Peru Mission Report
I have returned! The mission trip to Peru was a great success, and I believe we accomplished what we set out to do: that is, bring people to Christ, strengthen the saints by example and teaching, and encourage them to not only be faithful themselves, but also to bring others to Christ.
I don't know what may come to your mind when you hear the name "Peru," but since it's a lesser-known country, I'll give you a quick overview so you can have a better idea of where I was. Peru is a country on the Pacific coast of South America, about twice the size of Texas. It was once part of the Inca Empire, and since the arrival of the Europeans, the culture has become a blend of Spanish and native customs. There are many different landscapes in Peru, but on this trip we spent the most time in Loreto, the largest region in the country. This part of Peru contains mostly rainforest, and due to its proximity to the equator, the temperature remains hot and humid throughout the year. One interesting fact about this part of Peru is that there are very few roads between cities. Instead, most inter-city traveling is done by boat on the rivers! The many large rivers in this region come together to form the Amazon.
There are many differences between the United States and Peru, including differences in food, culture, language, income, and way of life. But there is one thing that all people on earth have in common, and that is a need for spiritual salvation. I am so thankful for God's Word, which is powerful and relevant to all times and cultures, a tool that we can wield to touch the hearts of those who truly want to obey God!
I was with a group of seven other brothers and sisters in Christ, and together we were able to accomplish a lot. We mainly worked in the cities of Iquitos and Requena, but we did visit some rural areas as well to encourage the Christians there. Every day was different, but the average day consisted of Bible class on Ephesians at 9:30 AM, children's VBS classes at 3:00 PM, where we covered the life of Joseph, ladies' class at 5:00 PM, and then the Gospel meeting at 7:00 PM. Brother Joe Ruiz was our team leader, and he kept me busy! If I wasn't preaching or translating a sermon, I was leading singing, and I also helped teach the children's classes. I brought a number of Truth For The World tracts with me to share with the churches, and they were received with gratitude. We also helped the members with their physical needs, giving out reading glasses to those with failing eyesight, as well as clothes and stuffed animal toys for the little kids.
Much of our teaching was on basic Bible principles, as the majority of the Christians there are young in the faith. There were lots of questions answered, and hopefully lots of growth as well. Nine souls decided to put Christ on in baptism, and several who had gone astray returned, asking for prayers for faithfulness.
Overall it was a great experience, and it was wonderful to get to go back to the same place and see my Christian family staying faithful in the Lord. Please be in prayer for them, as they have struggles, and many congregations lack experienced, knowledgeable Christian leadership to follow. Lord willing, I'll be able to go back again in the future, and I pray that the Christians there will keep studying God's Word!