Saturday, December 26, 2009

So this is Christmas?!

What a time of year to focus on Christ and to spread the joy of the Gospel message. I sometimes wonder how we fit so much in such a short amount of time. Our Christmas Season was filled with many delightful moments. We were able to be back in Michigan where we have family and our sending church during the month of December. We have been involved in our church choir, preaching, Christmas contada, Christmas Children's Program, Chimes choir, and part of the church clean-up crew. We found ourselves caroling to our neighbors and sharing gifts of baked goods. Nisha put much effort into sewing clothes and baking (chocalate chip cookies, strawberry bread, sugar cookies, buckeyes, and even a turkey). All turned out exceptional in the celebration of Christmas. We thank all who had a part with prayers, gifts, cards, etc... in making this Christmas one of the best as our children would say (of course they wish it could be like this all year but adults know that we would never survive). We thank the Lord Jesus for coming to earth through the virgin birth and giving His life to make Salvation from Sin possible for all who believe that He is the Son of God; for this is why Christmas is worth celebrating.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December Prayer Letter 2009

Dear Fellow Laborers of the Gospel, December 2009

Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

We are thankful for the many promises in God’s Word to hold onto. We thank those, who with patience have seen God work in and through our lives to bring us to the place of ministry today. This Thanksgiving reminded me of the many individuals that God brought into my life to strengthen my spiritual walk, some from childhood. I thank you for being a part of our ministry of spreading the Gospel. There is nothing better than knowing you are where God wants you, doing what He wants you to do and seeing Him order your steps. I pray more folks would be saved and God would call faithful men into the ministry.
I know missionaries, whether on deputation or on the field, want to have successful ministries, but it takes time, patience, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and many sorrows and tears along the way. We thank God for His Calling and the vision He has given us to plant churches in Peru. The process of deputation has been long and difficult, but we have seen God working in and through us along the way. We rejoice in sharing with you that our support level has increased to 80%. We are currently scheduling meetings through 2010 and have set the departure date for January 2011. We’re excited to begin making arrangements for the departure date such as selling some of our home items this summer, applying for our visas, and receiving details about starting things anew in Peru. With electricity in Peru running on 220amp rather than our 110amp it has reduced many things we would take with us. We ask for prayer in making wise decisions in the process of transition.
I know it is God’s will to finish what He has called us to do. We are thankful for your faithful support in prayers and finances to seize this opportunity and make it a reality. God has used you to encourage us while ministering to churches on deputation. We have been in Virginia and Michigan conferences in October and a month of meetings out in California thru November. We are praying the churches we have presented in would see fit to support us to make it possible for an even sooner departure date. We realize it takes money for churches to be planted and ask that more churches would consider partnering with us financially.
As we’ve just celebrated Thanksgiving and have given God thanks for His bountiful blessings, our hearts grieve over many not able to see God’s mercies and His saving Grace in Peru and our own country. May God give us eyes to see the needs of others as we approach this next holiday and seek to keep Christ in Christmas.
Thank you to all those who pray for us and our work for God. I had a lady who just this week came and told me that she has been praying for us every day. It is so encouraging to hear of your thoughts and prayers for us and believe that God honors those prayers as they line up to His Word and Will.

Twins 8th Birthday!

Our Twin Girls, Rebecca and Kathleen, turned eight years old on Thanksgiving Day this year. It was exciting for them to be able to celebrate with so many family members. Nisha's mom and stepdad along with her sister Heather's family came to visit from Rockford, Illinois to Ypsilanti, Michigan where Jon's parents live. Our children enjoy spending time with their cousins which most are close to their age. One cousin, Peter, was born the day after the twins at the same hospital. We thank God for our twin girls who have a Salvation testimony, a love for God, and a desire to share it to the Peruvians when the time comes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Deputation out in California

We finished our Missions Conference in Jackson, Michigan just before meetings were scheduled for California throughout the next month. Not having suitable time to travel and the expense of the trip, it was decided to fly Jon out to the California churches interested in planting churches in Peru. Jon, and the churches, would have preferred if the family was together for the meetings but their absence was understood. We look forward to hearing back from the churches visited concerning the possibility of their support.

Jon is thankful to the Lord for once again providing the proper funds for this trip, safe traveling mercies, Spirit-filled meetings, and the decisions made for God's Glory. The Christian Fellowship at each church was such a comfort. It was an added blessing to visit Yosemite National Park with Ambassador Baptist Church. I once again was amazed with our Creator and the natural beauty of His creation with the rock formations, waterfalls, and landscape.

I will admit that it felt awkward traveling and eating meals without the family. It was a comfort to know that Nisha and the children were safe back at our sending church and surrounded by those who care. Our children are back into home-schooling but look forward to traveling to more meetings with Dad.

Jon had the chance to stay with his sister Jody and family, who live in Vacaville, between meetings while in California. They took the opportunity to show more of the West, such as Crabbing off the Pier in the Pacific Ocean, Golf, parks, and the Air Force Museum. He helped out after his sister had knee surgery and wishes her a speedily recovery.

We look forward to our next prayer letter going out to reveal how God has revealed our departure plans and the raising percentage of our support. Please pray with us that God will be magnified through our life.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Matthew's 11th Birthday

We celebrated Matthew's physical birthday on Monday, October 5th. We are so thankful for God entrusting us as parents, giving him life, and offering him eternal life by believing in God's Son, Jesus Christ, to be the saviour from sins penalty. As parents, we are so proud of his accomplishments and his growth over the years. Matthew has a testimony of trusting in Jesus to save him from his sins at the age of six and was baptized at Faithway Baptist Church. Matthew has a tender heart, a helper, good with younger children, and enjoys reading. Matthew likes to play, watch, and collect anything sports related. His birthday party was football oriented due to the fall football season.
After praying for the food, we noticed Matthew witnessing to the neighbor who made a profession of faith for salvation. Matthew was delighted that God was able to use him to present the Gospel to another. Nisha and I thought it was a successful party because no one was hurt playing tackle football and jumping on the trampoline but God allowed even more to be done for His Glory.

Happy Birthday, Matthew, and may God continue to use you to do His Perfect Will!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Washington D.C. and Virginia

We had favorable circumstances while presenting in churches out East by being shown around the Washington D.C. and Virginia area. Although we have been in the area before, we have never taken the time to see the sights. Thanks to our host and friends who gave us a tour of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Air and Space Museum, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial Wall, Korean Memorial Wall, National Museum of Natural History, National Archives, Ford Theatre, the White House, and Mt. Vernon. It was a lot to pack into three days while in between meetings but I believe it will be remembered for a long time. One of the blessings on deputation are the memories of people and places you visited.

We are thankful to have Fairfax Baptist Temple, Tabernacle Baptist, and Flat Run Baptist as part of our supporting churches in taking the Gospel to Peru as a result of our time in the area of Virginia.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 2009 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends,

I Samuel 12:6 “…It is the Lord that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.” We believe the Lord advanced and led His people in those days and does so today.

We have announced in churches that when we reach the 60% mark of our support that we would be looking to set a target day of departure. As that time approached God allowed Jon to take a short term mission trip into Peru (thanks to a designated donation) to assist a fellow missionary starting his first church in Andahuaylas, Peru. This trip also allowed Jon to gather information from other missionaries serving in Peru. Please pray with us as we meet with our Pastor to select a target date and make more detailed plans. We are getting even more excited as we see the light of hope at the end of the tunnel to the deputation trail. Jon ate guinea pig (cuy), dressed in Peruvian clothes, and preached while in Peru.

We are thankful for the opportunity to present in churches together as a family throughout Florida this Summer. God has revealed Himself by providing safety on the road, lodging, food, and health; which we do not take for granted. We have been encouraged with the opportunities to serve and of hearing of decisions that have been made. A Peruvian Lady in Hollywood, FL trusted Christ as her Saviour during our time with them and we have had many children share with us their surrender to serve God in full time ministry this summer. We have been blessed to see former friends in other ministries serving God faithfully and to make new friends along the way.

Vacation Bible School during the summer time is a tremendous tool to preach the Word of God to the younger generation. Jon preached during the Jungle themed week of Vacation Bible School at Berea Baptist in Palm Harbor, Florida. We were able to be involved over the phone with another VBS and have heard that a Church sponsored us as their VBS missionary for their week.

School is back in session. Jon preached in the church and school at Fairfax Baptist Temple and we were delighted to hear that they added us to their mission family by supporting our ministry. We took a few days as a family to take in some of the sights near the Washington DC area. We are thankful to Bill, an assistant Pastor, and our host family (the Snyder’s) for showing us around. It was breathtaking to see our heritage through the eyes of Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and the soldiers of the Vietnam and Korean War but discouraging to see where we are today by visiting the Museum of Natural History filled with evolution and beliefs without God. May we all pray for God to work in our own country as well as the mission field abroad. We ask for prayer as we will be in meetings throughout Ohio and starting up homeschooling with our four children.

May the Lord find us Faithful,
The Harris Family

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jon's visit to Peru, South America

Jon had the opportunity to visit Peru on a short missions trip due to a break in our schedule and someone providing designated funds. He was able to assist the Greenwood's in their reconstruction of their upcoming church building , make jail visits, go on visitation, preach and share testimony in churches in Peru, encourage Missionaries , and be encouraged as well.
Jon was able to visit with the Greenwood's, Chapman's, Brock's, and Kotvas Missionary Families who serve in Peru to glean information to better prepare for our departure into Peru.

Nathan's 9th Birthday

We celebrated Nathan's 9th birthday as a family in Georgia just before Dad left for a missions trip to Peru. Chuck-E-Cheese provided some excitment but being together as a family made it a memorable time. We thank those of you who sent birthday cards and wishes to let us know that you are thinking of our children as they serve with us.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Florida Meetings in the Summer

Our family packed the station-wagon once again for meetings scheduled in Florida throughout June and July. We praise the Lord once again for the safety in traveling and provisions with food and lodging along the way. We started at New Hope Baptist and Crossroads Baptist in Jacksonville and also had the opportunity to enjoy fellowship at Trinity Baptist with Mr and Mrs Gibson. We made our way down to Orlando where we needed to do repairs on the car and witnessed the ministry of Pastor Stockton at LockHaven Baptist. We presented our ministry in Port St. Lucie and enjoyed fireworks and eating at Chick-fil-a. We thank Pastor Buchanan for the use of his house during our stay.
What a joy it is to meet with Peruvians on our deputation trail and have the opportunity to minister to them. As was the case at First Baptist with Pastor Tom Odom allowing us to present our ministry and seeing a Peruvian lady trust Christ as her Saviour.
Our Home Church connections reach even into Florida where we spent some time with Scott Phillips who is serving God on a Boy's Ranch and was a tremendous encouragement to our family.
Vacation Bible School at Berea Baptist in Palm Harbor allowed Jon to Preach and share Jungle Stories with the children and Nisha to serve in the nursery. It was a highlight of our trip to have the privilege to serve. Our children were excited to see the wild animals (Tigers, snakes, and gators), take a boat trip out on the Gulf of Mexico, and visit an aquarium to pet the sting rays.
We finished meetings in Southern Florida at Lake Placid with Pastor knickerbocker and Pastor Spencer in Okeechobee before making our way to the Northern Pan-handle. This allowed us to visit a teen in our previous youth group as a student at Pensacola Christian College. Our children enjoyed the sport center activities on the campus.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

June Prayer Letter

JUNE 2009
***If you would like to be included in our address list to receive letters by E-mail than please let us know by contacting us at

Psalms 105:1 "O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people."

As Spring Time gives new life to much of God’s creation, it has provided opportunities for God’s deeds to be made known among the people. Our family has been able to present and minister for God in churches throughout Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Maryland, and in California where Jon attended the Missions Conference at Coastline Baptist in Oceanside.
We give thanks unto the Lord for the six new churches God has given us to co-labor with in planting Independent Baptist Churches in Peru. This brings our support level up to 54%. We ask you to pray for our remaining support to be raised.
Thank you to all who had been praying for Nisha’s jaw pain. In April, Jon thought that he was doing a kind deed scheduling a dental appointment for Nisha (who has a fear of dentists). The result was an irreversible inflammation of the nerve caused by a cavity. The tooth has since been pulled and Jon has been forgiven.
It was a blessing to have a part in the Missions Conference at our home church. We were encouraged by the response to our new DVD presentation of Peru and updated table display the Lord provided for us. The new presentation can be viewed by going to where it has been posted.
Jon has been able to use his volleyball license to help out schools and community recreation centers with officiating, which has opened up doors to share our ministry and ultimately the Gospel with those in the community. We’re thankful for the opportunities God gives us to witness while on deputation!
In May, Jon was able to attend and set up his table display at the Pastor’s conference in Rockford, Illinois. This provided encouragement through the preaching and fellowship with those in ministry. Traveling in a church van for six hours each way also provided close fellowship with not only our Pastor but those from our church and Tri-lakes Baptist who attended.
As we approach Summer time, please pray for continued safety on the road as we present in Florida churches, finish up home-schooling, and overcome the poison ivy that has made its presence known to Becca and Jon.

Thank you for your continued support, prayers, and interest in our ministry.
The Harris Family
Jon, Nisha, Matthew, Nathan, Becca, and Katie

Florida Meetings in the Summer, What are you thinking?

We are surviving the heat and was even able to take the children to see the Atlantic Ocean this week.

We have been able to present our Field in Port St Lucie Bible Church this last Sunday and have increased our Prayer support with certain individuals in the church. I never want to underestimate the power of Prayer.
Prayer is that which cannot be bought and has shown more power in revealing the true God in lives.

Please pray for us as we travel South to Hollywood, FL to Preach at First Baptist Church tonight, than traveling North to Palatka, FL this weekend to be at a Boy's Ranch, and than West to Inverness, FL to Preach at Bethel Baptist Church on Sunday. We have once again learned the need to be flexible by having two meetings cancel on us with short notice which causes travel and lodging to be changed. There will be a lot of traveling this week and we are praying for open opportunities to share the Gospel.
I will be the speaker at an Amazon VBS down here in Palm Harbor, FL for a week. We have been praying for our home church as we look forward to hearing how their parade went on July 4th, their VBS, Softball games, etc...

Co-Laboring Together For our God,
The Harris Family
Jon, Nisha, Matthew, Nathan, Becca, and Katie

Blessing this week: Meeting a member of the church who owns a Chick-Fil-A who gave our family meal coupons for the road. (If you dress like a cow on Friday you also get a free meal)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Which time zone am I in now?

After being in missions conference in Virginia, our family drove back to Michigan.

We were able to attend our mission conference at our sending church (FaithWay Baptist in Ypsilanti, MI) to give an update of our deputation and to show our updated materials (table display and DVD presentation). We were encouraged with the support of our home church.

Jon was able to fly out to Oceanside, CA the following day to attend the mission conference at Coastline Baptist Church (Pastor Steve Chappell). It was a blessing to once again be under the preaching of Don Sisk and see God work in a great way. Jon was able to minister by sharing testimony and calling, DVD presentation, soulwinning, fellowship, teaching in junior church and in adult Sunday School. We thank Coastline for the many blessings shown on our behalf and rejoice with them in the remodeling more of the church building and their love for God. Jon arrived safely back in Michigan only to fly out to Florida for a vacation time with family before attending a group of churches in Florida throughout the summer.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Albermarle Baptist Missions Conference

It was such a blessing to be with the church and see God working through the increase of their faith promise. We were able to hear Pat Creed, once again, as the special speaker for the conference. It was encouraging to have the opportunities of fellowship with the church at each of the meals, golfing activity, trip to Monticello, Missionary Birthday Party, and even an African church service. Mr and Mrs Winkey and their three legged dog (dixie) where our host for the conference, opening up their home and hearts to us. We were able to minister in the conference by sharing our testimony and calling into missions, our DVD presentation to Peru, Sunday School and morning services in the children classes, and Patch the Pirate club on Sunday Evening. We were excited to hear at the conclusion of the conference that they would be taking our family on for support and look forward to co-laboring with them in spreading the Gospel.

The Dreaded Dentist Appointment

Nisha had a dentist appointment in Slippery Rock, PA (scheduled by her loving husband), to see if they could discover what was causing so many headaches and pain in her jaw. The result was the discovery of a cavity that inflamed the nerve. It will have to be pulled out next month back in Michigan.

Our family found lodging at a mission house with the Munger Family who owned horses, goats, and cats with newly born kittens which the children enjoyed seeing.