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Archive for the tag “Missions Work”

Peru 2017 – Key Learnings and a Call to Action

I’ve been thinking over the past week in Peru as I have been sharing the journey with you that I haven’t been posting a lot of Scripture. It can easily make one think that I wanted to show off what we were doing and not draw it back to God.

That isn’t the case at all.

I’ve wanted to share Scripture with you but, honestly, I simply haven’t had the time to research it a lot and when I share the Word I want to make sure it is done in the proper context.

Now that I am on a flight home, I have a lot more time to think about the past week and how God moved throughout it.

And that is the first thing I realized, time is rare. In the States, we don’t have enough time because we tend to fill it all with stuff that isn’t Jesus focused. Not that any of it is necessarily bad, but as a missionary, you are at the whim of the country’s or city’s needs. You could get a call at any moment that a flood has destroyed a large section of the city or a fire is raging through the downtown of the city and won’t be put out in over a week.

Most of our days were 14-15 hours. When we got home, we had very little left to give to anything else but sleep.

I understand why full-time missionaries have a tough time communicating with their sponsors or family back home.

The next thing I noticed this year is how much God has grown me as a leader and as a Christian. I remember my first year going to Peru and we were building a house for someone and I looked down and saw an area and told our host, pastor Nick from Camino de Vida, that someone should plant a church there. He said that sounds like a great idea, simply trying to placate the mission tourist. But I wouldn’t let it go. I continued. I was saying it over and over, trying to get anyone to listen to me and finally Nick told me to calm down. I felt a little dejected. But after seeing the church in action that week and in others, I now realize that he was simply trying to help me to look honestly at the situation and focus on bringing God to the moment we were in, not to the potential future. The time I wasted trying to be heard could have been spent doing actual evangelizing that would have more of a lasting kingdom effect.

Since then, I have started looking through the eyes of our hosts, Camino de Vida. I still have my “gringo eyes” and until I immerse myself into the culture those won’t go away, but I can honestly say that God is showing me much of what the team at Camino de Vida is seeing and giving me a burden for the people of Peru.

I know I am not called to Peru, as much as I would love to be. But I have a serious burden for the people of Peru. I now know more about more people in Peru than I do people in America. My job is to bring people to Peru and let them get a taste (of the food) of the people of Peru and the highly developed third world country that really has a large part of my heart.

There are so many people that when I think of them, I start to smile.

People like Stalin and Paige Solis. She is from Arkansas and he is from Peru. She met him on mission and they fell in love and started serving at Camino de Vida. Now Paige leads the groups at the church and he teaches Spanish lessons to the church interns.

I met Paige and Stalin a couple years ago when I was in Peru and they have become good international friends, people I trust implicitly who I can talk to from time to time. They don’t take a salary from the church in Peru at all other than the money Stalin makes from teaching the interns Spanish (which he makes $10/hour to do it).

They are without healthcare insurance and are missing some things to help them do ministry better. I hope to help them get funded for at least their healthcare insurance. They need $300/month for insurance, $3,600/year.

I am going to ask my followers to support Paige and Stalin. When I think of the people in Peru whom I truly love, Paige and Stalin are at the top of the list. They have been amazing with the groups I have brought down there and have taught us all a lot about missions in Peru.

They go through an organization called Modern Day for their funding. Modern Day is an organization that connects missionaries to those who are supporting them.

From their website:

Our Vision is to help thousands of people, young and old, pursue their dreams of reaching the world for Jesus; one person, one city and one nation at a time. Our desire is to form partnerships that pave the way for people to serve in another country for both short and long term periods. We are currently working with over 250 missionaries. Since the summer of 2008, Modern Day has facilitated endeavors in 50 countries and new ones are being added on a regular basis.

I am looking for 36 people to offer up a ONE-TIME commitment of $100 to Paige and Stalin. With that money, they can afford healthcare insurance, something I think is very important in this world. If you would like to support them more than that, please do.

Please, people, prayerfully consider supporting them. Because of the work they are doing in Peru, hundreds are coming to know Christ! For a Christian, you can’t ask for a better return on your investment.

Here is the link to support Stalin and Paige:

http://stalinandpaigesolis.squarespace.com/

If you do decide to send them a gift, please drop me a line at coffeeguy777@hotmail.com. I would love to send them a note about the people who supported them.

Thanks everyone.

Peru 2017 Day 5 – Wheelchairs and hospitals

This morning we were able to spend the morning doing the wheelchair ministry. This was the first ministry I did when I came to Peru in 2012 and I fell in love with Peru at that moment. Last year  we didn’t get a chance to do a large wheelchair ministry, but we did house to house.

When we learned our schedule for this week, we were told we would be doing house to house wheelchair ministry. When we arrived, we were told we would be doing a mini distribution at a central site. That’s the best of both worlds! We get to hand out a lot of wheelchairs but not so many that we lose sight of the personal touch.

We transported the boxes of wheelchairs from the Dream Center to the build/distribution site and we started building.

As the morning progressed, we met the people and started handing out chairs. It started with a man named Clever, he is part of the wheelchair ministry in Peru and was leading this outreach today. Clever spent about 15 minutes explaining the chair they would receive.

After that, I had an opportunity to get up and, through an amazing translator, was able to present the gospel message to them. I saw quite a few people raise their hand for accepting the gospel, but as I went around the room later, almost everyone told me that they knew Christ already.

Then we handed out their chairs and modified them for their specific needs.

Once that was done, everyone wanted pictures. The people who received their chair would get their phone out and ask someone to take our picture. We spent the next 30-45 minutes just getting our pictures taken by everyone (and, of course, taking their picture with us as well).

Afterward, we helped people get into their tuk-tuk or taxi, loaded the bus and headed back to the Dream Center for lunch.

IMG_20171011_123450

One of the amazing things I heard Clever explain to the people is that the wheelchair is a gift from God. As I was talking to people later, I heard one person explain that the wheelchair is a physical explanation of God. God gave His gift to us in the form of His Son. Unfortunately, we can’t see the physical form of God right now, but we can provide a glimpse of Him through the work that we do.

To many people, God is seen in the form of a wheelchair when we go to them.

Of course God is not a wheelchair, but that is a physical example, something they can touch and feel, that will remind them of the gift that is God.

Once the wheelchair distribution was complete, we headed back to the Dream Center to prepare for tonight’s ministry. Our plan was to prepare over 300 dinners to take to the hospital here. The first thing we needed to do was sift through the quinoa and make sure there were no stones or stalks in it.

After that, we had time before the food was cooked to do some work around the Dream Center. In order to keep us busy, we went through all the toys for the children’s ministry and separated them by gender and age.

Once the food was cooked, we placed it into take-out containers and then into large transporting bins. We got into the bus about 7pm and headed to the pediatric hospital.

Let me explain this. Hospitals here are nothing like hospitals in the states. The sanitary conditions are significantly worse and there is no desire to make the person, or their family, comfortable as they wait. Some people come and wait outside in the courtyards waiting for their family member to be healed or to die. Many have come from far away and have no source of income. Since Peru is a “pay to heal” environment, those family members either need to go home and continue to work or they need to find work in Lima during the time they are there.

It is all very heartbreaking.

We provided meals and took time to spend with the people there.

As it is almost 10 pm here in Peru right now, I am heading to bed as we are going back to children’s hospital tomorrow to serve over 1,000 breakfasts and have to be up at 4 AM.

Immigration Policy and the Effect on Missionaries Worldwide, part 2: Mission Statistics

Mark 16:15 – And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Last week I reviewed a little bit about what I learned about immigration reform in America since 1790.  I received a few questions as to my post last week. The first had to do with sources. I used quite a bit, but the majority of my sources came from both www.uscis.gov (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) and Pew Research, a nonpartisan fact tank.

Also, I want to suggest to people to take my post last week as a beginning to the conversation. There is no lack of controversy when you begin discussing immigration reform. Some people will agree completely with what I say about it and others won’t. But rather than turning my blog into a potential “fake news” site, I would rather you use it to begin the conversation and to spark a desire to research about the issues yourself rather than taking what people say without doing the research.

That said, I want to take this week and discuss the world as seen by a missionary sending organization.  I am going to be talking about several different Christian-specific principles, so if you have questions about it, again, please do the research and don’t just potentially quote me out of context.

I am pulling this information from several different missions organizations and societies. When dealing with such large numbers in the billions, do not get bogged down in arguing a few thousand people one way or the other. the majority of my world statistic numbers will be coming from 2014 government data.

To start, there are almost 7.2 billion people on the earth today with a median age of just under 30 and a life expectancy of about 68 years. The countries which have the highest population are (in order):

  • China – 1.3 billion
  • India – 1.2 billion
  • USA – 318 million
  • Indonesia – 253 million
  • Brazil – 202 million
  • Pakistan – 196 million
  • Nigeria – 177 million
  • Bangladesh – 166 million
  • Russia – 142 million
  • Japan – 127 million

Out of all of the people in the world, they are broken into 16,761 distinct people groups. A people group is defined as an ethnolinguistic group with a common self-identity that is shared by the members. The organization, The Joshua Project, analyzes all of these people groups and determines how “reached” they are by Christianity.

The first group is the unreached peoples. Those are communities that have less than 2% as evangelical Christian. Of the 16,761 people groups throughout the world, 7,050 of those are unreached! That accounts for over 2.9 BILLION people, or 42% of the world’s population.

The next group is the unevangelized. These are groups that have higher than 2% evangelical Christan but still have very high numbers of unsaved. There are 2,854 unevangelized people groups in the world. That accounts for almost 17%, or 900 million people.

Before I go any further, I need to define what evangelical Christian means. In America, the term “evangelical” holds a very negative connotation as that group of Christians have associated themselves deeply with a singular political party. For terms of this post, an evangelical Christian is a person who believes Jesus is the sole path to salvation, has a personal faith in Him, recognizes the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and is committed to Biblical preaching and evangelism as the way to bring others to faith in Christ.

That brings us to the 10/40 window. Most of the unreached people groups in the world are inside the 10/40 window. It stands for the degrees of latitude, between 10 degrees north to 40 degrees north of the equator. 60% of the unreached groups live in the 10/40 window and over half of the world’s population as a whole are in that window as well.

Of those unreached people groups, the majority of them are Muslim, followed by the majority religions inside China, and then Hindi. Islam has 3,431 of the world’s people groups and 2,854 are unreached. China, one of the fastest growing Christian churches in the world, has 519 of the world’s people groups and 428 are still unreached.

As for the Christians in the world, over 95% of all Christians work within the Christian world. The total number of Christians worldwide is about 2.2 billion with 550 million evangelical. It is pretty amazing to know that evangelical Christians have grown from 3 million in AD 1500 to 550 million today. There are 900 churches for every unreached group and 78,000 Christians for every unreached group.

It is estimated that there are 6,909 languages worldwide. The largest is Mandarin Chinese at 12.44%. This is followed by Spanish at 4.85% and English at 4.83%. Over 4,400 languages in the world do not have a readable version of Scripture available to them. Right now there are over 1,600 languages that have been started for Bible translation, which leaves the rest still needing someone to begin the project.

Reaching the world can be as easy as reaching those international students who have come to America. Right now, there are an estimated 886,052 international students in the United States. 62% of them are from the 10/40 window. 80% of those students will return to their countries never being invited to the home of an American citizen. That is a huge opportunity for Christians here in America!

Over 40% of the world’s 220 Heads of State once studied in America. Only 10% of all international students, which includes those Heads of State, were invited to a ministry by a Christian.

The top countries that have students over here in America are China, India, South Korea, Canada, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Vietnam, Mexico and Turkey. Many of those countries have high amounts of unreached people groups.

Now let’s shift gears a little. Let’s look at the money. The total annual income of all church members worldwide is $42 trillion, with $7 trillion coming from evangelical Christians. The interesting thing is that Christians worldwide give about $700 billion to Christian causes.

But get this….

That $700 billion includes purchasing presents for Christmas!

If we factor out Christmas spending, only a mere $45 billion is given to missions. That is 6.4%.That is equal to the amount America spends on dieting programs and, until recently, less than Americans spend on Halloween costumes.

The majority of the money given goes to tithing and pastoral ministries. Only about $450 million went to reaching the unreached people groups. Sadly, this means that for every $100,000 that Christians make, only $1 goes toward reaching the unreached people groups around the world.

Some thoughts about this, but if Christians used only .003% of their income to plant churches in each of the areas that have unreached people groups, then we would reach all groups around the world.  And if every Christian gave 10% of their income to missions, we could easily support 2 MILLION new missionaries!

So how many missionaries are actually out there?

There are only 400,000 Christian missionaries in the world today. Only 13,300 are in areas with unreached people groups. Over 75% of those missionaries are in areas that are already reached. Some more interesting statistics about this:

  • 1 missionary for every 60,000 tribal/animist people
  • 1 missionary for every 179,000 Hindu people
  • 1 missionary for every 405,000 Muslim
  • 1 missionary for every 260,000 Buddhists

This means that you are more likely to be in a plane crash than being one of the few missionaries that go to unreached areas.

Moving into next week, I want to begin looking at missionaries over the ages. Since there is little to no research done on the effect of immigration reform on missionaries worldwide, I will need to make some assumptions until professional research can be done.

So next week, we will start at 1790 and begin working toward the present day.

Psalm 96:3 – Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!

Peru, Day 3

Galatians 6:10 – So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Today started early.

We were supposed to start our day a little early, but Peruvian traffic had another idea.  Our bus was a little late.  But one of our local guides was early and started walking us to a local coffee shop which is evidently the best in Lima.  As a coffee guy, I must say…IT WAS!!!  They had a 2 group Nuovo Simonelli and their shirts read about a barista championship that was held in 2012.  I was so very happy.

Coffee roasting in PeruAWESOME barista!

After that, we boarded our bus and headed to a fairly dangerous part of town.  A woman had gone into the area to reach out to the kids of those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.  After a little bit of time there, she realized that she was ministering to a lot of people and decided to start a church around it and serve the community.  I don’t know how many people attend the church, but they had over 100 chairs in the church.

The church we served

A rebar cross

Unfortunately, she worked with a contractor who had no integrity when she built the place.  Much of it started falling apart soon after building.  With no money left, she reached out to Camino de Vida for help.  They asked us to go there and simply paint the place as the professional contractors that were hired were doing the hard work.

Before we started painting, we took a walk through the rest of the building to see what it looked like.  The second floor was crazy!  It was being held up by WOODEN STICKS!

Holding up the building

Beautiful artwork masked by wooden sticks

Once we got the tour, then the work started.  It was tough, but it was nice.  The fact that we were literally renewing a church in Peru made our hearts smile.

Brother DaveGornie

Painting a wall

There were other tasks that needed done as well, such as fixing the community kids’ bikes.

Fixing a bike

At the end of the day, we realized that no one ever scraped off the old paint in the past paintings of the building.  Adam, our main guide, figured out that there were at least 7 other coats of paint.  It caused us problems and we had to scrape the past paint off.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to finish the painting, but we did a very good job as a team.

The team really came together, had a good time, and made an impact in a tiny little Peruvian community.

It was a great day to paint

Colossians 3:23-24 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

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