boyradd

Forgiven…Loved…..Transformed!

Archive for the tag “Peru”

Peru 2017 Day 4 – More Relationships

Today brought about a lot of amazing things. Yesterday we went to many places I have been before. Today we went to places I have never been before. And on top of that, we ended with a party that turned into church.

We started our day going to a refuge that takes care of mothers and children with HIV. We made 20 gift bags for the mothers and had a lot of care packages for the kids. As soon as we got there, we were able to hand one out but then found out the house mother was understaffed. We started right in doing the day to day tasks that need to get done. We cleaned rooms, swept the hallways, prepared lunch, checked in the produce order, and whatever else needed to happen.

It was great. The relationships we made were not with the moms and kids as much as it was the team at the refuge. We were able to connect with Carol, the house mother, and some of the seminary students she had with her.

 

We were there for a long time and realized we were on a time schedule. The Peru/Colombia game was tonight and we had to be back before dinner or we would be stuck on the streets for hours. Lima is a city of almost 10 million people, so having a game like a World Cup Qualifier round 2 blocks from where we are staying means that the roads will get congested.

We went back to the Dream Center, picked up lunch, and headed to our next destination. This would be a short stop before moving to our final destination, but it was well worth it. We stopped by a church that Camino de Vida, the church we support in Peru, is getting ready to open in December. It was an old theatre where plays and musicals would happen. They are leasing the property and totally renovating it to fit their needs. It will seat about 900 people. We met up with Nick Balcombe, one of the pastors, and he gave us the tour. They need $250,000 more to get the place renovated and opened. If you are interested in supporting the vision God has given Camino de Vida for the new church, please check out their website at www.caminodevida.com

After the tour, we went to a place that was extremely special. When we were coming down, we were asked to bring down some feeding tubes. I laughed when I said “some” because I was expecting maybe a small case of them. No, we received 6 cases which turned into 2.5 suitcases of feeding tubes. We went in and got a short orientation and then went to visit the kids. Those kids are beautiful! If no other reason, the purpose for those children on this earth was to show us gringos just how to love. They have so much love in their hearts!

I really enjoyed spending time with Augusto. He is blind and has several developmental disabilities. The way to interact with him is to rub his back. Every time I did and said his name he would smile and laugh. A few times he would reach out and hold my arm as best as he could.

IMG_20171010_144918

Nate, on our team, fell in love with this one kid. He is musically inclined and that gave Nate an opportunity to love this kid with the gift of music.

We left there in order to get back before the traffic got too bad. When we arrived, we starting making blankets our project on Thursday. We grabbed two very large bolts of fabric and cut the blankets. Altogether I would say we made about 60 blankets. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to make more.

Then the night really started. Tonight was the Peru/Colombia World Cup qualifier match. Peru needed to win or tie. They tied.

A few of the women who live in the house we are staying and their friends came over and we watched the game together and afterward we partied.

Then after we were all partied out, we ended the night in worship.

IMG_20171010_211842

This day couldn’t be any better.

The goal of missions is relationships. We may never be able to end all the hunger or homelessness in the world. But we can feed people the Word and end the homelessness in their hearts. We might never be able to provide clean water to everyone but we can provide people with the new wine of the Spirit.

We built long lasting relationships with people today and I love that!

Tomorrow we will be doing one of my favorite projects here in Peru, a wheelchair distribution.

Peru 2017 Day 3 – Relationships

We got a late start to the day today.

Praise Jesus!

After yesterday’s 15 hour day, it was nice to start a little later in the morning.

We started with our devotional that focused on God’s purpose for our lives and that we don’t need to be in Peru to be in mission. It is important to understand that fact because God blessed us with being in a great country with decent incomes and a lack of persecution for our faith. You don’t have to feel guilty for living in America. God is sovereign. He has a purpose for placing you where you are.

After making sandwiches for lunch we headed off for the hour and half journey to Grace House, a home for women who are broken and have addictions or disorders.

This is a very safe, walled house that is lush and green. It is a partnership between Camino de Vida and Hillsong. It is a home that holds 20 women and they are mentored to find their identity in Christ. As they find that, they realize their hang-ups and their brokenness become their testimony and they have the power to overcome what they are struggling with.

In the pictures below you can see several of the testimonies and the motivational words that are used for healing in these women.

IMG_20171009_120457

After spending the morning at Grace House, we got in the bus and headed almost 2 hours to Hogar de Ninos, a children’s home. Now the children here are not very young. They range in age of up to 20 years old. Once they reach 18 they have the option to go into the leadership program or they can leave.

As we got there, we got the tour and the chance to meet the kids. Then the guys started up a soccer (football) game. Let’s just say that even with the kids going easy on us gringos we were outmatched. I was sweating and breathing heavily and the kids were just moving from one side of the ball to the next with no effort.

We then played several other games and just decided to hang out with the kids until the tutors walked in with a cake for one of the kids named Milargo, whose birthday it was today. We enjoyed cake and singing Happy Birthday and then got on the bus to head back to La Victoria.

When we returned, the place was quiet. Our dinners had been made by the team there and left for us to eat. Lomo Saltado, one of our team’s favorites! Then, in one of the back rooms, there were a whole bunch of materials for us to put together gift bags of food and personal hygiene items for women at the HIV refuge.

Tomorrow we leave early in the morning to head to the HIV refuge and then to an orphanage for children with special needs and developmental disabilities.

Since it is only 7:30 at night right now, I am going to take this opportunity to finish this post and head to bed early. Tomorrow night is the qualifying round for Peru in the World Cup. The stadium, which seats 60,000 people, is 2 blocks from our sleeping area. If Peru wins, Peruvians will be partying in the streets for 24 hours straight, so that will mean no sleep for any of us.

So good night and pray for us to get some sleep.

Peru 2017 Day 2 – The Tourist

Every time we come to Peru, and this is my fifth time here, we spend one day as a tourist. It is always on Sunday because that is the easiest day to do it.

Last night was rough. The city was awake and extremely loud last night. I slept perhaps 3 hours the entire night. At one point I got up and stared out the windows and watched a drug deal happening. I also watched what looked like some prostitution going on.

But I didn’t sleep.

It was a rough night.  And I am sitting here at the table in the living area at midnight writing this.

The morning came and we got together and started our day at La Victoria. We ate breakfast, did our devotional and then talked among our group. This group has been amazing because we have had a lot more deep discussions about faith, hope, theology, and our purpose.

We sat around in our group this morning and discussed, for about a 30 minutes death, dying, and the purpose of spirituality. Then a couple of the interns came in to talk to our team about the internship program. We have a couple young 20-somethings and I wanted them to get an idea of what it would be to take a 6 month long-term ministry in Peru.

IMG_20171008_113144

After that, we went downstairs for church at the chapel. This place has 350 attending regularly. We enjoyed listening to a visiting pastor from Chile who was up for a conference.

From there, we went to the city to be tourists for the day. We went to a hamburger place and were there for a quite a while. One reason is that we were simply enjoying each other’s company. But secondly, it was Stalin’s birthday.

We then went to the market to get some souvenirs to take home to friends and family.

After that we went to church and enjoyed an amazing service at their main campus. This church is on fire!

I wish that my own church, and honestly all the churches in America, would take a lesson from Camino de Vida in Peru. They have locked down the way to reach young adults. In the videos and pictures I will share below, I hope you see the amount of young adults.

Camino de Vida video 1

Camino de Vida video 2

Camino de Vida video 3

After church, at 9 pm, we headed to dinner to get crepes and then off to the Dream Center to head to bed (or blog, in my case).

Tomorrow will be a great day. We will be visiting the Grace House (a home for women battling addictions and brokenness) and Hogar de Ninos, the children’s home, where we will be sharing dinner together.

Peru Mission 2017 Day 1 – Fluid

So Mimi and I are taking another team to Peru this year. We left on Friday morning and arrived late Friday night.

We had our schedules and itinerary in hand and we headed out the door.

The first flight to our layover in Miami was bumpy but uneventful. I sat in the back of the plane while the rest of our group sat in the middle and front. In the back with me were 13 women heading from Baltimore to Miami to have girls weekend away. They all had really flashy shirts and were very loud, but fun. I also had about a 4 or 5 year old child sitting behind me, kicking my seat much of the flight.

Mimi sat on her own in the middle of the flight and, since she doesn’t travel well, fell right to sleep and woke up in Miami.

We get to Miami and were to meet up with a woman I had met a few years earlier at a church planting conference. While we had a few glitches there, it was pretty easy to get together and we headed off for some lunch and our first devotion of the journey.

When we got to Lima, we located Paige and Stalin, our guides, and they took us to La Victoria, the area of the place we would be staying.

La Victoria is a very different area than where we have stayed in years past. It is the inner city. Smells of marijuana and prostitution are done in the open here. There are gangs in this area and random packs of dogs roam the streets.

This section of the city is up almost 24 hours a day.

As I sit here right now typing this, I hear about 5 different songs playing throughout the city, someone is shooting off fireworks, and car alarms go off quite frequently.

The place we are staying is a chapel. It is 5 stories and in the middle of the city. The outside is black and white and all of the windows have bars. There is a man who sits just inside the door and opens it for people who are allowed in. Every Sunday, this chapel, the smallest of the 5 campuses of Camino de Vida, has 350 regular attenders.

The first level of the chapel is the church. It is really just a big black box style. They can transform the room into whatever they want it to be for the day. It can be church on Sunday and then on Monday turn into a wheelchair build site.

The second level of the chapel is a kitchen and offices. The missions offices are housed on the second level of the place. There is also an occupational therapy facility on this level.

The third level has a sewing ministry where they make all the shirts for their missions program. They also have a meeting room and a place where people can come and get clothes for free.

The fourth level is where short-term missions teams like ours stay. There are bedrooms for the women and bedrooms for the men. They also have a “living room” where short-term teams can hang out and unwind.

The fifth level is storage. All of the maintenance equipment and paints are kept up here. They also have a small outside living room that overlooks the city. I am hoping to get to use that a lot more later this week.

IMG_20171007_103334

We arrived about 1 AM and went straight to bed. I couldn’t sleep and spent the majority of the cold night laying there in prayer, thought, and yawning.

The next morning came and we ate breakfast and had a quick devotion before we gathered together for orientation. We learned that a few days ago someone had come and sprayed graffiti on much of the building.

I have to say that my heart sank a little when I saw it. 2 years ago my team painted the building, the sidewalk and the bricks. It was a long couple of days, but we did a really nice job. Seeing it tagged with graffiti was a little upsetting.

We were told that we would be spending the day painting the building again.

We gathered all the materials and started in at painting at about 11 AM.

We finished the outside of the building by 12:30 and sat down to eat lunch.

It was a little late to do our original plan of evangelism, so we decided to help Paige get the chapel ready for church tomorrow. This meant a lot more painting. She wanted a few levels of the steps painted as well as one of the offices so that they could move furniture out of another larger office to use for kids ministry in the morning.

We broke up our group and started going to town on the painting.

We finished about 5:30, got cleaned up and headed off to dinner.

It is now 10:30.

The city is alive and very, very loud. Many people are sleeping with ear plugs or ear buds in to drown out the noise. While I am exhausted, I want to take in the sounds of the city. I might not sleep, but I want to experience what the people of La Victoria experience daily.

Tomorrow we will be tourists. We are going to start our day at the chapel and attending church and then heading off to enjoy the touristy side of Lima.

More on that tomorrow.

Heroes

My kids and I watch and wait.

When Marvel or DC Comics has a new movie coming out, we immediately try to get tickets.

There is something about heroes, and especially superheroes, that makes us feel as though we can be much more than our drab, ordinary, everyday life. It adds excitement and wonder.

But those superheroes aren’t real.

Superheroes are not the people who gain special abilities by getting bitten by a spider or consuming radiation. There are many other kinds of heroes and superheroes that really need celebrating.

Last week my wife and I led a mission journey to Peru. Our church works directly with another church there. It is this trip that I would like to highlight the many heroes and superheroes.

Let’s start with the heroes.

Camino de Vida is a church in the center of Lima Peru. It was founded by Pastor Robert Barriger. He has followed a very American church model and brought in elements of Dream Center International and Servolution. The church has grown to multiple thousands of people. As it has grown, they have streamlined operations and built programs around serving the city.

pastor-robert

Our first set of heroes are those who plan the mission journeys to Lima. We worked through Paige Solis. She works with groups and churches. She wasn’t there when we went because she was back in the United States for a friend’s wedding, but her husband was there. We met Stalin last year. This year we got to spend a great deal of time with him and learn about his heart for the people of Peru. They both have amazing gifts that they use for God and the people of Peru. Paige has a strong gift for keeping the program organized, even when she has a lot going on. She has an amazing gift for hospitality and making sure that everyone is doing well. Stalin has a huge heart and love of good coffee. We talked for a very long time about coffee. He showed us all amazing hospitality and love while we were in Peru.

stalin-paige

Then there were our guides, Kennedy and Maressa. Kennedy is Canadian and will be leaving Peru to go back to school at the end of the year. For being 19, she is mature way beyond her years. She has a heart for missions and hopes to see a better missions program coming out of Canada. She always had a smile on her face, even if something didn’t go quite as planned. Maressa is from the United States. She is a southern belle with a New York attitude. Strong but gentle. We were her first group that she ever hosted. As one of the interns, her tour of duty ends in December and she heads home for a few months while she determines what her future looks like. She has a fun sense of humor and really loves children.

Then there is Moises. He is currently a student but spends more time at the church than anywhere. He is strong as an ox but gentle as a dove. He left a very good job years ago to be able to spend time doing church work.

moises

Next we have Toby. He was our driver and could fit the van into some of the smallest places ever. Toby has 4 kids and a wife and lives about an hour outside the city. Every morning Toby was at our mission house to pick us up by very early and ever night we didn’t return until about 8 or 9 pm. Then Toby would have to drop off the van and drive home. Even when he got his hand stuck in a closing door, he didn’t miss a beat! He kept going and refused to leave our sides.

leaving-for-airport

Then there is Daniel and Stephanie. They put us up in their house for the week and made sure we had breakfast every morning. They made sure we had a safe place to stay, clean sheets and towels, and comfort.  They also train the interns. They spend time with them and make sure they are discipled.

In years past we met many other heroes that we saw last week as well. Adam and Paolo who went from being guides to planting a church. Bernie, the woman who helped us to get checked in one our plane home from Peru. Miguel, the man who we saw every year for the past 5 that spends much of his time doing mass wheelchair distributions.

And there are so many more that I can’t even think of right now.

But now I want to move away from the heroes and talk about the superheroes.

First there is Antuane.

fish-faces

This woman! She has overcome some amazing hurdles in her life and she just keeps on smiling! At one point in her life, she was so strung out, homeless, and eating food off the street. She met with the church in La Victoria and came to know Christ. It was at that moment, she turned her life around. She got cleaned up and off the streets. The heroes above organized building her a house on the third floor of someone’s building. It is a 1-room place with a shared bathroom. But it has a door.

Antuane is a superhero! She survived the street. She overcame adversities that no one should have to endure and came out with joy in her heart.

Then there is Milargo. Her name literally means “miracle.” Her husband was in the hospital in Lima the morning we served breakfast. He was diagnosed with Leukemia and she was concerned because she was worried he was going to die. We prayed for God to provide a miracle to Miracle. She has overcome several hurdles. She is a superhero because she saw the church coming and she begged us to pray for her husband. She stood at God’s door and knocked loudly. She refused to let go until God moved.

milargo-2

Then we have Frank. But even more so, Frank’s family. Frank has CP. His family lives at the top of a very steep dirt hill. They take him out for walks regularly, but in order to do so, the dad would carry his wheelchair down the hill while his mom carries Frank. We met up with them because he outgrew the wheelchair he was given a few years ago. Moises, one of our heroes, carried the new chair to the top of the hill while the mom carried Frank. It was so dangerous to climb up and down that we went in groups of 2 holding on to each other in some cases. And his mother carries him by herself up and down the hill daily! SHE is a superhero!

And I could continue with the stories of heroes and superheroes, but I would need to write a book about each. Every story in Peru was a blessing to our hearts.

Just like Jesus rolling the stone away and bursting from the grave, Christ rolled away our hearts of stone when we met these people and burst forth from the grave, giving hope to hero and superhero alike.

The superheroes of Peru are beautiful people. But it is the heroes in Peru that truly have my heart. They care so deeply for Peru and Peruvians while very few people care about them. Please keep them all in prayer, hero and superhero.

Below are the links to support these heroes financially so they can continue to help the superheroes. Please consider sending your support to them.

Paige & Stalin: http://stalinandpaigesolis.squarespace.com/

Maressa: http://www.modernday.org/field-workers/maressa-gentri/

Daniel & Stephanie: https://www.modernday.org/field-workers/danny-and-stephanie-gutierrez/

Love Knows No Borders

1 Corinthians 16:14 – Let all that you do be done in love.

Tomorrow my team leaves for Peru. The church prayed over us and officially sent us, now we just need to get there and start working.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been to Peru. I’ve been 4 of the past 5 years.

This also isn’t the only mission journey my church has gone on. A few years ago we started running multiple journeys and we have seen some pretty awesome groups go to various places such as Navajo Nation, Costa Rica, Peru, and Haiti.

Haiti so touched the hearts of the people, and our senior pastor, that the church purchased a school of over 200 kids. Many of those kids were fortunate to get 1 meal a day. After purchasing the school, the kids are now getting at least 2 meals a day and a lot has been done there to improve the conditions of the children and their families.

But what should the church’s position on missions be? I have heard a lot of different views, even among my own friends.

Luke 10:1 – After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.

There is one school of thought that believes short term missions do more harm than good. In this view, the only successful mission is one in which the sending church invests in the long-term both with resources and money. The belief goes that a short term trip only offers a week-long missions vacation for the people going and there is no long term benefit from sending people to them.

I disagree with this view.

Of course the goal of missions is to see long-term relationships built and communities move from struggling to thriving all while giving praise to the God of Creation. But I do believe that short term missions have a very important role in the missions strategy of the church.

First, short term missionaries don’t have a “tomorrow” in the field. They can take some risks that long-term community missionaries can’t. They are able to take the gospel to people without fear because they don’t know any better.

Second, almost all short-term mission journeys are overseen by a long-term missionary group or family. If that is the case, these short-term missionaries can be a great source of relief for the receiving agent. Many times the long term missionary comes from the United States, where we are coming from.  This gives the long-term missionary someone to discuss life with in “American” terms. This can recharge and refuel the long-term missionary with the energy and excitement of the short-term group. It also gives the long-term missionary some extra hands to get some bigger projects done that may not have been able to get done if it weren’t for the extra hands.

Third, and I think this is the most important one, it changes hearts of the short-term missionary. Every year I have seen one person take on a new appreciation for missions and ministry. The first year it was myself. One year I saw the senior pastor’s granddaughter come home with a new energy that is still happening to this day. In one of our church’s Haiti trips, one of the women went on to become a long-term missionary to Nepal. All of these people may not have had this energy if it weren’t for their mission trip.

2 Corinthians 10:16 – So that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence.

But them there is another school of thought about missions. In this school of thought, the church believes that short term missions are the only opportunity for a church. Many of these churches either don’t know how to set up a long-term missions program or they believe that they only way to assure the money they are spending on missions gets to the community they want to serve is to send it down with a short-term group.

I disagree with this school of thought as well.

If a church only focuses on short-term missions then they are not following the great commission. Short term trips are great for hands on the plows and boots on the ground. But there can be no long term discipleship.

Matthew 28:19-20 – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Christians are called to go and make disciples all around the world. We are not just called to dig a well or build a kitchen or build a wheelchair. We need to support programs that make disciples.

So I want to suggest to all churches out there that we follow a short and long term missions strategy.

This would be to support long term missionaries worldwide through both resource support and sending while also supporting short term missions through doing youth group trips, domestic, international, and others. This strategy gives everyone an opportunity to participate and it gives God an avenue for changing hearts of people, both the sent and the target.

We should never limit God by telling Him that only short term or long term missions are the answer. God can, and will, use all strategies to change hearts and lives.

Getting Ready for Peru Again

Acts 13:47 – For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'”

In a little over a week my wife and I will be leaving for Peru. I have gone to Peru almost every year for the past 5. This journey has been both eye-opening and heart-changing for us.

Five years ago my senior pastor came to me ask if I would consider leading a trip to Peru. Tentatively I said yes. I wasn’t sure how I would be able to afford the trip. It was expensive. I remember telling him that I would love to but that I needed to pray about it. Just so you know, “I’ll pray about it” is Christianese for “I don’t want to but I am going to blame God for it.”

But something happened. I told my boss at the time that I was looking at going to Peru on a mission trip and wanted to see if it would be possible to get the days off work, thinking he would tell me no since it was a short turn around. Well, he said yes. Then almost immediately, someone from work offered to donate to the trip.

Well, God told me, eh?

I guess I was going to Peru.

The rest of the money was pretty easy to raise. I went on the trip and it was very eye-opening. It was in Peru that I made the decision that church planting was going to be my focus. I needed to see God move throughout neighborhoods and shanty towns. I desired to see community in places that seemed discommunitized (is that a real word?).  I told the man who was our guide over and over again that I saw a spot for a church to be planted and would like to help. By the end of the trip, he had told me there was already a church planted there and that they meet regularly.

The next year, we went to Peru and I was blessed to have one of our pastors go with me on this trip. It was also the first year that Mimi went with me. At the time, she was still my girlfriend, not wife, so we had separate accommodations.

For me, though, this trip was about those who had never been to Peru. Our guide, Adam, was awesome. His heart for God is so immense! And he is extremely approachable and humble. The big moment that happened during this trip was about one of the guys who was on the trip with us. His name is Steve. When I had asked everyone at the beginning of the trip what they wanted to get out of it, his reply was that he didn’t know why God had woken him in the middle of the night to tell him to go to Peru.

Fast forward through almost the entire week. Steve had been having a good time, but he told me a few times he still didn’t know why he was there.

Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Our guide, Adam, asked if we would like to take a detour to see a family that their church supports. How could we say no! This was truly a time of blessing. We went to a local market, got food, and headed toward the shantytown. The woman we were going to see lost use of one of her legs when she was younger, he previous living place was destroyed in a landslide, and she had her family living with her in a 2-room, dirt-floor house. In one room was a child who could not walk, talk, move, see, hear or really anything. She was taking care of him.

We asked her if we could pray with her. She grabbed our hands and said yes and immediately started praying. She started with, “Thank you, God, for all the blessings you have given me…”

Adam’s voice broke as he was translating for us. He was choking back the tears as he told us what she just said.

After we were finished, we headed back to where we were sleeping. The bus was quiet. About 20 minutes into the ride, I heard soft sobbing from right behind my seat. It was Steve. Through his sobbing he kept saying over and over “I know why I am here…I know why I am here…”

I never truly heard exactly what it was that God had just shown him, but he clearly was driven to fall deeper in love with God.

The next year, we had planned a trip to Peru but God had other plans. I think God wanted me to learn humility. We had hoped to take a team down for the 3rd year in a row but no one signed up. The only ones who would have gone were me and one other. We made the choice to cancel.

I was heartbroken. But the reason I was heartbroken was not because of the mission of God. I was heartbroken because I was unable to go back to Peru. It was selfish. I wanted to go to Peru and I didn’t want anything or anyone to get in my way, including God.

I spent a lot of time in confession. I remember talking to Mimi about it and telling her that I felt bad that I was taking God’s mission and making it my own. I learned a lot that year.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Last year we had the opportunity to go back. During this trip, Paige was our guide. She was awesome as well, especially with everything that she had going on at the time. She was planning her wedding at the same time we were down there!

This time, Mimi was my wife, so I was blessed to see this from a completely different view with her as my wife. During this trip, there was so much that warmed my heart. First, a couple from our church had their vows renewed in Peru. That was such a tender and sweet moment. Next, I watched my wife do what she is best at, blessing people with her infectious smile and laugh. She may not have understood the language, but she was able to make others smile and laugh with her.

But the big moment came when I watched one girl on our trip, Caillie, go deeper in her walk with God. Her dad was on this trip with her and they had a lot of great father/daughter moments. But I believe God broke through some of those layers of her heart that we tend to put up that prevent us from being vulnerable. It was amazing to see her heart break for the people of Peru.

Caillie has fallen in love so much with people in Peru that she is heading to Haiti in about 2 weeks. She already went once this year and she is finding that her heart for missions just keeps expanding.

So now we are at this year. What is going to happen? I don’t know.

But I do know this, I expect God to do great things. That’s right, EXPECT.

God does great things. It should be our expectation that God will do great things!

This year, again, my wife will be going with me. I can’t wait to share this experience with her again.

Philippians 2:2 – Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Some of the places we will go next week include: Hope House (for abused women), an orphanage, deliver wheelchairs house to house, La Victoria campus of the main church, and serving breakfast to a hospital there.

This is a journey.

Anyone who knows me knows I hate the term “mission trip.”  Even though this is a specific trip, the word trip denotes a specific beginning and ending. A journey continues.

When we do missions, whether long-term or short-term, the goal should be to continue the change the God does in our hearts during the trip throughout the rest of our lives.

My prayer is that you will have the opportunity to either support a missionary or be one. You learn that you are not the hero of the story. You are simply a character that is written into the story for a couple of pages. The main characters are those who live in need daily and survive. They are the heroes. They are the ones who deserve the credit, not us. And the writer of the story is God. He creates the opportunities for us to connect.

Isaiah 6:8 – Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Bringing Peru to a Close

The final day in Peru was easily the most emotional, the most beautiful, and the most terrible. When we got to the distribution site, we had to take the chairs from the build site of the upper level of a building to a nearby soccer field. No picture can fully capture the experience. The smell was horrible. By the end of the day we were used to it, but many of our group described to me that they felt nauseous from the stench.

IMG_20151017_090659

IMG_20151017_092311

Once we got the chairs in place, we opened our doors. Early on, we thought we wouldn’t have a lot of people. But by noon, we knew that we had our hands full (literally and figuratively).

IMG_20151017_095544

IMG_20151017_110114

FB_IMG_1445165650548

FB_IMG_1445165671094

We broke into several groups. One group was responsible for moving people. Mostly, that consisted of us guys. My wife followed a few of the local missionaries who were bilingual and they went from person to person, listening to their stories and praying for them. A couple more people were put with the gospel station where they prayed with the people before they got their chair. A few more were put on the adjustment station where they would make the chair fit the person who received it.

IMG_20151017_104424

IMG_20151017_111412

IMG_20151017_111552

IMG_20151017_111700

IMG_20151017_124948

IMG_20151017_130551

IMG_20151017_130924

IMG_20151017_131010

IMG_20151017_131948

In the end, we made some amazing friends, both in Peru and in the group we took from Chesapeake Christian Fellowship.

IMG_20151017_141005

IMG_20151017_140803

IMG_20151017_140409

IMG_20151017_121535

IMG_20151017_124729

I want to leave you with a call to action. Each of the indigenous missionaries are fully funded by the support they receive from people who will send them money. Being a missionary is a hard job. You don’t receive a salary as a missionary. There is no retirement plan. There are no health or dental benefits. Everything you make you get from supporters who believe in the ministry.

I want to give you a couple of options for supporting some Peruvian missionaries:

Paige Wingfield – She was our guide for this journey and was amazing. Her heart for the Peruvian people is beyond belief! She cares so deeply, loves so intentionally, and puts herself out there for all to see. Please support her. Her support page is found here:  http://www.modernday.org/field-workers/paige-wingfield/

Adam Gordon – Adam was our guide 2 years ago and I still keep in touch with him and have been watching his incredible journey over the past 2 years. If you would like to learn more and support him, you can do so here: https://www.eservicepayments.com/cgi-bin/Vanco_ver3.vps?appver3=tYgT1GfNxRUldiimjHMvOaq0Z2hL9h9qN9kOABqK4KdskSODEa-Up5lt373GHnco2evTpo0mld6BrVzd2nG0pyxB2TQzMw67nz3We9lhz84=&ver=3

Danny and Stephanie Gutierrez – They own the mission house that supplied our housing needs while we were in Peru. They are a beautiful family that has a heart for supporting missionaries from the field. To equip missionaries from the field takes money and they are just such beautiful people. Please consider supporting his family: https://www.eservicepayments.com/cgi-bin/Vanco_ver3.vps?appver3=tYgT1GfNxRUldiimjHMvOaq0Z2hL9h9qN9kOABqK4KdskSODEa-Up5lt373GHnco2evTpo0mld6BrVzd2nG0pyxB2TQzMw67nz3We9lhz84=&ver=3

Mimi and I thank everyone who supported us to go on this journey. Without the money from others we would not have been able to make this trip happen. So I thank you all.

Peru, the 6th Day

Today was a great day. We loaded the bus and drove to the build site where we spent over 6 hours putting together 100 wheelchairs with a group from the church we are doing this mission through, Camino de Vida.

When we arrived, we had to pull the boxes from the third floor and take them to the second floor where we built them. My wife, the beautiful Mimi, and I were a team. We belted out about 10 or 11 wheelchairs!

It was great.

It was one of those times where I listen to my wife and do everything she tells me. She is very mechanically inclined. I am not. She created the plan of attack for the wheelchairs and it was the perfect one!

We were able to get a chair done almost every 30 minutes.

Here is a video of the build.

Finally, here are a few pictures of the day.

IMG_20151016_095918

IMG_20151016_100559

IMG_20151016_105035

IMG_20151016_110603

IMG_20151016_112742

IMG_20151016_112824

IMG_20151016_124346

IMG_20151016_135641

IMG_20151016_144110

IMG_20151016_160724

Tomorrow is our last day in Peru. We will leave the mission house at 7 AM and head to the build site where we will get together with the government, the doctors, and the church to distribute the wheelchairs.

We were asked by our guide to pick one of 4 areas that we want to be placed in:

  • Carrying people
  • Prayer
  • Testimonies
  • Adjustments

When tomorrow comes we will be finding out what each of those entail, but I guarantee that it will be well worth it.

Peru, Days 4 & 5

Days 4 and 5 were intense.

We spent much of day 4 waiting. We waited for the truck with the container of 550 wheelchairs to be delivered. Unfortunately, we arrived about noon and the container was delayed. We were told 1. Then when 1:30 rolled around, that was changed to 5. We finally saw the container at about 4:30.

The container arrived and we started unloading it and filling the warehouse. It was tough. With a team of only 11, we realized we had some holes in our “bucket line.” We occasionally got backed up at various points along the process.

Late that night we finished unloading and organizing. We were so exhausted that we went back to the mission house, ordered pizza, and fell asleep.

Today we did quite a lot. We went back to the warehouse to fill a truck and take to the build site. Unfortunately, that truck was very late. We took this opportunity to learn how to build a wheelchair. We broke into two groups and started working on a chair. It took us about 30 minutes to get a full chair done with a group of 5 people per chair. Tomorrow we will have 2 people per chair and 20 minutes to complete it.

We then split the group into two. The women got on the bus, went back to the outreach house, and started making 125 box dinners with stir fry in them. The men waited for the truck, loaded it, and drove it to the build site.

Let me tell you, I was wishing I had gone with the women.

When we arrived, we found the build site. It was at the top of a 3-story building. We had to carry all 100 chairs to the top of the 3rd floor. By the end, my back, legs, and arms were done.

IMG_20151015_112356

IMG_20151015_150846

IMG_20151015_155510

IMG_20151015_160041

The area is just filled with abject poverty. It was amazing to see the number of houses that were on the dirt hills behind the build site. The photos and video doesn’t do it justice!

IMG_20151015_154848 IMG_20151015_160511

After unloading, we met up with the women and took the box dinners they made to a local cancer hospital. We had the opportunity to break into groups and speak with people who were waiting on their loved ones. I wish I could show pictures of the scene but we were not allowed to take them. My words, and even if I did show pictures, I would not completely explain the desperation, the sadness, the frustration, and the sheer insanity of the health care system of Peru.

The first man we approached said he was from the northern area of Peru near the Ecuador border. He is required to stay outside in the cold and wait. There are no real waiting rooms. The lawn outside is the waiting room. He left his 7 and 13 year old boys in his village and traveled weeks to get there with his wife, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has been waiting for 10 months, sleeping on the grass, for the day when they come to him and say he can either see her, take her home, or she is dead.

The next man we spoke to said that his only baby is in the hospital with a cancerous tumor in his head. His wife, while waiting there, has been rushed inside to the emergency area because she has a sickness she couldn’t get rid of.

So he waits.

Alone.

His spirit was so crushed that I could barely even say the words to the prayer. My mind kept racing to his family and how separated they were. His mind must be thinking how naïve we are for coming from America with a hollow prayer and that people would be healed.

But let me talk about that for a minute. We are not necessarily here praying for healing. Yes, that is part of it. But we are here to simply be the hands and feet of Christ. We brought a hot meal and a smile, probably something they have been without for a long time now.

And we maybe brought a little hope.

The final 2 girls we spoke to were both under 18 and their babies were in the cancer ward. One woman was wearing a spaghetti strap tank top and it was low 60s for the temperature. They have been there for a few weeks.

My wife gave her sweatshirt on her back to the girl.

I almost started crying because of my wife’s generosity.

The look on the girl’s face was priceless.

So we finished that, went to dinner, and back to the mission house by 11pm to fall asleep. A 14-hour day in the field, but one that is filled with glimmers of grace.

Tomorrow, we will begin building the 100 wheelchairs we were sent to build.

Post Navigation

boyradd

Forgiven...Loved.....Transformed!

EXPOSED

"Sometimes the story we're telling the world isn't half as endearing as the one that lives inside us." -Donald Miller

The Minstrel's Wife

A worship leader's missus and her views from the pew

Praises & Grace

My life, My walk, My missions

Godinterest Magazine

Godinterest Magazine covering faith, culture, life and all that other stuff

Sillyloquies

We write to remember. To see our thoughts in sentences. So we can hopefully one day figure out what all those words really mean.

this is... The Neighborhood

the Story within the Story

The Awakening

An Ordinary Man Being Awakened By An Extraordinary God

Limbiley's Blog

Life&Love Trials&Tribulations Faith&Fortitude Redemption&Restoration.

Mind's Seat

Set your mind on the things above

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

From Devout Atheist to Skeptical Pastor: A Blog For Busted-Up, Beat-Down People (Like Me)

116 Boyz

Born Again Christian Male Gamers

Jayne Surrena

Fictional Memoirs

juleseddy1

A topnotch WordPress.com site

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

missjordanlee

twentysomething thoughts on grace, life, and health

soma

positive thinking

One Salty Dawg

Recent College Grad's Quest For Meaning

Blonde and Fabulous

some girls were born with glitter in their veins.

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

Morgan Mitchell

• Dreamer, Thinker, Blogger • |Loves Jesus| • College Student • |Living proof of a loving God to a watching World.| • #fivecollective

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Moving at the Speed of God

Sharing the Thoughts and Adventures of David Jackson, Church Multiplication Missionary with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware

philliphowell

Tasting and seeing that the Lord is very good!

My Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Morning Story and Dilbert

Inspiring, Encouraging, Healthy / Why waste the best stories of the World, pour a cup of your favorite beverage and let your worries drift away…

Tea Cups and Grace

Life, faith and cups of tea.

True Warriors of God

Put on the full armour of God ~ Ephesians 6:13

Write For A Cause

The Spiritually Inclined Deductions by Jenine Silos

newlifer1

http://newlifer1.wordpress.com/

By His Spirit

Reflections of a Female Seminary Graduate

Threshing Floor

Forgiven...Loved.....Transformed!

Forgiven...Loved.....Transformed!

Forgiven...Loved.....Transformed!

Woven by Words

Forgiven...Loved.....Transformed!

%d bloggers like this: