Dearest Family & Friends,
Missionaries’ stories were the highlight for us while Willie attended Southeastern Bible School. We longed for similar experiences. Our “Amazon calling” Willie knew on a mission trip in 1999. Our new pastor knew, because God revealed it to him the first time we met. Paulette knew, because she felt her heart was in God’s hands as she knelt caring for her plants. Without a word, she knew his question: Would she give up her gardens to go to Peru? We both went with our pastor in 2,000. Dismounting a ship, Paulette heard:
“This is what I’ve prepared you for...all your life!”
“Waking the Dead” by John Eldredge was one book read on our bi-monthly trips to visit a spiritual daughter in prison. Referring to “The Wizard of Oz”... “Dorothy is just a farm girl from Kansas, who stumbled into Oz not because she was looking for adventure...Someone had hurt her feelings and she decided to run away from home. Yet she’s the one to bring down the Wicked Witch of the west.”
Paulette, a simple mother and house wife from Virginia was called with her husband to Amazon, Peru, and discovered the adventure she dreamed about as she listened to stories of missionaries like Elizabeth Elliot. The Lord revealed that he would expose the darkness and destroy the works of the devil through their ministry as he continues to do likewise in their lives.
In 2004 we sold our house in Virginia and gave away our possessions so we could not return when the going got tough. As missionaries in Peru, we’ve had many challenges, but this decision has safeguarded us from escaping our calling. A wide door of service opened to our delightful surprise.
One memorable Sunday, Paulette attended the Catholic Chapel with José, while Willie travelled.
I felt free as a child...laughing, playing with God’s children in another country and culture. It was like watching and wondering about each other and discovering our hearts and passions are the same. We are united to bring in a harvest of souls beginning with the families of this community and then beyond! I felt like my dreams were becoming reality...and I was fulfilling my destiny to impart encouragement and teaching to others to fulfill their destiny.
A lay leader expressed his desire that women leaders be developed in Nueva Unión as there are none. They chose to meet for a second lesson: God’ s plan for our life and invite whoever chose to come. A small group of men, women and children met with determination to learn under Josés leadership. Could these be the ones to pray for healing of the land?
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19
3 months of flooding affected us as well as the people. We lost fruit crops and trees, pigs, sheep and chickens, cut boards floated off the land and mountains of mud remained with piles of debris that deposited itself as the river’s strong current ran through our land. We weren’t able to advance in lumber or raising animals for income. We’ve had to eat what survived.
Willie transitioned his focus from earning an income in country to trusting God to provide during this time till He clears the way. His focus is training our team to disciple others to advance the gospel in the jungles. Opportunities continue to open for us in Nueva Unión and other villages.
Jaider determined to learn the keyboard and become a Bible teacher. With little education...slow to read...and new to the Bible, he isn’t concerned what others think of him. We’re amazed when he shares a scripture in morning devotions and gives a simple but profound explanation of the truth. Appearing perplexed one day when asked why he chose a particular scripture...of course, the Lord had given them to him! What more could anyone say? Those learned among us were humbled. It was a prophetic word for all to look to God and not our own understanding. Augusto, another young man will disciple him and Jaider will disciple his wife.
He is not seeking a powerful people to represent HIM.
Rather, He looks for all those who are weak, foolish, despised, and written off: and He inhabits them with His own strength.
Vulnerability is knowing that God is happy to send us out as lambs amongst wolves because He is hugely confident in His own ability to watch over us and work through our weaknesses. ~ Graham Cooke, “A Divine Confrontation”
- Pray for our team that each one will move out in faith beyond their comfort zone and be amazed what God does through them.
- Pray for the brave in heart of those ready to accept Christ and desire the truth set them free.
- Pray for the resistant that their hearts melt under the burdens they carried all their lives.
May God richly bless you with the truth in the area that most perplexes you!
Love and blessing,
Willie & Paulette