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Come and see what God is doing in the jungles of the Amazon basin! We feel humbled and honored that He has chosen and enabled us to serve Him in this beautiful place.


Faith.

“He’s never failed me yet” are the fitting words to an old gospel song that is a continual anthem in this house as we speak of Gods faithfulness to us.

Ethan is recovering from his severe concussion, although it’s been a difficult journey. We are so very thankful for your prayers for him. He had constant migraines for over six weeks and had to withdraw from his classes, so he feels that his work and effort for the last semester is a complete scratch. He is enrolled in engineering classes again this upcoming semester, and we are hopeful that he will have the health and capacity to continue. We are so very grateful for the family, friends, and professors in his life that have helped and encouraged him through this difficult time in his young life. 

Because of his accident, we had waited to purchase tickets for the kids to come home for Christmas – not knowing if Ethan would be able to travel. By the time he had healed up a bit, the ticket prices had jumped sky high. As a family, we had been talking to Jesus about how we couldn’t afford to bring them home, how much of a need this was for our boy’s mental health, and lifting up the overwhelming medical bills that had come in – which was all so far out of our reach, but nothing is beyond our Father in heaven.

Within a twelve-hour span, we received news that the Holy Spirit had already been at work in the hearts of a precious young family to provide the funds needed to bring our kiddos home for Christmas and that the hospital had already taken care of Ethan’s paperwork - he would not be billed. Praise God!!! He is faithful. Why are we still surprised by his provision and care for us? He is always good – even when our son is injured, and we are all so very far apart. God is still at work for the glory of his great name!

Meanwhile, it’s been busy down here! Thanksgiving was a blessing to host again. It always blesses our hearts to hear about Gods faithfulness and the amazing things that He is doing in the various works and missions in this jungle!

We had the particularly special honor of co-costing the Howe’s work-team as they came to help with the building project to try to get the Howes in their house as soon as possible. They worked so hard and accomplished so much! 

At the end of November our hearts were crushed by the sudden death of a dear friend. John Hocking was a second-generation missionary to this area of the jungle. He was raised here and returned with his lovely wife to faithfully serve as missionaries for over fifty years, and now their daughter and her family also serve here as missionaries and are among our closest friends. Our kids called him “Papa John”. They loved him like a grandfather since they never knew either of their own grandfathers. He was one of our first friends here in Peru and we miss him dearly.

Please pray for Percy. He is the mason that has worked with Vann for several years now. Last month he was held up at gunpoint and robbed. He had been watched and this was planned just as he was carrying his life savings on his person. We are helping where we can, but our greatest hope is for his salvation. He has heard the truth as Vann has faithfully witnessed to him that Jesus is the only way. 

Thank you so very much for holding us up in your prayers! "Therefore we always pray for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling and with power fulfill all your good desires and works done by faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – 2 Thes.1:11-12 

“Faith is the deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” – Oswald Chambers


Spring.

The rains have begun in earnest, and we are in mid-Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere. The flowers are all abloom and it is just beautiful! We are so delighted to be home and able to get back to work! 

There were a few dry weeks left by the time we returned, and Vann has worked so hard to take advantage of the weather to complete some projects on base. He built a ramp for a car wash station that will serve the families on base. A new-to-us 40’ container has been put on pilings with an access ramp for missionary storage - as tribal working missionaries will be rotating in and out of these houses, they will need a place to store their things. The old 20’ storage container has been moved and put on pilings with a ramp for camp storage (some of the mattresses have already walked out of the cabins). The old wooden floor of the woodshop had rotted out and the machines had haphazardly sunk to the ground making them unusable, so he poured a concrete floor for the woodshop. Vann is also working on trimming out the plumbing and electrical, and finishing drywall in the house that needs to be finished as near to the end of the year as possible. May the Lord bless and multiply the work of his hands!

Thankful for the nationals that are willing to come and help with some of these projects. Pictured above is Alexis and his beautiful, new little family – he has been a faithful friend and help to us! 

Ethan suffered a severe concussion while playing an intramural soccer game earlier this month. He was rushed to the ER twice and had a CT scan that thankfully showed no bleeding on his brain. We are so grateful for his attentive roommate whose father is a doctor and he came right away to help, that Corynn was with him through all of it, and for my precious brother and his wife for driving over and scooping Ethan up to take him to recover at their house instead of his dorm-room. Unfortunately, this accident happened just before his mid-terms, and he is now far behind on his class work. Having to catch up with a concussed brain and working 36 hours a week at two jobs to try to pay for school is all a bit much for his first semester. He still has a constant headache, and we have yet to see what his cognitive abilities are and if he can manage. Please pray for our boy.

This is a new test of faith for us. We’ve trusted for so long that God would care for our children while living with us on the mission field and he has proved to be capable and trustworthy every day until now. Why then is it now hard to let go and trust him with our children when they’re not in our presence – as if we were ever in control of anything? Jesus is the good shepherd, and he knows his own. Our children have always been and still are God’s to care for, and he is good.

He has other sheep that are not of this fold, and he must bring them also, so there will be one flock, one shepherd. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus! 

Clara turned sixteen this month! Sweet sixteen. She is growing up into a beautiful, godly young woman who is so smart and kind, and she is an excellent photographer! Life as an only child at home and going off to school every day by herself has been an adjustment, but she has handled it all so gracefully. We are so thankful for the sunshine she brings to our life!

Thank you for your precious prayers for us – we do so need them! We pray for you as well, that God would bless and keep you; make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace.


“It is our duty and our privilege to exhaust our lives for Jesus. We are not to be living specimens of men in fine preservation, but living sacrifices.” – Charles Spurgeon

 

 

Whirlwind.

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“Whirlwind” seems to be the most common description of our summer furloughs Stateside – it is fitting.

Within the first three weeks of our trip, we had taken seven flights. By the last of which, I had developed another blood clot (this is my tenth one, but the first major one while I was in the States). By God’s providence, I was able to get emergency care and genetic testing (neither of which could happen in Pucallpa). A huge blessing in this is that we got “stuck” in Ohio with my brother and his wife who were housing and caring for our college kids through the summer. So, we were able to be together with our kids for an unplanned, extended period – so thankful! The downside was that we didn’t have as much time in Georgia to visit the rest of our family or churches as we would have liked, but I am thankful to be alive!

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Here's the miracle - blood tests came back positive for Factor V Leiden, which is a genetic mutation that causes blood clots. The only treatment is to take blood thinners for the rest of my life. This comes with risks, certainly, but the most amazing thing about it is that this medicine has given me my life back! The doctors say that is because my blood is finally able to flow freely and do its job – getting oxygen and nutrients to my organs, and… I finally have normal blood volume and pressure – which makes me feel more alive than I’ve felt in years. Praise Jesus! This is such an incredible gift! Now, since we’ve traveled home, I have run into my new limitations. I realize that I still have a chronic illness (ME/CFS), but I am so thankful to be functioning in the mild category right now instead of the moderate to severe where I’ve lived for so many years. God is so good. He is good when I’m well, and He is so very good when I’m ill. Jesus is sweeter. Jesus is better than any blessing or gift – He is the gift!

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When we left home to fly to the States in mid-June, we had so many needs that seemed unmet, but God in His abundant grace, had already gone before us and made a way.

·      He provided good caretakers for our house, the mission base, and our animals while we were gone.

·      He provided a car to drive the insane amount of miles that are needed to visit our churches and family and move kids into college. And not just any car - a nearly-new Jeep that belongs to the most precious people willing to give their best to His service.

·      He provided a car for Ethan (miraculous in this market and our budget), a phone and plan, a safe a loving place to live and work for the summer, a winter wardrobe, and all the things needed to set up an independent child!

·      He provided beautiful places for us to get away for a few days as a whole family – such a precious treasure to have time all together, and a couple of days just for the two of us.

Each of these things (and so many more blessings) came just when we needed them – never late, but not early enough for me to take any of the credit for planning it at all. To God be the glory, great things He has done!

A quick cameo on each of our children -

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Corynn has begun her second year of classes at Cedarville University having made the Dean’s list both semesters last year. She is a senior and has added pre-med classes (and another year) to her Psych degree. She also moved off campus and is working diligently to pay her way to a double major degree in Psychology and Health. She is a sweet light for Jesus everywhere she goes!

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Ethan graduated in May with a 4.1 GPA and two years of college credits under his belt and began his life on campus at Cedarville University as a junior. He is on the President’s list and is working two jobs to pay his way toward a degree in Computer Engineering. He is also thrilled to be a goalkeeper for an intramural soccer team!

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Clara is a high school sophomore this year and is a student at SAM (South America Mission) Academy. She is also beginning her journey with her first dual enrollment class this semester with Letourneau University! She is adjusting well to being the only child at home, and we cherish this time that we have with her.

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God’s hand of blessing is over our family! We offer every good thing back to Him with open hands to use as He sees fit. Thank you all for your faithful support and prayers for us! We are so excited to be home and able to get back to work!

“It is only in realizing our own inadequacy that we actually ever come to discover the sufficiency of God.” – Alistair Begg

 

 

 

Brock Fam. Vid.’22



Spend Your Life.

We are alive – I promise!

It’s been a busy rainy season here with two construction teams that have come from the States to help us on two missionary houses that are being built here on base! We are so thankful for the help and encouragement that they bring - also for God’s hand of blessing as He allowed for everyone to have the health to work, He held off the rain for the most part, and He kept everyone safe. 

Out of the three missionary houses being built right now, one has a roof, walls, sub flooring, windows, and most of the plumbing and electrical installed. The second house has exterior walls, beams, and the roof structure has begun to take shape. The third house has exterior walls, beams, and the septic systems have been dug and built on all three house sites. 

For Petra Camp, Vann has built the foundation for a fourth cabin and a kitchen - which now has walls as well! The chapel has electricity run to it and is being measured this week for screen windows and doors.

This past week has been a struggle for Vann as he has had to deal with problems in our electrical substation. Our fifteen-year-old transformer has gone bad and is needing to be replaced immediately. It will cost us above six thousand dollars to replace, which we did not have in our plans, but we trust that nothing comes as a surprise to God.

Vann is recovering from his Long Covid, thank God! He has occasional “Covid days” where he is super drained of energy, but he also has good days in between and is enjoying the ability to work. He has been spending a considerable amount of time designing and overseeing the construction of our church’s new buildings (open air sanctuary, bathrooms, Sunday School classrooms, etc.) on their own property!

As far as my health – I am still up, but just barely. Since Covid my energy baseline seems to have lowered to about half of my normal energy (which on a good day is about half of a normal person’s energy). I am grateful for the burst of energy that God gave me last year that enabled me to help get us back home while Vann was struggling so badly with his energy – that was truly a miracle!

We are so thankful that Corynn was able to come home for Christmas! She is doing very well with her studies at Cedarville University. She has decided to add pre-med classes to her Psychology degree, and will Lord willing, graduate in two years - ready to move on to medical school. For now, she is interested in becoming a psychiatrist and using that immense tool in mission work. We are very proud of her! She could use your prayers as she is working two jobs to try to pay for school and managing seven classes this semester! Please pray that God will guide her, and for her health and energy as she also has “Covid days” on a weekly basis.

Ethan is graduating high school next month with highest honors, a 4.1 GPA, and two years of college credits. We are so very proud of his dedicated, hard work! He is planning on attending Cedarville University as well and pursuing a degree in engineering. We would appreciate your prayers for the many needs that he is facing on his launch into his new life Stateside i.e., a phone, a laptop, a car or old truck, winter clothes, etc. We trust that God will supply all of his needs!

Clara has become my right hand and greatest helper – she makes tea and bakes treats for our visitors and for the bible studies and meetings that we host. She has done an exceptional job on her high school classes as a freshman this year and has enjoyed this last year of having her brother home. Please pray for her as she will be quite lonely as the only child living at home for the next three years, and for wisdom as she decides whether to follow in her siblings’ path with college/dual-enrollment courses through her remaining high school years. We trust that as she draws near to Jesus that he will be her closest friend. 

This June we will be heading Stateside for a couple of months to take Ethan up to school and to visit family. I’d love to say that we’ll be making our regular rounds to visit our churches and as many of our dear supporters as time will allow, but at this point I cannot say that will be possible. My health is still too fragile to be able to plan much in advance. We will certainly make every effort should my health allow! 

“We don’t have a lot of time… So don’t waste your life. Give your life, spend your life, making the one true gospel of the one true God known to the ends of the earth.” – David Platt

            

Grown and Flown.

We are so very happy to be home in Peru again! God has worked such a miracle for me through the proper medication - steroids help my cells transfer energy, nutrients, electrolytes, and oxygen like they should but cannot do on their own – better life through chemistry! At the end of the summer, I was able to pack our bags and help get us home – incredible. I am now at around a solid 50% from my “normal” energy. I can be up and participate in an event (bible study, a visit with neighbors or friends, grocery shopping, etc.) one day, but then I must be very careful to plan one or two days of recovery after any exertion. It can be a bit frustrating to be so limited still, but anything is better than being bed-bound, unable to hardly speak or swallow, and in pain for months on end. I am so very grateful for all of your prayers and for each of you that so thoughtfully reached out to me with no expectation of a response during that time!

Corynn is happy and excelling in her studies! She has taken to life at Cedarville University like a fish in the sea! She is in the honors program and even though she is a first-year student, she is already at a Junior level in her classes – we are proud, to say the least! She could use your prayers for health and safety as she is under a heavy class schedule and working to pay her tuition. 

Ethan is a Senior in high school this year! He is working hard on his dual enrollment college classes to graduate with the equivalent of his Associates degree (like Corynn did), but he is on an accelerated math course. I’m not sure how he does it, but he makes it all look so easy! He is having a bit of a hard time though since he lost his closest buddies that lived on our rural road as they moved back to Switzerland this summer, he is lonely.

Clara just turned fifteen this month and she is a freshman in high school this year! She is diligently working on her Bob Jones University home school classes and is not only loving them but is also excelling in them – no surprises there! She also lost her closest friend this summer when the same family as Ethan’s friends moved across the globe. The life of a missionary kid is just plain tough sometimes, but we pray that God uses these losses in their lives to draw their hearts closer to His and that they would grow in their love for Him every day!

Vann wouldn’t share this, but he desperately needs your prayers too. It’s probably due to a combination of all the things – Long Covid, a year of extreme stress and a double workload for so long while I’ve been down, his mono flaring, the Covid vaccine – have all hit him like a ton of bricks. He was struggling even before we left for the States, then he worked nearly the whole time we were there, but it hit him especially after his shots and coming home to all of the stress – he just can’t seem to catch his breath or wake up feeling well or make it halfway through a workday without losing his strength and feeling completely spent. This is not my normal Vann Brock. Unfortunately, the only way for him to heal is to rest, but he doesn’t see that as an option – there’s just WAY too much to be done! There are three missionary houses being built right now, further construction on the camp, the base to maintain and run, bible studies and youth group to lead, and the myriad of things that he does every day to help people which is his joy. He has reached the burnout point and needs help and rest. We trust that the same God who called us to this work will enable us to continue in it! Thank you all for your prayers and care for us. We give thanks in all things and bless the name of our Good God, Almighty! 

“No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering, he simply chooses God’s will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not.”-Oswald Chambers

Miracle.

It’s a miracle! God has heard our prayers and in His mercy He has made a way for me to get up out of my sickbed of nearly five months. 

I was hit hard by a stomach bug last week that landed me with 19 hours straight of throwing up every ten to thirty minutes, intense nausea and extreme stomach pain - which was resolved by nurse friends kindly coming to my rescue with an IV and meds in my bed. I’ve come through a few days of recovery with a migraine, fevers, a pulled muscle in my side, and a blood clot in my arm from the IV, but I am healing, and most amazingly - I am up at around a solid 25%, and can sit up and talk with some energy and can even slowly walk around the yard! 

God has given me this miracle by allowing this latest suffering to push me to need an IV that I believe infused me with the electrolytes that my body needed (and can’t absorb on its own) to be able to get up! He is always good and He hears our prayers. 

So even though I am still fragile, we are planning on flying all together to the States this week!!! I’m so incredibly thankful for all of your prayers for me and my family!

M.E.

Thank you all for your precious outpouring of love, care and prayers for me over these long four months. It has been a long road, but I am recovering albeit ever so slowly. It feels like I take two steps forward and then fall six back, but my progress has to be measured by the week instead of the day and there has been progress! I have not run a fever since Easter - praise God! Vann has put me on a safe, new treatment of mega doses of vitamin B1 and so far, it does seem to be helping. I have still had setbacks, but am tentatively hopeful. I am able to talk with more alertness and energy, and can sit up for a few minutes every hour and on good days I can even walk a little bit in the house. 

 We have purchased tickets to fly to the States in June to take Corynn to Cedarville University, but I am still not in any condition to travel. This is a deep desire of my heart to be able to be with her through this stage of her life, so could you please pray that I will be able to go? It would take a miracle. 

Today happens to be M.E. Awareness Day and I so hope that there will some day be a cure, but my only real hope rests in God alone. He can heal me, but if not He is still good, and He will be glorified in my illness. 



Amazing Grace.


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To those who have known about our struggles and have lifted us in prayer, thank you - we have needed them and still do. Vanessa is still very weak from this latest flare (that Covid so kindly left in its wake) of her ME/CFS, but she seems to have turned a corner for the better this week. Here is an update in her words:

The fatigue has been so devastating that I couldn’t even speak at times much less sit up or walk. Low grade fevers for weeks on end, neuropathic pain and extreme neuropathic itch, blood clots, digestive issues, and all kinds of other not so fun things that have been going on, but the Lord gives sufficient grace for all suffering. 

My doctor put me back on my old steroid and it has already made a difference. He said that on a cellular level, my body cannot process enough nutrients or electrolytes for any of my systems to work - especially when I was so far gone. There was simply no other way to heal or come back from that drastic state without help. I am finally able to walk to the kitchen and sit up for a few minutes for a meal, so that is visible improvement! I feel like I’m beginning to come back to life a little more every day - praise Jesus!

My Vann is Superman if you didn’t already know - among his other incredible talents he is also the most selfless and tender caregiver ever. It’s also a good thing that God made him strong since he’s had to carry me - and I am not a petite woman! He does have his limits though, especially after Covid, and he could use your prayers too. We’re going into the third month that I’ve been down and it all gets so hard and so old so fast. 

We are deeply thankful for all of the prayers and messages from those who are far away, and more grateful than we can ever express for the tangible love that this community has showered on us in our time of need. Our family has been fed for weeks, our laundry has been faithfully done for us, and so many have helped with groceries too. I have had the most precious people come and visit and pray over me nearly every day. Oh, and the flowers - how they cheer me up when I am bed-bound! 

May God be glorified in everything that we do or say, and when we can’t even speak may He still be praised with every breath.

Covid-19.

Our family has now joined the ranks of the many millions of Covid-19fighters, and by God’s grace we made it to the other side! The children passed through it especially well. Fighting the actual virus was not difficult – we’ve actually had worse colds, BUT due to Vann’s weakened lungs from having had severe pneumonia a couple of years ago Covid settled right in and gave him a wicked cough. He has needed oxygen for the last two weeks, and we are so thankful for dear friends in town willing to loan us their oxygen tank – that kept us from having to take Vann to Lima for help. We are so deeply thankful for prayer warriors that significantly turned the tide of Vann’s health after word spread of his condition – Praise Jesus! God has shown us His care through excellent, long-distance medical care, and loving neighbors that have brought us groceries, medicine and meals through our time of quarantine – we are so blessed.

Although our quarantine has ended, it will be a while longer for me to get back up-an’-at-‘em. I have ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) from a nasty jungle virus 15 years ago that I have learned to manage with diet, swimming and a careful pacing of my schedule, but my body’s response to any stress or sickness is a prolonged low-grade fever. So, since Covid came through, it has left me with fevers that have lasted for weeks. It will just take time for them to leave and let me regain my strength.

 Although the virus decidedly interrupted our plans for the month, Vann of course continued to work through it all. He goes out to work awhile and comes back in for a rest throughout the days – he is a stubborn one! Albeit slowly, he is still building the deck and stairs for the apartment, and in the meantime the dear family that lives there is using the trapdoor staircase into the garage – they are blessedly patient people!

The camp chapel now has a floor, pillars, and the lower brick half of the walls (the upper half will be screen). The welding crew that helped Vann build the pavilion roof will be coming back to build the chapel’s roof this week!

The children have all begun their online classes with gusto! 

Corynn is taking a full-credit load for her Senior Spring semester with Cedarville University where she hopes to be attending in the Fall. She is already working on classes for her bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Ethan is taking classes with Le Tourneau University for his Junior Spring semester and is enjoying the advanced math. 

Clara is finishing her eighth grade with Bob Jones University curriculum and is enjoying the extra time that she gets to spend with her sister at home. 

We are planning to launch Corynn into her life as an adult this Summer before she attends University. Although this is a normal and foreseen part of the plan for her life it is still hard to think about her leaving home. She has need of a vehicle, a phone, a laptop, a winter wardrobe, and a job to help her pay for room and board, insurance, and a phone plan, not to mention whatever tuition might be left after her awards and scholarships. If any of you are led to help her with any of these needs, or can point us in the right direction, we would be very grateful! 

Thank you all for your prayers and support for our family and this mission! To God be the glory, great things He has done, and we praise Him for all that He will do!


Suffering on our way to heaven is a sure thing, and for the glory of His great name – so is God’s abundant grace.


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