How Can They Preach Unless They Are Sent?

Amazonian Wednesdays 🌴

Evangelism in a local school, Iquitos, circa 1999

Well, friends, I thought I had sent you my earliest missionary writing. However, I dug a little deeper and found one from even earlier: right before my first departure to the mission field.

I remember how absolutely afraid I felt. I was not only moving out of the country to entirely unfamiliar surroundings, but I was even moving out of my parents’ house for the first time. Not to go away to college, but for complete immersion in the jungle culture of Iquitos, without the supervision of any missionary organization. Ha, looking back, that was just a little bit crazy. But sometimes God is in the crazy! He sure was, in this young missionary’s life.

Here are the first paragraphs I ever typed up to connect with the amazing people that partnered with me to send me on such a wild adventure. From July 1997:

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“Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you because of the LORD your God, the Holy one of Israel, for He has endowed you with splendor”
(Isaiah 55:5).

Grace and peace to you, my beautiful partners! This is my first letter of many to you. I hope they will all encourage and inspire your hearts. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to flow as I write and impart to you what is in my spirit.

First of all, let me thank you from the depths of who I am for what you are doing for me. Do you realize how essential you are in the kingdom’s forceful advancement? “In all my prayers for you I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel” (Phil. 1:4-5, NIV). Each one of you is a precious jewel and a powerful part of what God is doing in the world.

For those of you who have already been praying for me, thank you, thank you, thank you. I returned May 25th from a missions conference in Pasadena, and my life has been changed completely. God pumped so much vison and empowerment into me that I could hardly take it in. He introduced His presence and anointing into my life in a much deeper way than I have ever experienced before. I am so excited! I know that He has made me ready to go.

Accompanied by my family, I will be departing the 11th of July. Mom, Dad, Anna, and Joel will stay two weeks to see me settled in and to taste a bit of missionary life as well. We will be travelling by boat into the jungle for about eight days to hold campaigns, preach the gospel, and lay hands on the sick in villages along the rivers. For that trip, the completion of my time in Tucson, and my transition into a Peruvian lifestyle, these are my prayer requests:

-For even more impartation by the Holy Spirit to prepare me to minister
-For His guidance in organizing all the details of my move
-For protection of my mind, health, and emotions
-For deep fellowship and a tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit as my family visits and ministers with the Arimborgos (Pastor Jose’s family)
-For the abiding comfort and peace of our Father of compassion as I prepare to move from my family, friends, church, and home for the first time
-For anything else the Lord lays on your hearts!

I love you all—you are God’s best!!