Well, how do I start. At times, it seems God is making us wait forever, and we can’t understand what the Lord is doing in our lives. I remember when I first moved back to Fort Bragg after attempting to go to Bible College for the first time back in 2010. I told my pastor, Kevin Green, I just wanted to serve the Lord and I didn’t know what I was doing back in Fort Bragg. He told me I was serving the Lord as I walked with Him and served in whatever way possible at the church… It was hard for me to understand at the time. I would go on to work different jobs, got married (the Lord knows what He is doing), and had my share of difficulties and trials.
Then the Lord opened the door for us to come to South America as we believed he was calling us to study, prepare, bless the Bible College in Peru, and ultimately serve Him as missionaries in South America. We have been more than blessed as we traveled through Chile, and then landed in Cajamarca, Peru at CCBC Peru. The plan was to study and serve for a year and half, learn Spanish, graduate, stay open to the Lord’s plan, and return to Fort Bragg in 2015 to weigh our options and see where the Lord was leading us.
It seems the Lord had a different plan. After doing several fruitful mission trips to a little town called Chilete in the middle of nowhere Peru, Danielle and I are going to plant a church in little Chilete with the blessing of our pastor here in Peru and back home in CA.
When we first started going to Chilete I was able to share my testimony and the Word of God with the people, and we saw people come to the Lord. As a group, we saw our children’s festivals grow and grow, and each time more people were interested in the things of the Lord. Danielle and I knew Chilete needed a pastor, and as we prayed for the Lord to bring the perfect person we wondered which Peruvian it was going to be. We were sure that Chilete was not our calling because we were still learning Spanish and we had a different plan.
Yet, as time passed Danielle and I made stronger and stronger connections with the people, and the Lord continued to use us to minister to people there. Then we began to question if the Lord could be leading us to Chilete, but the thought was so crazy we kept it quiet. Then on one of our most recent trips the Lord gave us the opportunity to really get to know a group of people and connect with them, and unknown to us our Pastor here in Peru, John Bonner, was keeping an eye on us to see how we interacted with the people i Chilete. Both pastors here at the Bible College began to ask me if I was praying about Chalet, but I was reluctant to answer because I still was struggling to believe God’s will for our life. As Danielle and I began to really seek the Lord, He more and more put it on our hearts that we were to go to Chilete. After meeting with our pastors here, and talking to Kevin and Dan back home we were sure that the Lord was leading us to Chilete.
The response we have received in Chilete is nothing short of amazing. We have already been blessed with a little building where we can hold services. When I have been there getting things ready different people and children have recognized us and opened up to us incredibly. Just two days ago we were settling the details of the church building when a little girl came up to us and said, I know you. John and I played volleyball with her and her friends, met the parents, and just had such a blessed time with them. They are excited for us to come back, and what to come to our church.
We are going to do a big outreach on June 28th with a team from the Bible College, and then several of the students will spend the night with us and help with the first service on the 29th. We also are hoping to have a soccer tournament outreach at the end of July with a team from the States. We are very excited.
I would not be honest if I said I have not been equally scared as I have been excited. The difference in starting a work in Mendocino form starting a work in Peru is crazy. For one thing I will be teaching without a translator in Spanish with the encouragement of Pastor John. Also, getting all the details together is much different because we just don’t know how things work in South America like we do in the states.
I say all that because I am convinced of the need we have for all of your prayers. Something I shared with the group here is that there is much we cannot do, but something we can do is rely upon the Lord in prayer and ask for HIs blessing. I hope this work in Chilete will be built upon prayer and the grace of God, and I hope you will join us in the work by praying. As a body we are dependent upon one another, and I have never been more convinced of my need for help than I am now.
I am going to be teaching in Spanish, and although I am not perfect, I have been told I am understandable. After a strong exhortation from Pastor John, I have decided to go ahead and try to communicate the Word of God in the language of the people we are ministering to. We pray God will be gracious.
The Lord has given me a verse to strengthen us and remind us of the kind of help Danielle and I have. In Jeremiah 20:11 it says, “but the Lord is with me as a mighty and awesome one…” I especially like it in spanish as it reads, “Mas Jehová está conmigo como poderoso gigante…” Which translates, God is with me as a powerful giant. That is the Lord’s promise to all of us who have put their faith in Him. He has called us all to preach the Gospel, and then know that He is with us even to the end of the age. Danielle and I will fall back on this verse when things get difficult and we don’t know what to do.
Our plan it to continue to live at the Bible College in Cajamarca for the next year and continue our studies, so that I can graduate. Lord willing, I also will be teaching a class at the Bible College in my last semester, spring of 2015. We will be making the 2.5 hour bus ride each saturday and then coming back after service on Sunday. We are trusting in the Lord to give us strength to help us with the travels, ministry, and studies.
We will keep the updates coming, and I hope to have some pictures up soon after the 29th.
We are so blessed by the support we have received from back in Fort Bragg and here in South America. Thank you again so much for remembering us in your prayers.
With a lot of love,
Cory and Danielle
P.S. If you would like to help support us financially you can find more information at the bottom of our “About Cory and Danielle” Page. There is a link on the top of our front page here at gospelsouthamerica.com. Thank you, and God bless!