Letter  From  Valarie - July 4, 2003

Dear Friends

As many of you already know, I have some very sad news to share with you. On Tuesday night, June 10, Lynette Rivas collapsed and died in their home in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. Lynette was nly 27 years old, and her death was sudden and unexpected. At this time, we are still awaiting the autopsy results hoping that they will reveal the cause of death. She left behind her husband, Alberto, Abigail (4), and Jonathan (5 1/2 months).

Alberto looks over crypt he and Keokuk Missions trip peopole built for Lynette.

Although this has been a time of sadness, we are comforted to see the amazing ways that God has worked through this difficult time. The work team from Keokuk, Iowa, that arrived just as she collapsed was invaluable in helping Alberto make the necessary immediate adjustments. They were able to provide clear communications to our family here in the States regarding funeral arrangements and transportation to the Dominican. They also had one Spanish - speaking member who was able to translate important information between Alberto and our family while they were there in the Dominican, limiting the frustrating language barrier.

God has also used this tragedy to cause hearts to become open to the Gospel, both in the Dominican and in the States. He gave Alberto the strength to preach at Lynette's funeral in the Dominican to share the hope we have in Christ. The Dominicans have been asking many questions, and twelve adults attended a class Alberto held this week on baptism. Three memorial services have also been held statewide, once again giving the opportunity to share our hope in Christ. Even in death, Lynette's influence continues to help the spread of the Gospel.

Many have asked what Alberto's plans are for the future. He is dedicated to continuing the new church work in Monti Cristi. We ask that you will be faithful and continue your support of him as well. Alberto has asked that you pray for their family. This has been extremely difficult for them. He also asks you to pray for the church that it will continue to grow in strength and number.

Thank you for the part you had in Lynette's life and ministry. We are grateful for all of you who have poured out your love and support to our family after her death. May God bless you!

Valarie Peterson
Forwarding Agent and sister

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