Cómo estáis mis amigos?!
Well? I’ve made it back from Peru! Actually? I made it back 2 weeks ago, and I’ve been working on this blog for some time. I wanted to really make sure I had all my details right and wanted to be as through as I could in our blog spot here. Here goes:
(Shot of Lima Peru)
So my church teamed us up with a short term mission group out of Jackson First Pres in Jackson, MS. We had 2 teams that went on this 10 day exploration of beautiful people, scenery, and gospel application. One team was doctors and dentist, who performed medical exams and provided medication for the people of Cajamarca, Peru, the city we worked out of. The second group, the group I worked with, was a group that worked in boarding schools and orphanages, spending time getting to know the children, playing, loving on, doing crafts with, and sharing Jesus through the gospel with.
We left out of Jackson, Mississippi. From there we flew to Houston, and then 6 and a half hours, to Lima, Peru. The capital. It is a port city off of the Atlantic coast, and is the capital of Peru. Lima is a rich historic and diverse city. The food was amazing. We spent the better half of a day sight-seeing and touring spots in Lima.
After a day in Lima, we boarded a flight to Cajamarca, Peru. It is a region in the Andes Mountain Range approximately 9,000 feet above sea level. The city nests in a valley between mountians. (pic below)
The city of Caja has about 300,000 people. It is a truly beautiful place to behold. The Peruvian people are wonderful and kind. They are generally receptive to the gospel. The main problem, is there are many superstition brands of Roman Catholicism within the city. The city of Cajamarca is made up of predominately Roman Catholic mysticism and Seven Day Adventist churches. There are some Pentecostal churches sprinkled in the city as well. Our local pastor on the trip, Rev. Alonzo Martinez, has a Presbyterian congregation close to the top of the city. His church, Iglesia Presbiteriana Del Peru, is where we had church on Sunday. Pastor Alonzo brought the message in Spanish AND English, simultaneously as he preached. The time of fellowship with his elders and members was refreshing.
(Pastor Alonzo and myself)
Monday, it was time to work. This wasn’t just fun and games. We served the people of the schools and orphanages we attended. The first school, Los Rosales school in Caja, was a large public school. We arrived at the school at around 10:00 am and played some soccer in the indoor courtyard. I speak a small amount of Spanish, so I was able to carry on some conversations in a very simple manner, and make friends with some of the teachers and students at LRS. We had translators, so for more difficult conversations we could have them speak for us. We provided craft material for the classrooms and taught the children how to make hearts, and we strung them together like a streamer to hang up in the classroom. Hermès, one of our mission leaders, gave the message in Spanish to the children. He spoke from the gospel of John on Jesus being the only Son of God, as well as on His death, burial, and resurrection. We prayed with some of the children after. I spoke to a young girl named Beatriz, who’s mother was very sick and prayed God would touch her life and bring comfort to the young girl in this trial. God truly broke me more than he comforted her, from my perspective, I can assure you that much. God recked my heart on this trip, and showed me how selfish and prideful we can be in an American culture full of comfort and perfected necessity. (Below are pics from Los Rosales School)
The second half of the week, we went to a girls orphanage downtown. It was an all girls group and they were really enthusiastic because it was Peru’s last match of World Cup. The girls had us huddle around their analog tv and watch the match as a community. Everyone went BONKERS when the team captain scored a goal and when the won the match 2-0. I spent some time with the translator and a young girl named Gabriella. She stole my heart. A precious child that I prayed for and shared Jesus with. She gave me a green cross glow necklace and I gave her my Peru bracelet. I plan on keeping in contact with her through the orphanage. I pray God blesses Gabriella and uses her for His purposes. (Below pics of the girls school)
To put this all in a spiritual perspective, Christ really gave ME the gospel during this trip as much as he did the little ones. True calling to mission work and the gospel will most assuredly change you as much as it does the hearer. All people, wether Christian or abiding under God’s wrath, need the proclamation of the Gospel. I am thankful to my Lord and my church congregation and elders for this opportunity for this ministry work, and I hope to go back next year! Until then hasta la próxima vez perú!
(BTW? If you’ve never tried Inca Kola, you must before you leave this planet. LOL!)