Updates

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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.


Hospitality.

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“God has made forks and spoons, pans, pots, and plates weapons of war against the darkness.” –Chad Ashby

When God called us to build a mission base, He was serious about putting it to use! You know the phrase “If you build it, they will come”? Well, we’re building it, and they’re coming! We moved into the mission house exactly a month ago today, and in that time we’ve not had a single day of living here by ourselves! We have had the great honor and pleasure of caring for the children of a German missionary family while their parents are on a month-long mission to a village many days travel away. These kids are so very kind and polite, and are an absolute joy to have here!

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A week after we moved in, a visiting missionary family came to stay in the newly vacated garage apartment for several days. It was a joy to have them here and to finally be able to house people in beds, and not only on mattresses on the living room floor! Also, to have the kitchen and dining space to easily serve fourteen people is such a sweet pleasure!

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We have recently had the distinct honor to be able to relate to, and counsel another missionary family that has recently gone through a scary trauma. The Lord has graciously brought them through their ordeal safely, and we are excited to see all of the ways that they will continue to be used for the advancement of the Kingdom here in the jungle!

The Lord is working to bring other tribal, church-planting missionaries to live here on this mission base. The talks have begun, but the “devil is in the details”! Please pray that God would work out all of the details so that His will is done, and that those that come here would feel His love for them in tangible ways as we serve them.

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My mother was able stay here through the middle of this month, maxing out her 120-day tourist visa, and having completed her longest stay here yet! She was such a huge help as she sanded and oiled all of the dinning room chairs, painted windows, and sewed all of the bedroom curtains, all while doing all of the dishes and laundry for this crazy, busy household! What a blessing!

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Our Ethan is fourteen years old! He is growing up tall and handsome, and strong and kind. He cares about doing things in a way that pleases the Lord as he grows in His grace and strength.  We are so blessed to be his parents and look forward to watching what direction he goes in his life.

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April also brings with it the anniversary of our church here in Pucallpa. Thirteen years this year, and still going strong by the grace of God! We love this family of believers, and are praying that God will make a way for us to have a new and bigger church building soon!

The remaining projects in the house are soon being relegated to “weekend projects” as Vann is happily moving on to the long awaited project of developing the camp ministry. We are very grateful for the input of some of our dearest friends and neighboring mission leaders in the planning of these beginning stages, helping us plan the placement of buildings and infrastructure.

 A huge thank you to our faithful supporters who are sticking with us through these years of building this mission house and base. We know that the Lord is using us for His glory through this process, and walking with us. He has done great things, and we can’t wait to see all that He will do!

“Grace is the hospitality of God to welcome sinners not because of their goodness but because of his glory. We owe our eternal life to grace, and grace is God’s disposition to glorify his freedom and power and wealth by showing hospitality to sinners” –John Piper


Blessed.

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We’ve moved in!!! March 22nd was our first night sleeping in the house, and the next day the cavalry came to help us move. We have the best friends ever. The house is still a work in progress, but there will always be projects to be done around here. Everything is livable and beyond. It feels so luxurious after ten years of sharing a room with five people to have our own rooms, and more than one bathroom in the house. Soon we’ll actually have the closets outfitted with shelves and a place to hang up our clothes! It’s the small things, and it’s the big, beautiful space in which we now have to host and serve people. And none too soon! Next month we will be housing two precious missionary kids whose parents are out in a rural village for a few weeks while the girls continue their schooling here. What a blessing this house is and will be, Lord willing, for many years to come! A very special thank you to all of you precious people who had a hand in helping with this project, from those who sacrificially gave, to the ones who traveled so very far to lend a helping hand, to our beloved neighbors who have helped out in some of the most needed times. We are so very grateful!

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We were so excited to be able to host prayer meeting here on Vann’s birthday this month! Our precious friends and neighbors blessed us so tremendously by praying over us, and asking God’s blessings on this mission house and base.

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It was a joy for us to be able to host the Quinceñera  (!5th birthday party) of a dear friend of ours, along with the 150 people that attended! This mission base is a blessing in so many ways! To God be all of the glory!

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Corynn has begun her driving lessons in our old, faithful Chevy truck. It astounds me that we have come to this time in life – our children are driving! May God bless them with driving safety for all of the years of their lives.

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Please pray for Estefita. She is a friend of ours that has been battling a brain tumor for the last six years, and is still in the fight, thank God. Her son, Alberto was diagnosed with leukemia late last year. He is 9 years old. Estefita’s mother is limited in her ability to care for them because she has severe heart issues. Estefita’s sister has just had a baby and is on maternity leave for a while, so there is very little help for this family. We are sharing the gospel message with them, and helping with health care expenses, food and however else we can find to be a blessing to them. Would you please pray with us that this sweet family would come to know Jesus as their Savior, and for healing?

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As we prepare for Easter let’s contemplate all that God has done for us in pursuit of our hearts. We love Him because He first loved us, and sent His beloved, only Son to Earth to die a horrific death on a cross to pay for our sins and reconcile us to Him in order that we might live and love Him forever! What amazing grace! We are blessed beyond measure.

Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best that you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. ~Oswald Chambers

House Beautiful.

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2017 has come and gone, and we have yet to move into the house, but we are so very close! Every day of our children’s Christmas break they worked super hard to help us install the flooring, and it was finished the first day that they went back to school! Our kids are awesome. After the flooring was completed, we began to install the molding and doorframes, and install the electrical fixtures. Next are the plumbing fixtures and the air-conditioning registers – we’re so close!

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Vann is feeling the pressure to be finished and to move on to other projects, and to focus on maintenance of the base again. We’ve had our noses to the grindstone so to speak working overtime to finish this mission house. We haven’t even cut the grass in over a month! The horses have been allowed to roam free in the yard area, helping keep things beat down, but it’s still pretty rough looking. There are fences and cars to be repaired, the garage and shed need organizing and deep cleaning, but soon! We’ll get to it all again soon. We really just need several clones of Vann, then we could get all kinds of things done! It's all in God’s timing. He knows what He has called us to, and He knows that there’s only one of us.

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December brought my mother back down to visit us and help us survive these next few months! She is such a trooper, sleeping on the floor in the living room corner of our one room apartment, and doing all of our dishes and laundry. Lord willing she will be with us through April.

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Our beautiful Corynn turned fifteen! She is just as beautiful on the inside with a sincere love for God and others that is remarkable to witness. She is excelling in her freshman year of high school, and enjoying her time with her friends.

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We were privileged to host the Petra Pool’s first baptism! It was a precious baptism/birthday party for a ten-year-old missionary kid, who also happens to be our neighbor! What a sweet blessing to witness his earthly father baptizing him into the family of God in our pool!

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After fifteen years, the paperwork for our property title is finally finished! That was a stressful, long struggle, but such is life in Peru. We are so very grateful to be in this beautiful place, surrounded by other missions as neighbors, and building this mission base to serve missionaries for many years to come!

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A missionary friend’s visitor came to meet us recently, and as she saw the house and pool, and heard our vision, she made an analogy that was so accurate, and so profoundly spoke to me that I have to share it with you. She said, “This place reminds me of House Beautiful from Pilgrim’s Progress, the house on a hill that the Lord built for the care and refreshment of His saints”. She just hit the nail right on the head! This house is built on a hill, the Lord is the one who is building it, and one of its main uses will be the care and refreshment of the missionary community. The house in the story was built on top of the hill called “Difficulty”, which I find allegorically similar. This journey as missionaries so often feels like a difficult, uphill climb, and the need to periodically rest and be cared for is a real one.  I am just so excited to get to live in this beautiful house and use it for the Kingdom work to which we’ve been called, and for the glory of His great name!


“House Beautiful - The house on a hill that the Lord built for the care and refreshment of His saints.” –Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Family.

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The one thing over the years that seems to get harder about living overseas from our birth country is being so far away from family. We adjust and begin to enjoy so much about life here, but missing family…. the births, deaths, weddings, events, and gatherings. It just seems to get harder the more time that passes, especially during the holiday season.  BUT, the family of God is called exactly that for a good reason. Jesus said to His disciples, “There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” Mark 10:29-30. Those of us who have left our own land and families for the sake of the gospel can expect fellowship with other believers as our family a hundredfold! Well just look at what that looks like!

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We are so blessed to host Thanksgiving every year here on Petra base. The mission house is becoming a more and more comfortable place to host events in as we continually work toward its completion. The drywall is finished, and we are painting and tiling showers to get ready for the flooring installation!

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The little phrase in the scripture above “with persecutions” is something that if you ask any veteran missionary they’ll tell you that just comes with the territory. We are told to expect it as a given part of this life, but right on it’s heels comes the promise of heaven! Jesus. He is the reason that we joyfully endure hardship and loneliness. He is the reason that we give thanks in ALL things, because He is our prize to look forward to at the end of our time on this earth.

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We were caught rather off guard when a man who we know approached us this week and told us that he is involved in organ trafficking; a hunter of his own race. True or not, it reminded us to pray. We are not the only ones at work in this jungle. Evil is rampant, but our God is greater! Please pray with us for the lost people of Peru.

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It is such a privilege for us to be ambassadors in the King’s service, and to live and work here, especially alongside our Peruvian family, like Felipe (pictured above). We are so very grateful for all of you precious brothers and sisters that are on our team that make this work possible! Please remember us in your prayers.

"The resounding evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is the unmistakable family likeness to Jesus Christ, and the freedom from everything which is not like Him.” - Oswald Chambers

Details.


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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.

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 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!

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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)

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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!

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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 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.

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 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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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 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!

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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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.

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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



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