This month we hosted our biggest team yet -- 134 people! -- a team of high school seniors and their leaders from the Atlanta, GA area. We could not have done it without our team of 28 wonderful translators and staff and 20+ guides from our local partner churches.
It was amazing to see God at work in the smallest of details on such a large trip. We heard story after story of "divine appointments" -- where people felt like God had put them in the right place at the right time to encourage someone, pray with them, or receive encouragement themselves.
We are in awe of how God can use a trip like this to bless so many people. Only He could orchestrate something so beautiful out of so many people coming together: Peruvians and Americans, youth and adults, Christ-followers and seekers, English-speakers and Spanish-speakers.
Youth on the team shared the Gospel message with children, youth, and adults in different opportunities all over Huaycán and Santa Clara, and many people made the decision to follow Christ. Meanwhile, at least 11 students on the mission team also made the personal decision to follow Christ with their lives. Praise God!
Students shared how God was stretching them and helping them to grow through their experiences in Peru; translators also shared how serving in different community ministries was taking them out of their comfort zone and causing them to rely on God more. Amen!
We know that God doesn't need us for anything. He can change people's hearts and change entire communities without anything from us. Knowing this, we are humbled that he allows us to be a part of what He is doing!
Please continue to pray for the communities of Huaycán and Santa Clara. Pray that the seeds that were planted with this team will continue to grow and produce fruits!!
For pictures of this trip, see our Facebook page here. For an awesome video created by Austin, the church's photographer and videographer, click here.
The second team of our intern season was from Alabama. The week, on paper at least, was very much like any other summer: five or so days of site ministry, a day of city touring, and then send the team back to the states. Piece of cake. Until three of our interns are taken out of commission by illness (nothing serious, mind you, just enough to keep them in bed for a few days). Then, to cap it all, our head translator falls sick as well and can't come to the site either. With our numbers suddenly cut in half, and short a leader to boot, we begin to scramble. Who's going to go cover for prayer walks today? Who's going to help put up poles in construction? Who's going to translate for the Gospel message? Who's going to lead the VBS songs? You get the picture. Now, remember, this is only our second team of the summer, and we are just getting comfortable walking on our new legs, when the rug is pulled out from under us (or so it seems). We needn't have worried, of course, because God's plan was absolutely supreme. Not only did every mission activity go just as planned, either planned by us or by Him, but also many times they exceeded our expectations. We slowly regained members of our family, for we had come to see each other as a family already, and by the end of the week we were nearly whole. (One intern's sickness was just so stubborn!)
The week of ministry culminated in what the local church called an evangelism night. So during every prayer walk and ministry opportunity throughout the week, we--team members, church members, interns and translators--invited people to join us for a meal and a night of teaching, sharing, worship and fun. As someone who finds door to door evangelism not only difficult, but also downright daunting, I was, to say the least, concerned about this night of evangelism. But as we began preparing for the service alongside the church members and staff, I began to see that this way of doing things was not just Biblical, it just plain made sense.
Here, in a community outside of Lima called Santa Clara, a church was doing it right: being the city on a hill. Here I saw the church, partnered with and empowered by other members from half a world away, reaching out to the community, offering food for those who were hungry, rest for the weary, and a hope for those who had none. The best part: I knew this wasn't just a once a year thing. I know that this church continually offers events to the public, partners with the leaders in the community to perform service projects, and always opens their doors to anyone who is willing to come.
I was floored. Down four folks to start with, and then finishing still short one person, things came together perfectly. We were allowed to glimpse at the way that God is working through a small church in Santa Clara, Peru for the furthering of His Kingdom and His Glory. He was never worried about our lack of people. God's plan was supreme. God's plan is supreme. God's plan will be supreme. We got to be a part of that plan. We are a part of that plan and always will be. Praise be to God.
- C.C., intern
This week we will be joined by a team of 124 people from Georgia. The team is largely made up of high school seniors who have devoted their spring break to serving in Peru. Together we will serve with our ministry partners in poor areas on the outskirts of Lima: Santa Clara, Huaycán, and Chaclacayo. Please pray for this to be a life-changing week for these youth and their adult leaders! May the Lord work through not only their ministry time, but also through their group meetings, worship time, and Bible studies, to impact the hearts of these students and draw them closer to Himself!
Throughout the week, the team will be participating in many different types of ministry activities in the community: home visits, door-to-door evangelism, market evangelism through drama, radio evangelism, Vacation Bible School, and prayer ministry at a local hospital. They will also visit high schools, a school and a daycare for children with special needs, a home for the elderly, and a home for burn victims and children with special medical needs. In all of these places around the community, we will join hands with brothers and sisters from the local church to share the love and Good News of Christ. Please pray for "divine appointments" -- that the Lord would make connections despite barriers of language and culture so that His name would be proclaimed!
Please pray for our thirty staff and translators that will be serving with us this week. Pray for strength, energy, and cohesiveness to serve as a unified team with a sole purpose of serving the Lord. Pray for clear, focused minds and precise words as we interpret conversations, testimonies, and Gospel messages. May we be not only His hands and feet, but his spoken Word this week!
There are so many others that will pour their energy and time into making this week's plans come together: the bus drivers, the nuns and chefs that run the retreat center where we stay, the travel agents here and back in the states, and the many prayer warriors around the country and the globe who are lifting this team up in prayer. We are thankful for everyone -- near and far -- who makes up a part of this team. Each and every part is important!
Though putting together a trip like this requires a lot of work, we are constantly aware that despite our best efforts, nothing that we can accomplish will ever be good enough on its own. We must utterly rely on the Lord to work this week! He doesn't need us, but He graciously invites us to be part of the work that He is already doing in these communities.
And so with humble hearts and big expectations, we lift this week up to the Lord! Thanks for joining us in prayer!
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.