Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Working in the Jungles of Peru

After a long cold winter heading to the jungle of Peru was a breath of fresh air. Okay, maybe fresh is an exaggeration... more like 90 degree 100% humidity air. Our sports team of 10 joined a medical team to work with four mother churches to help each begin a new church. The four areas were in squatter villages where living conditions were very poor but the people were friendly and welcoming.

A typical day was to go home to home in the mornings sharing Christ alongside a local church member. For many people the news of Jesus Christ was new as they had never heard the whole story before and for those who had heard of Christ had a desire to know more and more about Him. Many times our team would spend and hour or more talking with and discipling families. After lunch our team would set up for a time of sports which drew people of all ages. In the evenings we would have an evening service or training time.

One of my favorite moments on the trip was our second location, where during our time of sports, a massive downpour started. That didn't stop the young men playing soccer which turned out to be a hilarious slip fest. However due to the large amount of rain the roads were flooded and that meant only the faithful showed up to the evening service. The delight was that the 12 that were there were hungry to learn how to use the Evangecube so I had the precious privilege of teaching how to do evangelism. After the end of the time the very humble pastor asked the group to stay later to begin to strategize how to use their new evangelism tools to reach their neighborhood during the upcoming Holy week.

As a leader of many short-term mission trips I always like to say that the trip is usually just as much about the people that go as the people we reach. It was very cool to see a mom and two teenage sons be stretched into obedience and by the end of the week serving boldly. Or the young married couple on their first mission trip who wanted to serve together. Or the young man who is pursuing a career in missions. God is always at work in each of us so that ultimately He'll be glorified.

In the end our sports team did 361 in home visits where 145 people gave their lives to Christ. We also had a great time building relationships, sharing Christ and beginning discipleship in our sports clinics with 510 people in attendance. With the Holy Spirit guiding us we were privileged to see Jesus build four new churches who are now well on their way to making disciples and reaching their neighborhoods.

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