Tuesday, February 26, 2019

HIStory in Puerto Rico!

2019 has started off with so many unbelievable stories of The Lord & HIS amazing ways.  There are too many to count.  He has shown us in the last two months that He is MORE than able to open doors that no man can shut!

Youth For Christ Puerto Rico is moving and growing in ways that we did not see coming.  HIStory is being made as we lay the foundation of Youth For Christ on the island ... trusting that the work now will carry on for generations to come.

We have been told that Youth For Christ International rarely sees things progress in the way they are progressing here.  

We know believe after 30+ years of prayer for Youth For Christ to be launched in Puerto Rico, NOW is the time!  

Here are a few of our favorite stories so far from 2019.

One day, while walking the beach with Laura's mom, Daniel struck up a conversation with a man who was walking the beach.  He began to ask Daniel if we were vacationing in PR and that conversation led to Daniel sharing with him about us moving here to pioneer YFC PR.  Minutes later, this man was sharing his faith with Daniel which led to him laying hands on him on the beach and praying for our family & ministry.  Turns out, this man is a well-known business man on the island with endless connections and resources.  Connections & resources that he said he knows The Lord wants him to use to further the Kingdom.

The Lord has used this connection in SO many ways.  Our legal paperwork to establish YFC PR as a non-profit was processed in 5 days, (we were told it would take at least 6 months) YFC PR was given a space to use as a youth center in Aguadilla, and our board has already had 2 formal meetings because of his help and guidance.  We are in awe & very thankful that The Lord lined up this encounter on the beach.  Always be prepared ... He is at work for us!
New YFCPR Youth Center
New YFCPR Youth Center 
First YFC PR Board meeting!
A few weeks ago, we were invited to a meeting with other missionaries and two local pastors.  We were amazed to see how the Lord had given similar visions to all of us for the island but have been even more amazed to see how this meeting has led to so many things.  

Meeting with missionaries & pastors
One of the pastors at that meeting reached out to us and said that there was a local middle school in great need for intervention and help.  This middle school, located next door to the apartment complex that we ministered in throughout 2018, is located in front of the area of town where drug dealers sell and use hard drugs.  Many of these students have been exposed to drug activity & are struggling in many ways.  The pastor said that the director of this school attends his church and she was desperate for help for her students.  

Last week, we had a meeting at the school & shared what we could offer at the school to help the students.  She immediately e-mailed her supervisor at the Regional office of the Department of Education & got us an appointment there.  On Tuesday, March 5th, we have a meeting to present a proposal for Campus Life - a weekly club meeting where we will build relationships with students as well as provide encouraging lessons to them.  We believe that this connection was led by The Lord and that He will make a way for us to find favor with the Department of Education.  This is a HUGE opportunity for the ministry.  Pray with us!

In just one month, we will have our first mission team of 2019 with us in Puerto Rico!  We are really looking forward to hosting teams from New York, Canada, South Dakota, and a few different places in South Carolina this year.  It will be so exciting to see the teams participate in our weekly youth ministry while they are here to serve.  We can't wait for the youth to meet each team & see how the Lord works!

Another huge accomplishment happened JUST this morning!  We have been waiting for the last month on the final piece of paperwork to be able to open a bank account for YFC PR.  We have gotten the run-around with different people telling us different things.  Trying to legally establish YFC PR has been frustrating at times with the language barrier, difference in process, and culture challenges.  

This morning, Daniel called the Government Regional Office to try to get through to someone to check the status of our paperwork.  We were connected to a lady (who spoke ENGLISH!) and she was SO helpful.  When we told her what we were trying to do, she said, "I will do whatever I can to help you with this.  I love Jesus and want to see young people come to know Him".  She was able to get our paper processed IMMEDIATELY & even gave us her personal number & e-mail.  She asked for more information about Youth For Christ & said we can call her anytime if we have other needs.   WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE!

So ... what's next?
  • We are continuing forward with weekly ministry at the Youth For Christ youth center on Friday nights.  We are asking the Lord to continue to connect us to young people in the area so that the center can be used to touch many lives.  Please pray with us for Friday night ministry!
  • We are working hard to prepare and plan for mission teams.  We will be hosting teams every month from March through the end of July.  Please pray with us for wisdom as we plan and for endurance for this next season!
  • With all of the growth in the ministry & responsibilities as we expand, we are seeking the Lord for wisdom in taking steps towards hiring our first YFC PR staff member this year.  We want to maintain the momentum of the ministry but it is getting to be too much for just the two of us to handle.  Please pray with us for The Lord to make a way financially for this to happen & for the right person to step forward to join the team!

Now that we have shared with you some of the ways that God is moving in the ministry, here's an update on our family!

Since returning to Puerto Rico after the holidays, we have experienced a whirlwind of emotions as a family.  We moved into a new place just a few days after returning.  This move has been so life-giving to each of us (even the Peal pups) because we have some outdoor space to enjoy!  After searching for over 6 months for a place, we "accidentally" found the home we are renting tucked away in Isabela in a very convenient location for our church, Josie's school & the community we have grown to love.  What a blessing!

A recent sunset from our new home!
Happy to have outdoor space to play!
Enjoying the yard!
Josalina continues to love her school.  She is working hard & making great progress in reading & writing.  We recently discovered that she is having some trouble with her vision.  She will now be wearing these super cute glasses to help her at school.
So sweet!

She was way too excited about getting glasses :) 
We had a visit from Laura's mom & Daniel's parents already in 2019!  What a blessing to live close enough to family that quick trips are possible.  It was so great to have time with family in our new space & spend time showing them what every day life is like for us here!
Grammy & Josie at our church
Nana & Papaw were here to celebrate Josalina's birthday!

Last week, we received news that water rationing would begin for the northwest region of Puerto Rico.  We were not prepared for this news.  We posted on our prayer page and ministry site that we had a need for water reserve tanks for our home & the mission house.  Within 48 hours, we received enough in donations and Home Depot gift cards to meet this need!  We have been moved to tears more than once over this miracle.  Water rationing began Saturday night.  We will be on a 24 hour schedule (24 hours with water, 24 hours without water) until further notice.  These tanks make it possible for us to have water.  We are SO thankful!

Tank on the left will go to the YFC PR Mission house ...
tank on the right is hooked up and working great at our house!

With the great start to 2019, we are expecting huge things this year for our family and The Lord's ministry in Puerto Rico.  

It's not just history in the making ... it is HIStory!

We know that He is doing a great work on this island and we are honored to be a small part of what is happening here.  

We are so thankful for your continued prayers and support as we keep taking daily steps of obedience to fulfill HIS plan for our lives!  We can't do this without YOU!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for answering the call. Puerto Rico's youth need Christ. I am originally from there but living in the mainland now. I pray that God will open the hearts of those you minister to so that they will receive Him as Lord & Savior

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