Front door of Carlos’s church.
Front door of Carlos's church.

Regarding the work of the Lord in Jorge Basadre, Sullana, we give thanks always to our God for his blessings. We are making progress on the construction project to improve our church building, and we now have all of the main structure completed. Also, we are almost entirely finished with the roof. All of the brothers and sisters in the church are very joyful because of these blessings. I pray that the Lord would give us strength and wisdom to finish this work in the place where we worship our God together, and I pray especially for strength for the brothers of our congregation that the Lord has raised up to do this work with their hands. Five brothers from the church have committed to this difficult task of reconstructing the building, and with the Lord’s help we are advancing one step at a time. Also, other brothers and sisters from our church are helping us in this project in one way or another.

However, I do have some bad news as well. We are very sad to have been the victims of a robbery in our church building. Even though we have taken certain measures to prevent such a robbery, the criminals found a way to get into the building and they took several things from the church, including chairs and construction supplies. Since beginning the construction project, two brothers each night have volunteered to watch the building overnight until we finish closing in the roof. But even with these brothers keeping watch, the thieves were still able to get in. They snuck in without the brothers in the church even realizing it, and I think this was really the protection of the Lord. If these two men would have awakened to find the thieves, it is almost certain that these thieves would have been carrying either a knife or a pistol, since the young men who are involved in crime in our area are always carrying weapons. I believe we need to be praying for our enemies, and we need to entrust everything to the justice of God. Brothers and sisters, help us to pray for the salvation of this town, where there is much crime, drug addiction, and prostitution.

Our God is wonderful, and He has shown His goodness in the way that He has dealt with our elderly brother Jacinto, who is 78 years old. First, he was delivered from prostate cancer. Recently, a few weeks ago, he had to have an operation for another health issue. What causes me to rejoice so much in this situation is that this family, being incredibly poor, has never been lacking in provision from the Lord, even when by all reason it was impossible for this family to attain what they needed to survive. On top of Jacinto’s poor health, his wife is in a wheel chair because of a degenerative bone disease, and she suffers constant fractures. The Lord has been so good to them and has constantly provided for them. This week I was meditating on the book of I Kings. As I was reading through the story of Elijah and the widow with the jar of oil, I asked myself whether the Lord still provides in such a way in our day. I see the answer to that question in the life of Jacinto and his wife, who are very, very poor, just like in those days. He continues to be all-powerful, and the great Provider and Sustainer. I see their faith in Him who saved them, and the Lord says to ones such as these: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Doing the work of the ministry in the midst of these things edifies me and encourages me to press forward.