Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Final Report

Dear friends & supporters,

Here is a final report of our time in Peru, including a letter of thank you from one of our Peruvian students and future campus minister, Pablo.

Click here to download the pdf newsletter (2.3MB).

Re: support. A number of our friends & supporting churches have asked about continued support of our ministry during this transition from Peru to Canada. Note: we are receiving a stipend for a few months from Peru Mission to help with this time of transition.

First of all, if you have signed up for automatic withdrawals, you need to contact the Peru Mission accountant, Rebekah Johnson (865-684-4580/ rebekahjohnson@perumission.org) in order to cancel this service.

Secondly, this document explains four ways in which donations can be made to the New City Church Planting Movement in Calgary, including making donations by mail, online by credit card, via electronic funds transfer, or by stock donation. This document is a pledge card.

Thirdly, if you choose to send in support with a check, mail the check to:

Mission to North America
1700 N. Brown Road Suite 101
Lawrenceville, GA 30043-8143

Office: (678) 825-1200
Fax: (678) 825-1001

1. Make your check out to “MNA.”
2. In the memo line, write “John Ferguson.” MNA prefers to list the church planter on the check rather than the account number.
3. 100% of your contribution goes directly to this project! There are no fees charged by MNA for these services.

Many thanks to our supporting friends and churches who have made our ministry in Peru possible. Your financial support, prayers, visits, calls, care packages, emails, and cards helped to carry us through and to sustain us in the work with RUF & Peru Mission. It has been an honor to be in partnership with you for the cause of Christ’s Gospel and Kingdom. We are eternally grateful!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Great Slideshow!!!

Our wonderful friend, Allen Bradford, made us this video slideshow of our time in Peru. Thanks, Allen, for the many pics and memories!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Despedidas (parte dos)

Last night we had a wonderful time at Gerardo & Ysabel's place. They gave a despedida for us with some of the students that we were closest with (some couldn't make it). Enjoy....


We've been having some despedidas (goodbye times with friends). Here are some pics....

Here I am with my pastor, Jaime. He is giving us a 'recuerdo' or a souvenir to remember our church home in Peru.

Here's a photo of Kevin holding the recuerdo. The inscription is from Ps. 121, "The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in."

Here's Heather with her gift CD from "Lenin's Band" that she has been wanting.

Heather having a good time with some of her chicas.

Our family was prayed for by pastors Gerardo Castro, Bill Bradford, Allen Smith, and Jaime Avellaneda

For more pics, check out Allen Bradford's Flickr photo album. Thanks for the shots, Allen!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wise Words My Peruvian Friend....

"So this I find, that both unshared joy and joylessness are capable of killing the soul slowly. Therefore I must share my joy in God with others or else my soul will wither when the morning dawns on me."
These words were written by my friend, Francisco, who lives in Lima, Peru. He received his Ph.D. in engineering from Texas A&M. We actually overlapped a bit at TAMU, but we didn't know each other. He visited my home church, Westminster, after we left, and some folks told him that we were down in Trujillo, Peru. When he returned, he looked us up and came for a visit in Trujillo. He has a great heart for the Lord, has just recently joined the presbyterian church in Lima pastored by MTW missionary, Mark Barry, and I'm excited for the help Francisco will be to the future of Christ's kingdom here in Peru.

Francisco, thanks for all the great conversations! And thanks for sharing your joy with me.

Be sure to check out his blog.

Last Sunday @ Larco Church

Here's a couple of videos my bride took of our church service last week (find here and here).

The first clip is of me preaching in Spanish. Good one, because I butcher the word "probablemente." Oh well. It took me about 5-6 years out of seminary to learn to preach with little or no notes. But Spanish cured me of that freedom, at least as it pertains to preaching in Spanish.

The second clip is of some of the music during our worship service. Our friend, Allen Smith, has done a great job of music development.

So that's a little taste of Sunday morning in Peru. Wish you all could be here to experience it firsthand.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Good words from a good friend....

I should have published this a while ago, but as they say, better late than never.

Doug Serven, RUF Campus Minister at Oklahoma University (incidently, my second favorite college football team), blogged about his trip here over spring break. Thought you all might enjoy his take.... Read his entry here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Team from Plains Pres, Zachary LA

The youth group from Plains Presbyterian Church in Zachary, LA, is down for the week helping with construction projects at our Larco Church. The team is led by my friend, Campbell Silman, who served with me in the South Texas Presbytery. Here's a pic of the team at our house for dinner.

Here's a couple of pics of Jason & Colton helping out on the worksite (sorry about the quality, they are from a cell phone).


This photo is from an earlier team (spring break) that we took of Wes with me cell phone. We did this at the time--as blackmail--to show his wife of the crazy things he would do from time to time (like stand on rickety, home-made ladders from dizzying heights swinging hammers from precarious positions giving little thought to life and limb and posterity). Needless to say, Wes survived. But we thought we'd embed this photo here because Wes is in the States on furlough and he can't physically harm us :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

You and I Both Need This

I came across a promo of Paul Tripp's new book, "Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy." It is a study of David's psalm of repentance, Psalm 51, spread out into 52 devotions.

Here is a video promo:


Working on a New Blog

The benefit of being down with the flu and having a laptop that you can play with in bed is that you still get to have the illusion of being productive. Last Friday night at the end of my first 24 hours in bed, I had a bit of a creative bug. So, if you might be interested, I've started a new blog that doesn't have to do with ministry issues, more along the lines of my random thoughts about life and grace. You can find it here...



Saturday, July 5, 2008

Our Two Year Stint with the Coolest Mission in the World (IMHO)

The month of July marks the end of a two-year stint with Peru Mission. We have arrived at the difficult decision to shift gears in our life of ministry leaving behind a mission that we love dearly, and embracing a new challenge that we would never have dreamed of. We have accepted a new assignment on a new mission field- we’ll be moving from way down south in Peru, to way up north in Canada(!).

A brief summary: As we've thought about where we should invest ourselves in this next stage of life, we came up with 4 criteria: We wanted to be (1) in an important urban center; (2) near a major university; (3) in a post-modern / post-Christian context; (4) where the PCA (our church) is thin or non-existent. As we thought about the ways in which God has been shaping us and forming our thoughts along these criteria, I have accepted a call to be a part of a multi-site / multi-congregational church planting movement in Calgary, Alberta (we received a recommendation from Mission to North America’s Church Planting Assessment Center in June).

We looked at a handful of other options—including in our beloved home country of Texas—but none matched up with our desires like Calgary did. Calgary is (1) a beautiful city of over a million people with ~20,000 moving there every year; (2) home of the Univ. of Calgary—36,000 students; (3) post-modern and as several Canadian pastors have told me—very post-post-post Christian; (4) has only two PCA churches with about 200 people attending. In some major cities of Canada, over 40% of the people are atheist. Further, the fastest growing religious categories by rate of increase between 1991 and 2001 are Paganism (+281%), Native Spirituality (+175%) and Islam (+129%). Calgary needs the Gospel: only around 10-12% of the city attends a Christian church of any kind, and that number is shrinking rapidly.

We are excited and scared at the same time, feeling that this will be the biggest thing we've attempted to do for Christ's Kingdom to date. We have grown a lot, learned a ton, and we really feel like we are more prepared to do this now in ways that we wouldn't have been able to do several years ago. So we ask for your continued prayers.

So it's with a mixture of sadness (to be leaving such a fine mission and to be saying goodbye to our beloved Peruvian friends) and anticipation for continued use in the mission field. We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish here as well as the ways we've been able to serve Peru Mission. We couldn't have done it without the prayers and support of our friends around the world. Thank you.

The immediate future: We'll be moving back to our hometown of Bryan/College Station around mid-August to begin development for this new project.

Some of our supporters have asked us about continued support & partnership. The short answer: Yes! August will be our last month employed with Peru Mission, and then we will be in full-time fundraising mode for Calgary. There will be a few months gap until our mission board / paperwork, etc., are all in place to process gifts & receipts. We will keep you posted.

Thanks for being a part of our lives and the work of Christ’s kingdom. It is a privilege to be in this together with you.

Grace & Peace,
John & Heather Ferguson

Banff National Park, an hour outside of Calgary

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Students at UCV

Last night, we had a dozen students over from UCV, or Cesar Vallejo University. Our Peruvian campus minister, Gerardo, is working on an additional degree there and has to teach some courses as well. Through his influence there, we are gaining access to new students.

Please pray for these new students as we seek to enfold them into the campus ministry and as we seek ways to meaningfully speak the Gospel to them and through them to other students.


Thank you all for praying for the conferences that we had with university students here in Trujillo and in Cajamarca.

Dr. David Doughty & Dr. Gary Whiting of Christopher Newport University came here to help us with our relationships with local universities by providing lectures in their areas of expertise (Doughty--Physics & Whiting--Ecology) as well as lectures on the relationship of science and faith.

We kept the men busy with lectures at the National University of Trujillo and Cesar Vallejo University in Trujillo, and then we bused 7 hours into the Andes mountains to connect with Dr. Alonzo Ramirez in our Cajamarca branch of Peru Mission. There, the professors gave lectures at the National University of Cajamarca as well as the local church. Throughout the week, these men spoke to crowds of upwards to 150 students and faculty. They were an amazing help to our ministry here in both enabling us to serve the universities and show that we take the universities seriously, as well as demonstrating that Christians can be scientists and leaders in their fields. As one student to Dr. Ramirez, the thinking among many Peruvians is that you cannot be a scientist and a Christian at the same time.

We had a little fun as well. In Cajamarca, we went hiking at Cumbe Mayo (a rare treat that we don't have the ability to do in Trujillo). Beautiful countryside. Here are some pics, but of course they don't do it any justice.

At the end of the week, Gerardo and I felt a little worse for wear, but we had a great time.

Thank you, Drs. Doughty & Whiting, for your service to our work here and for they way you demonstrated Christian integrity in your fields. Thanks to all the students who worked hard to make this possible, and thanks to all of you back in the states who prayed for the week. re

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Guest Lectures at Local Universities

Wow, has it really been that long since I’ve blogged? I’m terribly sorry. Let me try to fill you in a bit.

After the whirlwind of the spring break trips, the month of April was a fairly normal, back to the nuts and bolts of ministry month. I was officially received into the Presbytery here (a long time in coming!), I taught our RUF large group meeting several times, preached in our church in Larco the week before our new pastor was installed, and participated in a number of our small groups while working on philosophy of ministry stuff with Gerardo, our campus ministry.

May was an interesting month. He had an unexpected trip back to Houston for the funeral of Heather’s brother. We also took our family on a vacation to Machu Picchu, now one of the official Seven Wonders of the World. It was amazing and you can see more about our trip on my wife’s blog. Now where preparing for a number of short term teams that will be coming in the next weeks.

Last year, Dr. Doughty taught to a standing-room-only @ UNT

Last year, Dr. David Doughty of Christopher Newport University came and assisted our ministry by giving several physics lectures at La Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, including an additional talk on “How a Physicist Sees God” at our university ministry. He is back again for another series of lectures, and this time he brought a colleague, Dr. Gary Whiting who will be giving some biology lectures as well. Both men will be speaking both at UNT and at La Universidad Cesar Vallejo under the auspices of our university ministry. Please be in prayer for us this week as we’ll head up to Cajamarca on Wednesday to do the same thing there with the Cajamarca branch of Peru Mission. I’ll post pictures and updates in the coming week.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Thanks SMU, OU, & Bama

Over the past two weeks, we had 50 folks from the RUF chapters of OU, SMU, & Alabama. You might be asking, what did the students think? I think this pic of some of the students from SMU perfectly captures the sentiments....

These RUF teams helped with demolition at the Larco church, conversation clubs at the National University, with SALI, and with our own university ministry. It was a great two weeks of fun, hard work, and great memories. Thank you for your time & your partnership with us.

Special thanks to Gerardo, Pablo, Anna, Elizabeth, Jose, Alberto, & Cesar who helped out with various facets of the conversation clubs.