Well if you read the last report you saw that we had a nice Christmas and we were able to bless about 200 children of Iquitos with hot chocolate, paneton and presents. Thank you, to all who contributed, you made many children's christmas.
I saw a property that would be nice for the Ministry House, and I'm trying to get a loan but it is not easy because my income is from outside of this country and they need to verify income and that I am able to repay the loan. I thought it would be easy because we have 50% of the cost. Even though it is smaller than I had hoped for, the house is a really good deal for the downtown area, I would hate to miss this good deal. Please pray that if it is the Lord's will that He would help us purchase this house.
I was asked to do a funeral for a 20 month old baby this week. The father, Walter is one of the older street kids, that I met 5 years ago when I came to Iquitos, he is about 20 now. Walter and I never really got along, he always wanted me to buy him something, and I don't give money away, the kids usually have to memorize verses in order to win prizes or dinner. So over the past couple of years he would just look away whenever I passed by, he works in the downtown area. About 5 months ago, he stopped me and asked if I could buy medicine for his baby who was sick, of course I was glad to do so. We are blessed to receive monies from two familes and others that contribute to the children's fund monthly, so I have funds available to buy medicine when the children need it. Since that time Walter and I have been friends.
About two months ago Walter again asked if I could buy medicine for his baby, this time I visited them and prayed for the baby, and got to know the mother. Later when I visited again the baby was sicker She had spots on her lips and on her body, I told them that we should take the baby to the hospital and that the ministry would cover the expenses, they never showed up Monday morning at our meeting place. Later that week I visited them again and the baby was really sick and was so weak that she could hardly lift her head and she had a lot more spots all over her body. They told me they had decided to let their relative treat the baby with a vegtable diet. I told them we need to take the baby to the hospital right away, but they said she was getting better.
I got a call on Thursday night that the baby had passed away. I visited them and they asked if I could perform the funeral prayers. So on Friday morning we prayed at the viewing and took the baby to the cementary, Where we prayed again and buried baby Claudia. It was a sad time for me as I saw how the father (Walter) and his sister (Tula) cried hysterically as they put the baby in the ground. I realized that even though I had explained that the baby was with the our Lord, they did not know our Lord personally and they had no real hope of ever seeing the baby again.
Tula was one of the original street kids that would go with me to OANSA at Pastor Javier's church every monday night and she had accepted the Lord with us. So it was sad for me to see that she had not continued to grow or learn more about our faith. It is times like this that I question if I have failed and if we are making any difference by being here. I had heaviness all day but on reflexion I came to the conclusion that the Lord is working and not just with me but with His church body.
Let me explain my conclusions about this incidence. There are those from the church body in the states that send funds for the children of Iquitos. They allow me to offer medicine to sick children like Claudia. This allowed me to form a friendship with Walter and his family. When the baby died, they sought me out because the Lord had brought us together and they didn't know any other Missionary, Pastor or Priest personally. The Lord blessed the prayers and the time we spent together at the viewing and at the cementary. I realized that I now have a strong personal bond with this family that will last forever. Also all those in that shanty town that came to the viewing and cementary now know me better, most only knew me through thier children or word of mouth. So yes, the Lord is working and continues to use us, this is just the first couple of chapters with this family, please pray that the Lord would use this to bring them and many more to a saving knowlege of Himself. That the following Chapters would be full of Gods love, grace, mercy and miracles.
So as you see, the brothers in the states are blessed although they can't be here, they are making a difference through their gift offerings. The children and thier parents here are blessed materially with medicines, blessed spiritually with childrenīs church materials. Their communities with the word and spiritual light. And I am blessed most of all, as I am able to be here and not only see the Lord working but seeing His body working as He intended, God is good!
We continue to visit Belen every Saturday afternoon and do a children's program there. Two Saturdays ago we arrived expecting to round up the children and start the ministry when to our surprise there was a wake going on. The coffin was in the house and many neighbors were there. They were ready to take the deceased to the cementary and I was asked to pray for her. She died giving birth to a baby and leaves two other children and her husband.
Rosa (the mom whose house we do ministry at) received a blessing to help fix up her house. A church who has visited us heard of her need and is sending her an amount to do many repairs. We have replaced her roof and Pastor Javier is replacing her walls. It is looking really good and they will be a lot more secure than before. Because of the constant sun and rain, wood lasts about two years and then begins to rot so that is why her walls needed to be replaced. Thank you very much to those who blessed Rosa and her family.
Julio helping replace the roof
The before picture, when the water was high
The after picture, the water has receeded
We now have larger windows
A picture of the corner in process
We still have more to do, but it is a good start. We really needed bigger windows to let the breeze flow through, it would get really stuffy in there since we usually have about 50 kids attending.
The brothers at "Centro Fuerte" asked us that if we would like to help them enclose one of their meeting houses "Maloca" with boards and that we could continue using that place to meet in every Tuesday. We had enough in the budget to cover this expense. The cost for gasoline, nails and misc expenses came to less than $100. We will put on hold buiding a church in Centro Fuerte for now and meet in their "Maloca".
Pastor Javier is currently in Nuevo San Juan, a river community whose church he and his father helped establish many years ago. We were blessed to be able to sponsor him to visit this river community and encourage the brothers there to carry on. While he is on this trip, he will stop by Requena and pick up 3 birth certificates, we have 3 children who have not been in school for 3 years because they didn't have all thier paperwork in order, they are from Pucallpa.
Jeremy and Sandra are starting a weekly Bible Study and weekly Women's Study at Raquels house. They have already started meeting to pray for the upcoming studies. Ucayali street is where many of the boys live that I met six years ago, they were shoe shine boys at that time. It is also where a few members of our church live.
Here is a link to
Jeremy's Web-Page ,
If you would like to contribute towards helping us finish building the Sanctuary in "El Terminal", or towards the River Ministry, you can contribute to the address below.
If you would like to contribute to any of the following ministries\expenses:
Friends of CCBC, Peru (CCBC = Calvary Chapel Bible College, Peru) 1771 E. Palomar Street Chula Vista, CA 91913 Memo: "Iquitos - XXX"
(Where XXX = Ministry House, River Ministry, General Fund, Children's Ministry, etc...)
Support is down, I am just starting to be affected by the economy in the States.
*Note: The dollar is currently 2.80 or 280 soles for every $100 (U.S.).
Thank you all for your prayers and financial support. and God Bless Albert Smith
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