Catching up with May… (pant pant)

WARM Jungle greetings to all!!  We just returned from the Ahuashiaco waterfall, so the  100 degree weather feels just a bit more bearable right now.  We took the profesor and his family up there along with a couple of students who are being rewarded.  Our staff came along as well and most of them got into the water for pictures and waterfall jumping.

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Our class this module is Theology 1 with Jared Coral and he is doing a great job of getting them studying and researching.  They have their one year old along and he is quite the mascot and though he can’t talk he sure thinks he can.

My trip to Bolivia to teach in April went well.  During that time the students here had a good time on their ministry trip out to Yurimaguas.  Right after that my parents (Mark and Carol Mattix) came here to teach a course on Creationism or what we call a “Defense of Genesis”.  As usual we made sure we had projects lined up and this time Mom got in the act and was helping Fionna with a fair amount of sewing.

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The kids are now on vacation and just in time we got a new toy to play with.  Our neighbor sold us his wood working lathe so the kids have been trying this out.  Fionna picked up a sewing contract to keep her busy sewing some 18 curtains (panels) for another missionary family.  Isaac is teaching Dhaly, our staff member, how to drive her new motorbike, with some varying results so far.

 

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Drying clothes in the Jungle … points for creativity.

Janel and I are feeling a bit busy and still catching up with a fast paced rhythm here.  Some extra attention at church and some programs we have been hoping to start after the Bolivia trip.  Janel just got her young ladies group started with Fionna’s and Sarah’s help.  Paper work required an extra trip to Lima, so we took advantage of Grandparents to watch kids.

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Old town Lima.

Some items we need to work towards besides keeping the Bible school running smoothly.  We are hoping to add two new elders in the church this next month.  We need to start planning the ministry break, where we send our students out two by two into the towns.  And of course sometime the government will pull our chain and we need to go pick up paperwork in Lima, again, and start on the kids paperwork.

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As an extra note we have been blessed to have Dhaly, Aaron and Sarah as staff help this year.  There are time when I think maybe I could do it but realize… nope, too old, too slow and too tired.  They are getting worked pretty good so you may pray for them to work well as a team and be a great example to these students.

Thank you for your prayer and support of our family and this ministry.  Love hearing from you.

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Rain in the Jungle

Somewhere between rain and sunshine we find our perfect jungle climate.  Many of you have asked if we are in any trouble because of all the flooding and landslides in Peru.  Most of the flooding has happened on the coast and many believers and friends we know have been struggling.  Here in the jungle however, the rain has been a little heavy and sometimes for days on end but the only result is a bit more mud to sweep out.  The jungle is prepared for rains and house construction and ditches are well suited, with a few exceptions.  We are hearing that the amazon is running extra high and probably all the rivers feeding it as well.  Pray for missionaries on the coast however.

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We are in to our third module of the Bible school, this time Delwin Folwer is teaching the book of Romans.  Our seven students are getting into the routine of life here and we begin to see their character more clearly and we begin to work in certain areas.

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Just today we passed T-shirts out to the students with this year’s logo and color.  This is good timing for our first ministry trip to Yurimaguas, right after the Romans class.  Aaron and Dhaly will be leading the group and they will be entrusted to Mariano who is an elder in the Yurimaguas central church.  I will be interested hearing how that goes since I will not be going along.

Janel and the kids have been studying hard with homeschool and are getting close to finishing their school year, on time for a change.  Fionna continues with her business venture, she makes a chocolate or coco milk slurry and freezes them in skinny bags to sell for 1 sol, about 0.30 usd.  She has also been developing good skill with the violin and starting lessons on piano.  Isaac is always busy with some project or another.  A few days ago we mixed up some clear epoxy resin in multiple batches and coated a coffee table.  Today we pulled it back into the living room and it has a glassy finish on a cross cut of a hardwood round.  Janel and I are looking to invest in his mechanical ingenuity somehow.  (birthday coming up)

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I have a two week visit to Bolivia coming up, I travel this Sunday.  I will teach one of my favorite classes, Personal Bible Study, at the Facultad Biblica in Camiri.  I always need to question if it is my joy in watching others suffer or in watching minds open up to new skills.  In any case both are true.  Folks tell me it is the most difficult class they have ever taken.  During this time Janel will be holding the fort here in Tarapoto as I travel and the students travel for part of that time to Yurimaguas.  Upon my return my Dad and Mom will be returning the favor and coming to our Bible school to teach a class on Creationism.

Thank you to all for you continued interest and support of our ministry.  We truly see this as a joint effort with the churches and individuals back home who encourage and support us in so many ways.

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Big news… it’s starting!

March 6, 2017

Greetings to all,

I find it hard to keep these updates short.  Either life here is exciting, overwhelming or I just like to ramble.

Big news!  The Bible School started with a quieter bang this year than last.  Four of our students are here and 3 are still unaccounted for but by Tuesday afternoon should be falling in.  We had orientation on Sunday afternoon and laid the program out for everyone.  Then the Emmaus Church had a opening/welcome event for them.

Our teacher is Peter Grover who arrived Sunday afternoon and in spite of losing his luggage – and finding it this morning – was able to start classes on time.  The first class is a two week class on “Old Testament History”.

Putting the Bible school together this year was a lot of work and we are all crashing and taking long naps today.  We had help though.  Aaron and Sarah came in over the last few weeks to join the team and have been climatizing and becoming useful each day as they take on jobs and responsibilities.  Dhaly was here about a month early and has been a big help laying out the plans and organizing.  Even Fionna and Isaac joined in on the action and got various little jobs done as we were spread thin in many areas.

Now we look forward to getting to know these students and study them as we disciple and teach them.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support thru this stressful period.

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    Summary to FAQ. (frequently asked questions for those of you who will need to look it up like me).

    • We have 7 students fully enrolled
    • There is one more student potentially coming for the year and two potentially coming second semester.
    • Our teachers are almost all lined up – a few changes are often the norm.
    • Our first “river trip” will be a sort of river trip to Yurimaguas to visit some 7 or more churches.
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Video Update

Well I just got back from teaching down in Yurimaguas.  I enjoyed the drive out there with Pablo Cenep-Torres as a companion, he was teaching a couple of classes of his own.  While there I taught one course on Church History and another on Church Governance.  Both seemed to draw interest and I may re do some of the material to teach along the river churches some time.  Here is the video of Yurimaguas – Capacitacion Biblica.

On another note, Fionna went to the youth camp.  It is a pretty rustic setting, no showers to speak of and dugout bathrooms.  Lots of mosquitoes infesting the area.  The games were quite the thing and they must have kept her out late.  She is still sleeping it off.  Over all a good adventure for a 14 year old girl.  When we went out yesterday to visit she was too busy playing games for her team to really notice we were there… always a good sign.

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250 words… yeah right?!

CMML asked for a summary of what we are doing in Peru but they only want 250 words.  That be a problem for me so this is what I thought was appropriate information and then I whacked it down to size.

The Lord’s work in the northern Jungle of Peru is a new adventure for our family.  Having worked in Bolivia with the Camiri Bible School we are now attempting to establish a similar work in Tarapoto, Peru.  We were invited to come into this area by fellow missionaries and work together on this.  The Bible school here is called IBEM Selva and is closely associated with IBEM.  IBEM has operated in north Peru for over 10 years as a training program for, usually older believers and leaders of the churches.  They operated as a month long program with intensive Bible study originally, this format has been modified in different ways as the program is reproduced in different parts of the country.

IBEM Selva then is unique in that we accept students for a seven month program – basically a school year – where they live together, minister in the local church, minister along the villages and receive character training as well.  We have been blessed by all the teachers that IBEM has produced over the years to include them and their material in the curriculum in a modular format.

Just these weeks we are casting about for students who would participate in the program for the 2017 year that starts March 6.  Along with this we are busy getting rooms ready and equipping for the next year of IBEM Selva.  For this purpose we are about to host a team from Team Workers Abroad for a couple of weeks as we renovate one of the dorms and a host of smaller details as well.  This year – as our second year running – we are short handed with staff as our missionary colleagues are absent for a year of furlough.  There are some brave young folks coming down to help us with the ministry during the year.  So this year our staff will be Dhaly (peru), Aaron (Seattle, Wa), Sarah (Wash, via Emmaus).  If you want to look at more details regarding the institute check www.ibemselva.worpress.com

There are many other opportunities to serve in Peru when school is out.  The local church has needs and are developing local leadership so a great opportunity there.  Also teaching in IBEM’s other programs gives me traveling opportunities to connect with other churches especially on the coast.  The Emmaus Correspondence material is being renewed in the area and also needs promoting.

The Jungle is an exciting place to minister and there are many doors open for teaching and strengthening local churches.

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Christmas in the Jungle

It’s that special time of year

to spread the Christmas cheer.

What it took was a little child,

God’s only Son born without guile.

Upon his back God placed my sin

upon a tree he died for me

upon his resurrection

…you and I may be set free

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This year our Christmas parties are a bit strange.  It is one of those “normal” Christmases where we ask our selves… hum, what is normal to us?  We did get an early start on Christmas, our Thanksgiving party was Christmas themed with Christmas tree, puzzles and more.  Now we are planning a church party at our house.  Interesting, because the believers here don’t usually do much and even question that Christmas should be celebrated.  Anyway we are making it up as we go along.  The ladies will come over Thursday and decorate cookies preparing family plates to take home.  The guys will get out of the way and go play ball with the little ones.  Maybe we can find firecrackers to light, but we plan to sing/teach Christmas carols once everyone gets together for cookies and snacks and read the Christmas story.  Our family time will be slower than all this, I hope.

Janel and the family bravely joined me for a trip to a river town over a weekend.  I was invited to teach on Revelation in Papaplaya.  We had a fairly intensive study with the church and had a regular attendance of 20 – 30 throughout the whole time and packed in 8 hours of study.  I had warned the brothers that I would stay with my family at a local hotel (not really 5 star mind you).  They had one picked out for me and it was adequate with a bathroom in each room – no door on it.  We chose to sleep on our own sheets and Isaac went for the blow up mattress.  Over all it was nice to have our own space to retire to and in spite of that we felt like we were visited out.  The believers had a real special appreciation for Janel joining the trip and really made an effort to treat her good.  In the end, the church paid for our hotel room in spite of my protests and they may have felt less awkward this way too.

The church continues to grow if not in numbers in depth and maturity.  There are some new faces and visitors as well.  I have begun meeting with the elders each Saturday morning, a bit too early but they all work, so 5:30 it is.  We are going thru a quick read and study of 1 Corinthians and I have found it so instructive to talk church thru this book before.  Two of the younger ones are being prepared to take on the full responsibilities of eldership.  The other men continue to be willing to step up to teaching roles, leadership and show good initiative during our breaking of bread.  The ladies have traditionally been more active and they are starting to regroup as well with ideas and projects in the church.

Just to complicate things, between Christmas and New year the river churches have organized their conference.  This time the family will stay back and I will go alone.  I will be teaching for the youth that attend and we will cover some worldview topics.  We are coordinating travel with some of the believers from the Tarapoto church.  I hope this will be a good time to make connections and promote the Bible School for next year.  We are still looking for students and I want to visit with the local river folk to arrange for ministry trips for the upcoming school year.

Thanks to so many of you for your financial support, prayers and encouragement along the way!

There is a missions trip being planned to help with construction and set up for next school year.  If any of you wish to join, the contact person in the States is Fred Scott from Team Workers Abroad.  We have set the dates for January 25 – February 10.  Other details you should coordinate with Fred Scott and we would love to see folks we know or meet new people.  fred@teamworkersabroad.org

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Furlough Update

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Friends.

Thank you all for a wonderful time up in the US.  Some of you had gift cards for us, others had beds and spare bedrooms to offer us, we had dinners in homes and restaurants, gifts of clothing and that brethren handshake.  Basically we got spoiled good and fat to boot.

Let me catch you up on what has gone on since we last saw some of you.  We had a sleepless night in … Yakima trying to get our flights confirmed.  In the end we took the plunge and drove to SeaTac at 3AM with that first unconfirmed leg of the flight.  At the airport there was no problem and we were able to piece the flights back together again.  Another sleepless night in Lima airport as we arrived at 1:30 am and tried to catch some sleep on cold marble floors until the 8AM flight for Tarapoto.  I stayed behind in Lima for a few days, took a flight to Cajamarca to teach an IBEM course on Deuteronomy.  That is my second time thru Deuteronomy and it is rich fare.

I brought a couple of surprises for the kids from Cajamarca, my favorite is a chess game with Inca vs Spaniard figurines.  The kids and Janel had some surprises for me.  The house had Christmas decorations up. (I know some of you think that is sinful before Thanksgiving, but it´s a fake tree).  Then they informed me that the night before I had been anointed an elder – in absentia.  Talk about being a bit surprised.  I remembered some advice that I got in the states a few weeks ago to the effect of, “you’re a grown up now, so

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stop your whining”.  Last night someone finally told me officially and I accepted.

The Tuttles have managed to pack up for their extended furlough and left this morning for the coast on their way up to the US, eventually.  So we are feeling a bit on our own and I may need to heed the previous advice once more.  Things are coming together for the Bible School next year with updates to web pages and other promotional efforts.

Now for a word from Janel.

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We are sweating our way through Thanksgiving day!  Cooking up a turkey.  The Fowlers, a young couple from Frontier, and a neighbor couple are coming over this afternoon for turkey dinner.  The Tuttles took off today for the coast… so we will miss them!

Happy Thanksgiving and hope you all have a wonderful time together!!

The Mattixes (in Peru)

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