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Apart from Jesus there is no worth. All of our work and efforts are worthless. We find joy when we stay connected to Jesus, and each other, and work in His Grace!

IMG 5542

 What a joy it has been to work together as a family this month. One day at a time, all day until the sun sets, and the mosquito cloud descends, chasing us back inside our little apartment. We have completed the insulation, plastic and have hung drywall on all of the first floor walls! We installed the kitchen cabinets and are working on getting a countertop finished. It has been hard work, but we’re together, connected. The children are learning skills and the value of work, family, and the joy that comes from staying connected to Jesus throughout their days.

IMG 5624

 A huge blessing for us this month was having Vann’s mom here for nearly three weeks!  She worked along side of us, and loved on us and encouraged us. She stays connected to Jesus, and the joy in her life is so evident. We are so blessed to have such a Godly role model in our lives!

P1130226

Vann’s shoulder improved some for the couple of days that it rested while he was in Lima taking his mother to the airport and being a tour guide, but the pain seems to have returned as he came back home and returned to the project. He got an MRI while he was there in Lima, and while it seems to the MRI technician that it might be a case of acute tendinitis, we are waiting for Dr. Peter Cole to come next month and fully evaluate his injury. He is a dear friend who has operated on Vann’s collarbone before, and just happens to be one of the best orthopedic surgeons in the world. He founded a ministry called Scalpel at the Cross, and regularly brings orthopedic teams down here to serve in our own, Pucallpa, Peru! Being connected to the body of Christ is an amazing thing!

IMG 5564

We have been so blessed to see God answer our prayers for the Dumitru family, our Romanian missionary family that we support here from our base. They are out in the tribe this month, and have been nearly without drinking or wash water because of the prolonged draught that we are experiencing this dry season. So they called us to ask us to pray for rain last week, and so we prayed. That very day they heard a huge thunder clap, and as they looked up into the bright blue, cloudless sky they saw massive, sparkling rain drops coming down! God sent rain. It wasn’t very much that day, but it was enough to fill a few buckets, and to refresh their spirits knowing that our living God answers prayer and sees our every need. Since then, God has sent some nice, cloudy days that have brought enough rain to fill all of their rain barrels! Staying connected to God through prayer is a powerful thing.

Our church held a beautiful baptism service at the lake at our neighboring mission base. Seven precious souls were baptized as a public proclamation of their faith in Jesus! After the service we were delighted to have a few dozen people here enjoying the pool and playing sand-volleyball for the rest of the day. The ministry of hospitality to our fellow believers is something that gives us tremendous joy!

Thank you to those of you who support us, and pray for us. We are eternally grateful for the way that you connect with us and encourage us as we follow Jesus in the Way together.

  

“The whole meaning of prayer is that we may know God.”– Oswald Chambers

Goodness.

IMG 5494

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! What an honor to be able to have front row seats to see the accomplishments that come only from Him.

P1120844

This month started out with a great sigh of relief for our children as they finished their school year and looked forward to having a whole summer “at home”. While not proponents of celebrating graduations at every corner, but enjoying every moment life gives for celebrating our children, we attended Corynn’s 8th grade graduation ceremony.  It was fun to go back through old pictures of our firstborn and see what God has done in her life. It also was a huge motivator, realizing anew that time is short, to finish the house.

IMG 1615

We have made some great strides in that seemingly never-ending battle of construction. Mark Dressler, our brother-in-law, came down bearing gifts and supplies in the first part of this month. Highlands Baptist Tabernacle in Blue Ridge, GA sent him to help us. Mark is skilled in many areas, but the one way he chose to bless us was finishing out the plumbing rough-in. He worked tirelessly in the not so friendly temperatures and gave us a huge leg up. He knew that we were having a team come down to help with drywall a week after his leaving, so we were able to get all of the plumbing in the walls before they arrived! His church also sent money to help with the drywall purchase.

P1120983

Thanks to several donors, we have US grade pipe throughout the house. (The pipe available here is thin-wall and very difficult to work with, as no industry standard exists for sizes and fitting. Unless you stick with the same brand for your entire project, nothing fits together correctly, and no store carries enough supplies in one brand to do a complete project.) We have also been given US fixtures, toilets, sinks, and tubs for this mission house. Those large items and the all of the pipe (drainage and water) came in the container that our uncle Hobie Napier put together for us back in 2013.  His close friend asked the company Moen if they would be willing to donate supplies for a missionary house being built in Peru. They responded with “We need God’s blessing on our company! We’d love to!” and supplied us with most of the fixtures that we needed to outfit the house. Vann’s lifelong friend/brother, who owns his own plumbing business, donated all of the fittings and other items necessary to complete the project. Isn’t God great? It is awesome to know that we still have folks out there who are willing to follow His leading and provide for His work!

IMG 5500

New Union Baptist Church in Blairsville GA, came on their 4th trip to help with this house construction, and worked tirelessly on getting the drywall put into our second floor. The fiberglass insulation that is now available here has no paper backing and multiple laminates were required to fill the walls. Working with it is a miserable project, but they stuck with it, and hung most of the upstairs drywall! The children in the group wanted a project, so we put them on painting the house along with our children. They worked so hard, and were able to get primer on the majority of the house. The team also came bearing gifts. It was like Christmas in June! Restocking the pantry with things like peanut butter, cheddar cheese, hot sauce, and grits, and many tools, construction parts and pieces, as well as new shoes and clothes for all of our family.  The love that they showered on our family was amazing. We were so very blessed to be able to host them as they worked so very hard.

19399655 10214367723574082 663517651171181243 n
IMG 5537

For Father’s Day, we were able to love on the fatherless with a visit to an orphanage in a nearby village that is run by a neighboring mission. As well as participating in a small program, the team completely outfitted the children with school supplies for their upcoming school year. It was a really beautiful time celebrating God’s goodness!

IMG 7088

Speaking of children, thank you for helping us pray for Hamilton, our helper Alexis’ Down syndrome brother who was so very sick in the hospital last month. Happily, he has made a full recovery, and is back at home and doing well! God is so good!

DSC04002

Vann needs your prayers as he has a rotator cuff/shoulder injury that is severely limiting his ability to do the things he needs to do. It’s nearly impossible to get him to rest, but it looks like that is part of the recipe for his recovery. Pray that he won’t need surgery. As always, thank you for your prayers for our family and your financial support. We are so very blessed to be here in Peru as your missionaries. Thank you for making it possible for us to be here and for this ministry to continue!

The goodness of God is infinitely more wonderful than we will ever be able to comprehend. ~ A.W. Tozer


 

Safe.Haven.

IMG 5361

There is light at the end of the tunnel! After so much hard labor, and so much time, the end of this building project is in sight! Vann has worked tirelessly to build and install the ductwork, finish the soffits, and wire the house. It still amazes me, how much planning, calculating, and manpower goes into every step of this project, especially here, where nothing is easy. For instance, the ductwork; in the States, you would call a company to come in to calculate the space and install their prefab materials for you. Here, we have to do it all from scratch. We thought that maybe the guys in town that make gutters could make the ductwork for us, you know, delegate some part of this blessed project, and save us some time trying to figure out how to make something that we’ve never made before. It was a nice thought. We spent a whole day driving around to every metal bending shop that we could find to no avail. Every single one of them wanted to charge us at least four times the price that it should cost. We call it the “gringo price”, because when they see the color of our faces, the price jumps exponentially as it does with every other thing here from vegetables to taxi fares. So, we built our own ductwork! What size and shape ductwork does the space call for? What size metal sheeting do we need? What do we insulate it with? How can we bend sheet metal without machines?, and on, and on. My husband has a genius way of tackling a massive project that he has never done before by just doing the next thing. He solves the problem in front of him, and then he goes to the next, and the next, always asking God for wisdom. We are praying that this house will be a blessing, and safe haven for all who come under it’s roof.

IMG 5263

 In the midst of the mission construction, there are always those in need of help of some kind. Whether it’s missionaries that need technical help, or a bride that needed her hair done, or substitute teaching at the missionary academy, we stay so busy! We were especially honored to have the Police colonel and his wife out for a cookout with some dear friends, and spent the afternoon sharing Jesus with them. What an honor.

IMG 1544

 There have been some life happenings in our family and on the farm; our Ethan turned thirteen years old! He is just as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside. He is so very smart, and talented, and he is learning to love Jesus more every day!

IMG 5332

 Vann and I celebrated seventeen years of marriage this month! I have now been married for half of my life! What a wonder, and adventure this life has been with my Vann. I am blessed among women.

IMG 5528 2

 Our precious, old Great Dane, Caddy died at the ripe old age of nine. She was a wonderful part of our family, and an absolute terror to anyone that came onto “her” property! She is greatly missed.

IMG 1514

 We have had three fillies added to our herd this month! They are so darling! What a joy it is for our children to have the opportunity to love on, and learn to care for so many different animals during their childhood.

IMG 0267

 Their childhood is going by too fast! Corynn graduates from eighth grade this week! Remind me not to blink. Please pray that Vann and I will have wisdom as we are raising these amazing young people to learn to love Jesus with all of their hearts.

IMG 5273

Please pray for Hamilton, he has been hospitalized and is in a coma with a viral infection in his blood. He is thirty-five years old, and has Down syndrome. Hamilton is Alexis’ brother. Alexis is a brother in Christ, and has been helping us on the mission base for the last few months. 

A few weeks ago, we had the privilege of rescuing a darling three-toed sloth! Some guys with sticks were beating the poor thing as it clung to an electric pole on the side of the road. Our kids saw this happening as we were driving by on our way home from church, so Vann promptly stopped the truck, turned around, and went back to rescue it! The little sloth was asleep in my arms by the time we got home, and seemed so happy to be saved, loved on, and set free. The people around here have a superstition that if a pregnant woman looks at a sloth, then her baby may be born with Down syndrome. That somewhat explains why sloths are treated so poorly. The police station near there, now has our number to call us for any other wild animal rescues that they encounter. They said that they have animals that need their help all of the time, and the zoo is overwhelmed, and can’t help. Since we have so much jungle around us, and are so far away from the highway, we are a safe haven for wildlife.

IMG 5233

 

Hopefully, we are a safe haven for all living beings that come our way, and Lord willing, those who come will see Jesus in us, feel His love for them, and know that they too can be saved and set free! 


"True salvation, worked out in me by the Holy Spirit, frees me completely." - Oswald Chambers


Floods.

IMG 5205

Our experience with rainy season in all of our years here has brought many challenges and adventures, but this year’s adventure now ranks near the top.

IMG 5086

The flooding at home here in the jungle basin has not been terribly difficult this year, especially compared to other years, but there has been a record amount of rain in the Andes Mountains that has caused massive flooding and landslides. The death toll is near 90 now, with hundreds more missing and injured. Roads and bridges are washed away, whole towns are stranded with no access to help, and the water supplies are contaminated causing water outages to millions of people. The country is in a state of emergency.

IMG 5084

This all happened the same week that we chose to drive to Lima for paperwork, doctors appointments, to take my mother to the airport, and for a mini vacation during the children’s Spring break. Of course it did. So, the trip over the Andes was more or less uneventful and absolutely spectacular, even though we drove around some massive, freshly cleared – and some not so cleared landslides. That’s nothing new for these roads, and we made it without incident as disaster waited to strike until we had already arrived at the coast.

We had a lovely three days at the beach thanks to very dear friends of ours that so kindly let us stay in their beautiful home. It was an incredible blessing to be able to be quiet and still for a couple of days at the ocean. We first noticed something was amiss on our last day at the beach. We waded out into the cold Pacific waves and felt an amazing amount of trash and dead sea-life on the ocean floor. We then saw that there were small bits of trash floating everywhere

IMG 1472
IMG 1484

Apparently, during the night, many of the rivers flowing out of the Andes into the Pacific overflowed and wreaked havoc, turning roads into rivers, taking lives and houses and businesses with them. 

IMG 5094

Our trip home was obviously delayed as we were trying to learn what routes might still be open, but the news was dismal. We took advantage of the extra time and got to visit with some friends that we haven’t seen in a long time. The children sang “Jesus loves me” in Spanish to an elderly man that was sitting on a bench on the sidewalk in front of our hotel, and he started to sing along with them! Sometimes just stopping and acknowledging a person’s existence is enough to open a window of opportunity to share God’s love with them.

After several days, the main road was said to finally be cleared and open, but the police were restricting traffic to 3-ton trucks or bigger in order to deliver food and supplies to the jungle. We’re grateful of course, knowing what it’s like to live on the other side of those mountains with a restricted supply! But we no longer had a way to drive home in time for the children to start school, so we parked the car in a safe place, and flew home.

IMG 1435

God has been abundantly good to us with His protection and provision. We are safe, we are home and we are grateful. Our old, faithful farm truck will get us around until we can fly to Lima to drive our car back over the mountains when things are clear and relatively safe.

IMG 0196

The sheer power of the rivers as they flowed down the mountains was an awesome thing to behold. How grateful we are that the One, whose voice commands the wind and the waves, cares for us.  Please pray for our Peru. Pray for all of those that have lost so much in these natural disasters.

IMG 0176

 

“The voice of the Lord is over the waters;

the God of glory thunders,

the Lord, over many waters.

The voice of the Lord is powerful;

The voice of the Lord sits enthroned over the flood;

the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

May the Lord give strength to his people!

May the Lord bless his people with peace!”

Ps. 29:3-4&10-11

 

For a good look at what is going on in Peru, NBC has put together a slideshow that is very well done. 

http://www.nbcnews.com/slideshow/floods-mudslides-hit-peru-displacing-tens-thousands-n739846

L.O.V.E.

IMG 5001

It’s why we’re here. Love is the driving force behind all of what we do. Now, that could sound a bit too pious, except that I’m not talking about our human love. We wouldn’t get very far on that. God’s love though is steadfast and great. His love has to be shared with this lost and dying world, and that’s why we’re here! We feel so privileged to live and work in Peru.

IMG 1342

 The blessed windows are finally all finished and installed! They make the house look so much more like a house! The bricks are all completed around the pool, and it looks so nice to have some things being finished around here! The next step in construction will be the ductwork, plumbing and electrical, so Vann is working on the schematics and logistics for those. All the while, seeking as much advice as possible!

IMG 5012

 There is a family that lives down the road that needs help with building a “cool-room”, which will provide just a small air-conditioned space, so we will be serving them in their quest to find some relief from this heat. Our neighbors at the Swiss Mission are needing a few logs to be cut into lumber, and it seems that our wood mill is the only one around, so Vann is repairing it in order to serve them in this way. Also, the Romanian missionary family that we host in their own guest home here on base, returned from a furlough in Romania yesterday!  We picked them up from the airport, and made sure that they came home to a clean house, cut lawn, and stocked the kitchen with groceries. We are so pleased to be able to serve this family that is so dedicated to serving the Lord. This afternoon, all of the children from the Swiss mission came over for a retreat day at the pool! They are such well behaved, delightful children!

IMG 5029

We invited all of the employees from the Immigrations office to come spend a day with us. After spending so much time and money in getting our permanent residency visas in their offices, we grew to know these folks on a first name basis. We decided it would be nice to invite them all out for a cook-out for them and their families. About 15 people came out for a lunch and afternoon of visiting. We were grateful for this opportunity to be able to get to know their families, as well as getting to spend time with them outside of their stressful environment at work. Help us pray that God will continue to open the doors to their hearts as we endeavor to be channels of his love to them and their families.   

FullSizeRender 4

 The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, Jesus (John 15:13). I don’t throw my life away, but I willingly and deliberately lay it down for Him and His interests in other people. And I do this for no cause or purpose of my own. ~Oswald Chambers 

Service.


IMG 4742 2

“Supplying the needs of the saints” would summarize this past month for us. It has been delightfully full of service to the saints around us. There have been so many needs that have arisen that Vann is uniquely able and willing to meet.

IMG 1285

One service opportunity was when SAM Academy’s well ran dry leaving all of the families that live on that mission base and the school without water. We understand all too well the struggles of living without running water, so Vann was super pleased to help with that big project, and get them back up and running!

IMG 4864

Another project has been helping a new missionary family cut their lumber for the house that they’re building down the road from us. We know all about having to re-cut every side of every board that has just been delivered from the local sawmill before it’s usable, and without the proper tools for the job. Many years ago, that was our situation too. God has been gracious in allowing us to have a wood shop set up with the proper tools for this very purpose, so we are thrilled to be able to help in this unique way.

IMG 1300

My mother is here again! She is sufficiently recovered from her heart attack and quadruple bypass from a year and a half ago to make the trip all of the way down here. Praise God! Immigrations graciously gave her 120 days on her visa, so we hope to have her here with us at least through March. What a blessing it is to have family here, especially for the holidays!

IMG 4854

Our Corynn turned fourteen years old this month! We are so very proud of the beautiful young woman that she is becoming. She is a wonderful student, an amazing artist, and she loves Jesus and her family so very much!

IMG 4747

The pool continues to bring the people to us in droves. We’ve had special Peruvian family birthday pool parties, and many other families coming to seek a reprieve from the heat and finding rest. The gospel message is always a part of our pool ministry! The biggest crowd at the pool this month was when a friend of mine came from our neighboring tribe bringing all of the children that she could manage to herd over here at once. She brought them all in order to get them out from under their mother’s feet during their holiday preparations! Lifeguarding nearly thirty Indian children can be somewhat nerve-wracking, but I thank God for His grace and protection! Many thanks again to our thoughtful friend who sent so many bathing suits of all sizes for all of those who come to the pool without suits!

IMG 4859

We are overflowing in our thanksgivings to God for allowing us the privilege of living and serving here in Peru. May we be found faithful. Thank you to all of you who support us financially, hold us up in prayer, and love on us from afar with notes of encouragement and care packages. God bless you all abundantly in 2017!

        

“For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God." 2 Cor. 9:12

 

 

Gratitude.

IMG 0126 (1)

November used to mean cool, crisp days with warm sweaters and bright autumn colors, but now it brings rain with ever present sweltering heat, growing grass and encroaching jungle. Our fourth grader has had to memorize the order of the seasons in the Northern hemisphere because she hasn’t ever experienced them. We used to miss the changing of the seasons, but after a dozen years without them, we have learned to be content. Part of being content where we are, is finding beauty around us. There is so much beauty in the sunrises and sunsets of the rainy season. The lush green that surrounds us never fades, and something is always blooming. We are so very grateful to be able to live here.

IMG 4698

 There were a few quiet weeks when we first arrived home from our trip to the States due to the fact that no one knew that we were back, but that has changed now. The word is out, and we haven’t had a quiet day in quite some time! Every weekend is full of people coming to the pool for a quiet respite from life and the heat, and our weekdays are full of working on the house, helping other missionaries with various projects, and taking the time to meet with people here and in town.

IMG 4717

 The windows for the house are being assembled and installed! Vann has figured out how much argon gas is needed to fill each window for insulation and rust protection for the steel grates inside of them. All of the glass has been delivered, so we hope that the installation will go quickly!

Vann just passed the 7mm kidney stone that has been causing him so much excruciating pain for so long! Praise God! He will need to heal for a couple of days, but we are so relieved that this fight is over. Thank you for your prayers. We are so grateful!

IMG 4703

 We had a scare over Ethan’s eye last week. He was playing tetherball with some friends, and was hit directly in his open eye with the ball at close range. There was blackness and flashing lights in his vision, but with Vann’s sister’s help over Skype, he passed our initial tests for emergency issues. The next morning though, he awoke with a shadow in his peripheral vision. That worried us, so we took him to the only ophthalmologist in town. At least we have one now, for many years there was no ophthalmologist at all! The doctor said that Ethan’s retina was damaged, but not torn or detached, so he sent us home with some drops. His vision was perfectly clear the next day! It’s times like these that make it very difficult to be in the jungle, and so far away from capable help, but God provided just the right people near and far to help us. We are so very grateful for Ethan’s restored vision, and God’s mercy.

IMG 4724

 Thanksgiving was a fun one this year! We host all of the expats and missionaries in Pucallpa that want to come every year for Thanksgiving. There were 97 of us! It feels like a huge family reunion, and we love it! Everyone comes from all their different missions (bringing awesome food) and shares what God has been doing throughout the year, and what they are thankful for. It is epic. From Bible translations, churches, adoptions, and salvations to building mission homes, Sunday school huts, and aviation missions, God is doing mighty works in this jungle! We are so very grateful to be a part of the family of God, and privileged to work here in Peru!

IMG 4713

 Thank you to all of you who pray and give so sacrificially to allow us to live and work here. God bless you all abundantly!

 

“The thing that awakens the deepest well of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven sin.” Oswald Chambers


© 2014 Petra Ministries | All rights reserved | vvbrock@yahoo.com