Monthly Archives: May 2012

You Must Read This

This morning I cannot help but put my calender week on fast-forward and write this blog two days ahead of time.  I don’t know exactly when I will publish this post, whether that will be tonight or on Tuesday, but I just have to write, right now!

I am completely moved this morning.  And I’m utterly humbled, at that.  I love the Lord’s Word and how He speaks to us through it.  There is a book that I’m reading called Doctrine by Mark Driscoll in which he explains that there are only two ways of knowing God, 1.) by speculating and 2.) by revelation.  It is an amazing privilege to have this book we call the Bible in which God has revealed himself to us.  We do not have to speculate!  We have his revelation.  This is the verse that I read this morning:

Romans 5:3-5
Not only that, but we frejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering gproduces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 andhhope does not put us to shame, because God’s love ihas been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

I know it’s a verse that we have probably read before and found much encouragement.  But, it’s something of a whole different breed when we read something in the Bible that is true to our very lives in the present.  I mean, when you read the Bible and you see how the Word of God has materialized itself into your own life, that is an amazing thing!

Last week, I wrote about a praise, that being that the Lord is doing a great work in Juliaca, but I just want to expand upon this.  It’s so important that you see what I’m talking about here!

Perhaps five months ago Sammy and I were on a bus coming back from Cusco.  I wrote about my trip back from Cusco back in January but I didn’t mention this part of our conversation.  I told Sammy that we had to come up with a plan of what to do with Juliaca… that perhaps, if it came down to it, we would have to plan to tell people out there to start looking into other churches.  I was obviously full of doubt, but there was evidently something that convicted me of this doubt and instead to have faith.  In that same post in January I asked you to fast and pray with me for the people of Puno, this is what I said:

Fast with us as we plead to God His work and change in the people of Puno.  We have little time left, and humanly we would consider it a lost deal, but I have faith that God has a plan here.

Oh, dear readers!  The Lord certainly has a plan!  As I write this entry I just realized that this fruit is just as much YOURS as it is ours here in Peru.  We both can learn from Romans 5:3-5.

We prayed earnestly through fasting for these people and it took four-five months to see the fruit of these prayers.  The tribulation that we faced was possibly leaving Juliaca with absolutely nothing.  But, at least for me, the tribulation caused me to have patience.  Actually, looking back I’m surprised how patient I was!  I taught me patience.

The Lord graciously opened doors to give us a meeting place and not only that, but one we are free of paying rent.  We only pay the electric bill.  It is better than we could ever have dreamed for.  In fact, the Lord gave us something better for which we had ever asked!  What a loving Father!  And now, we are seeing a consistent attendance of 10-13 people coming each Sunday, and this past Friday for our prayer service we had 11 people.  We are quickly outgrowing our location, but I want to see this place packed as full as it gets.  This is the experience mentioned in Romans.  It’s actually the word “proof:”

…that is, experimental evidence that we have “believed through grace.”
[citation]

And this beautiful, beautiful proof has caused in me this morning an inexplicable amount of hope.  This proof is also for you readers!  You who prayed with me, who were patient with me, this is proof to you also!  This, I hope and pray, is encouragement to you, is hope to you.

I am so relieved that this is the passage that God allowed me to read this morning.  I feel so free of stress in this moment and so heavy with joy.  Now, I want to put before you another challenge that will require more patience.  Please, take upon yourselves another tribulation.  Pray with us, and eve fast with me on Tuesdays, asking the Lord for 12 members before July 20th (the day I leave Peru and our project finishes).  I have faith that the Lord can do it!  He can do anything!  He has shown us the proof!  This is a challenge for me just as it is for you, but I urge you that you take it.  Let’s grow more in our hope and faith in Christ together.  Join me, and pray fervently to the Lord that He will raise us 12 members before July 20th.

I suppose I should tell you why I feel it so necessary to have 12 members.  Why is this my goal?  Because, by actually achieving this goal the church in Juliaca becomes officially recognized in Peru as a Nazarene cell group and it will become more probable then that they will receive trained leadership.  It’s crazy how much these people really become like your sheep.  I can relate to Paul and how he must have felt toward his flock and the concern he held for them.  I want what is best for our flock in Juliaca, and I believe that can be achieved by getting them to 12 members.

How many do we have so far?  The answer is zero.  We have not one member.  But you know, it doesn’t matter.  God can do this.  He has given us proof that He can.  Pray with me.  If you decide to undertake this challenge, will you email me?  tallen@extremenazarene.org

-Trevor

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Grace gRaCe GRace grACe GRACE!

Something that I am eternally grateful for is the fact that we as Christians are always learning about life, about God, about ourselves.  I will never tire of always being able to learn.  I love it, really!  I really really really love it!

I don’t normally like to do my devotions on my computer, because I feel like it’s a cold process… I can’t touch my computer the same way I can touch my physical Bible; however, an iPad would be really different in this aspect (I’m praying that God provides one for me because I’ll be traveling a lot these next two years and it can be like 100-things-in-1 and would save me a lot of grief/luggage).  However, I’ve forced myself to use my computer as a bible study resource, and I must say it’s proved to me a great one.

Before, I read the Bible with a bit of impatience and didn’t take the time to really study what I read.  Now, I’m pushing to pull out as much truth as I can from what I’m reading.  Something that I’m astounded by as I study Romans is grace.  I’ve been frustrated with myself lately for personal faults like, lack of self-control and impatience.  I’ve been struggling hard against these “little” sins (really there exsists no such thing).  Through my stumblings my eyes have been opened to how ugly I am.

One of my biggest life-fears is going bald.  Unfortunately, I have noticed, and rather obsessed over the fact that I am developing a receding hairline.  I know this is a test to bring God out of my vanity, which honestly is something of which I had a lot.  That doesn’t mean that I’m 100% happy about loosing my hair, but the thought entered my head one day as I was looking in the mirror and thinking great pain upon my ancestors for passing along their good-for-nothing balding genes that instead of worrying so much about my physical appearance, why am I not more worried about how I appear before God?!  I am 100% happy that God is using this to bring me to His feet.

It’s been said before, but I never truly heard it with my heart until recently, that one cannot fully enjoy the grace of God until they understand and see how completely ugly they are in their heart.  After seeing how ugly I am I can appreciate the grace that God gives us.  It’s rather incredible!

So, those are my current steps in my walk with God.  Now for an update on work.  I have some amazing praises!  Firstly, Diana, the woman that had the wall fall on her, is up and walking almost 100% normally!  And, she had no sort of physical therapy at all.  I look at her and I just see the miracle that she is.  God has definitely worked in her life on many different levels.  You can praise the Lord for her recovery!

Secondly, this past Sunday was mother’s day (Happy Mother’s Day to all you mother’s btw) and we had a special Mother’s Day service in Juliaca.  We had told the women in the church to invite the mother’s that they knew to come for Mother’s Day.  We had in church 16 adults and 20 people including children not counting ourselves!  There was no more sitting room.  The Pastor’s wife came out to speak to the women and as she was leaving she told me how she loved to see churches packed full like that, and I told her how grateful I am for God’s work in Juliaca.  This is an answer to our and your prayers!  I mean, I’m talking about you the readers/supporter/prayer warriors!  God is working a miracle in Juliaca.  Give praise to the Lord, for He is good and He is showing His merciful merciful hand in Juliaca!

I’m still rather sworn to secrecy concerning my new position with Extreme.  If I have not gotten in contact with you yet about my future plans, but would like to talk to me about my next step and you simply and contain yourself any longer then you can email me at tallen@extremenazarene.org or you can call my Skype number 330-947-1730.

Again, I just want to thank all you who support this mission.  You are not supporting me, I am not the person with the need!  Thank you so much for all your partnership and helping pray with us for these places.  With only two months to go it’s amazing to look back and see what the Lord has done.  Thank you all for being His instruments and being obedient.  Thank you!

Alright, see you next week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

They Have Decided To Follow Jesus

So quickly I’m turning out another post, I know, but from here on out I wish to make every Tuesday my publishing day… because I actually have the time on Tuesdays.  What?!  So, instead of waiting until next Tuesday, because that will throw me off, I’ve decided to write today.

Soon I will be switching my blog over to a new URL (web address) because I’m not going to be in Peru forever.  When I came up with “Trevor in Peru,” I thought I was so clever… but then I saw that other missionary folk have used the same idea exp., Laura in Mexico, John in Bangladesh, Harvey in Timbuktu.  It was crushing that I was not as unique as I thought.  But, I’ve got it on everybody with my new blog name.  I’m not sure I want to share it with you just yet.  I will keep you in suspense.  You know, to keep you coming back here every once in a while, because I’m sure that my new blog name is going to keep you up until 2 a.m. thinking, What could it be?!

As we are coming to a close in our work Sammy and I are having to really buckle down on what our goals are.  I’m excited that even with the end in sight along the horizon I still feel compelled to give this work my all.  That is certainly a God given gift because that’s not typically how I work.  But, one of the things that we are trying to instill in our contacts is the fact that they are not following us, rather Christ.

When Sixto left the field we experienced a rather large drop in attendance in Ilave.  Because of leaving our team and Sammy’s arrival we experienced a rough patch with some contacts.  After a short trial we come through to the other end and realized… these people aren’t going to see us as their leadership because their eyes and their hearts were placed on Sixto.  They were following a man rather than our God.  Because of all that, and among other things, we decided to close the locale we were occupying.

We’ve been telling people that we are going to leave, that it’s inevitable.  And we’ve been stressing to all our contacts that they are making a decision to follow Christ, not us.  I want to involve you in our ministry by praying faithfully with us that God will touch our contacts hearts and show them that He is the one that brought change into our lives.  Pray that their faith and their commitment in Christ grows ever stronger.

I am amazed at the work that God is doing in Juliaca.  We have been praying for a miracle to happen there and what we are witnessing is just that.  For a long time I thought we were going to have to leave Juliaca and focus more on Ilave.  God has slapped me in the face with His grace being poured out on Juliaca.  Since we’ve opened the locale in Santa Andreana, Juliaca we have seen a steady church attendance of 10-13 people.  Our need to become an official cell group is to have 12 members!  We are well on the way to reaching this goal when only three months ago we felt it was dead ground.  Praise be to Him!  The work is not finished yet, continue to pray that the Lord keeps working this miracle.  I have 100% faith that we can have a church strongly planted in Juliaca.  Amen!

I am not able to publish my new job opportunity online because it’s stuff is not all finalized, however I would like to chat with you about it and in turn talk to your church congregations.  That means, if you want the inside scoop, email me: (tallen@extremenazarene.org).  If you have Skype we can Skype-it-up, or whatever!  I’m just as excited to talk to you about this as you are to talk to me.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Battlefield and New News

Two of our Peruvians are in the kitchen listening and clapping their hands to “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” the Spanish version, the other Americans have retired to their beds, Sammy is listening to the new Tercer Cielo album and I have climbed into my bed after having showered and then prepared for myself a bowl of fried rice/chaufa… I just took a bite and it’s alright.  Welcome to our house at 11:11 p.m… I suppose I should make a wish because of the hour?

I am tired… you know there are several levels of tired.  There’s that level of tired when you find words like tissue or blanket the funniest things under the sun, and then there’s the other extreme when someone telling you that dinner is ready elicits unfriendly remarks hissed between clenched teeth.  I’m my-eyes-are-rolling-into-the-back-of-my-head tired.  But, to keep myself awake while making this entry I’m listening to this:

It’s Portuguese… you can give it a listen if you want.

Tonight we visited for the second time a family that we came in contact through the short term missions group that came and the event that we had in Ilave.  Tonight I realized that the very fact that we are in their home talking to them about God is one of His works.  Tonight when we were praying for them I realized the battlefield that we are on while building this relationship with them.

The first time that we went into this family’s home we touched a very sensitive topic among the “devout” Peruvian Catholics… that is that the Virgin Mary is synonymous with idolatry.  We spoke truth to them through the Bible and something happened to me that has never ever happened to me before.  The Lord spoke through me in an amazing way.  I opened my mouth that night and things came out of it that I had never said before in any visit.  I felt a fire behind my eyes… and something coming out of them.  At one point in time I heard a voice in my head say… “The Holy Spirit is speaking.”  That’s exactly what was happening, Trevor had taken a step back and the Holy Spirit was speaking… I was not in control of me.  It was a pretty amazing experience… and when I/the Holy Spirit stopped speaking I was trembling (that’s when I know the Holy Spirit is moving in me).  It was a pretty intense experience, and afterward I said something about it to Sammy and he said he could tell the Holy Spirit was using me.  Amazing… that my God… my Creator was actually there in that moment moving my tongue and feeding me words.  Absolutely humbling.  The experience spoke to me that God wants to do something in this family.

Tonight we went to this family’s home to start doing a Bible study, but again we ended up sitting around the table drinking hot chocolate and snacking on bread and butter while building a relationship and sharing laughter.  The conversation took a serious direction while we spoke about ghosts and elves and how they don’t really exist as spirits wandering the earth, rather that they are demons.  Sammy told us some pretty spooky stories about stuff that had happened to him, and then the son of the family, Josie, told us about how his grandmother comes to him at night sometimes and bothers him.  He told us that she has grabbed his legs in his sleep and has held him down not letting him up, that she will lay down in the bed with him and that she has sat on top of him while sleeping.  He said that he had gotten used to it.  I was a little perturbed because… that’s not normal!  At the end of our conversation we prayed for the family and for the house and then left to come back home.  When we were praying was when I realized that we weren’t just praying we were battling!  I want to encourage you folks to be praying for this family that God will protect them from the enemy as we continue to visit them and bring them the truth.  Pray that God will protect Josie especially since he is the one that has direct contact with this demon.  Please, enter this battle with us.

Well, here’s my news… even though I can’t get into too much detail about it still… which you all are probably going to want to kick me for.  I’m going to continue working with Extreme for another two years in South America.  I’m going to be home from July 28th to September 15th so, if there are any of you who would like to meet with me personally to talk about this new opportunity then we should make an appointment… for those of you who do not live in Ohio, then we can do something with Skype!  If you would me to come to your church and talk about what God is doing through Extreme, I would also love to do that!  So… communicate with me, okay!?  So, tell me what you want, what you really really want!  – okay so, it’s been so long since we’ve heard anything Spice Girls!

Goodnight and God bless!

Trev

P.S. I’m so proud of myself being so tired and then hitting the spell check to find zero errors.  That deserves something!  I think I’ll eat a piece of chocolate even though I just brushed my teeth.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized