lima, peru

Justin & Alison Thompson

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Missions Sunday

November 2018



Team Lima Newsletter

July 2019


All-Night Prayer Vigil

For this article, we will give you a taste of the night from our four perspectives, highlighting the things that grabbed our attention and caused us to praise God for all he is doing amongst our Peruvian brothers and sisters. On Saturday evening, June 1st, we gathered at eight o'clock in the evening and stayed until six o'clock the following morning. It was a time filled with prayer, worship, testimonies, food, and a whole lot of coffee.

Kami. I was most impacted by the testimonies during the prayer vigil. Starting with how Omar delved deep into experiences from his own life during his message, people really opened themselves up and were beautifully transparent. The original plan of two or three people sharing how God has worked and continues to work in their lives turned into the majority of our church family taking a turn to talk. Everyone was able to know one another more, to better understand each other because of where we have been. To share in hurts and rejoice together in God's goodness. To be able to encourage one another in this shared journey and become a more unified body of believers.

Mark. There are so many aspects of our first all-night prayer vigil that made me thankful for the way that God is working among our church family. The first and most important aspect is that God is the one working. Despite all of our sins, our past, our issues, and our short-comings, God continues to prove Himself faithful through the ways that He is renewing and restoring our church family. His faithfulness showed up again and again throughout the night in numerous and unexpected ways. Another aspect of the vigil that impacted me was Omar's sermon at the beginning of the night. He taught beautifully from Proverbs 3:1-12 and then proceeded to share a powerful personal testimony about how God had impacted his life. Omar's openness paved the way for nearly everyone in the group to share deeply personal stories of past sins, present struggles, and numerous examples of how God has been working in their lives. I was amazed at the level of transparency, as well as the level of acceptance, grace, and support that everyone in the group showed one another. Yet another impactful moment was when we split up into small groups to pray. I was in a group with Nelly, Lucero, Carmen, and Tatiana. As we went around the circle praying, I was amazed at how much each of those women had grown in their spiritual walks. We have known most of them from before they started walking with the Lord, so to see the contrast between the very first time that I met them and now was quite impactful. As they poured out their hearts to God, praying for themselves, one another, and the church in general, I was so thankful for how God has been working in their lives, drawing them closer to Himself. Which brings me back to my first point. God is working in powerful ways in the lives of many Peruvians, often in ways that we cannot perceive. We are so thankful that He is proving Himself faithful in carrying out the work of drawing Peruvian close to Himself.

Alison. It's always fun to try something new with your community of believers, and that's why our recent all-night prayer vigil was so great! Admittedly, Justin and I took turns going due to the fact that somebody had to be home with the sleeping kids, and I only spent the first few hours with everyone, but it was quite honestly one of the best experiences I feel like I've had with our church in a while! I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, and I wasn't even sure who all would show up, but we had so many people there that genuinely want to form a closer community and are seeking a deeper relationship with God, which was so encouraging! I was also there to hear one of our young leaders, Omar, speak to the group, and I'm not sure I've listened to a more personal and honest talk given yet by one of our members. It was so great to see him be vulnerable with our community and to receive such love from everyone there. In addition, the prayer and worship time was raw and real, and the church members seem to have really connected with God and each other in a new way through that. If I went into the evening unsure of the depth of some of the hearts in our church members, I definitely left feeling more certain, hopeful, and excited about the growth that has happened and the potential that is there for God to really come alive in our community!

Justin. As Alison mentioned, I arrived late to the party. Alison took the first shift at the prayer vigil while I stayed at home with our youngest children. When I got to the Clancy's house, the group was sharing testimonies. I heard a mix of old and new stories, listening attentively and joyfully to God's work in their lives. Story-telling became a contagious exercise late into the night as people got up one after another. Almost everyone shared and invited others to see life from their perspective. The brokenness, transparency, and humility most captured my attention. By the time the clock chimed six, I was full - full of hope and love. The Spirit reminded me of how God vibrantly paints these moments with the Spirit's movements. As I sat in the afterglow of the experience, I felt satisfyingly exhausted. Sunday mornings do not usually give me intimate time to connect with the others with whom I commune. I don't see or hear how God turns their worlds and invites them to participate in his ongoing activity. However, that night, I did. If I can be honest, I wasn't looking forward to attempting an all-nighter. I couldn't see just how much interaction would happen. I was wrong. Peruvians dreamed up something that I would not have given a second thought. Their leadership, transparency, and humility ministered to me. For that night, I was one of the crowd, and there was no better place to be!

Of course, here are a few photos of the prayer vigil!


Team Lima Newsletter

May 2019


Looming Transitions

By Justin

With each passing month, our families get closer to moving to the States. It’s difficult to process. If I’m honest, some of my kids want to move. Others don’t. In four days, the Thompsons will officially celebrate ten years in Lima. It has been almost eleven years since we’ve lived in the States, a time when we were parents of one, wide-eyed and unaware of the adventure that would unfold.

Updates

The Church. Aliento de Vida (ADV) will be taking a big step in August. Mark and I will name leaders, and Peruvians will take over all responsibilities on Sunday mornings. We will move into mentoring and coaching roles, praying for and listening to our brothers and sisters as they discern the Spirit’s movement in their lives.

Some of you know that I am working toward a Doctor of Ministry degree. The joy of this journey has introduced Mark and me to essential concepts and tools for transitioning leadership at ADV, all of which I have been able to implement into ministry in Peru. This summer, or winter in our case, our leaders will practice listening to church members through interviews, asking those they interview about their most positive, life-giving experiences at ADV. As a part of their transition, our leaders need to discover their identity. Of course, Mark and I, along with our former teammates, forged an identity at ADV, yet our leaders are at a deciding point in which they need to put their fingerprints on this vision. This practice of listening will hopefully open their eyes and hearts to the movement of the Spirit around them and spur them to be better leaders for those who surround them. This next Sunday will be our first meeting as we set out on this journey together and as they inch closer to leading on their own.

Specifically, we have focused on four aspects of our life as a community: 1) prayer and worship, 2) studying the Word, 3) evangelism and 4) growing as a family. We don’t do these things perfectly, but our people sure do put their hearts on the line. I love their zeal. When it comes time to say “hasta luego,” I am going to miss seeing their faces on a regular basis. I am going to miss my Peruvian family something fierce, but I am also going to rejoice at the work of the Spirit in their lives, in the life that springs forth when they depend more fiercely on the Spirit’s movement in and around them. I will miss seeing it with my own eyes but will intently wait to hear the stories that emerge from within.

I am reminded that this journey is not ours alone to celebrate. It is yours and ours because the story belongs to God, and he has included us in it. We have partnered together, and together we have partnered with God in what has been his work from the beginning. Our brothers and sisters are taking flight. As we release them in the power of the Spirit and bless the adventure awaiting them, we ask that you join us in lifting them up, praying, petitioning, asking the Father to move even more deeply and profoundly that he has thus far.


Spiritual Growth

I wanted to repost this article by Mark in this month’s newsletter because I think it highlights important prayer requests and hopes for ADV. I cannot reiterate enough the vital role that you, our supporters, play in this journey. You should not underestimate your contribution. We certainly do not! - Justin

By Mark

Over the past several years, our team has been able to witness numerous members of our church family experience spiritual growth in ways that have encouraged us and given us confidence in the future of Aliento de Vida. We have seen this in their personal lives, as the Lord has given them greater passion for His Word, personal prayer, evangelism, and more godly interpersonal relationships. We have also seen this in their communal life, as the Holy Spirit has brought about greater unity, love, and strength to the entire church family. And most recently, we have seen this as numerous local Christians have continued to mature as leaders. Some lead powerfully through personal interactions, diligence in prayer, and often-unrecognized service. Others have stepped into roles of more visible leadership, through preaching, teaching, leading worship, and giving general leadership to the church family. As a team, it has been encouraging to see every aspect of this spiritual growth among so many members of our church family.

At the same time, we continue to pray for various people that have stepped away from their once-growing faith. Just as Jesus taught, some seeds inevitably fall on rocky and thorny soil, sprout quickly, but fail to thrive due to numerous factors. And there are others that continue to listen to the gospel message but have yet to make a firm commitment of faith. Our hearts long to see repentance, renewal, and commitment in the lives of many Peruvians that we have come to love dearly. So, as a team, we continue to ask for your prayers for all of our Peruvian sisters, brothers, and seekers. Pray that God will continue to teach and lead those that are growing in ways that we couldn’t even imagine. And please pray that God would continue to work in the lives of those that are struggling to give full, undivided allegiance to the only true Lord.


Names to Faces, Faces to Names

For some of you, there might be some familiar faces in this bunch. For others, perhaps not. Like all of us, there is a story to each person, and our biggest prayer is that each of these would make Christ the center of their lives. I challenge you to pick two or three and commit to praying for them daily. To God be all the glory!

First Row (L to R): Carlos, Carolina, Omar, Yisel

Second Row (L to R): Jose Miguel, Kelly, Lucero, Juan

Third Row (L to R): Blanca, Carla, Mario Luque, Wendy and Ivan

Fourth Row (L to R): Merlin, Nelly, Keitty, Luis


Team Lima Newsletter

March 2019


New Brother and Sisters in Christ

By Justin

What a pleasure it is to introduce you to a new brother and two new sisters in Christ! At our church retreat this past weekend, Jose Miguel, Merlin, and Cailyn clothed themselves with Christ in baptism. It was exciting to share in their decision to follow Christ. Jose Miguel and Merlin are Venezuelan and have become a part of our church body over the last six months. It has been a joy to watch the Lord captivate their hearts and minds, and we wait in hopeful anticipation for the future that God shapes in their lives. Of course, Alison and I were thrilled to baptize our daughter, Cailyn! For weeks now, she has been thinking about the Spirit’s movement in her life and felt the Spirit’s prompting to put on Christ in baptism. I am beyond grateful for the tribe of God's people who have poured into Cailyn, for the hours that Cailyn has spent with her Honey and Daddy-O (Alison’s parents) in study and prayer, and for the tenderness of her heart to yield and submit to Christ. It was a beautiful day of celebration and Son-shine!

Merlin, Jose Miguel, and Cailyn

Merlin, Jose Miguel, and Cailyn

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Spiritual Growth

By Mark Clancy

Over the past several years, our team has been able to witness numerous members of our church family experience spiritual growth in ways that have encouraged us and given us confidence in the future of Aliento de Vida. We have seen this in their personal lives, as the Lord has given them greater passion for His Word, personal prayer, evangelism, and more godly interpersonal relationships. We have also seen this in their communal life, as the Holy Spirit has brought about greater unity, love, and strength to the entire church family. And most recently, we have seen this as numerous local Christians have continued to mature as leaders. Some lead powerfully through personal interactions, diligence in prayer, and often-unrecognized service. Others have stepped into roles of more visible leadership, through preaching, teaching, leading worship, and giving general leadership to the church family. As a team, it has been encouraging to see every aspect of this spiritual growth among so many members of our church family.

At the same time, we continue to pray for various people that have stepped away from their once-growing faith. Just as Jesus taught, some seeds inevitably fall on rocky and thorny soil, sprout quickly, but fail to thrive due to numerous factors. And there are others that continue to listen to the gospel message, but have yet to make a firm commitment of faith. Our hearts long to see repentance, renewal, and commitment in the lives of many Peruvians that we have come to love dearly. So, as a team, we continue to ask for your prayers for all of our Peruvian sisters, brothers, and seekers. Pray that God will continue to teach and lead those that are growing in ways that we couldn’t even imagine. And please pray that God would continue to work in the lives of those that are struggling to give full, undivided allegiance to the only true Lord.


ADV Retreat

Of course, we have some retreat photos that we would love to share! Peruvians planned this retreat with only minimal prodding from me, and they did a fantastic job. If I'm honest, I wondered if they would pull it off. They focused the retreat on the book of James and even made time for a group skit covering the book of Esther (the book we've been studying for the past several weeks). The Peruvians impressed me with their desire to explore God's Word during the retreat. Truthfully, they savored every moment of meditating, dwelling, studying, and discussing the texts. It was a great time with church family! Enjoy the pics!


Serving our Street Guard

By Justin

Alison wrote a short piece in the last newsletter about our friend, Celso and his family. I recently went to help him purchase a refrigerator for his home and was able to snap a couple of pics of the concrete wall surrounding his house. Again, I would like to say thank you to all of you who helped fund this project. It has made his house much safer for the kids and has made their space larger! I joyously watched their kids play in this new area, and the Spirit filled me with thankfulness for our partnership in the gospel. Together we carried God's light into a desperate situation! Together we give him glory!