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Tuttle Tidbits From November

The last few months have been quite a whirlwind of travel and evangelism and preaching and family and fun.  The Lord continues to help us as we attempt great things for our great God and His great name.  About a year and a half ago we committed to help with a church planting effort in Watsonville California.  At that time we already had a very full calendar of ministry events that stretched two years ahead of us but we really wanted to be involved in establishing new assemblies in North America and the door was wide open in California so we decided to try to fit this ministry into our already busy itinerant schedule…. Well, its been pretty crazy…. exciting but exhausting… For every open spot in our calendar we try to get back to Watsonville to be with the team and to do as much evangelism and discipleship as we can but we've been spread pretty thin and it has been difficult.  When in California we live in our travel trailer in the local KOA campground and its a pretty tight space for the five of us :)  



Yes, there are only five of us traveling together now…. Amy and I and the three youngest kids, Josiah (18) Mya (15) and Ellia (8).  Bria started Emmaus back in August, while Javen and Cullen have already graduated and are beginning to pursue Masters degrees in Psychology and Communications......  Our kids are really growing up fast... Its kind of shocking!  In fact, Javen and his fiance, Autumn, are getting married on January 2nd!  We look forward to adding Autumn to our family!  It's crazy to see our kids growing up, becoming independent and (in Javens case) starting their own families. Most of all we thank the Lord that all of our kids really love the Lord and are walking faithfully with Him!


God has blessed the preaching of His word and it seems that He has used us as we have traveled from place to place in His service.  In August I preached 21 times as we went from Eagle Fern Camp near Portland Oregon to Koinania Camp near Santa Cruz California then to Dubuque Iowa where we got Bria set up at Emmaus.  Then in September the travels continued as I was preaching in Minneapolis, Jefferson City, Las Vegas and again back in Dubuque. In October we went from Chicago Illinois to Portland Maine to Greenfield Iowa to Shannon Hills North Carolina to Seattle Washington and then back to Dubuque for our annual mass tract distribution on Halloween night.  After preaching a few times in various places in Iowa at the beginning of November we made the 30 hour drive back to California, got set up at our camp site and now we've spent most of this month trying to help with the house church here as much as we can.          


We have a fantastic team in California and the Lord is really blessing the small assembly that has begun there.  As our schedule clears up we hope to be more and more present and more involved with the work in Watsonville.  We do have a little bit more craziness planned for the first part of 2023 before we can really focus on California though.  Next up on the calendar is Portland Oregon, then Lubbock Texas, then Dubuque Iowa, then Appling Georgia and then Tarapoto Peru.  By the month of May we hope to find a house to rent in Watsonville so we can really put all of our focus and energy there.  Living and working out of a campground is fun for about two weeks and then you realize that a house would really be a lot better :)  Please pray that we might find something suitable for our family and ministry!  



MEMORABLE EVANGELISTIC ENCOUNTER #1

          

Halloween is the best tract distribution day of the year! In the space of about two hours, the Lord brought more than 1500 people right to our door step….. all of them were asking for a treat so we gave them the best treat the world has ever known!  Ghosts and demons and even the devil himself came right to us and practically begged us for a gift.  Ellia gave them a treat for their tummy and I gave them a treat for their soul.  


Going door to door to do tract distribution is generally hard work but every year on October 31st the world actually comes to our door!  I hate how Halloween celebrates death and glorifies demons… but I love the opportunity it provides for Christians to get the gospel into the hands of hundreds of people in a very short amount of time!

The day after Halloween Amy and I went to the dentist.  While the hygienist was working in my teeth she said: “I took my kids trick or treating last night and I think we went by your place on Grandview where all the crowds of people go from house to house….”  I said: “Oh, You did?” 

She said: ”Yes, I think you were the one giving out candy with a little Jesus pamphlet.”  I said: “Ha! Yep that was me.”  

She said:  “With all the ghosts and zombies and tombstones, my kids kept asking about what happens after death…. And then we went to your house and you gave them that Jesus thing and ever since they’ve been asking me about God, and heaven and hell.…” 

I said: “That’s great! the state of your soul and your eternal destination is pretty much the most important topic there is.  I’m glad they’re talking about it.”  

The hygienist said: “We’ll, we’re not religious people but your tract got us thinking…. Thanks for giving those things out.  We’re going to read through the whole thing tonight as a family.”


MEMORABLE EVANGELISTIC ENCOUNTER #2

Several weeks ago I flew into Las Vegas to spend a few days with eleven brothers in prayer and evangelism. When I arrived the guys that picked me up took me to Dunkin Donuts for a coffee.  After coming out of the coffee shop I immediately felt like I should go over and speak with a man that was looking at his phone while sitting on the sidewalk. 

I walked up to him and said “Hello, I know that this is kinda weird but I’m a preacher and I just arrived in Las Vegas and I’m trying to get to know the place…… I’m wondering what you’d say is the greatest need in this city?”

He was stunned and said: “I know nothing about God but I think He’s trying to get through to me…. Right now I’m watching a rapper battle on YouTube and I just happened to pick one where this Crip gangster guy is battle-rapping a Christian dood who keeps on countering with Jesus raps…. I never listen to Christian rap but I just randomly clicked on this one and the Jesus freak keeps on responding to the gangster with these God messages….. He’s actually really good and its convicting me….. I was just now thinking that this city needs Jesus….. and then you walked up and asked what I think this city needs most!”

I laughed and said “Yeah, God seems to set up these divine appointments for me all of the time :)”  ...... We went on to have a great conversation about Jesus.  


MEMORABLE EVANGELISTIC ENCOUNTER #3

While here in Watsonville, we had the opportunity to go to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was amazing!  There was an unbelievable display of marine life….. and it all seemed to scream: “Glory to God!” 

There were many marine biologists on hand working to answer questions and give explanations at each display, so I began to talk with them one by one.  After thanking them for the great work that they were doing and then commenting on the delicate balance of life in the sea and the amazing complexities of the obvious design all around us I asked them what their thoughts were on evolution vrs creation….. it resulted in several great gospel conversations.  

I had one particularly good dialogue was with a young man in his twenties.  

I asked him: “As you observe and study all of this fascinating marine life, what’s your conclusion…… Did it all come about through creation or evolution?”

He answered: “Well, I believe in science and science shows us that it all came about by evolution.”

Then I said: “Okay, let me kind of ask the same question from a different angle….. As you look around at this amazing facility where thousands of people come to see these things, what’s your conclusion….. Did this building come together by a builder or did it take millions of years to slowly establish itself here?”

He smiled and answered: “Well, a builder of course…. Okay, you’ve got a good point… I guess it would make sense that there’s a Creator who created everything we see.”

Then I said: “So, my next question is: Do you think there’s an afterlife or do we just cease to exist when we die?”

He said: “Well, if there’s a God who created everything then I guess there’s probably an afterlife.” 

I said:  “Last question…..  if there’s an afterlife then where do you think you’ll spend it? In heaven or in hell?” 

He said: “honestly I would probably go to hell if it exists…. I’m sleeping with my girlfriend and getting drunk from time to time and I’m doing a lot of stuff that isn’t right.” 

I replied:  “Does that concern you?”

He said: “Yes, I want to be right with God if He’s really out there… I’ve started to think about these things lately and…… it’s like God sent you to give me a wake up call.” 

I said: “What’s your name?”

He said: “Jonah”

I exclaimed: “What!? ….. That’s a Bible name….. and it’s the minor prophet that comes right before my Bible name…. My name is Micah!”

Jonah said: “Yeah, I grew up in a Christian home and my parents took me to church three times a week… it was never real for me but ever since I moved out I’ve totally abandoned the faith.”

I replied:  “You seem to be acting a lot like the Jonah of the Bible…. You’ve been running from Gods will to do your own.”

Jonah answered: “Wow! I guess that’s a good way to put it…… Man, I don’t think it’s by random chance that I met you and that we’re having this conversation….. Did God tell you to come talk to me or something like that?”

We continued with a long and fascinating conversation and it was quite clear that the Lord was working on the heart and conscience of Jonah. 

Missions quote for the day by Nina Gunter: "If you take missions out of the Bible, you won't have anything left but the two covers"   

Micah for the Tuttle's










The last couple of months have been a complete whirlwind of ministry and travel and family and fun. At the beginning of June we drove from Watsonville California to Turkey Hill Ranch Bible camp near Jefferson City Missouri. After three weeks of preaching at camp we drove back to California to be a part of a conference at Yosemite national park.  Following an intense week of ministry there in the beautiful sierra mountains we traveled on to Portland Oregon where we visited friends and family and churches and then helped for a week out at Eagle Fern Camp. 

Eagle Fern Camp


We just wrapped up a couple of weeks in Portland Oregon, one of which we invested in Junior High boys camp out at Eagle Fern.  Josiah and my dad and I were counselors. Three generations!  We had an incredible week filled with lots of evangelistic conversations with 13 and 14 year old boys.  I had eight kids in my cabin and most of them were unbelievers.... one was a vehement atheist…… It was a fantastic opportunity to pour lots of Bible and lots of Jesus into these young men.  Each morning I gave short messages on biblical manhood to the whole camp, each afternoon I had great individual conversations with different campers and each night I read 12 chapters of the N.T out loud to my cabin.  Dustin Rose was the speaker and he did a great job preaching from Daniel and Genesis.  On the last two nights he asked if I would bring the gospel to the whole group….. I heartily accepted and the Lord really seemed to use it.  At one point most of the camp was in a kind of stunned soul searching quandary.  It’s hard to explain what happened …. The Lord knows….. He was really working in the hearts of many of the kids! Several of the young men commented to me that they had never heard this stuff before….. Please pray for lasting fruit in the lives of these teenagers!

Yosemite Conference



The week before arriving in Portland we were able to get our whole family together and go to Yosemite National Park where I had the privilege of preaching at a California Bible conference there that has been happening for more than 40 years.  When we arrived we were rather exhausted after having driven 1700 miles in about 31 hours but we were excited to be entrusted with a spectacular message in such a spectacular place.  During the course of the week Scott Degroff and I preached a combined 18 times and the Lord really seemed to work through the messages.…. It was a fantastic conference that brought many blessings from the Lord.  Brothers and sisters came from many different places around the country and there were even passer-by visitors that listened in on the meetings.  It was a special week and we are thanking the Lord for the work that he did in the hearts of many people! We must keep praying for revival on the left coast!

Turkey Hill Ranch Bible Camp



In June we spent a really intense three weeks of ministry out at Turkey Hill Ranch Bible Camp in Missouri. I preached a total of 31 times while Amy worked with the young ladies and was the speaker for one of the girls camps.  Cullen, Bria and Josiah helped as cabin counselors and Mya and Ellia had a good time as campers.  One of the weeks we spent on the Current river in the Ozark mountains doing a wilderness camp for high school girls.  On that trip we floated 60 miles with 16 teenage girls. Amy and Ashley Allen were the speakers and the Lord really used them to impact each of the girls that had come. There’s nothing better than life on life, one on one discipleship and Bible teaching in small group settings!  Jimmy Allen and I were the grunt guys that just stayed out of the way except for helping with the set up and tear down each day.  We also played the role of body guards that camped off in the distance and made sure everyone was safe from wild animals, drunks and anything that could be a potential danger….. We all survived….. kinda sunburned, kinda sore, kinda tired….. but feeling very blessed!

Evangelism in Jefferson City 



While in Missouri we were able to form an awesome army of evangelists!  We went out into the streets of Jefferson City and we had hundreds of good conversations with people about Jesus. 

"Guns, Gold and God"…..  That was the title of the questionnaire that we used….. and it worked great! Almost everyone I talked to wanted to participate and it ended up producing numerous gospel conversations.  The questionnaire goes like this: (feel free to use it)


1-What’s your point of view on whether or not Americans should be allowed to posses guns?

2-What do you think is the cause of our recent economic crisis in the USA? (Stock market crashing, inflation, gas prices, national debt)

3-If you were one of our nations founding fathers and you wanted to communicate with Americans today.  What would you say? 

4-If you were God and wanted to communicate with people how would you do it?

5-How would you convince people that this was really you communicating to them?

6-If it could be proven that it was really God who was communicating to us through the Bible would you conform your life to its moral and doctrinal teaching? 


“That’s it!  Thanks for participating in the questionnaire!”


This kind of questionnaire works great to get conversations started and it makes it easy to pursue a deeper spiritual conversation if the person is interested. If they don't seem too interested you can just say "Thanks for participating, I hope you have a good day" and you can go on to the next person.

Missions quote for the day by Elton Trueblood: "Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead, the unrelenting responsibility of each person who belongs to the company of Jesus."  

Micah for the Tuttle's   







Tuttle-tidbits for June

Epic Evangelistic Encounters


Nearly everyday I've been having epic gospel conversations with people out on the streets here in Watsonville California.  Yesterday I had a great evangelistic encounter with a guy named "Jonathan".  I asked him if I could interview him on camera and he was more than willing to do so. As we talked he said he's been in and out of jail, had many near-death experiences and is wondering why he's even on this planet.  He was "all ears" when I told him that God has some great reason for protecting him and preserving his life up to this point.  I told him that true meaning and purpose in life can only be found in Jesus who "jealously desires the spirit that He has made to dwell in us." (James 4:5).  Soon we began to talk about sin, righteousness and the judgment to come.  He was very thankful for the conversation and said that he was going to start reading his bible...... I'm always amazed at how ripe the harvest for souls is!  People everywhere are searching for answers and want to talk about spiritual things if you come to them in sincerity and humility and a willingness to listen to them. 
     

Javen's Graduation

One major event for us last month was Javen's graduation from college.  We drove from Watsonville California to Dubuque Iowa to see our oldest son graduate from Emmaus with a double major.  His degrees are in Christian Counseling and Biblical Studies.  We couldn't be more proud!  Javen is such a fine young man that loves the Lord and is using his many gifts to serve Jesus.  He preaches from time to time at his local church in Dubuque, he is sharing his faith at work where he is a package handler for Fed-Ex and now he hopes to be a light for Christ as a Christian psychologist. Please pray for him as he starts to pursue this career.  We look forward to seeing how the Lord will use him in the years to come!       


Wisconsin Youth Rally


In mid-May I had the privilege of preaching at a few meetings to a church full of young people at a Wisconsin youth rally near Milwaukee. When the intense weekend of ministry was over, two of our boys and a friend (Cullen and Josiah and Juanes) decided to gather up a van full of guys and drive around the country preaching and praying and singing and encouraging the assembly youth all over middle America.  They went from Milwaukee to Des Moines to Wichita to Oklahoma City to Lubbock to Dallas to Kansas City to Cedar Falls to Dubuque.  The Lord blessed them and used them and provided for them in each place!  What a life!  It is sooo encouraging to see our kids growing in the Lord and serving Him!   
  

Family Camping Trip

When we finally arrived back in California, after our whirlwind trip to the midwest, our long-time friends Steve and Patti Shimpf took us on an awesome camping trip near Mount Shasta! We had a blast fishing and boating and doing campfires and eating and playing games! Ellia caught lots of fish, Josiah spent lots of time rowing a boat around the lake, Mya did lots of reading, Bria did lots of hiking, and Amy and I and Steve and Patti did lots of talking :) We thank the Lord for this short break and the time together as a family.  Theres nothing like getting away into the wilderness!   


Another Divine Appointment!

The other day I started shooting hoops with an 18 year-old guy named Josh.  As we shot around we talked about where he was from and what he's studying and the career he wants to pursue.  After a while I said: "You've got a bible name... You ever read the Bible before?"  He said: "No, I've never even really been to church."  I replied: "Oh, thats okay... Sometimes I like to ask people questions about spiritual things and hear their perspective... Can I ask you few?"  Josh said that he had never really given any thought to religion before but he'd like to hear my questions.... so I said: 

The first question is:  "If you were God and you wanted to communicate with human beings how would you do it?"  Josh thought about it for a few seconds and then replied: "I guess I'd write a letter and then I'd send messengers to take that letter to everyone everywhere."  

I said: "Man, that's a great idea.... So how would you convince people that this was really your letter and your messengers sent to communicate it."  Josh thought again and then said: "Well, I'd have my messengers do some miracles and then I'd do some special signs in the sky or something like that."

I replied: "What if the people still didn't believe the letter?" Then Josh said: "I think I myself would come down and I'd do a bunch of miracles and tell them my message with my own mouth." 

I said: "What if they didn't like it and they killed you?" Josh said: "Well, forget them! I'd just destroy everything!" 

I said: "Are you sure you've never read the bible before?"  He said: "Never"  I said: "You really should read it.... You'd be surprised at its message."     

Missions Quote For The Day: "We do not truly understand the gospel if we spend all of our time preaching it to Christians.  The gospel is a missionary gospel.  It is the communication of Good news to people who are lost in sin and darkness."

Micah for the Tuttle's


Tuttle-tidbits going into May

In mid April we left our Travel Trailer and the campground and Watsonville California which has been our home-base for the last year or so and we set out on what will be an intense couple of months of travel and ministry.  Our travels will take us to Oregon, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Utah, Missouri and then back to California again.  Please pray for us!     

After driving to Portland, I left Amy and the kids with our families and I flew to Lubbock Texas to teach through the book of Revelation at the Discipleship Intern Training Program. I had a fantastic time with the students going through the Word and seeking the Lord together!  Every hour was put to good use and even when I wasn't in the classroom I was able to do quite a bit of shepherding and council and evangelism.  One of those days we went to the Texas Tech campus and set up a white board on which we had written the question: "How do you think the world will end?" There was amazing interest from almost everyone we talked to!  There were many great individual conversations and some of our team even started a little evangelistic bible study to which several people came and engaged in excellent, and friendly conversation. 


When my week in Lubbock was done I flew to Des Moines, IA where I preached on Sunday morning and then awaited Amy and the kids who were driving from Portland Oregon to meet me there..... Little did I know the saga of Mechanical problems that the van would have along the way.... Our van has served us so well for the last four years as we've driven it all around the country (about 120,000 miles) without any problems. But on this trip it finally broke down with a transmission problem.  Amy and the kids ended up being stuck in Salt Lake City Utah for six days.... but the Lord was in control and provided for our needs in every way!  A friend of a friend of a friend graciously opened their home to Amy and the kids and fed them and gave them beds to sleep in and helped direct them to a good mechanic.  We are thanking the Lord for the body of Christ! What a blessing!  It took a while but now we are back on the road!        

There are always evangelistic encounters to be had along the way!  The other day I walked into the bank to deposit a check and when the clerk saw my name, she asked:  "How do you pronounce your name?" I pronounced it for her and then I said: "It's a name from the Bible..... I'm sure you read your Bible every morning... right?".... She hesitated and then said: "No, I don't really read the bible too much."  I replied: "Oh, well I'm sure you probably read it in the evenings then, right?"..... She was very interested and said: "No, I don't read in the evenings either but I've actually been thinking that I should start." I replied: "Oh, yeah, you really got to begin today!.... but back to my name, I'm named after the prophet Micah... He comes right after Jonah in the O.T..... you know the story about the big fish?".... She said that she wasn't familiar with that story and then she put on a sad face and said: "I do know that some guy died though.... Can't remember his name" .... I said: "Are you talking about Jesus?" She replied:  "YES!  That's his name."  ...... At this point there was a line building up behind me and everyone in the bank was listening intently to our conversation.... I said: "I know that you need to attend to these people in line but just let me tell you that Jesus didn't stay dead...  Did you ever hear that part of the story?"  She said: "What!?.... No, I don't really know anything about this"... I replied: "When you get done with work you need to go home and start reading, but let me just leave you with this statement:  "We see the death of death in the death of Christ because death couldn't hold Him."  She looked rather perplexed but repeated that statement slowly, thoughtfully and kinda loudly.... You could see the wheels were spinning. I said: "Jesus loves you.... start reading THE BOOK today."  I turned around and gave fist bumps to everyone in line and then left the bank, happy for another chance to scatter some gospel seeds.     

Missions quote for the day by George Peters: "Our God is a God of missions.  He wills missions.  He commands missions.  He demands missions.  He made missions possible through the death and resurrection His Son. He made missions actual through the sending of His Holy Spirit."

Micah for the Tuttle's

Tuttle-tidbits for April

Here in Watsonville California our team is committed to daily prayer meetings.  We really feel that if we are going to see a fresh work of God in these last days we will need to seek Him in prayer.  We pray that our great God would do great things for His great name and His great cause.  Some days our prayer meetings are in one of our homes, some days they are through zoom and on Fridays they are in the park.  It's amazing how praying in the park opens up doors to share the gospel with people that are passing by and wondering what we are doing.  After about 30 minutes of prayer in the park I usually leave the group and go sit by someone on a bench at the playground and say: "You see those people over there gathered in a circle with their heads bowed?..... I'm with them and we are just praying for our community.... I was wondering if you had any specific prayer requests that we could pray for?"  That almost always leads to an awesome gospel conversation.        

One of those great evangelistic conversations took place a few Fridays ago when I went over to a guy named Daniel who was shooting baskets at the BB court adjacent to where we were praying.  He had a big back-brace strapped around his waist and chest and spine.  I had tried to talk to Daniel before but he was always distant and didn't really respond to spiritual conversation.... until this day.  

I asked him my question about what we might be able to pray for and he told me that two weeks ago he had heard voices in his head telling him to jump off a high roof top and kill himself..... It was a long story but in the end he woke up in a hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses.  He said that immediately he knew that God had spared his life for a reason, that he had been given a second chance and that he was hoping "Micah" would come back to talk to him more about the Jesus whom he had previously ignored..... For the next couple of days we met together and talked through the gospel for long periods of time.  It is amazing to see how God has really shaken him into reality and now he's "all ears".        

Another person who is "all ears" here is a woman named "Ernestina".  She is a Mexican who makes a living picking strawberries in the fields around Wastsonville.  Since the first day we arrived here in California she has been a good friend that Amy has poured into.  She is not a believer yet but she seems to be very close.  About two weeks ago Ernestina made a big dinner for 30 people at her house and when she gave a speech (which Amy translated) it was evident that the Lord is really working on her, even in the midst of some difficult circumstances.  She has been struggling with some health problems, she is dealing with a few rebellious kids and to top it off her estranged husband recently died... Tough stuff!  People need the Lord!    

One of the best things that we can do in our ministry is to have a strong marriage.  I love my wife!  God has entrusted me with a certain daughter of His and I want to do my best to love and nurture and take care of her.  We want to be continually working on our marriage and building our family.  One of the ways that we want to invest in our relationship is to attend marriage retreats or conferences from time to time.  Last weekend Amy and I went to a Focus On The Family marriage retreat in Branson Missouri.  It was a great time to get away together and learn some tools that will help us communicate and work together better.  I believe that a strong marriage and family life is one of the greatest evangelistic tools that we can have and it should reflect to the world the love that Christ has for His church.  


Missions quote for the day by Robbert Moffat:  "Oh that I had a thousand lives and bodies!  All of them should be devoted to no other employment but to preach Christ to these degraded, despised, yet beloved mortals."  

Micah for the Tuttle's














Many of you know that during our epic jungle trip in Peru last month I tested positive for COVID.  After quarantining for 10 days and finally getting a negative test we were able to travel back to California.... but for some reason my fevers persisted.....  The day after we landed in Los Angeles I went into my third round of high fevers and we soon found out that I had malaria.  At temperatures of 104F I was miserable and we were about to cancel a speaking engagement in Iowa that was scheduled for five days after our arrival in the USA.  But before canceling, a doctor friend in Kansas helped Amy get my case figured out and they were able to get me some hydroxychloroquine.  I took the first dosage that night and then went to bed feeling like death.... When I woke up in the morning I felt WAY better so I decided to take my flight to Cedar Falls and attempt great things for our great God at the Iowa youth rally.

As the weekend in Cedar Falls progressed I slowly came out of my head-fog and I regained my strength.  Im not sure how, but it seems that everyone at the youth rally could understand my rambling messages :) It ended up being a fantastic time and the Lord really seemed to use it in the life of many that were there.  Whenever I preach at these kinds of meetings I'm filled with a sense of urgency and passion to be used of God as a useful instrument in His hands.  The weight of responsibility to preach Gods word to His image bearers is always crushing. The prophet Amos called the message a burden... It is indeed a burden.... one that I happily bear.  But oh, the relief when that burden has been unloaded and left in the hands of the only One that can truly transform lives.          

After the meetings in Iowa I arrived back in Watsonville California just in time for Michaels baptism.  Michael is the guy that I've referenced before about how the Lord has recently saved him out of a life of drugs and debauchery.  He began attending our house church about a year ago and is now reaching out to his friends that are seriously interested in the changes they see in him.  Many of his friends came to the baptism and listened intently as I preached a solid 40 minutes on the forgiveness that Christ offers us.  It has been awesome to see how Jesus is transforming Michael and setting him free in so many areas! 

Missions quote for the day by Dr. Moffat Gautrey: “The gospel is not an “old, old story, freshly told…. No, rather it's a fire in the soul, fed by the flame of Immortal love, and woe unto us, if through our negligence, that fire burns low and we refuse to stir up the the gift of God that He has put within us.” 


 
Micah for the Tuttle's  


  







One of the best things that I can do for the church leaders in the jungles of Peru is provide them with Bibles and study materials. Burt Elliot taught me many years ago that the brothers will value it much more if it costs them something.  So I charge a pretty steep price :)  One brother paid me with a turtle (which Ellia loves). Another traded me a baby chicken for his bible (a second pet for Ellia).  Yet another brother gave me a bag of beans for a systematic theology.... Ellia didn't really care about the beans but the brother sure loves his new book!

Many of us have whole libraries of bibles and commentaries and study materials but most of these jungle preachers have a New Testament and nothing more.  I love to see the look on their face when they get their hands on a whole bible.... complete with study notes, definitions, maps, cross-references and a lengthy concordance.  Yes, the look on their face and sometimes the tears in their eyes .... those are golden moments for me.  

It was great to go from village to village these last few weeks and try to encourage the saints in each of the churches.  Some of the churches were doing really well and others were really struggling.  In my observation the spiritual health of the church is directly tied to the leadership there.  If we can raise up healthy and mature spiritual leaders we will usually end up with healthy and mature church congregations.  Last month was full of invaluable meetings with those church leaders as I tried to encourage them in word and deed and by getting them some helpful study materials.  As we went from village to village doing this we made many lasting memories.  

The following story is one of those unforgettable experiences that left a lasting sense of urgency in my bones:  .... Upon arrival in Ricardo Palma we could hear great wailing and bitter lamentation.... A man had died... He had passed just minutes before we got there. The deceased along with his whole family were know to be vehemently opposed to the gospel but when we came with a financial gift for the burial they listened intently to my message from Psalm 91. As I prayed there were loud and uncontrollable sobs from the many family members that had crowded into the house. What a sobering reminder of the hopelessness of finishing this life without Christ.  This lifeless body whose spirit had just departed served as an urgent reminder that people need the gospel now.... not tomorrow... NOW!

When we stepped outside there was a smoldering fire that was slowly consuming some tripas next to the hut.... Beside the fire stood a little piglet. He was very close to the fire and seemed to be gazing into the flames.  The vivid illustration hit hard.... Jesus said that hell is a place where their worm does not die and their fire is not quenched.  So many souls that stand at the precipice of hell and don't even know that they need to be saved from the wrath to come!

C.T Studd famously said: "Put your ear down to your bible and hear God bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire that they ares stepping into. Put your ear down to the burdened agonized heart of humanity and listen to its pitiful wail for help.  Go stand by the gates of hell and hear the damned entreat you to go to their fathers house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there.  Then look Christ in the face whose mercy you profess to obey and tell him weather you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world." 

Filled with a great sense of urgency we took the gospel hut to hut, spent time investing in the leaders, held children's meetings, pleaded with souls and then that night we preached our hearts out in the open air to a pitiful and precious and needy crowd of villagers.  

Micah for the Tuttle's

We just wrapped up an epic jungle trip along the Huallaga river!  The DITP institute from Lubbock Texas joined us as we visited 6 villages in 9 days.  Our long week was filled with children's meetings, hut to hut evangelism, plentiful feasting and open air preaching. We suffered thousands of bug bites, a few sunburns, three swollen ankles, two cases of Covid, two poisonous snake encounters and some general exhaustion, but besides that we ended the trip in pretty good shape :)

The second half of our journey required a sixteen mile hike to get from one set of villages to the next... it took us 11 hours.... We crossed two rivers and numerous smaller creeks. The terrain was steep and the trails were extremely muddy.  In order to keep hydrated we had to stop and filter water several times out of the sediment clouded streams.  Of course the jungle is always hot and the humidity is oppressive, so after hiking for hours on end with heavy backpacks your energy levels really start to drop.  We were thankful for a big rainstorm which came at about midday and brought the temperature down while giving us a good soaking. 

Cullen and Josiah were way ahead trailblazing the way for everyone else. Amy and Bria carried their own 40lb packs the entire way.  Mya gave her backpack to the pack-animal about halfway through, but persevered on her own two legs to the end.   Ellia, our seven year old daughter, went on horseback for most of the way until the animal took a scary fall and slipped down a muddy bank into a creek.  The horse somehow avoided crushing Elia and she was okay but pretty shook up.... We thank the Lord for His protection!!! 

Finally, after about ten hours of slogging down the trail we arrived at the Toasapa river where some brothers were waiting for us with canoes to take us the rest of the way to the village of Vista Alegre.  If they hadn't come we would have been walking in the dark..... which is something that you should definitely avoid in the rainforest! 

An hour later we came to shore at the village port there were many people eagerly awaiting our arrival. We were greeted with a lot of hugs and backslaps and hearty handshakes. One brother had slaughtered a pig for us and we had a real feast waiting on the table. That night the whole village came out to the open air meeting.  Cullen preached the gospel, Percy gave his testimony and I preached on the return of Christ.  The Lord really seemed to use it and there was a great response. But I must say that after eight days of preaching at the top of my lungs my head was hurting and my vocal cords were shredded.  

At about 3:00 am the next morning one of the villagers went to the pastors house and woke him up, wanting to get right with the Lord. He said that he couldn't sleep all night because he was thinking about Christ's return and how he wasn't ready. At breakfast we ended up having an epic meeting to address the mans concerns.  The house was totally packed out and after a message from Revelation 1:6 two people made decisions for Christ. Shortly afterward everyone made their way down to the river where I baptized three new believers. It was a powerful time and very exciting to see the Lord work!

                                        
After the baptisms we prayed with the believers, said some heartbreaking goodbyes and then walked a few miles down the trail to "Sanango".  This was the first time I had ever been to this village and no one there knew us.  I had heard that there was a small group of believers there and I had tried to send a message a few weeks before that we would be coming to visit them but somehow they never got the memo.  When twenty of us arrived they were quite surprised and said they had no idea that we were coming.  

It was amazing to see the few brothers and sisters in this village spring into action as they quickly prepared a meal for us and then found a place for us to set up our tents.  In no time at all the brothers were announcing on the loudspeaker that the gringos would be preaching within the hour at the main square and that everyone was invited to come. Several guys from our team immediately decided to started the meeting with a soccer match between us and the young men from the village..... This really got the people to come out!  The villagers always love it if they can beat the "gringos".

After a 4-4 tie I ran out on the cement court, jumped up on a table and started preaching.  When I had grabbed everyones attention I gave it over to the team.... (All week long and in every village I delegated responsibilities to our team-members about who would be preaching, who would be singing, who would be giving a testimony, who would be working with kids and who would be doing a skit).... Soon villagers were all around the square straining to hear every word that we were preaching.  Three different brothers from the team gave short messages while another gave his testimony. After about an hour and a half of preaching, singing and pleading with souls we left it in the Lord's hands and then went to speak with individuals about what they had just heard. We had some great conversations that lasted late into the night.  What a life! 

Missions quote for the day by J. Howard Edington: "People who don't believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took him at His word and went East, West, North and South."

Micah for the Tuttle's         


   

  

Today we landed at our home in Tarapoto Peru!  We are beyond excited to be here with the brethren for the next several weeks and there are many ministry events on the schedule that I will be reporting about in the next blog.  But for now let me just say that it took many minor miracles to get here! There were so many hoops and obstacles to go through it was unbelievable.  We had to have the right face-masks and the right documents to go on the right flight with the right Covid tests, taken within the right time frame and, of course, all for the right price :/ ..... Yet, it all came together!  We are praising the Lord!     

I have let too much time go by without a blogpost/news-update and so many things have happened in these last two months that I cannot relate them all here. Exciting evangelistic encounters seem to be a regular occurrence wherever I go and there are many stories I could tell but let me focus on the one that is having the most multiplying effect.  This is just a short testimony about what the Lord has done in the life of a man in Watsonville named Michael.   

About a year ago one of our team members (Micah Williams) invited Michael to visit our little house church.  At the time Michael was growing and selling marijuana and dabbling in Hinduism, and was really searching for spiritual answers.  Fast-forward several months and he is now growing in a different way..... He is growing leaps and bounds in Christ!   I've been teaching Michael how I read the bible and how I take notes each morning and he's really putting it into practice.  He sends me a screenshot nearly every morning of all his notes from the 12 chapters he reads each day!  He's been reading his bible with reckless abandon and soaking up everything he's taught!  One of the other guys at our house church gave Michael a book on holiness which he immediately devoured and then yet another brother has been meeting with Michael and teaching him how to pray.  

When Michael learned from Dave Reeve how to lead a bible study he started asking some of his old marijuana friends to read the scriptures with him and they were so curious as to what had happened to their friend that they actually came .... and with great interest!  Michael invited Ceasar who, in turn invited Julian.  Michael also invited Tony who invited his friend Jonathan and now they are all quite excited about what they are finding as the read through the gospel of John.  All of these guys are pretty rough around the edges but precious in Gods eyes! 

A bible study with unbelievers is quite different than your typical "church cell group".  While doing the study the other night I was offered pot more than once, the F-word was quite commonly used to express joy over what they were discovering, there were plenty of cigarettes on the table and one guy even slipped into an off-colored joke.... but then caught himself and apologized.  But it was within that kind of context that there were actually some really good questions and some really good discussions about evil the world and suffering and the judgement to come.  A couple of times there were tears of joy but mixed with a trembling in fear of God.  There was no religiosity, no pretending to be something that they aren't, just a genuine interest and an honest searching of the scriptures.  We spent four hours in the first chapter of John that night and there were some amazing discussions about the person and work of Christ.  That particular  study was one of those awesome God-ordained moments that I will always remember.  Please pray for Michael as he continues to reach out to his friends!          

Missions quote for the day by Lawrence Tribble: "One man wakes, awakens another, second one wakes his next door brother. Three awake can rouse a town and turn the whole place upside down. Many awake will cause such a fuss, it will awake all of us. One man wakes with dawn in his eyes, surely then it multiplies."   

Micah for the Tuttle's

December Tuttle-tidbits

Last Monday Amy and I celebrated 25 years of marriage.  It's hard to grasp how fast those years have gone by.  The Lord has been so good to us and helped us at every point along the way.  He has blessed us with six kids that all love Him and it was a huge joy to have each one of them with us over our anniversary week.  Javen and Cullen and our Colombian "hijo" Juanes came from Iowa and we had a good mix of ministry and fun while they were here in California.  On one occasion we went surfing at the beach and then later that afternoon we held an open air meeting in the main square.  Another time we did prayer in the park followed by a visit to the golden gate bridge.  It was a great couple of days filled with campfires and singing and evangelism and beaches and Bible readings.  We thank the Lord for His many blessings!  


One Sunday afternoon Juanes and I went out to play some park basketball.... The courts were crowded with several teams waiting to play.  The winning team always stays on the blacktop and you have to bet at least $5 to participate.... Juanes and I weren't willing to bet so it was difficult to get in the game.  Finally after about an hour of waiting and getting to know some of the guys, one of the teams needed some extra players and they put the money in the pot for us.  We got kinda lucky, and our team ripped off six games straight and we held court until it was dark.  As soon as the last game ended they started giving out the money for our winnings.  I quickly called everyone over and as they gathered around I preached a short gospel message. About 30 guys listened intently..... and then they were shocked as we tried to distribute our winnings amongst them..... No one wanted to take it... It was a great opportunity to preach on how God offers a free gift of eternal life to each one of us but you have to RECEIVE IT!  I took my money and I put it in the hands of one of the guys and I said: "Please accept this free gift as if from Jesus Himself.  He loves you."  Juanes then preached a short thought on how, he and I "had gotten into the game with a debt so to speak... much like how we all have a spiritual debt before God that we cannot pay and now the big question is: Will you receive or reject what Christ has done on your behalf?"  

One of the guys responded: "We've never had this kinda thing happen at our court before... Could you guys come back every Sunday and play with us and share something from the Bible?" When our mini gospel-meeting ended we had some fantastic conversations with several individuals.  We thank the Lord for these great opportunities!                       

Missions quote for the day by Kurt Von Schleicher: "Our God of grace often gives us a second chance, but there is no second chance to harvest a ripe crop."

Micah for the Tuttle's


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