Dear Pastors and Praying Friends,
This month marks the 7th year Anniversary of Iglesia Bautista Ancla, Anchor Baptist Church, here in Cajamarca. We are looking forward to having a special service and a special time of Baptism. Our church had to move and the Lord provided an excellent location for us with many new areas to reach more people for Christ. As many of you know from our previous prayer letter, Pastor Fredy Nuñez resigned from his position here and returned to his home in Arequipa. While we were all saddened by this we have seen how God has been moving and working in our church and in our lives. We are still praying for someone to take his place. Please keep this in prayer.
Since returning from our last furlough in December of 2012, We have felt a difference in our ministry here and have been seeking the Lord’s guidance. When we returned we came back with BIG plans to start a new work, a tent ministry and much more. Each time we would try to do something it seemed like the Lord was closing the doors. We have invested more than 15 years of our lives here in Peru and have come to love the country and the people more than we can even express. Leaving Peru was a thought that did not cross our minds, however the Lord has other plans.
In January we had to take our whole family to Lima to renew passports and finish paperwork for our resident visas. While we were in Lima the Lord really placed a burden in our hearts for the country of Italy. We began to pray about this and talk among ourselves and have felt great peace that this is where the Lord is leading us. It is not a decision we have made over night or out of discouragement. If this was not 100 % the Lord’s leading we would not even consider this. We talked to our Pastor and our Mission Director and sought their advice as well. We also spent a couple weeks praying about this before we told anyone. Our children have lived here in Peru their whole lives and we knew this would be hard for them. As we sat with them and explained God leading us to a new ministry in Italy, they were sad, but surprisingly excited about the prospect of a new ministry. God had already started preparing their hearts. One of them even said, “I knew we were going to Italy.” God has just shown us over and over that this is His will.
We are not leaving Peru tomorrow as there are many strings to tie up from the many years of ministry and living here. The Lord has already started the ball rolling. While we were in Lima praying about this very thing, we got a call that someone wanted to buy our property here. When we returned, we met with them and they offered us a good price and have already made the down payment! We can look back and see how the Lord is moving and working out even the tiniest of details. It is a scary step we are taking here and we covet your prayers and support. Along with this letter is a letter from our Pastor supporting our decision. (see below) We will be returning to the States for a furlough before going to Italy. If you have any questions or concerns please call or email us and we would love to talk to you about it. Over the next few months we will keep you updated on our future plans. Please, please pray for us in this huge transition time in our lives!
We have a great group of supporting churches and have been so privileged with the friendships we have made over the years. It is because of this; knowing that MANY are and will be praying for us, that we will be able to make it through this transition. We love each and everyone one of you and are excited to share with you our new burden for the people of Italy.
Shane & Kathy Rice
Rachel, Rebekah, Moriah, Micah, Charity & Christina
March 12, 2014Dear Pastors, Supporting Churches, Friends and Family of the Rices:I am writing to you concerning the ministry of Shane and Kathy Rice. As their Pastor and sending church for the past 15 years I would like to let you know that I support the Rice family as they feel the Lord is leading them to change their ministry to the field of Italy. This is not a change that they have made hastily. They have spoken with their missions board, myself and more importantly they have prayed about this and feel this is how the Lord is leading them in their ministry.I am asking as their sending and supporting church for your continued support both in prayer and finances. The Rices have proven over the last 15 years that they are hard workers and they have accomplished much in the field of Peru. It is their desire to continue to serve the Lord, just in a different country.It is the desire of our church to support them and encourage them as they make these changes in their life. I hope that we can count on your continued support as well. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to speak with you.In His Service,Dr. Mark Jacobs