Hard Pressed But Not Crushed

Amazonian Wednesdays 🌴

Youth Ministry in our early days


Today’s post is a newsletter I wrote as a twenty-six-year-old missionary, in April 2002. It gives a realistic view of the challenges of ministry in our city of Iquitos:

The Lord blessed me with a brief but refreshing trip home to the States at the end of February. After basking on some California beaches and tightly hugging all the family members that converged on Tucson to see me, I headed back to Peru, wondering once again how good times fly by so quickly. Spending a few days in Lima with Israel before arriving in Iquitos, I bought a tiny puppy whom I named Blackie.

Well, I had not even finished unpacking when there was a knock at my door. A young woman named Graciela stood there, looking exhausted. She told me that her mother’s boyfriend had moved in. He had snuck into her room the night before and had woken her from sleep by touching her inappropriately.

I fed her and had her rest at our house, and tried to figure out what to do. The next day, Maria, another one of my discipleship girls, came over. She reported that her younger sister (sixteen years old or so) had thrown a piece of burning wood at her and burned her chest. She has expressed on numerous occasions her desire to kill Maria, and the next day she also hurled a machete at her, thankfully missing. She snarled, “Next time I’ll get you.”

On Friday of that week, Maby came over crying and shaking, asking me to come to the hospital to pray for her father, who had been given four hours to live, having fallen and seriously injured his spinal column. On Wednesday of the following week, my puppy Blackie died.

Hold on a second here; I think I should clarify something. I am not trying to depress you with this newsletter! I also have good news for you:

1) A wonderful brother in the States has decided to send monthly support for Graciela so she can get out of her abusive environment and even go to college!
2) Mabel’s father is still alive, though he is still hospitalized in critical condition
3) Maria’s sister has decided to join the new discipleship class we are opening up this month. She is in for some changes!

Life is dramatic in Peru. There is no exaggerating it. What we love about it is that our Father is dramatically at work, bringing glory to Himself even in crises. “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ!” (2 Cor. 2:14, NKJV).

14 thoughts on “Hard Pressed But Not Crushed

    1. Jenn, you have no idea how much it blesses me to hear from you on my blog! Thank you for making my day with this. BOY is that the truth, that we tap into the deepest riches of His grace when we are aware of needing it the most!


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