We bless you in the precious name of Jesus, desiring that your holiday be a time of settled Thanksgiving. The children have really come to love our Thanksgiving celebration here – and not just for the yummy food and pies! We have created a tradition – a game in which each child writes, on individual slips of paper, two or three things they are thankful for, and then we draw them one by one out of a basket, and the two teams, boys vs. girls, try to guess who it was that said it. Although competition can get pretty serious, we always bring it back to the thankfulness and the One to whom we are thankful, and not who wins or doesn’t!
Before we get into the newsy part of this update, we would like to share some of what the Lord is working in our hearts as we come to the end of this year. We feel an urgency to prepare and sanctify our hearts even more than ever. As we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. We recently set apart three days for fasting and prayer, asking God to reveal those things that come between us and Him. We believe that as more people do so, there will be individual “revivals” here and there – that this will be the shape and flavor of much of the end-time revival we all long for. In Isaiah 61.1-3 we see the glory upon His people, not upon nations. As we stand for God, He will stand for us. Trust and obey. Acknowledge Him in all our ways. Even on the mission field, we have seen how easy it is to get overcome by the cares of the world. In Hebrews 12 we see the promise of God that He will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens, and that only the things that cannot be shaken will remain. Let us have that grace of which He speaks, “whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire” (vv.26-29). Yes, there is a shaking coming, but we need not fear the shaking if we return to our first love, taking up our crosses daily.
The Road – After years of planning, petitioning, and waiting, the road that will service our land is coming along well! The first bridge has been completed and the footings and columns begun on the second. As a show of gratitude Laura recently baked some cupcakes to give to the road workers along with plenty of Inca Cola to wash it down with, hand-made thank you cards, and an evangelistic DVD. The boys and I took it all up to their work camp as they got off from work. Caleb gave an appreciation speech and we had a great time with them.
Meanwhile, back at the Ranch – Major projects right now include the installation of a temporary fence along the new roadway so that our new milk cows won’t escape.
A second major project is helping Caleb to build his and Anna’s house. Footings were poured with the help of a team of volunteers, but since then, we have only been able to advance with the iron reinforcements and forming of the columns. The clearing of the road right-of-way felled some nice wood trees, so we were able to obtain some of the wood necessary for the actual construction, which Caleb will begin to cut up soon. (Chain saw work is a little different here than in the States…)
A final priority at this time is finishing out the remaining dorm for the kids’ visit. It has been sort of a juggling match between rains. Fence posts cannot be set if the ground is wet, so we have to put those in while it is dry. When it rained preventing that, we would work on the house. When it rained so that we couldn’t do that, we would work on the dorm since its roof provides shelter from the rain. In between, there are the normal daily chores, including caring for our growing “livestock” population which means several chickens (including one Mommy that just hatched 5 chicks), 6 ducks, two turkeys, and two geese. It won’t be long, and we should be having quite an egg harvest!
Evangelism on the Plaza. The boys and i have been going to the main plaza in Puerto Maldonado on Friday nights for a while now, due to the large amount of “traffic” on Fridays. We recently discovered that it is fairly populous on Tuesday nights as well, when Laura and the girls go to the women’s prayer meeting at the Maranata Church in town. One of the first things we’ve noticed is that, in addition to the youth and families, there are older men, sitting alone on the park benches, nothing else to do. i began singling them out to just sit and visit with them. They are always more than willing to have someone to talk to! When i asked one what might happen to him when he died, he stopped short, cocked his head slightly to the side, thought about it for a moment, and then said, “You know? i don’t know…” which opened the door for some fairly deep ministry and evangelism!
Next one leaves the nest – Each one of our children eventually gets to the point where they need to make their faith their own. Being raised on the mission field is tougher on a child than one might think, because their faith is always determined by that of their missionary parents. Now it is Joshua’s turn to seek his own understanding and relationship with God. A while back, he believed he received an impression from the Lord that He would meet with Joshua at his DTS. Registration has begun and we are praying to be able to send Joshua off to a somewhat rugged DTS in Western Australia with much of the time being spent in the outback! The DTS is highly recommended by his older sister Sarah who staffs several schools in Perth, and it starts in January. If you feel led to donate towards his DTS costs, please send your tax-deductible donation to the address below, but with a note saying that it is “for Joshua Lenz DTS”. Thank you so much for your consideration and prayer!
Outing with the Kids – Earlier this month, we loaded up all of the kids in a bus and drove about an hour or so to Pisac, a town at the end of the Sacred Valley, where we spent a wonderful day playing and eating barbecued pork chops [See picture at the top of page] and potatoes salad! It had been a while since we were able to do anything like that as a family, and it was a good time of bonding and relaxing with the children. As usual, we made quite a spectacle!
School’s almost over! – Our school year here typically runs till just before Christmas, but because of the threat of a serious El Niño, which for the mountains means not enough They feared such a strong El Niño that they decided to have classes on Saturdays in order to be able to let school out early. El Niño hasn’t cooperated yet, as rainy season seems to be carrying on business as usual, but the upside is that school will let out the first week of December this year, and our plan is to bring all of the kids down to the jungle for three months of vacation. They don’t know it yet, but we bought a couple of plastic pools and are planning a very special time of fun and being together as a family, after being separated for so long. We are also planning on learning skits and dramas to take into town for evangelistic purposes.
Talk about Shaking!
Rachel has been back in Peru since early September, and after a (too) brief in the jungle, went back to Cusco where she has been doing amazing things with the children in our absence, as well as revamping some administrative details. She is amazing! But this morning she called (Laura and i are in Lima after a YWAM leaders’ “retreat” – more details next time) and told us about the earthquake they felt yesterday afternoon. It turns out that the earthquake was 7.5 at 600 meters deep in the northern part of Madre de Dios (the Department where Puerto Maldonado is located) near the Brazilian border. We’re waiting to hear back from Caleb as to whether they felt it or not. Everyone in Cusco is okay, but we have a couple of new cracks in the wall to deal with. The building itself is one of the best built in the area, but some of the kids were a little sluggish in responding the our evacuate-the-building-bell, so we need to work on that a little more!
PLEASE PRAY WITH US
Prayer has always been that which keeps us going, but it is becoming more and more important these days. We would love to pray with you for your needs, so please feel free to let us know how we can pray more specifically for you. We always keep you and all of our co-workers in Christ in our prayers, but if we can pray more specifically, please let us know.
Please pray with us for:
- The children as they are in the final week and a half of school. It is particularly hard on them because of the intense 6 day a week schedule, and the fact that Laura and i have been in the jungle so much.
- Please also pray that we will get the necessary permission from the courts to take them all to the jungle. The judicial system has been on strike recently, and although we have been working towards getting the letters for a while now, the judges have not been available to actually sign the permission.
- Please also pray that we will be able to get the permission to move them permanently to the jungle. That is not status quo practice in Peru, but God…
- Pray for our evangelism efforts in the plaza, and for the future of that whole ministry. We hope to be able to gather people from several different churches, train them in personal evangelism, and then continue going out to the plaza and other areas with them.
- Please also pray that we can finish Caleb and Anna’s house comfortably in advance of the birth of their baby (May) so they can move and get settled in with time to spare.
- Please also pray with us for the necessary finances to finish paying the school fees for the year and bus fare for all the children to travel to the jungle.
We thank you all for your continued prayers and financial support!
You mean so much to us and we pray for you too! If you have any specific requests, please send them along and we will pray for you.
As usual, your tax-deductible donations may be made through:
PO Box 40
Hockley, TX 77447
Please be sure to include a separate note saying it is “For Bud and Laura Lenz”