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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

Happy New Year!
Amy and I and our kids have all had a great holiday season here in Dubuque Iowa. Christmas this year was quite different for us. It snowed on Christmas Eve and then the temperatures plummeted below zero.... -13 F, frozen pipes and snow is a drastic change from Tarapoto where it's usually 95 F and very muggy. It was a new experience for us as we wrapped ourselves in blankets, sat around our cozy and well stoked wood-stove and sang Christmas carols.

A post shared by Amy Tuttle (@amadasoy) on


Evangelism
In spite of the cold, I'm trying to start off the new year with the goal of having at least one good gospel conversation each day: Here's how my first evangelism experience for 2018 went: While at the gas station yesterday, I approached an African-american man and offered him a tract saying: "This is a little something about the bible. Read it when you have a chance." He said: "Thanks" and lingered a moment with a curious look on his face. I said: "What's your opinion about God and the Bible?" He said: "Oh, I believe that everything we see had to come from a higher power." I replied: "Do you think we can have a personal relationship with that higher power?" He said: "I think that you just got to be faithful to your religion whether that's Islam or Buddhism or Christianity." I said: "So you think all religions lead to God?" he replied: "Yeah, just pick a religion and be faithful to it." I said: "What do you think about Jesus' words: “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me."? He was dumbfounded... and then said "Whoa, I get it... fist-bump." After we fist-bumped I went into some of the 10 commandments.... He agreed that he had broken many of them and on judgment day he would be guilty. Then I asked: "Where do you think the guilty will spend eternity?.. He hesitated and said: "Well, I've heard the Bible talks about Hell." I nodded and then I showed him our need for Jesus as our perfect substitute who paid the price that we should have had to pay. He said “Woa, I've never understood that before.... give me another fist-bump man...." After that second fist-bump he said: "People in this world need to hear what you're talking about... Our world is so messed up with gangs and violence and racism and here you are a white guy sharing the love of God with a black guy." I said: "The Bible teaches that all human beings are created in God's image, and really, there are only two races in this world: Believers and Unbelievers...." He said: "Dood! Lets skip the fist-bump... give me a hug man." ........ Please pray for fist-bumping Don!

Upcoming Peru trip
While evangelism is exciting anywhere and anytime, I'm extra excited to announce that I'll be doing evangelism and giving fist-bumps and hugs in Peru within just a few days!! I fly to the land of the Incas on January 4th and a busy month of Peruvian ministry will begin as soon as I arrive. I'll be teaching through the book of Genesis for a week at "Capacitation Biblica" which takes place every year in the coastal town of Trujillo. After that event I hope to pick up a few disciples to take along as I go preaching from village to village in the mountains and in the jungle. Amy will join me when I arrive in Tarapoto where we will finally see the saints in whom we invested so much time and energy and love over a span of about 9 years. We look forward to this with great anticipation as we haven't seen any of them for about 13 months! After a week on our old stomping grounds, Amy and I will head to Lima to meet with some of the churches there and to do some unfinished work in the immigration offices. Then on February 1st we will fly back to our kids in Dubuque who should be having a great time with Amy's mom playing in the snow and stoking the fire :) Please pray for us during this packed month of preaching, teaching and evangelism in Peru!

2018 Schedule
We continue to plan and prepare and pray about how we can impact churches and young people in the USA. We are very excited about our "Spark" weekend conferences that lead to a "Light" week-long conference which, in turn, leads to the "Blaze" summer-long discipleship program. Apart from those events we have many other engagements on our 2018 schedule. Please pray for all of these opportunities and the many preparations that need to be made. Here is a run-down of some of the things that we have on our calendar for this coming year:

January 4-31 In Peru (Trujillo, Cajamarca, Tarapoto, Lima)
February 10-11 Amy speaks at a Women's retreat in Des Moines, IA
February 19 Chapel at Emmaus Bible College
March 5-9 "Light" conference in Dubuque, IA
March 23-24 "Spark" conference in Orlando, FL
April 14-15 NW Iowa Missions Conference in George, IA
April 17 Frontier School of the Bible Chapel in La Grange, WY.
April 20-22 Lakeside Bible Camp in Seattle, WA with Northgate Bible Chapel
April 29 Eastgate Bible Chapel in Portland, OR.
May 1-11 Emmaus Correspondence School conference in Bogota, Colombia
May 25-28 Youth conference in San Fransisco, CA
June 4 "Blaze discipleship" begins its 77 day marathon in Dubuque, IA.
June 24-30 High school camp at Camp Horizon in Orlando, FL
July 20 Flight to Peru for a super awesome missions trip with "Blaze" students
August 3-5 I escape from Peru to Dallas, TX to speak at the FIBA conference
August 6 Back to the super awesome Blaze team in Peru
August 13 Blaze team comes back from Peru
August 18-19 "Torch" weekend event to close out our first summer of "Blaze discipleship"
September 1-3 Youth conference at Camp Hope in Dahlonega GA
September 21-23 Family Camp at Dayspring Bible Camp in St. Louis, MO.
October 6-7 Youth Conference in Baltimore, MD.
October 13-14 CMML Missions conference at Believers Bible Chapel in Augusta, GA.

Micah for the Tuttle's

Missions quote for the day by John Wesley: “Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God?”
― John Wesley

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