Technically, the place where we shared with the young men and young ladies is not a prison. It is a detention facility. However, when you cannot leave when you choose, it is a prison.
Many of the young people had committed serious crimes. They came from very broken places. One young man spoke to me after the show. He had seen such terrible things and was close to giving up. He was quick to excuse his own mistakes and blame others. His story is the story of most of the young people who watched our show on Thursday. Please pray for them to find their hope in Jesus Christ.
I watched with joy as they enjoyed the program. They clapped and cheered. I believe that some truly heard the message. I grieve for so many who did not. Pray for these young people who most people never see. Hear their cry. Hold them before the Father.
Our friends invited us to share at a camp for teenagers Thursday evening. Many of them had been taken from their parents because of neglect or worse. I heard what can only be described as horrific stories of physical and sexual abuse from some of the young people. My heart broke. What do you say to a young person who has suffered so much? How do you explain the Father’s love to someone who has had such a terrible father? Do you dare to tell them to forgive no matter what has happened to them?
Only Jesus can heal their broken hearts. Only Jesus can make them whole. Hold them before the Father and pray for them to trust in Jesus.
One week ago today, Saturday, we returned from Peru. The next morning, I shared at my church about what we had seen God do. Still, as I think about the time we spent in Huancayo and Choisica, I am in awe of God’s faithfulness. We heard so many children praying out loud, asking Jesus to be their Savior.
In the higher altitudes, we all struggled with unexpected weakness and some battled nausea. Though we were very careful what we ate, we still got sick. None of this mattered because all of us were so excited to tell the Quechua children about Jesus and his wonderful love.
I was so blessed by the team members that traveled with me to Peru. Jacob, Susan, Mykayla, Heather and Billy were heroic. They happily spent less on their own needs so that we could fund 2 ministry trips for our Choisca puppet team.
I watched all of these young people except for Susan grow up. Jacob prayed to receive Christ with me as a little boy. Heather and Mykayla have traveled with me for 7 and 6 years respectively. Billy is part of a puppet team in Mexico that we planted with a Covenant College team more than 10 years ago. These young adults are precious to me. I am honored to have served with them in the Andes!
We spent 2 days this week learning a new puppet drama and costuming all the puppets that we needed. Please pray for this new program as we travel across more than 10 states this summer. We want to see many children come to faith. We want to see the Father use this new drama.
Last Sunday night, we had a great time sharing at Naomi Baptist Church. Please pray for the Lord to help us find a church where we can share on Wednesday evening, July 13th, in the Pigeon Forge or Knoxville area. Also, we need a church in the Baltimore area for Wednesday evening, July 20th. Thank you for praying!
Heather, Mykayla, Paige, Seth, Daniel and Jared