Back in Peru!
I am excited to report that we made it safely back to Peru on January 23. Thank you for your prayers. The Lord gave us a very smooth trip with blessings along the way including: some unexpected free checked bags, upgraded seats, not having to get our bags checked in customs, receiving the longest tourist visa able to be given, and fairly-agreeable children – considering they stayed up all night long. There have been some changes to the laws concerning obtaining a residence visa since the last time we applied. Please pray that we will be able to get our new residence visas soon.
Saying goodbye is a difficult part of being a missionary, but the Lord always gives the strength to do so. We were able to spend some quality time with both our families over Christmas, and we thank the Lord for that. We are also thankful for our sending church, the Carrollton Baptist Temple, and for our pastor, David Powell, and his family. We appreciate everything our church did to make our last Sunday so very special.
One thing that was very evident to us was the change in weather. We came from snow and 9º F in Ohio to sun and 70º F in Arequipa. We are still getting used to driving here, which is a definite change!
It was good to see our friend Pastor David Ramos who has changed cities and is now working to start a church in the city of Juliaca. Please pray that the Lord would give safety and bless as I travel there to preach in a Prayer Conference at his church March 2 & 3.
So many changes, yet it was good to see many people in Arequipa continuing strong in the work of the Lord just as they were when we left a year and a half ago. I’m thankful that the Lord’s presence remains constant even through the changes of life.
In Genesis 12, we see God directing Abram to leave his home and go “unto a land that I will show thee…” God directed Abram’s steps as Abram simply put his trust in Him and believed that God would lead him where he needed to be. Our family has been praying for the last several months about the change of moving to serve in Tacna, a city of 350,000 that is about 5 hours south of Arequipa, close to the Chilean border. During our first week in Peru, we took a survey trip there, and the Lord confirmed in our hearts that this is the place He wants us to be. Our plans are to work alongside veteran missionaries Jonathan and Becky Earnhart who have served in Tacna for the last 10 years. Please pray that the Lord would help us to be a blessing in the work as I teach, preach, disciple, and reach others for the Lord; also please pray for Sara as she works both in the church and at home. We are thankful that God has allowed us to find a house that we should be able to move in to during the next week or so. Please pray for us as we get settled in. We are so excited to be back in Peru!
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support!
In His Service,
Robert, Sara, Josiah, Caleb, Joshua, & Lydia Stover