It had been over 7 and a half years since our family had stepped foot back onto Peruvian soil. Our family of four had served a 2-year term in Lima with the International Mission Board as missionaries, leading the translator ministry for the northern portion of Peru. We handled the logistics of USA church teams working in the villages of northern Peru; soliciting, training, and assigning Peruvian translators to teams; and teaching 4 English classes and Bible studies each week.
On this recent journey, only 3 of our family members were present, and we led a team of 13 from Billings, MT, to the desert of Lima, Peru, from March 22 to March 29. Six of our travelers were from Billings Christian School, and four were from Elevation Church. Almost half of our team had never left USA soil, nor had they been on a mission project. Our sojourners included 6 youth and 7 adults.
Our family quickly felt like we were back at “home” in a concrete desert of 14 million people, where the city builds “up” to pack more people in. Exchanging hugs and tears, we reunited with old friends, who we consider as our Peruvian family. Immediately, we were immersed in the Spanish language, honking of horns and horrendous traffic, where the mass of a vehicle determines its rule and reign on the streets. Windows of vehicles and buildings were left open to let the warm air in; summer was coming to a close with 80 degree weather, and there was no air conditioning or heating in homes or stores.
Our goal of carrying out the Great Commission on this particular journey included having very full, but productive days, including a variety of many activities. Staying at New Life Children’s home in Cieneguilla, a suburb of Lima, our team ministered to 14 children daily, ranging from 5 to 17 years of age, who are awaiting to be declared “abandoned” so they can be adopted into their forever homes. Many of these children had been found on the streets or dump, and some had been found beaten or living in very poor conditions. Before arriving, our team had collected Pennies for Peru at both school and children’s church to purchase and give children at the home medicine, book bags, school supplies, balls, and candy. Each morning, our team walked the children to school, treated them to pizza and chicken for dinner, and bonded with them in the evenings after meals.
The dominant religion in Peru is Roman Catholicism, but one will find that indigenous Peruvians have blended Catholicism with their Ican gods. During the days while the children from the home were away at school, our team traveled by charter bus and hit the streets in downtown Lima and other local areas, passing out 7,020 Bibles and 8,000 tracts. Each Bible and tract had a connection point back to the pastor and church, including service times in Cieneguilla and Pachacutec. As we boldly stepped toward each individual, saying “un regalo,” or “a gift,” people took the Bibles and tracts eagerly, with some even reaching out of bus and taxi windows wanting a copy. Disposed of copies did not litter the streets when we passed back through, but instead we found people leaning against the buildings and sitting on park benches immersed in reading God’s Word.
Stay tuned to hear more about this journey in the next newsletter! Meanwhile, you may learn about future opportunities to carry out the Great Commission in Peru or in other international venues, at www.gomtsbc.com or contact Brian, the Go MT International Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org .