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La Rinconada to the Golden Triangle (and Back)

With all the crazy things going on in our world today, we Christians should be the most joyful people around! In Christ we have “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (1 Peter 1:4). And we can always pray. But prayer should not be our last line of defense when everything else has failed. Rather, it is our starting point, our first and primary tactical weapon:

“Prayer should never be the last option for a Christian. Prayer is the first choice. 

Prayer is war, initiated by those who worship and fear God.

It is an offensive move, not the last option at the end of the road.”

(Chinese Church Planter) 

Put Yourself in Their Prison Cell (Hospital Room, Nursing Home, Bomb Shelter)

Speaking of prayer, look at Hebrews 13:3: “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”

Don’t miss the intentionality of this! We are told to use our imagination and transport ourselves to this difficult place of suffering “as though” we were “with them”.

Now look at the second half of the verse: “and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”

Have you ever been mistreated? Have you ever felt severe physical pain? Have you ever lost a loved one? If you answered yes to these questions, then you (and me!), according to Hebrews, are qualified to intercede for anyone who is suffering through similar circumstances, no matter what people group they are from or regime they live under.

Whether we face pouring rain or blistering sunshine (and the Andean sun burns), constant sickness or consistent health, we have a King who reigns and a Father who hears our intercessions. So let’s continue to “always pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:8)!


The World’s Highest City: Runway Offline

After our 6th trip in 6 months (March), we had to halt our monthly trips to La Rinconada, mainly due to a prolonged closure of the runway in the gateway city of Juliaca. One notable exception was the short visit by three Americans on July 16th. Over 1,000 Gospel tracts went out in just 2 hours in what they described as “the most sinful place they’d ever seen”. 

We plan to start sending our Peruvian missionaries back there again soon, to continue encouraging the small group of believers, all-the-while evangelizing the mobs of people who call this dirty, polluted, unchurched mining city of 20,000+ people (@ 16,000+ ft) home. 

Pray for the Gospel seeds that were recently planted to bear much fruit!


Back to Asia for the First Time (Post-Wuhan Flu)

It had been over two years since my last trip to Asia (I flew directly over Wuhan, China, in early 2020, while it was the first city to be locked down), when I boarded my flight from Washington DC to Istanbul (en route to Bangkok) on April 2nd. It was a strange feeling flying so far around the world for the first time in so long. But the time had come to go and prepare the way for our Mexican teammates who are heading back to Asia very soon.

The “Golden Triangle”. Looking north up the Mekong River from Thailand at both Myanmar (upper left) and Laos (upper right).

I was invited (last minute) to teach at a pastor’s conference in central Thailand, and then connected with numerous friends and co-workers in different parts of the nation. My return trip took me through Malaysia, where I was invited to preach on Easter Sunday at a church in Kuala Lumpur that has long been a home away from home for my family. (Thank you, Pastor Yap!)

We are hoping everything (paperwork, packing) will be ready for our Mexican teammates to fly to travel to Thailand (via Malaysia) by September. They will be based just a few miles from the Golden Triangle (pictured above), with all of its ethnic diversity and spiritual darkness.

Please pray for Jose, Eloisa, and their three boys (Danny, Sammy, & Haziel) as they prepare to return to the field (and please write to learn how you can support them)!


Winter on the Coast, Summer in the Andes

On July 4th, my wife and I said goodbye to the kids (they stayed w Grandparents in Oklahoma) and flew back to South America for a month of ministry in the midst of what is supposed to be our “once every 3-4 year furlough”. We split our time in Peru between the humid, foggy, cool coastal capital city of Lima and the sunny, dry (but cold at night) mountains of the Andes!  

When we return to Peru next year as a family, we are most likely going to re-locate from Lima to the Andes. We are attracted to a district called Catac, roughly 6 hours from Lima, situated between 11-12k feet and surrounded on all sides by 15-22k ft mountain peaks. Catac is an unchurched area of about 4k people, ripe for a church plant and missionary training base.

This was taken from a small village on the outskirts of Catac, looking northeast towards “Huantsan”, the “K2 of the Andes”.

Pray that God would give us wisdom and raise up a team of Peruvian missionaries to reach Catac for Christ, and prepare to eventually take Tibet as well (!