We are counting down the days until our first mission trip of the year! We are looking forward to hosting a returning team of ladies from Wisconsin who will be working at Gamaliel Church in Pachacutec.
I can still remember back in 2010 when the ladies first contacted us about a mission trip. "We are just a small group of women," they told me. "Is there anything we can do in Peru?" I could hardly contain myself from screaming "YES!!!!!" At the time, we had been praying for months about the women's ministry in Pachacutec. We knew that there were many women who needed community and needed to hear about Jesus, but we weren't sure how we could help. The answer to our prayers came in the form of this small, but determined group of women from Wisconsin. The ladies put on women's workshops to reach out to the women in Pachacutec. It was truly a special week! (Click here to read more about their trip in 2011.) It was so clear that the Lord had called these women to Peru in His perfect timing.
This year a few of the ladies are back, and they are joined by a few more ladies who will be joining us for the first time. The ladies will be putting on the second edition of "Una Semana Para Nosotras" -- workshops to teach women about what it looks like to follow God as a women, a wife, a mother, and a friend. Our work starts on Saturday!
Please join us in praying that God will use this coming week to transform women and their families! We pray for meaningful relationships to be formed so that women can connect, encourage each other, and spur one another on.
Thank you, prayer warriors!
Way back when, Gamaliel was just a sandy hill and a vision from the Lord...
Years later, it's easy to see how the Lord has been working at Gamaliel! Where there once was only sand, now there stands a ministry built on the Rock. Gamaliel serves its community through a church, a Christian school, a soup kitchen for children, and a community library.
As Gamaliel Church celebrates their anniversary this month, we join with them in celebrating the Lord's faithfulness and provision. Please continue to pray for them as they grow in faith and in number!!
Gamaliel Church recently took its second mission trip! They traveled to the Peruvian province of Yauyos, where they served in the towns of San Jeronimo and Chocos.
Here are a few words from Pastor Sergio before their trip:
One of the things that I have learned -- and it has not been easy -- is where the Lord was leading us for our mission grip this year. In the first week of October, the Lord guided me to go to Huaráz with my wife Felicitas and my daughter Génesis to look for a mission field. It seemed like it was the right place, but we realized when we arrived in the village that it was not God's will for us to go there. Various things happened, and we went back to Pachacutec. We prayed to the Lord and He led us to another mission field: Yauyos (a province of Lima), approximately 95 miles (7 hours by bus through the mountains). The small villages there are called Chocos and San Jerónimo. In San Jeronimo I was able to meet Pastor Pedro, who is 75 years old. I was really struck by his enthusiasm, his heart for Jesus, and his vision to do missions. They are also constructing a House of God (their church), as you can see in the photos. They would like us to help them with that. We will go on our mission trip December 6-8.
Pastor Sergio and the missionaries from Gamaliel shared the Gospel in San Jeronimo and Chocos as they visited homes, met with church members at the local churches, and put on programs for children. They also brought donations of clothing and Christmas gifts to distribute to the families in the community. How beautiful to see Gamaliel's heart for missions and for serving others!
Please continue to pray for Gamaliel as they explore what it means to serve the Lord in their church family, their community, and beyond!
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We sent an anonymous survey to pastors and church leaders who have served with us in Peru. Here's what they had to say about Living Missions Peru.
If you are going on a trip as a "Learning Opportunity," a chance to grow WITH those in Peru, Living Missions Peru is for you. If you are going to simply try to change the plight of another culture/community, pick another organization to go with. Our trips to Peru continue to cause us to grow with our partner church there and LMP has been instrumental in allowing this to happen."
"Living Missions Peru gives you an authentic Mission experience. I have been on trips that felt more like a vacation with a service day thrown in. The trips I have been on with LMP (to Pucallpa, Peru) have been life changing experiences where my team and I are in the local community, living among the people we are serving, and spending every day in Christ-centered fellowship and service."
"Always a top notch trip with Living Missions Peru. They are flexible with schedule and great at suggesting things. Never met a more professional small-staffed mission organization."
"I can't tell you how much this trip made an impact on everyone who went. We are so thankful! Overall our experience was fabulous...I look forward to working with you again!"
"You guys do an outstanding job from the time we arrive to the send-off at the airport! Thank you for making our job so much easier and meaningful!"
"I felt like I was very informed about the daily schedule before going on the trip. I loved the google document that we used. Thank you so much for working with me on leading my first mission trip! I am excited to see the future has in store for Living Missions Peru!"
"I really enjoyed the village and the church we worked with. I also loved the friendships I could continue growing with [the LMP staff]."
This weekend we had our first ever Dental Clinic -- a free clinic for kids focusing on dental hygiene education and fluoride Treatments. It was not only a great success, but a perfect example of how when everyone does their part, together we can accomplish something truly awesome. A special thanks to those at Nikkeident (our dentist office) for going above and beyond the call of duty to help us serve kids!
The story begins one Saturday back in July, when I took a day off from my work with the mission teams to go to a dentist appointment. It was one of the few days in July we were going to be in Lima, so I had to get my appointment in while I could. I woke up early to help get the team on their way to Pachacutec, and then took the bus over to the dentist. When I arrived, I was told that my dentist wasn't able to come in that day, but that I'd have to reschedule for later in the week. Bummer! A whole day off in vain...or was it?? I stuck around for a few minutes and started chatting a few of the dentists. They asked what I do here in Peru, and we got to talking about mission trips and the team in Pachacutec that week. Then I threw it out there..."If you guys would ever be interested in working with kids in some sort of free clinic, let me know. We could help you put it together." They seemed really excited about the idea. Their only hesitation, they said, was that kids' toothbrushes and toothpaste are expensive and hard to come by in Peru, and if they were to do a clinic, they'd want to make sure all the kids could have toothbrushes and toothpaste. Noooo problem, I thought.
This year we have embarked on a new adventure in one of our ministry sites. We are working with a small group of 5 ladies to make children's books, which we hope to eventually sell in the US to provide support for these ladies and their families. But these aren't just any children's books - these are hand-made cloth activity books, made to be fun, interactive, and a throw-along-in-the-car-to-keep-the-kids-busy kind of thing. These books are going to be awesome!
The idea for this project came from Emilee, a friend of ours in California. Emilee has a similar activity book at her house which was hers from when she was little. Her little niece absolutely loves coming over to play with it. So we got to talking...what if we could produce these books and create jobs for people in a community in need? Awesome. So we set to work.
"Una Semana Para Nosotras" means "A Week for Us" -- but using the all feminine form for "us." So a week for us ladies!
Today was our last full day serving in Pachacutec with a mission team of ladies from Wisconsin. We put on three days of VBS for kids and 4 days of workshops for women in the community, and we also spent some time visiting homes, painting the church, and working in an orphanage. It was a great week, and we had amazing turn-out for both VBS and the workshops. We were expecting maybe 60-80 kids to show up for VBS, and we think we counted 100 or more every day. For the workshops, we were expecting maybe around 30 women, including the 10 or so that regularly attend the church. We had a total of 59 women attend at least one day of the conference, and somewhere between 30 and 40 women came all four days. Praise the Lord!
Each day, our workshops looked something like this:
We have had the privilege of serving in Peru since 2003. We partner with four different ministries throughout Peru: two in the Lima area, one in the Andes mountains, and one in the Amazon jungle.