Mission Trip to Peru
Thanks to God and the generosity of fellow Christians, I was able to go to Peru for a mission trip during these past few weeks. Although I had been to Peru before, this was a completely new experience for me, since we were travelling in the northern rainforest region of the country. In this part of Peru, there are no roads between cities, only rivers, and the many tributaries which flow together to form the Amazon carried us along to our various destinations on this trip.
I was travelling with brother Joe Ruiz, his wife, and his son, as well as two Peruvian preachers from the city of Lima, Luis Juárez and Pablo Valderrama. It was wonderful to get to know these faithful Christians during the time we spent together, and I’m grateful for their encouragement and hard work.
We took some things to share with the Peruvian Christians, such as Bibles, song books, clothes, and such like. And while we were glad to provide these things, the primary purpose of the trip was spiritual food. We visited five different congregations, teaching and preaching at each one. We held gospel meetings at three of these congregations, and we also had three Vacation Bible Schools.
On this trip we visited Bretaña, a small town several hours down the river. There is no congregation of the Lord’s church there, but several sisters live there, so there is interest in teaching the Gospel there. The main attraction on this day was the one-day VBS we were having. It had been advertised beforehand, so when we arrived, we were surprised to find a great number of children gathered, waiting for it to start. The final count was 180 children, which must have been the entire young population of the town! While they were getting refreshments, there was also a chance to teach some of the parents about the gospel, planting the seed for future growth.
During the gospel meetings, there were four baptisms: a mother and her grown son, and two young ladies who have grown up in Christian families. It was great cause for rejoicing, and additionally several people who had become unfaithful came back to Christ to rededicate their lives to Him.
During all of this, I was always busy. I was involved in preaching, translating sermons into Spanish, teaching (both for adults and children), leading singing, leading prayers, and helping those who couldn’t speak Spanish communicate with the other Christians. It was a great opportunity, and I am so thankful that I was able to go. Lord willing, I’ll be able to return someday, and in the meantime, please be praying for the Christians in Peru. They have struggles just like the rest of us, and there is still much growth and learning to be done. Also, if you are a Christian, I encourage you to think about how you can make a difference in the lives of those around you. You don’t have to go to another continent to work for the Lord; God can use you wherever you are!