Tuesday, November 6, 2018

November Newsletter

Shishinahua River

To all of you that have been so very faithful to stand with us in prayer, support or just interest, let me say a great big THANK YOU!  I so appreciate your position to join with us in reaching the lost for Christ and disciplining new believers to walk strongly in their faith.  This is so vital for the advancement of the Kingdom especially in these rural areas where there are no churches or any other Christian resources.

Reliance on witch doctors for physical healing, cursing feuding family members or trying to find out why bad things are happening to a person or family is prevalent and is usually the first line of defense when dealing with any of these issues. Unfortunately when people solicit this kind of service they open themselves up to whatever spirit the witch doctor is operating under and can cause extra problems that did not exist before.

Such was the case with the 9-month old baby we prayed for who had a reoccurring fever for a month. In the September newsletter I mentioned that we were asked to pray for the baby who’s parents brought him to a witch doctor for healing before and after asking us to pray. I had the chance to explain why this could be so dangerous for the baby and for the parents and then asked Maria (the Shawi missionary who’s been working with me for about 8 years) to pray with the mom in Shawi asking for the Lord’s forgiveness and renouncing any ties to the witch doctor she and her husband made through the agreement of his practices and by paying for his services. 

Once this was done we then prayed for the baby. When I saw the father the next day on our way out of the village I asked him how the baby was and he said he was better. Unfortunately that was not the case because within two weeks the baby died.

I tell you this not to discourage your prayers and intercession but rather to increase them with an understanding that we are truly not fighting against flesh and blood but rather “against the rulers, authorities, cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”.

So often in situations like this going to the local health post is not an option because the villagers believe that the medical staff will kill or harm their loved one. While this is never the intention it is sometimes the case due to misdiagnosis, poor resources or simply pride in not wanting to send the patient to Yurimaguas for more professional care.

My long-time burden has been to educate, equip and pray over the people in the villages who accept the Lord so that they can minister effectively and powerfully in His name so that only His presence is sought after for any need the people might have. We are consistently working toward this goal through the 3-day training sessions, the Bible institute designed to train church leaders and the regular visits Maria and I make to the villages to evangelize and disciple the people.

We have seen some wonderful changes in people and villages as a result of these efforts and the Lord is continuing to bring villagers into more and more freedom due to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Please continue to pray with us for total transformation of every village on the Shishinahua River.

On a positive note the last river trip to the Shishinahua River, just about a week and a half ago, went very well. A well known Shawi pastor and his wife joined us to minister to the people in three different villages and the response was very good. Pastor Alberto preached evangelistic messages and then prayed over people for healing. He told me that where he ministers many people come to the Lord through his preaching and are healed of physical problems and so I was very glad to have him come to our area and minister as well.

Pastor Alberto praying for healing

During his time with us we saw many people rededicate their lives to Christ while others made Him Lord of their lives for the first time.

Authority of the Believer conference

Pastor Alberto will be translating into Shawi during our upcoming 3-day conference with a team from the USA which will focus on the authority of the believer and how to be free of demonic oppression.

This conference is very important because it will teach every believer that attends what our authority in Christ is and how to clearly and effectively overcome the enemy through applying Biblical truths to our lives. I am especially interested in the Shawis grasping this reality so that they can recognize and reject any attempt of the enemy to lead them into error through believing in superstitions and relying on witch doctors.

Would you please join us in praying strongly for this conference so that everyone who attends will receive freedom from oppression, physical healing and especially the knowledge of the Truth to set them free of all false thinking that leads to fear and bondage. 

The dates for this conference are November 12 -14 and the prayer points are as listed:
  1. There be no attacks on the US team in any way so that all of them and their family members are protected from harm or danger as well as all their possessions.
  2. That all of their travel to and from Yurimaguas, Peru will be easy, smooth and peaceful without any loss or damage to any of their belongings.
  3. That every person that attends the conference will be set free from demonic oppression causing mental, emotional or physical bondage.
  4. That every person that attends will truly understand their rights as sons and daughters in the Kingdom of God and begin to fully operate in it.
  5. For the Lord’s strong hand of protection on the everyone who travels to and from the conference from their villages.
Power of Prayer training

Less than a week after I get back from seeing the team off to go back to the States Maria and I will be traveling to another part of Peru to conduct a 3-day training on the “Power of Prayer” for a village church that will host several other communities. This is a very important training and can gloriously equip the saints in these villages to take hold of their position in Christ to bring down strongholds and claim spiritual ground for the Kingdom of God. Would you also include this training in your prayers?

The dates are November 24 – 27 and the prayer points are listed below:
  1. Save and quick travel for Maria and I and that there be no delays in the connecting flights, the 7-hour car ride to the nearest river port of this village or the 45 minute car ride to the village.
  2. Nothing of our belongings or ministry material will be lost, stolen or damaged.
  3. That the people will grasp the concepts of prayer and understand and use the different types of prayer that will be studied.
  4. Safety for the people as they travel back and forth to this training so that nothing of theirs will be damaged or lost and they themselves will be kept from harm or danger.
  5. That the Holy Spirit completely have His way in accomplishing all that He desires to do during our time together.
I want to thank you so much again for all of your prayers, support and encouragement in this work and may the blessings of the Lord be upon you mightily until they chase you down and overcome you!

Serving With You,

Sharon Malcolm

Monday, September 3, 2018

September Newsletter

The Church of New Jerusalem

Wagner (orange) and Victor talking on the river’s edge of the Shishinahua

Several months ago Nilton, from the village of San Francisco where we have our first church plant, started visiting a neighboring village called New Jerusalem. Although this is a very small village like San Francisco (both only have seven families) New Jerusalem did not welcome Nilton with open arms. They seemed to be open to some visits but not very open to hearing the Gospel. This did not stop Nilton from visiting or sharing the Gospel but unfortunately this was met with some hostal responses. Nilton told me that Wagner would threaten to fight him often, Herman, Wagner’s father, would be very cold to him and the women would not respond to him well. However, after repeated visits of lovingly reaching out to these families Nilton finally won them over and one by one they started to accept the Lord into their hearts. Changes began to be evident and a hunger for more of God started to dominate their behavior and so Nilton and some others from San Francisco continued to visit them and share the Gospel and disciple them.

After some time they brought Maria and I in and we also began sharing the Word of God and prayer with them. In fact on this last visit just last week Maria was sharing with Herman’s wife and two of his teenage daughters, and as she did the girls were so moved they started crying. Since they are not familiar at all with the movement of the Holy Spirit they did not understand why they were crying until Maria explained that it was the Lord touching them and showing them how much He loved them.

Some of the mothers from New Jerusalem. The woman on the right is Antonia, Herman’s wife

When it came time to leave Herman’s wife Antonia, was thanking us profusely for coming and was also moved to tears that we would come from such a long distance at our own expense (although I pay Maria’s way each time) and leave homes and families to come to them to share Christ. The Lord is truly doing a huge work in the lives of these families and we are determined to help them become a viable church body. Wagner, the one that often wanted to fight Nilton, has since accepted the Lord, was baptized with his wife and wants to be a leader of the church. He is very hungry for the teachings of the Bible but does not read and so I have coordinated with the school teacher in San Francisco to hold evening classes for adults to learn to read which Wagner is interested in attending.
Nilton (left) and Jilton (right), Nilton’s brother-in-law, baptizing Wagner

Our prayer now is for Herman, the father of these families that make up New Jerusalem. He has not yet experienced the saving power of Almighty God but instead is a witch-doctor. We are praying for him to be softened to the Lord  through the evidence of his children’s lives so that he can see what the Lord can and wants to do in his. Please pray with us for this community as they make the great transition from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.

A glorious answer to prayer came while Maria and I were in San Francisco last week. There are two families in this community who have not yet accepted the Lord and so I have been praying for their salvation along with others in the community. The day finally came when one of these families asked Maria and I to pray for their baby who had a fever for about a month. As it turned out the baby of the other family who had not accepted the Lord yet also had a fever and since Maria was not available at the time Nilton and I went to pray for that baby not realizing that it was the wrong family!  This family did not ask for prayer and the baby only had a fever for two days but there we were praying for them. We ended up praying for the baby and her mom then sharing the Gospel with her, her sister and her mother and all three accepted Christ!  We then went to the right family who asked us to come and prayed for that baby as well and briefly shared the Gospel with the mother but she did not accept the Lord at that moment. We were however, able to explain to her the dangers of bringing her baby to a witch-doctor, which she and her husband did. We then prayed to break the power of agreement that the couple made with the witch-doctor to do whatever he felt was necessary to heal their child. I asked the father the next day if the fever was gone and he said it was so glory to God for His manifest presence and power to heal.

We will be traveling to another river this Wednesday and returning on Monday called the Nucuray River. We have ministered on this river before and the people are very open to the Gospel. In fact often while waiting for the boat to take us to the river people from two different areas asked us to come to their villages to share the Word of God. The need for evangelism and dicipleship is huge here since there are no churches or ministries that are coming in to tell them about Christ. The harvest in this area is extremely ripe and the laborers are extremely few. It is quite a challenge to balance the time needed to minister on both the Shishinahua River where the villages of San Francisco, New Jerusalem and so many others that need Christ reside and the Nucuray River where there are no churches or ministries to serve the people the Bread of Life. Would you please keep us in prayer for this trip to the Nucuray River that we will use every minute and every opportunity to wisely and effectively bring everyone to the knowledge of our dear Lord and Savior.

Thank you so much for keeping us in prayer for safe travels, strong guidance and direction for delivering the Word of God and open and receptive hearts to all that the Lord wants to do in the people.

Many Blessings to You in Every Way,
Sharon Malcolm

Friday, June 22, 2018

Five Churches to Start on the Shishinahua River (June)

Five Churches to start on the Shishinahua River

Nilton has been strongly instrumental in talking to the neighboring villages about the Lord and as a result 6 of the 9 people baptized  during the anniversary event were from the village of New Jerusalem.  This small village of 7 families is committed to starting a church in their community.  They have already put up a simple structure to hold their church services and we will begin training the leaders to take an active role in leading the meetings.

A second village, San Pablo, recently expressed interest in having a church in their village as well and so plans are being made to start dialoging with them about what the Church is and is not so that they can move forward with clarity and understanding.

Before these two villages showed interest in becoming a Church there were three other villages with the same desire and we have been working with them to raise up leaders to be trained to lead meetings and initiate church services in their communities as well.

I can’t begin to express how overwhelming this is.  Eleven years ago in 2007 I started on this river where the spiritual forces were so thick and dark that many times it literally felt like I was walking through mud up to my knees just going from house to house in the communities.  Now, after so much intercession and ground breaking in the Spirit through our combined prayer, village after village is desiring to establish the Kingdom of God on their own land and declare Him and only Him as their Lord and Savior!  This is nothing short of a miracle and my dear brothers and sisters in Christ we did this together through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit moving through us and going before us!

While I am still in awe of what is happening on this river and also how the Lord has opened new doors to do the same thing on the Nucuray River, I am not unaware of the struggles and temptations that these fledgling new Christians are facing.  Over the years I have seen strong interest among the villages for the things of God but the temptations to go back to the old life were too strong and so that took precedence over their commitment to the Lord.  This was largely due to lack of leadership and accountability among the new Christians but we are actively trying to change that through regular visits and training.

In light of that we will be having a 2-day conference from July 2-3 for the Shawi communities followed by a 2-day training for the churches in Yurimaguas on July 4-5.  We are expecting great things to happen during this time and so I am asking if you will join with us in praying for this very special event.  It is so important that the Shawis be trained/educated in the things of God and to know how to practically live that out.  Since this is extremely important for every believer to know and understand I have included the churches in Yurimaguas to participate in this as well with their own conference immediately following the Shawi conference.  Please stand with us in believing for transformed lives through these conferences so that they can be advocates of the One true God in their communities.

I pray this news blesses and encourages you to see that nothing is impossible with God in all that you are standing in faith for in your personal lives.  I also pray that you being part of this amazing work of the Holy Spirit through your support of prayer, encouragement and finances will richly bless and encourage you to continue to stand with us to see the expansion of this work.  May God abundantly bless you and keep in all that you are doing for the Kingdom.

Together in Reaping the Harvest,
Sharon Malcolm

2-Day Training on the Nucuray River (June)

2-Day Training on the Nucuray River

L to R:  Kim, Alicia, Charis and Donna doing children’s ministry in the villages

A team of four young women from a supporting church and I went to the Nucuray River to do a 2-day training for the only two Christian churches on this river.  The purpose was to equip and encourage the believers to go out and reach their unsaved village neighbors with the love of Christ.

We also did evangelistic outreaches to two of the un-churched villages near them and they expressed a strong desire to have a church established in their communities as well.  We are diligently working toward bringing that about through training leaders in these villages that can lead a Bible study and initiate church meetings.  In the meantime we are encouraging the two Christian churches to visit these villages to help and guide them as they grow.

There is much work to be done on this river but step by step we are gaining ground and establishing the Kingdom of God in this area.  Please pray strongly with us to complete this task and see the Body of Christ firmly rooted on this river.  Truly the harvest is great but the workers are few.

Sharon training the village of Huancayo y Progreso

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The One-Year Anniversary of the New Church plant (June)

L to R back row:  Kim, Charis, Sharon, Alicia, Donna
L to R kneeling:  Pastor Nicolas, Pastor Eduardo and Jiler, director of the Bible Institute

On June 14, 2018 we joined with the village of San Francisco to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their church.  This is the first church they’ve ever had since their inception 23 years ago and to my knowledge the first Christian church on the Shishinahua River.  This was truly a monumental event and we were graced to have two of the three district authorities of the Assembly of God Church with us as well as the Director of the AG Bible institute in Yurimaguas.

During our time together there were nine people that wanted to publically testify through water baptism that they had given their lives to Christ and were committed to following Him.  Pastor Eduardo, one of the AG pastors, and Nilton from San Francisco, who is training to be the pastor of the Assembly of God church in San Francisco, did the baptisms.  Nilton got the added blessing of baptizing his brother whom he and several others had been praying for salvation for a number of years.

Nilton and Pastor Eduardo baptizing Nilton’s brother Richard.

8 of the 9 people baptized being presented to the church by Pastor Nicolas, AG Regional Director.

Friday, March 16, 2018

March Newsletter

The Shishinahua River

Nilton, from the village of San Francisco, driving us to his village to do the next course in the Bible Institute. This will be the 8th course out of 30 that we’ve completed and Nilton is preparing to be the pastor of the church village.

Houses in the village of Santa Clara on the Shishinahua River where we shared the Word of God. 

This trip to the Shishinahua River to continue with the Bible Institute in San Francisco was especially eventful because we combined our class time with visits to other villages as well. We did the course material in the morning and then visited the communities in the afternoon to share the Word of God.

Our plan was to do a children’s program followed by an adult service with a Christian film about the life of Christ. We did this in the villages of Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) and Santa Rosa and shared from the Word of God in Santa Clara. In each village there were open hearts and several people in Nueva Esperanza and Santa Rosa prayed to ask the Lord into their lives. We will do follow up in these villages as well as continue to visit Santa Clara to encourage and teach the Word of God. My prayer is that those who prayed will truly have a desire to follow the Lord and will experience a permanent life change.

Sharon doing a Bible story with some of the children of Santa Rosa
We will also continue to do 3-day training in the village churches of Progreso and Huancayo on the Nucuray River. This is a new work for us and our goal is to help build up the believers in these communities to reach their neighbors for Christ. We will work with them to set up evangelistic outreaches to their neighboring villages and encourage them through training on how to follow up and disciple the new believers. Some of the unchurched communities on this river seem very open and willing to have a church in their village and so the Lord has already started working on their hearts.

We had planned on going to the Nurcuray River this Friday, March 16 but it was canceled. The pastor of the church village of Progreso, Pastor Bartolome (Bartholomew in English), is in quite a lengthy legal dispute concerning a contract he signed with a wood company which gave the company rights to extract hard wood from his community. The village was in full agreement with this contract because the company promised to give each family a certain sum of money in exchange for the wood. Unfortunately, the community does not have the right to sell the wood to anyone and so Pastor Bartolome, who is also a village leader is the one who signed the contract in behalf of the people and is now personally liable for about $120,000. This case has been going on for about two years now but I just learned about it when the pastor just recently told me that he had to cancel our trip because he had to go to the capital for legal dealings concerning this case. He said that we could come again in a few months and so we set it up to come the first week in June.

Please keep him in prayer to resolve this without him having to go to prison or having to be responsible for the money. Out of the only two churches on this river his church is the stronger of the two but still needs to be built up. This is a terrible interference in his life and ministry and especially to those who are willing and waiting to hear the Gospel. I am praying for divine wisdom for his lawyer and any other help he can get from his mayor or advocacy groups in his district. I can’t imagine the stress he and his family must be under and so I am praying more diligently for a quick and easy resolution that will satisfy everyone.

I am also praying for the village of Nueva Esperanza on the Shishinahua River since several people prayed to accept the Lord. They are in quite a bit of spiritual darkness partly due to their traditional belief system and the strong superstitions that are very typical in indigenous communities. The spiritual bondage of these must be broken over their lives so that they can fully appropriate all that Christ died to give them.
Please join with me in prayer for this as well and may the Lord continue to bless you in all that you do for the Kingdom.

Reaping the Harvest Together,
Sharon Malcolm

Thursday, March 1, 2018

19 hours travel on the river

Pastor Bartolome driving us on the Nucuray River to his village of Progreso

After a very long 19-hour trip on two boats we finally reached the Condozi Indian village of Progreso where we held our first 3-day training on how to study the Bible and how to evangelize. The course went very well and I was so pleased to see such eagerness to learn the material and participate in the group activities.

Training participants in groups to practice an Inductive style Bible study

Role-play on how to evangelize
This method of Bible study and evangelism is something that everyone can and must do especially in their situation since Progreso is only one of two churches on this river of 11 villages.

During our time together Maria shared her testimony and I showed a Christian film depicting the life of Christ and as a result 16 people rededicated their lives to Christ! This is very exciting because these village churches of Progreso and Huancayo are still in the developing stages and are new to doing evangelism and discipleship. I am praying for a full-blown revival in both of these villages that will ignite the members with an insatiable desire to evangelize and disciple their unsaved neighboring villages.

Our commitment to them is to go back and have 2 and 3-day trainings on a monthly basis until they are equipped enough to minister on their own. It is a wide open door to help these two village churches grow in their understanding of the Word and in their relationship with the Lord. It is also a wide open door for the Gospel to go forth to the other non-churched villages and so we will take every opportunity available to do both of these. Please pray with us that the two churches will learn quickly and that the Lord will pour out His Spirit on them in a powerful way.

Prayer Request

Please pray for us as we travel to the villages on the following dates:

  • March 3-8: Shishinahua River to teach the next Bible institute course to the church leaders of the new church in San Francisco and do an evangelistic outreach to two non-Christian villages.
  • March 15–22: Nucuray River to do the next 3-day training in Progreso and Huancayo and do an evangelistic outreach to the non-Christian villages on the river.
  • March 30–April 5: Shishinahua River to do an Easter evangelistic outreach to the non-Christian villages and teach the next course in the Bible institute.
For these trips,
  • Please pray for our safety as we travel. Boating accidents are not uncommon on these waters and so protection as we travel is essential.
  • Please pray that the people will understand the material being taught and will be able to apply it to their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit working in them. The goal is a glorious transformation in each person and in the community as a whole.
  • Please agree with me in prayer for a full revival in these two village churches on the Nucuray River so that the Lord can use them to draw the rest of the villages on the river to Him.
Thank you so very much for standing with us in prayer for these points and may the Lord bless you in all that you are doing for Him.

Together With You in Reaping the Harvest,
Sharon Malcolm