Every Saturday, Lisset and her team of volunteers minister to children who would otherwise have nowhere to go. Following EGM’s ministry model, they build a strong relational foundation with each child, having real conversations with them and group discussions. They teach the Word of God in an experiential way and always provide an opportunity for the children to respond to God.
Last Saturday we were visiting Lisset’s church to continue her volunteer training by observing and supporting her. An eleven year old boy in her class arrived late. When Lisset sat to ask him about it, he humbly confessed to her that he was late because he couldn’t pry himself away from the internet café. He cried as he explained that he feels horrible about what he’s seeing and he thinks he has an addiction. Eleven years old.
As an EGM “Model Teacher,” Lisset didn’t skip a beat as she and another boy prayed with him, talked and wept. It is because of the relational ministry that Lisset practices that this boy had someone to turn to. Rather than living in guilt, fear and addiction, he can find in Jesus a Life of forgiveness, restoration and true joy. That day Lisset’s lesson was on 1 John 1:1-4 “...concerning the Word of Life.” She taught about our “joy being complete” through fellowship with the Lord and each other.
EGM’s national ministry teams are equipping children’s workers to have ministry with children that, like Lisset’s, is biblical, relational, experiential and results in lives transformed by Christ. This little boy and many others are finding Jesus and beginning to live the New Life that He offers.
Then suddenly we encountered a series of personal losses. John’s grandmother died. We suffered a miscarriage. Heather’s aunt died. John’s uncle died. And we realized with surprise that there was no emotional reserve to cover it all. We had been depleted like a quietly leaking tank and were left tired, empty, without vision and without the energy to pursue one. While we didn’t regret anything about our three years in Peru, we weren’t seeing or feeling any renewed calling to continue here. It seemed that our time in Peru might be coming to an end.
Then, in the same quiet and gradual way, we found ourselves healing and rejuvenating. During our visit in California, there were ministry conversations that affected our hearts like the prickling heat after your leg falls asleep. There were quiet moments before the Lord that felt like a heating pad on sore muscles. And little by little and with much surprise, we found ourselves dreaming again about South America.
EGM confirmed those dreams and dreamt with us of what we could do with another three years in Peru – the intimacy we could bring to our ministry partnerships, the careful guidance and training we could offer to the national teams, the new teams that could be formed with our coordination – so that more and more children could live a new life with Jesus. The Jesus who was, at that moment, healing, filling and inspiring us, giving us hope and joy in Him.
So Project Two was born.
After three years in Peru, we’ve completed Project One. It entailed first language learning and then facilitating the start-up of a Peruvian organization that partners with EGM: led, envisioned and funded by Peruvian Christian leaders who shared our passion for children. WE DID IT! We’ve found the right people, trained them and walked beside them as they discovered God’s vision for EGM-Peru. EGM-Peru is now established and working to see Peruvian children be transformed in Christ through His Church. The volunteer team is already providing leadership development events that cast vision, train and initiate a long-term relationship with children’s ministry leaders who also long to see children’s lives touched by Jesus. So we have to take a moment with you to stop, remember and celebrate what God has done!
And now God is expanding our vision to all of South America.
Project Two will entail:
· Encouraging ministry growth of EGM-Peru
· Supporting EGM’s established ministry team in Chile
· Taking the next steps of ministry team start-up in Argentina
· Facilitating ministry expansion into new South American countries
Our great desire has always been to see EGM’s ministry reach more and more countries so that more and more children will be transformed in Christ as a result of effective children’s ministry. We want to be a resource, a support, a spark for the flame that God will fan! Now, after seeing the start-up of EGM-Peru and the many children who are already being impacted by this baby ministry, just imagine the thousands of children who will be touched by Project Two – not only in Peru but in Chile, Argentina and beyond!
To do what God is calling us to do, we need additional financial resources.
Project Two is going to require $3,000 per month in addition to the monthly and annual gifts of our current supporters to fuel our new ministry and sustain our family.
We are completely aware of the fact that $3000 more every month is an outrageous amount of money, when there have already been so many who are giving sacrificially and consistently to fuel Project One. We would be happy to share with you the details of why this project is going to require such increase in funding. For this space, we’ll simply say -
There is no way we can ignore or deny the fact that God is calling us to be here, to stay here and to embark on this new journey. So without being able to see the road, we step out into the fog, holding our Jesus’ hand, believing that the bricks will materialize beneath our feet.