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Epic jungle discipleship adventure
This particular discipleship event was physically demanding, it was hard, it was exhausting, it was humbling, it was heart-breaking, it was bonding and it was perspective shifting. The disciples saw a totally different culture, a different way of life and a whole new poverty level. It gave them opportunities to suffer well and to share the gospel with neglected and needy people. We did open air preaching, children's meetings and hut to hut evangelism while using skits, songs and testimonies. We struggled through lots of blisters and chaffing. We battled with chiggers, ticks and mosquitos. Many of the team members experienced vomiting, nauseas, fevers and diarrhea. Some ended up urinating blood and two of the team were even taken into emergency when we got back to Tarapoto... In the end everyone survived.... and it was definitely an unforgettable experience! The following are my journal entries for each day in the villages.


Wednesday August 8th:
The journey begins! This morning we drove from the bible institute in Tarapoto to Chazuta (one hour). Been traveling with the whole Tuttle-Tribe and twelve BLAZE disciples. After arriving at the launch we jumped into our boat and headed down the muddy and turbulent waters of the Huallaga river. The boat ride gave us three hours of spectacular jungle scenery, fragrant smells and suffocating humidity before finally navigating into the port of Huimbayoc (the foremost village in the whole district). There was quite a commotion in town as the villagers began to notice the crowd of gringos with heavy packs making their way down the main drag. After meeting with the town mayor and getting his help to locate a 4x4 truck we headed to the town of Leche. Half the team walked the 22 kilometers and the other half crammed into the back of the already half full pick-up (think 20 people in the back of a Toyota). Half way down the atrocious dirt road the truck ended up getting a flat tire and we all had to walk a large portion of the way. Finally, we arrived at about 8:30 pm and were greeted by a hand-full of eager saints. Being famished, we scarfed down the plantains and chicken soup that had been prepared for us and then it was off to the church meeting. Nothing better than worshiping the Lord together with His people deep in the jungle!


Thursday August 9th:
We have our first sick disciple! He's a tough one though... He powered through. Today we hiked about about 25 kilometers and the terrain was much more difficult than yesterday's. We had to do three river crossings, the deepest of which was only about chest high, so it wasn't too difficult, just time-consuming (drying off takes time but it's the key to avoiding blisters and chaffing). We decided to stick together on the trail, so we all went at the pace of the slowest team member. Four year-old Ellia switched from one persons shoulders to another all day long and 10 year-old Mya trudged on and on for the longest and hardest hike of her life. In all, the trek took us 11 hours! When we finally limped into Santa Rosillo we were received with hardy handshakes, back-slapping and hugs. After much conversation and story-telling and plantain feasting we went down to the river to freshen up before heading to our tents for the night. The stars! Incredible! Genesis 1:16!


Friday August 10th:
A few more sick members today.... the jungle is really hard on gringos! Woke up at 5 a.m and read few chapters of Revelation out-loud to the groggy disciples who slowly emerged from their tents that we had set up in Santa Rosillo's communal building. Soon we were off to the morning devotional with the village believers. We had a great time of prayer and worship and short thoughts from the scriptures by three different team members. The rest of the day was a whirlwind of hut to hut evangelism, children's meetings and unforgettable meals. We ate jungle rat... I even got to eat the brains! There was deer meat, fermented corn drink, yuca root, rice, chicken, plenty of cao-cao, and of course, plantains. Finished the day with an open air meeting. Many villagers crowded around to listen and even more listened from afar. The teams skit really drew people in and then they listened intently as one disciple gave his testimony and another thundered out the gospel. Great evening!


Saturday August 11th:
Our camera guy and fellow leader Sean Macdonald is in bad shape today... I think the river water and jungle rat are upsetting a few stomachs here... After attending to the sick we went to the morning devotional, ate breakfast and then had another amazing children's meeting. About 50 kids have been coming out and several of the disciples are incredible at connecting with them in spite of the language barrier. After lunch we gathered on the banks of the river, prayed with the brothers and sisters, said our goodbyes, put the sick and weary into two canoe's and then those of us that could still walk headed down the trail to the next village. As we hiked each disciple repeated, one after another, phrase by phrase the whole book of Ephesians. It was great to let the scripture wash over us and it also took our minds off the pain of each step. This time we made a really good pace on the trail and covered about 20 kilometers in five hours. Thankfully, those that travelled by canoe made it to San Jose about an hour before we did and were feeling well enough to begin setting up camp in a brothers home. After a scrumptious meal of Yuca and rice we headed out to do an open air meeting. San Jose is a tough village and we had a rather small attendance, nevertheless we preached our hearts out. Many people listened from afar as one disciple gave his testimony, others sang and two gave short gospel messages.


Sunday August 12th:
Tough night last night. Four team members were suffering with vomiting, diarrhea and fevers. Praying for them. Woke up reading the scriptures out-loud from my tent so that everyone could hear. When the team was awake, we headed over to the chapel building for a meeting with the brethren. Not many showed up. This church, that was once flourishing, is now divided and almost dead. Lots of problems, sin, false doctrine, rivalries and coldness. I'm so discouraged!.... Feels like all the work I did over the years was in vain. I had several difficult conversations with church leaders and all I could do was put a band-aid on the wounds. They need a lot of help here but I can't do much on this whirlwind visit. I feel pulled in different directions... Family, Blaze team, Village brethren. I feel like I'm not attending to any of them very well.....


After some of those difficult conversations and not a few tears we had to leave the brothers and the problems in the Lords hands. When the goodbye's were over, we were able to find a 4x4 truck for our sick and wounded which is now at a grand total of 15. The 25 kilometers between San Jose and Huimbayoc is drivable... sort of.... But the only truck in the whole region is usually out of service. I'm so thankful that God provided that rare transportation for the majority of the team. For lack of room in the pick-up, Amy and I walked this section with three other valiant evangelists and about six hours later we arrived in Huimba. The 15 Blaze members that went ahead on the truck got here about three hours before us and were well fed, rested and, for the most part, feeling much better. They had organized a children's meeting which was going strong when the five of us hikers limped into the village. After dinner I went through the streets calling out at the top of my lungs that everyone was invited to an open air evangelistic meeting.... There was an eager expectation. People crowded around to listen. The Lord really seemed to use it as we sang and preached our hearts out! There were many great individual conversations afterward. I'm praying that the Lord would use what happened here for real and lasting spiritual growth!


Monday August 13th:
Jonny is pretty sick... He's lost about 20 lbs... We are going to have to cut the trip short... Need to take him to the hospital when we get to Tarapoto... After the normal early morning, out-loud bible reading from our tents, we packed up and said our goodbyes to the precious saints of Huimba and then went down to the river port. Our boat was waiting for us and after cramming into the "Chasqui" we motored up river. Along the way we stopped at my favorite thermal hot-springs waterfall and had a very therapeutic hour of R&R. It was healing, rejuvenating and much-needed! From there we continued on to the village of Achinamisa where we were greeted by several saints that were waiting for us on the shore. Ten different sisters had prepared lunch for us in their respective homes so we split up and feasted in different places around the village. After the meal we canvassed the town inviting all the kids to come out to a VBS meeting.... and come they did! I even managed to empty out the grade school that was in session. I asked the director if I could take the kids to a bible meeting and before I knew it all the kids were marching in single file behind me all the way to the church :) After a wildly successful meeting we piled back in the boat and headed toward Chazuta. Along the way we witnessed an incredible sunset over the jungle as we cruised along the Huallaga river and into the darkness of the night. Navigating a large jungle river in the dark is no easy task! Our driver (Brother Roberto) has the route memorized and he did a fantastic job dodging submerged logs and rock outcroppings and sandbars. It was quite exciting! When we finally arrived at the port we loaded everyone into our two vehicles that were waiting for us and we drove toward civilization and the hospital.


Tuesday August 14th:
Just got back from open air preaching with the disciples in the main square of Tarapoto. It went well. Brought back lots of memories of doing this every week in this same place for many years..... We arrived last night and today was hospital day. Only two out of a team of twenty ended up in emergency.... That's pretty good :) And they are both doing much better now. No Dengue, no Malaria, no Meningitis and no Yellow Fever so we can take a breath of relief.... In the course of this trip we hiked about 90 kilometers in all while crossing 5 rivers and visiting 5 different villages. We traveled by truck, motor-boat, canoe, horse and on foot. We trudged through the mud, thick jungle and open fields as we weathered extreme humidity with sweltering heat. We slept in tents, bathed in the river, ate strange things and experienced a whole different world. We preached, prayed, studied, served and evangelized our hearts out. It was hard, but it was good. It was exhausting but it was rewarding. It was an unforgettable and growing experience for everyone and we thank the Lord for every minute!



MISSIONS QUOTE FOR THE DAY BY DEITRICH BONHOEFFER: "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die."

WILLIAM CAREY: "There are grave difficulties on every hand, and more are looming ahead - therefore we must go forward.”

Micah for the Tuttle




On July 9th, after much anticipation and preparation we finally kicked off our Summer Blaze Discipleship program with 12 students! It has been an intense 4 weeks so far with a lot of study, bible reading, worship, prayer, evangelism and fun. We have basically been going with sixteen hour days for a month straight now and the best is yet to come.... On Wednesday we leave for an epoch jungle trip where we will hike a total of 100 km and preach in six villages. Amy and the kids led the team to Lima last week and they have been participating in both a youth conference and a women's conference over the last several days.


As Amy and the disciples traveled to Lima I had to change my focus for a few days and go to Dallas where I was asked to participate in an Indian conference. About 1000 souls showed up and I was able to preached my heart out 7 times in three days. I had a great time and it seemed like the Lord really used it. I'm very thankful for the many brothers and sisters who were praying for me!


Amy escaped from the youth conference in Lima to go speak at women's conference a few hundred miles north of there in Trujillo. Despite not sleeping for about 48 hours straight she did well (from what I hear). She said it was a very special time as she was able to connect with many precious sisters that came from all over Peru. She said that the huge welcome and overwhelming love of the Peruvian sisters was amazing! What a life!


Missions quote of the day by C.H Spurgeon: "Of all I would wish to say, this is the sum: 'My brethren, preach Christ, always and evermore'"

Micah for the Tuttle's


Last week I had the privilege of traveling to the Orlando area to preach to about 100 high-schoolers at Horizon Bible camp. I started the week out with a nasty head-cold and a sinus infection but the Lord was gracious and helped me to battled through. The first two days it seemed that I just wasn't getting through to the campers and it felt like my messages were falling on deaf ears with no effect. By Tuesday night it was clear that a majority of the campers weren't believers and so I threw away the messages that I had prepared and began to just preach the plain gospel. I preached law, judgement, the reality of hell, and then Christ as our only hope.

On Wednesday... God broke through! While many brothers and sisters were praying, the Lord responded and began to work in several hearts. That evening, everyone was pretty shook up. Thursday night even more so... some of the kids were getting up, sobbing uncontrollably and leaving during the message... Several of the youth followed me out after the different messages and were trembling as they expressed their fear of judgment and their need of a Savior. Lots of great conversations were taking place between the campers and the counselors. There was a group of about ten guys that were wrestling with the truths of the gospel until about 2 a.m on Friday night. During the course of the week many made professions of faith in Christ! Please pray for these high-schoolers as continue in their new walk with Jesus!


Other immediate prayer requests:
1. Our Blaze discipleship program here in Dubuque IA starts this Monday (July 9).
2. We will be taking the Blaze students along with our whole family to Peru at the end of this month (July 31).

Missions quote for the day by Hudson Taylor: “There are three stages to every great work of God; first it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.”

Micah for the Tuttle's

On Facebook I recently posted about a great evangelistic opportunity that I had at a local university in Dubuque. Here on this blog I would like to write about the bigger context of that event.

Back in April I took a group to Loras college to do some personal evangelism. As the group split up, myself and another brother went into the multicultural center were we found about six or seven college students hanging out. I asked if they would like to participate in a questionarre about religious perspectives.... and..... They all responded positively! They even pulled up a chair for me and invited me to sit down. We had a very engaging and friendly conversation for about twenty minutes about whether or not a higher power exists, what happens after death and where morality comes from... Finally I came around to the question of: "Who do you think Jesus is?"...... and that's where the trouble started. The professor of intercultural studies had been there and was happily participating in the conversation up to that point, but at this question of "who Jesus is" he said: "Im going to have to put an end to this questionarre, and ask you to leave now." I responded by saying "Oh, I didn't mean to offend anyone but Thank you for your time, it was great to hear all your perspectives on these things." I shook everyones hand (each one was quite friendly and thanked me for the conversation... except the professor). I went out the hall and down the elevator.

When the elevator opened up on the next floor down we were greeted by a security guard who said: "I've been told that there are some people ramming religion down others throats and I'm here to escort them off campus." I said: "Oh, I'm sorry they might have been referring to us but I assure you we weren't cramming anything down anyones throat. We were just doing a questionare about religious perspectives.... Here is the sheet, the first question is: "Do you think that a higher power exists?" Surprisingly the security guard was quite interested and responded: "Oh, I was raised in a religious home, I used to read the bible all the time and I've kinda drifted from it all" .... after a few minutes it was like he caught himself and he said: "Oh, I almost forgot, I have to escort you guys off campus and ask you not to come back again" .... It turned into a very friendly kick-out :)

Fast forward three months. I was invited by a brother who helps run a summer sports camp at that same university. They wanted me to speak to about 150 college age coaches and leaders, almost all of whom were unbelievers. When I was introduced as a missionary to Peru that was going to give a message from the Bible some of the youth immediately began to mock. Someone from the back a row yelled: "jungle-preacher" while others were laughing and rolling their eyes.... It was great! Just the kind of crowd I like! I began with an illustration that grabbed everyones attention and when I started to talk about sin, righteousness, judgment and Jesus everyone seemed stunned. When I finished, many of the coaches just sat there thinking in silence while others approached me, wanting to talk seriously about the Lord! One of those that came to talk to me said: "Do you remember me?" "I was in the multicultural center when our professor kicked you out a few months ago. I'm so glad you came back to pick up where you left off and tell us about "the person of Jesus." !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please pray that the Lord would work in the hearts of those young people as they think about these things!

Micah for the Tuttle's

Just got back from Sky Mountain Christian Camp in the Sierra's of Northern California where I was speaking at a bay area youth conference. A small group of about 70 brothers and sisters made the 6 hour drive from San Jose up into the mountains near the Nevada border. I preached 7 times over the course of the extended weekend and the Lord really seemed to work in the hearts of many!


After my third message, something broke and the Lord began to work in a special way. People were on their knees praying and crying out to the Lord. I tried to escape and just get out of God's way but before I could, I was asked to join a group of young men that were on their knees in the back parking lot. This was all spontaneous and outside of the schedule. These young men were crying out to the Lord, asking that He would break down the idols in their lives and that they would be men marked by God's presence.


Each message after that pretty much ended in the same way. Spontaneous prayer and worship. Even at free time, one of the brothers put a world map on the table and started praying for the nations. Thirty youths skipped their free time to pray over that map for the space of about four hours! Not your normal youth retreat! Please pray that there would be a lasting work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all the people that were there. Pray that the Lord would raise up a new generation that would fight the Lord's battles.


Missions quote for the day by Mary Slessor: "Prayer is the greatest power that God has put into our hands for service, praying is harder than doing, at least I find it so, but the dynamic lies that way to advance the kingdom"



Micah for the Tuttle's



Journals from a whirlwind month of ministry


April 16: Today we left a frozen and snowy Dubuque IA behind and journeyed west. A 14 hour drive to La Grange WY.
April 17: Preached to the student body at Frontier School of the Bible this morning.
April 18: Two days of interacting with students and speaking about missions. May the Lord raise up a new generation of missionaries and evangelists and preachers! Driving toward Seattle now.
April 19: Our journey west continues. Along the way they actually shut down a portion of the highway because semi-trucks and travel-trailers were getting flipped over by 70 mile an hour wind gusts! Thank the Lord we survived as the wind practically blew us all the way to Lakeside Bible Camp.
April 20: Our whole family is having a blast! It's great to be with the brothers and sisters from Northgate Bible Chapel.
April 21: Evangelism is my topic for the weekend, so, naturally I'm having fun with the subject matter.


April 22: Great Lord's day! Extremely encouraged to see the eagerness with which the brethren received the messages.
April 23: Good bye to our good friends (the Goff's) and off to Portland! Good gospel conversation at the gas station!
April 24: Hikes and BBQ's and fun with Mom and Dad, both sides of the family!
April 26: Today I flew solo to Cincinnati for an intense weekend of ministry at Northern Hills Bible Chapel.
April 27: Missions conference is going great! Preached once last night and twice so far today.
April 28: Abe and Joyce (my hosts) are amazing people! They know Ravi Zachariah who has been in this very house!!!
April 29: Nothing better than breaking bread with the Lords people, even if you just met them. Preached three times today.
April 30: Flew to Newark NJ, met up with Amy, so exciting to see her! Flew together to Bogota Colombia. A few good gospel conversations in the plane with fellow travelers.


May 1: Switched into Spanish mode! Preached five messages today to about 700 people! Awesome! Pandemonium! Exhaustion!
May 2: Voice is completely gone! Splitting headache. I couldn't speak at the missions conference so I sent a video :)
May 3: I whisper preached at a marriage conference today. Everyone strained to listen :) Amy spoke to the women.
May 4: Went and saw the underground salt mines. Amy preached twice at a women's conference. God really used it!
May 5: Big youth meeting today (several churches came together for it). Preached twice. Voice is coming back.
May 6: Crisscrossed the city to Preach at three different churches. God really seems to be working!
May 7: REST! time with the Killin's (Great missionaries). Explored downtown Bogota
May 8: Visited a Venezuelan refugee community. Super poor. Families living in 8'x8' rooms. Living on $1 a day. Need the Gospel!
May 9: Several Colombian believers accompanied us to the airport. Latinos culture is SO refreshing! Flew to Portland. Epic meeting with our kids!!! They had a great week with grandparents.


May 10: Packed up and began our drive east. Camped in the Rockies of Montana.
May 11: Drove all day. Camped near Black Hills SD. Spectacular scenery! Shared the gospel at a gas station
May 12: Drove all day. Arrived in Dubuque IA for a late dinner with Javen and Cullen, our first year Emmaus graduates.
May 13: Mothers day with all six kids. Proud Mama! Spring has sprung! Flowers and greenery everywhere in Dubuque.
May 14: Planning meetings for "Blaze" summer discipleship program. Real excited about this!
May 15: Began preparation for the "Summit" Youth conference in the Sierra Nevada mountains, California (May 25-29)


Missionary quote for the day by David Livingstone: "If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice."

Micah for the Tuttle's



Tuttletidbits (April 3)

Summer discipleship program
We have finalized our plans for the summer "Blaze" discipleship program. Together with our team here in Iowa we have decided to divide the program into three modules. Modules 1 and 2 will be identical and held here in Dubuque. The third one will be an intense missions trip to Peru. A student can choose to come to only one of the modules or any combination of the three. Our goal is to walk in discipleship while trying to impact the head, heart and hands...... Head: We want to study the Bible, Church history, Missions and Apologetics.... Heart: We want to have rich times of worship, reflection, rest and prayer.... Hands: We want to take what we are learning to the world while doing evangelism in a variety of ways. The "Blaze" program is for single people 18 years and older. Module #1: June 4-23 in Dubuque IA. Cost: $750.... Module #2: July 9-28 in Dubuque IA. Cost: $750.... Module #3: July 30-Aug 15 In Peru. Cost: $1500.... Those prices include travel costs and room and board. To apply or get more information please go to www.EmmausInternational.com/blaze


Spark Florida
Ten days ago Amy and I were in sunny, beautiful Florida at "Camp Horizon" near Orlando. We didn't have any time for Sea world or Disney world but that doesn't mean that we didn't enjoy ourselves! We had a blast being part of our third LIT discipleship event which we called "SPARK Florida". It was an intense time of ministry with lots of teaching, discussion, prayer, worship and evangelism. Brethren came from Miami, Tampa, Augusta and even Boston to learn, be encouraged, and to talk about discipleship. It was a tremendous time as a bunch of "Sparks" came together with the goal of catching each other fire for the Lord. We are really grateful for what God is doing!


Evangelism
One of the things that we did at Spark Florida was some one-on-one evangelism at a nearby mall. It was an impacting and memorable time for everyone! We had some really great conversations, handed out a lot of tracts and even had a profession of faith when one of the evangelists shared the gospel with a lost soul whose heart the Holy Spirit had obviously prepared before hand.... The devil was at work too though, and after about 45 minutes we were kicked out of the mall by the security guards. They claimed that it was against the law to talk to people that we didn't know, irregardless of the subject....????.... We didn't argue with them but rather gave the mall-cops some gospel tracts and then politely left. The evangelists were actually quite encouraged by the kick-out.... It kinda felt like persecution for the cause of Christ (what a small thing compared to what Christians suffer in other places around the world).


Quichua Follow-up
Some of you have been praying for Umberto (the Quichua man that I was able to share the gospel with a few weeks ago). We have been meeting twice a week to study the Bible together! Please keep praying for him as the Lord is really working on his heart. I have since found out that he is part of a Quichua community that lives in Chicago. Umberto drives the three hours to Dubuque every Monday and stays through Friday to sell his "artesenia" goods in his storefront at the mall. He told me that if his fellow Chicago-quichuas knew he was reading the Bible with me they would mock him relentlessly. Apparently he has a reputation as a tough guy, leader and drinker.... Not too hard for the Lord :) .... He plans to shut down his business at the Dubuque mall in the next few weeks and as soon as it warms up he will begin traveling to different "festivales" in the midwest to sell his Ecuadorian imported goods (this is what the whole quichua community from Chicago does from May to September). I need to make the most of our time studying the scriptures together before he leaves town!

Missions quote for the day by Oswald J. Smith:
“The church that does not evangelize will fossilize.”

Micah for the Tuttle's

Tuttletidbits March 15


Women's Retreat
February was a whirlwind and March is continuing in that same pattern! Among the many ministry opportunities that we have had over the last month, one very exciting event was a women's retreat that Amy spoke at in Des Moines Iowa. Amy and a good friend, Bethany Levitt, made the three hour drive across Iowa and even that drive was filled with excitement! When they were within about 10 miles of their final destination the car began to shake uncontrollably. They were able to come to a stop and found that three of the lug-nuts on the passenger side front wheel were gone, the other two were nearly undone and one of the threaded posts had even sheared completely off! They had been barreling down the freeway at 70 miles per hour and the wheel had nearly flown off! Thank the Lord He miraculously protected them! Our friend and brother Bill Gustoff was in the area and came to the rescue. Amy and Bethany made it to the camp safe and sound and just in time for Amy's first message! She had a great time and the Lord used her to encourage all of the sisters who attended...... We are grateful for a few of the brothers who fixed the wheel :)


Evangelism Team
I have officially started an evangelism team here in Dubuque Iowa! About ten of us have been going out into the universities and parks and stores to share the gospel with anything that moves..... and it has been awesome! The other day, when Bria and I were paired up she started a conversation with one of the shop owners in the mall. When the man said that he was from Ecuador we immediately started sharing about our south american connection and after talking for a few minutes I asked if he had any kind of religious background. When he said that both his parents were Christians.... I said: "What about you?" He said he never quite understood the gospel and that he had turned his back on God at a young age ..... so I took about 10 minutes and explained the main point of the Bible to him.... He listened very intently and with much interest. He then said: "There were some missionaries that came to my village in the jungle when I was little and preached this. My parents were the first converts" .... I said "What?! You grew up in the jungle?" He answered: "Yes, I'm actually from an indigenous group called the Quichuas. ..... What!? ..... I said: "Ima shuti kangi?" (What's your name?) He said: "Shuti kangi Umberto"..... "What?!! You know Quechua?" .... I said: "Just a few phrases.... but, by chance, have you ever heard of the Auca Indians?" He said: "Oh yes, they were the neighboring indigenous group.... very violent!" .... I said: "I can't believe this is happening to me!..... You and I are going to be good friends!" ..... since then we have been meeting together every other morning to examine the scriptures! It's exhilarating to participate in God's pre-ordained divine appointments! ..... If you don't understand the significance of this story go read the book "Through the Gates of Splendor" by Elizabet Elliot

Light Conference
Last week we held our first LIGHT conference here in Dubuque IA and it was spectacular! We had 40 brothers and sisters who came to the event (10 of whom stayed with us in our home). Brother Jonny Loveless taught "The story line of the Bible". Brother Nate Bramsen taught on discipleship and I taught on evangelism. It was an incredible time of worship and prayer and study as we sought the Lord together. The whole event culminated in everyone going out into the city to do personal evangelism. We all started with much fear and trepidation and then each one came back on cloud nine with great excitement and stories of how the Lord worked. The conference consisted of four packed days that basically went from 8 a.m till 8 p.m. Those that stayed in our house had the extra blessing of group bible reading and prayer in the early mornings and late evenings. We didn't sleep much but it was exciting to see the Lord work! The conference ended with everyone feeling very serious about taking the things we learned back to our churches to put it all into practice.


Youth Event
At the end of February I loaded up 10 young people from the area and we drove across the state to the "26 Below" youth conference at a camp near Des Moines. Brothers and sisters came from all over the place to worship the Lord together and learn from the scriptures. Brother Brady Collier was the main speaker as I and several others had more of a supporting role. It was great to focus on individuals while at the same time being able to preach a few times about the importance of discipleship. I hardly had time to eat or sleep as nearly every moment was taken up with the teaching or counseling or encouraging or engaging in some spiritual work with different individuals. The Lord really seemed to use the time invested in these young people and we are praying for lasting fruit.


Missions quote for the day by John Piper:
“The wisdom of God devised a way for the love of God to deliver sinners from the wrath of God while not compromising the righteousness of God.”

To Peru And Back Again

While in Peru for the month of January I was able to preach and teach all over the place. I taught at the annual "Capacitation Biblica" in Trujillo and then after that there were several meetings in Cajamarca, Tarapoto and Yurimaguas. We visited many villages along the way doing lots of evangelism and encouraging the saints. Toward the end of the trip I had several meetings in Lima and then even preached in Miami Fl where I spent a weekend with the saints at Boulevard Bible Chapel. In all I preached 43 times in 12 different cities in 31 days. The Lord was gracious and gave me endurance all the way to the end of the marathon!


In our last blog post I wrote about how I traveled from the the coast of Peru to the mountains to the jungle and as I went I was able to pick up several men that accompanied me along the way. I've always taken groups of guys along on my trips but this time I was more intentional about focusing on these individuals more than on the masses. Prayer, Bible reading and worship were central to everything we did. It was amazing to see the contagious enthusiasm for discipleship as we went from place to place. One guy even quit his job to come with us! After all twelve seats in our van were taken I didn't have room for any more passengers but I did develop a long list of names of guys that were practically begging to be included in the discipleship group next time I do this! It was probably one of the most effective things I've ever done in ministry as I gave them all varying responsibilities and multiple opportunities to preach and lead and serve in the different communities that we visited. We traveled about 3000 miles in all and everywhere we went the saints would give their chickens, ginny-pigs, wild-boar meat and whatever else they had to feed us with a royal feast. News would somehow spread (without cellphones and internet) that we had arrived and people came from all over the place to listen as we held gospel meetings. Kids came out of the woodwork for children's meetings and the brothers and sisters quit everything to soak in all the bible teaching that they could get in our short visits.


About halfway through my adventures Amy left the kids with her mom in Dubuque, hopped on a plane and came to join me in Tarapoto. There are many stories we could share about Amy's visit but the following story was the biggest highlight: While flying from Lima, Amy struck up a friendly conversation with the young woman sitting next to her. The woman said that she was from a village in the area but that she now lives in Lima and was coming to see if she could get custody of her four year old son whom she hadn’t seen in about a year. Immediately Amy saw the pain, the darkness, and disconnection. Amy gently dealt with the sorrow and confusion that this woman was feeling and guided the conversation to the only One that gives peace in the midst of the storm. They ended up having a great talk about Christ and the restoration that He can bring. Near the end of the flight the woman said that she was from a village along the Huallaga river called “Achinamisa” and that she had a sister who belonged to the church there. Amy said “Wow, my husband Miqueas visits that church all the time!” The young woman was incredulous! She said: “Miqueas?!” “My sister named her son Miqueas after their missionary friend who preaches in all the villages! Amy looked at her new friend and said: “Thats my husband! and it’s not by random chance that we are sitting together on this airplane. This is a divine appointment, preordained by God so that we might talk about your greatest need at this difficult time in your life.” Please pray for AnaMaria who is now meeting with some of the sisters in the Tarapoto assembly!


I write all this as I sit stranded, because of a snow storm, in the Moline Illinois airport. I'm reflecting on an incredible month of ministry and at the same time I'm anxious to see my family, hopefully within just a few hours. I've never been away from my kids for this long. My heart aches for them. My real disciples! I've always known that but.... it just hit me like a ton of bricks.... Amy and the kids are my, real, life-long, most precious disciples! All the things in ministry that I might be able to accomplish don't matter if I fail with my family. You can get thousands of converts and plant dozens of churches, start multiple bible institutes and preach your heart out everywhere you go... but if you haven't made disciples at home you've missed the whole point. It's time to go home and do my real job!


Quote of the day by D.L Moody "I believe that the family was established long before the church and my duty is to my family first. I am not to neglect my family!"

Micah for the Tuttle's

Discipleship!

For the past two weeks I tried to replicate what Jesus did on earth in His ministry with His disciples..... Of course, I'm not God and I fell short in every way, but as Christians we are to be Christ to the world as we walk in the power of the Spirit. With this in mind I did my best to invest in twelve men who ministered with me as we journeyed across Northern Peru. We were able to reach thousands of people in one way or another but the real impact, I pray, will be on those twelve men who will go back to their home churches with a passion for discipleship.


The last 14 days were a real whirlwind of evangelism, discipleship, and preaching. I started in Trujillo where I picked up 6 brothers who all traveled with me up over the Andes mountains and into the jungle. Along the way we visited several villages and acquired 6 more disciples as we went. Each brother that accepted the invitation to go knew that it was going to be a hardcore trip with little rest, lots of bible, prayer, teaching and evangelism. We prayed for hours each day, studied Genesis 1-11 and read out-loud all of Nehemiah, Daniel, Luke, Acts, Romans and Revelation. Every time we came to a new village we sang and preached in the main square, went house to house sharing the gospel and met with the believers that were there. We helped the poor, prayed for the sick, put together children's meetings, preached on the radio, taught in adobe church buildings and on one occasion, we even encountered a demon possessed man. Everywhere we went the brothers and sisters greeted us with great joy, vigorous handshakes, backslapping and hugs. They made us meals, gave us a place to set up our tents and helped to support everything we did. I gave all I had as I tried to make the most of every minute with individuals while not neglecting the masses that we engaged with everywhere we went. It was an incredible time and the Lord blessed us greatly! Several of the disciples told me afterward that it was the most impacting two weeks of their life! I pray that the Lord will continue to use this experience in the life of each brother that accompanied me.


Here's what a "normal" day's schedule looked like:

4:30 Prayer
6:30 Reflection from one of the disciples
7:30 Breakfast
8:30 I taught Genesis
11:30 Children's meeting
1:00 Lunch
2:00 Bible reading
4:00 House to house evangelism
6:00 Dinner
7:00 Open air preaching
9:00 Meeting with the elders/leaders of the local church
11:00 Prayer
12:00 Bed


Missions quote #1 by C.S Lewis: “The church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christ's. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose.”

Missions quote #2 by Bill Hull: “Discipleship is the only hope for this world-- it hasn’t worked because it hasn’t been done— it hasn’t been done because we are distracted, we are an impatient lot who have been more interested in ourselves and our kingdoms than Christ and His. Only when a person submits to a community of serious Christ-followers can they learn to do all that Christ commanded.”
~ Bill Hull

Micah for the Tuttle's

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