Justin & Alison Thompson
Lima Team Newsletter
Conflict Transformation Bible Study
Eight of our Peruvian Christians at Aliento de Vida recently participated in a Bible study about conflict transformation. In other words, what might it look to live as God’s transformed people in the face of conflict? During the four-week series, we listened to and studied Scripture as we tried to envision transformative ways to approach conflict. In the end, we composed a covenant for conflict transformation from the insights and inspiration we gleaned from Scripture.
As I prepared the study, I hoped to accomplish three things. First, I wanted to develop a communal practice of approaching the Bible as an authoritative text. Second, I desired to create an environment of listening, a quality that cannot be overemphasized in the practice of conflict transformation. Finally, I intended to practice a form of communication that highlighted what one heard in their partner over the practice of merely speaking one’s mind. (You might recognize this practice as Dwelling in the Word.)
In my opinion, the study yielded good, beginning practices for conflict transformation. It demonstrated the fruitful practice of reading the Bible as an authoritative text and engaged in the potent practice of listening to one another centered on the Word of God. Those who participated in the project observed how the Bible teaches that we should see conflict as an opportunity in our lives to demonstrate the love of God toward others.
I would like to share the covenant that our Peruvian brothers and sisters created as a result of this study. I hope that you will join me in praying for them as they attempt to put into practice that which the Holy Spirit placed on their hearts.
Conflict Transformation Covenant at Aliento de Vida Virtues and Practices
Today I will treat others with love just as God treats me. (Matt. 18:23-27)
Today I will see others as children of God whom he loves as much as he loves me (John 3:16-17)
Today I will love and bless my enemies. (Luke 6:27-36)
Today I will receive the forgiveness that God offers me. (Matt. 18:23-27)
Today I will forgive those who hurt me without expecting anything in return. (Matt. 18:21-22)
Today I will ask for forgiveness from those whom I have offended. (Matt. 5:23-24)
Today I will be firm in my beliefs. I am a child of God, and I will follow him faithfully (Rom. 14:23)
Today I will have patience because I also am not perfect. God is patient with me. (Gal. 6:1)
Today I will not grow tired of doing good. (Gal. 6:9-10)
Today I will be consistent in prayer (Matt. 18-18-20)
Today I will commit to praying before, during, and after a conflict. (Matt. 18:18-20)
Today I will pray for my patience and for the wellbeing of the other person. (Luke 6:27-31)
During our last furlough, Alison and I created magnets for our supporters. On the magnets, we included a prayer calendar. Better said, we provided a specific daily item for which we want you to pray. I'd like to share that list here. Some of you might have the magnet on your fridge or elsewhere in your home. We are thankful for the time you spend in prayer for us. It is integral to what we do. If this is new to you, we would love for you to join us on the journey!
Pray for maturity among the believers in Lima.
We want our Peruvian brothers and sisters to grow in their faith in Jesus! This is core and fundamental to our identity as a church body.
Pray for wisdom as missionaries to follow God's plan.
To flesh out this prayer request, we plan to have Peruvians leading every part of our Sunday gatherings by August 2019. Our plan as missionary families is to phase-out and move back to the States by early-2020 (Thompsons) and mid-2020 (Clancys). While we have these plans, we ask that you pray for wisdom as we transition with Peruvians to this next phase as a church body.
Pray for new Christian believers.
We recently moved our Sunday location to Los Viñedos, an area which is centrally located for our church body. Our leaders made this decision mostly out of a desire to reach more people and make us more accessible to many people we have known for years. We are prayerful that our light can shine so that others might come to know Christ.
Pray for leaders to step up.
Here leadership is not just those who will lead our Sunday gatherings, but others who might also lead as shepherds or ministry leaders. Additionally, Mark and I will be leading a group of our more mature believers through a series in walking through conflict. I'm excited about the things that we will learn and incorporate into daily and church life as a result of this study.
Pray for wisdom as a church to follow God's plan.
As leadership transitions to Peruvians, we ask that you pray on their behalf to be wise as they listen to and serve one another. I ask that you remember them always in your prayers, giving thanks for the transformation that God continues to bring about in their lives and offering petitions that God will continue to form in them a spirit of hope, peace, and love.
Pray for the church to become more Peruvian.
This prayer request has to do with transitioning leadership to our Peruvian brothers and sisters. We desire for Peruvians to take ownership of this church body because we, as missionaries, will move back to the States in a short amount of time. I am thrilled to say that they are making positive steps in this direction, and the church body has done an excellent job participating in practices that encourage them to listen to and pray for one another.
Pray for our missionary families: the Clancys and the Thompsons.
Our families inch closer and closer to moving back to the United States. I've had a couple of people describe this experience as a really tough transition. It's complex. We will leave behind a world that has become our own. We will enter a world that will be unfamiliar to us, especially to our kids. Pray for us as we move closer to this transition. We will need you and your prayers!