We have one more day in Peru, but won't have a chance to add to the blog as we leave for the airport in the evening. This has been a great mission trip. Full of compassion, service, fun, and the love of Jesus. Crosspoint Ministries has brought teams on mission trips to Peru for 19 years. They go to many countries and lead between 8 and 12 mission trips a year. They come to Peru twice a year.
Through the years their teams have built churches and homes; renovated, repaired and decorated them; medical clinics; construction; neighborhood outreach; dramatic performances; supplies; crusade; church services, and relationship building. Every trip is full of altar calls, prayer, worship and the love of Jesus. We've witnessed answered prayer, a few slain in the spirit, and healing of all sorts. One man took steps out of his wheelchair for the first time in several years. For anyone finding this hard to believe, I invite you to come and see for yourself first hand and experience the miraculous healing of the Holy Spirit.
I can't say enough positive things about this mission trip to Peru. This was my first trip with Alison and Chuck, and it won't be my last. I'd love to come at least once a year back to Peru with them. We stay in the community, not tucked away in a hotel or resort. During our time here, we live in the same building as those we serve. When they had plumbing issues and went without water, we had plumbing issues and went without water.
If you've never been on a mission trip, Chuck and Alison are the ones to go with. Not all mission trips are created equal. This isn't a fluff feel good trip. We conquered illness, injury obstacles and spiritual attacks. And our strength and faith is stronger than ever. If you want to experience daily sacrifice and true authentic serving a community that has lasting impact, then this is the ministry for you.
I've fallen in love with the Peruvian people. They have a piece of my heart. With sadness, I will be leaving soon, but will return. This mission team came together with various backgrounds, relations and travel experiences, but we are leaving as one big family.
Total Kingdom Soul Wins through Day Six: 98 !!!!
So long for now, but not a final goodbye,
Rebecca aka #4
Once again, we had scrambled eggs, cheese, rolls, butter and jam for breakfast. We are thankful for the healthy breakfasts that Lara prepares for us each day. Lara is diector of Pat's Place and puts in a lot of extra time and effort to host mission teams here. Having teams come is important because they are the primary source of funding.
Papas Chucky and Brent went for a walk this morning and told everyone during breakfast that they saw a llama. With all the joking we've heard this week - not many of us believed them. Then Brent pulled out his phone and showed us pictures. The next adventure was identified - nearly the entire team went to see the llama (it was really an alpaca). Woohoo!
Our theme song for the week has become "Peace Be Still" by The Belonging Company, with Lauren Daigle. We worshipped to this song again this morning. Then Liz shared a word about hope. She referenced Psalm 27:13 as well as John and Revelation 22:21. We have hope in God! Despite current circumstances, we can be confident in Him! We took some time to have Mario give us his testimony ....IN ENGLISH :-). He's used it to preach twice this week but in Spanish both times. So, those of who are uni-lingual finally got to hear it!
Please continue to pray for Liz's health - as well as Sawyer's. They both have head colds and we want them well before getting on the plane tomorrow!! Brent is also nursing an infection in his finger. Emily is feeling well and back in full force! Rebecca's ankles are getting better - definitely out of "critical" stage. Thank God for His healing hand on them and for keeping the rest of the team healthy! We are all getting a little drained and could use some more rest. Even though we had an extra 15 mintues this morning, it doesn't seem like enough.
Amber shared "You are..." words for each of us before we finished up. It seemed that every word handed to each team member was completely appropriate and significant in what we've seen in them this week. The words encouraged all of us.
Now off to Alumni of Cambridge College to perform Martita's Heart, and spend some time playing with the kids. The children at this school range in ages from 5 years to teenagers. (As we were leaving Pat's Place, the Peru vs France soccer game came on and France scored... 1-0. We found out at the school that Peru lost ). We performed Martita's Heart in front of the entire school including the teachers. This is a great story which touches the hearts of the children here because they experience the same problems at home and in the neighborhoods. After the performance Papa Brent related the story to his life, basically giving his testimony again in a version that the children understood. He then provided them all the opportunity to ask Jesus into their heart. A total of 37 kids confirmed that they had prayed that for the first time and wanted Jesus in their hearts!! PTL!! Then Alison came up and talked about how to grow closer to Jesus. The three most important things are: 1) read the Bible, 2) pray, and 3) go to church. She ended up making a little game with it and all the kids got into it, repeating those three things over and over again. Then we asked for hugs - we all had to brace ourselves. They came running - most of them toward Keili! We were mobbed! But it was a ton of fun! Hudson and Keenan we're getting A LOT of attention from the teenage girls ;-). The younger kids started brining us pens and paper - they wanted all of our autographs! So sweet! Keenan (Mucho Fonz) got a picture with Luciera. And Hudson (Enrique) got a bunch of WhatsApp addresses from the mob of girls swarming around him - always the hearts breaker :-)
We headed over to Edgar's house to visit with his family. Yumi - his wife; Betsy - their daughter stricken with cerebral paulsy; and there three boys; Josias, Liham, and Jeremy. They live in a home that Crosspoint helped provide them. He has been the ministry bus driver over the past 20 years. We visited with them and gave the boys gifts - one of them, a soccer ball. So, of course a game was started in the street and our younger team members played with the boys and several neighbor boys.
Edgar and Yumi's house has structural problems. They are concerned that the ceiling/roof will fall on them. They need to have the columns and roof replaced so that they can live safely, and build a second floor for the boys. Their family of six lives in a one floor flat no bigger than 1,000 square feet. They desparately need assistance to make repairs because Edgar's job is changing and he will be taking a pay cut. I'm sure you'll hear more about this in the future...the men have already started talking about a construction trip to help them get the repairs made.
That's Inca Kola in Heather's hand - just in case you were wondering :-)
Back to Pat's Place for some rest, but some of us decided that it was a good time to make a visit to the local market. Nothing compares to this market in the US. So much merchandise and so many people crammed into the market: outdoor "streets" (muddy, rocky broken up roads) or in the "building" (a bunch of shacks with corrugated roofing over them all). ...The chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs were not for sale as pets!
Another fantastic dinner - fried chicken, rice & fries, with fried plantains - by Lara, then we make plans on how to replace Sawyer in our last performance of Martita's Heart She and Mama LeAnne are staying back at the house. Sawyer needs to rest and heal for our last day in Peru and our trip home. So, Heather will play older Martita, Liz will take Heather's part, and Emily will play Martita's madre in LeAnne's stead. Now, off to church at Evangelica Pentacostal.
Another small pocket of Christianity here in Peru is worshipping tonight - and boy, are they worshipping! These people are joyful in their worship as we clap, sing and dance. Even the little ones are up front dancing! So, Liz, Andon and Keili join them! We all have fun worshipping our Father in heaven! Then Betty and Amber (Meghan) provide their testimonies...rapido ;-). A great performance of Martita's Heart only because of the fantastic jobs by our ad hoc understudies - Heather, Liz and Emily!! Miss Alison preached an awesome truth! The Lord has chosen you to: (fill in the blank) and trust the Lord as you do it! Step 1 - Say "Yes!" Step 2 - Clothe yourself in Christ, Step 3 - Do it for the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:19-20.
OK. Let's get back "home" to Pat's Place, rest up and start packing up for our trip home. We're all a little worn out and eager to get home, but conflicted because we are so enjoying loving these people in Peru and being loved by them. We've witnessed nearly 100 salvations this week!! We need to keep doing this good work! Now is the time to commit to coming back.
Kingdom Soul Wins for Day 6: 40
Signing off on Day 6, Brent (#11) for Sawyer (#14), mi hija.
Today started with another wonderful breakfast, worship time and devotions. Kayla led devotions on Daniel - he paid the price up front for his faith and was blessed with favor by God later.
Our first visit today was to San Marcos University. An elite engineering school, the best in the country. It is a public school, and free - anyone who can pass the difficult exams can go, but the number they take is limited. It's the equivalent of MIT. The students here practice their English asking us questions and video tape a conversation with us for a grade. They are encouraged by their school to seek outside of themselves and their own personal success to understand their impact the success of others and their country. A goal is to have them invested in humanity and community. We had many conversations and some were very eager to hear why we come to Peru, what we do professionally. Some wanted to know about Jesus Christ and His love. They say they hear about Allah, Buddha, God and had many questions. Some gave their life to Christ!
Our next visit was a heartbreaker. We visited the Shama Orphanage and spent time in the nursery and playing with the small children while the older children were at school. To say these children were precious is an understatement. To see children who've been given up and no longer wanted by families grieved my heart.
One little boy, Jose, clung to the boys and men on our team - his desire for male relationship, his own Papa, was clear. He was held by Hudson and didn't want to be put down. He clung to Keenan's leg while he held another boy and followed him. Keenan pushed him in a swing and any time he felt that Keenan stepped away for another child, Jose would turn to find him with a look that said "come back, don't leave me". At the end, he clung to Brent and wouldn't let go then burst into tears as we left. A few of us women tried to comfort him but he was pushing us away - he wanted a Papa or big brother. My heart is torn in two. I've been to other countries and seen poverty and orphans, but Jose is different. I'm hoping to have more to this story later.
We were ALL touched by the children at Shama, and we all left a piece of our heart behind. This visit was to bring clothes and supplies and to help the workers and love on the children.
We finished the day at Iglesia Cristiana Y Misionera Buenas Nuevas. Brent, LeAnne and Keenan all gave their testimonies and Mario gave a powerful message. Just a note here about Mario, he is FROM San Juan de Lurigancho as a child. He is an American Citizen but felt the call to return to his roots on this mission trip. He came from an atheistic mindset, gang related friends and activities. You should hear his testimony! Ask him, he is more than happy to share. During and after the service, we laid hands and prayed and saw much healing.
This is Mario, aka Super Mario - yes, he DOES have a brother named Luigi. Seriously, he does, Truth.
Soul Wins for Day Five: 3 !!
Today's contributors: Brent, Chuck, Mario, Bette, LeAnne, Rebecca
The team is taking turns blogging about our ministry journey. Here are some random things from our visit.
First, our gratitude:
Just a little fun during a few minutes of downtime. A quick peanut butter and jelly lunch and the younger ones became squishy seat cushions for the older ones. Probably one of those things where you had to be here, but it was funny in the moment. Trust me.
This is Keili, the youngest member of our Mission Team.
She is eight years old. If she can do it, so can you!
So much more to say, so much more to show. Alas, we are out of time!
Rebecca aka #4
"Take a little bit, take a little of my heart baby". The lyrics to this song stayed in my head all day here in Peru, so let me just share with you why. We began the day at Villa La Paz. This is a medical clinic, that Dr. Lazarro started time limit here, so they can stay as long as needed. This morning was definitely a tear jerker, not quite sure you could prepare yourself for what we were about to embark upon. However, once you begin walking around you realize that this is a beautiful place. The kids are amazing. We played and loved on many that were there. One boy there was named Brandon and he had brittle bone disease (he has both legs casted to prevent bones from breaking). Brandon was AWESOME!! He would repeat anything we said, Spanish or English, so he was basically a parrot (ha). He throughly enjoyed playing with the big boys. We also came across 4 who had cleft palates. Some had already been repaired and some were going to be repaired soon. We also saw the happiest little boy who had downs and some other health issues, a little one with face paralysis, many burn victims and finally lots of little children who had club feet. After playing with them we handed over some bibs, candy, bubbles and clothes. Our team definitely felt blessed to be a part of it, but I know some of left pieces of our heart as we had to leave and say good bye.
Once we returned to Pat's Place, we went to the market. Chuck thought it would be a great idea to get a good feel of what being a true Peruvian is about. It was so cool to see all the way the live and buy and trade items. You could literally buy anything there from clothes, shoes, toys, animals, drinks, souvenirs, meat and so much other random items. I am not so sure I really enjoyed seeing all the meat out, it was ok until we saw the chicken legs and other body parts. That was definitely not a moment for the people with weak stomachs!! We even had a little laugh as we were walking to the Market and Andon had a nice "trip up" on the way there. This Market is for sure one I will never forget.
We ended the day by going to church at El Renuevo. What a sweet sweet church and you could just feel the sweet spirit amongst us. After worship we did the drama we had been working on. Which is about a young girl's heart being taken and abused from many people in a girl's life. So like the lyrics said overtime someone hurt her, she felt they took a little piece of her heart. The people of the church really loved this and you could tell it really spoke to them. Then Heather gave such an amazing message. She preached on John 13, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, it was a powerful message and she ended it by having our whole team wash the feet of the whole congregation. They were shocked by this, in fact at first, they thought we were figuratively speaking. When we did this act of serving, it was a special moment between all of us. The church service ended the day, by them giving us a gift. They gave us a little sheep, and referred to us being shepards. They said this could be a reminder for us to continue to pray for them. Can you believe that? They have so little, yet they make sure we are blessed. That is the beauty of this country and is a reflection of how awesome and amazing the people of Peru are.
Soul Wins Day Four: 5
Leaving littles pieces of our heart in Peru,
Amber aka #17 Peru mission team 2018
Today started with another great breakfast by Laura. After, we had worship and then Brent led us in our daily devotion time. He brought a good word: when we don't have every step planned out and have that feeling of "what next" - we are right where we need to be and God can use us for His plans.
Our first visit today was to an elementary school in the Paradise community. We sang with the children, taught them a song, and played with them. Later, Emily gave her testimony to the mothers who came to visit with us. They know they are not alone in their circumstances.
This hill with these steps goes on higher and higher up the mountain. There's no running water so the women climb down each morning for large containers of water for the day then carry them back up the hill to their homes.
We passed this cemetery on the way. Those cubes hold caskets. The smaller ones are infants and children.
We ate peanut butter and jelly on the bus. We were hungry! Who knew peanut butter and jelly could taste so good?? (You should see LeAnne's peanut butter and jelly song and dance.)
We spent the evening at Pat's Place - a shelter for abused women and children. We performed our skit Martita's Heart (hopefully we can upload a video of that in the blog soon). After the skit, the women stayed upstairs and shared their stories with each other and the men and children went downstairs. The women's stories were full of heartbreak, but all ended with testimony to their faith in Jesus and healing and restoration through Him. The women were also able to select clothing for themselves and their children that we brought in with us from the U.S.
Here are some photos of our time hanging out with the children with crafts and playing.
Coolest moment of the day: a little girl that had been coughing really bad all night and we were worried it was like an asthma attack. We were looking for her mom and Rebecca came in an started praying over her, Heather joined in prayer and the little girl stopped coughing right then and there.
Soul Count on Day Three: 9 !!
Keenan aka Kiri aka Kitty (there's a story there) aka #15
Happy Sunday, Readers!
It's been a crazy past couple of days, so thank you for bearing with us and our inconsistent blogging.
Sunday began with breakfast. A plate of eggs, with bread and jelly, and a glass of orange juice and/or LOTS of coffee! With our fair share of protein, we jumped on the bus and headed to church. Edgar has been our valiant bus driver for the week! Miss Alison spoke at our first church, Centro de Alabanza. They do celebrate Father's Day here in Peru, so at the beginning of every service she gave honor to the men who are either earthly or spiritual fathers. Miss Alison spoke on David and being a man after God's own heart, our Heavenly Father.
As the service ended, the altar call was super special. It's always one of my favorite things to be a part of. When you immerse yourself in fully being God's advocate, and let the Holy Spirit run through you like water, you witness some beautiful things. The first woman I prayed for came up and clung to me. Every once in a while, I glanced down at her facial expressions and watched as tears streamed down her face. When I was in Haiti, the people would typically walk away once you finished praying, but these people were so content where they were. That being said, as I started walking over to the next person, I looked over and saw our entire team making their way through the crowd, praying for people one-by-one. It was a really cool sight to see.
Another thing that I love when praying for people, is to receive visions or words from God to speak over them. There was one man I prayed for, and words began free flowing out of my mouth. I wasn't even thinking, I just spoke. I prayed for the daughters one man was going to have. I prayed for a man and his entrepreneurship. And to revive a woman's dreams that she had when she was 6 years old. It was amazing! We even saw a man get up from his wheelchair and walk. He had been in a wheelchair for 7 years, and hadn't tried walking in 2. Pretty amazing, right? Praise God!!
The second church we went to was in the mountains - in a desolate area where people live in shacks. In fact, one of CrossPoint's past teams helped build the church - one of the only brick buildings in the area, and one on which people were saved when the recent floods took our most of the homes in the area. Our team walked up to the roof and prayed over the church, as well as the surrounding community. Not many people showed up to the service. The Pastor explained that one, it was Father's Day, and two, it was difficult to bring people in. However, they were spending a lot of time and effort in pouring into their youth. They understood how important it is since they are the next generation of leaders and influencers.
On the way back to Pat's Place, I sat next to my Peruvian sister, Elizabet. We made conversation, thanks to our basic knowledge of each other languages, and my Spanish-English Dictionary. She is 19 and in college.
After a quick stop at Pat's Place, we were back on the bus. We made it to our last church for the day, which is actually run by the same pastor that oversees the mountain church. Liz and I shared our testimonies and Keili shared John 3:16 with the congregation. Mario brought an AMAZING word in Spanish. The team has yet to find out what it was, but by his passion and enthusiasm, we are confident that he rocked it. Check out the posts from the church at www.facebook.com/iglesiacristianaelrenuevo.
Finally, to end a long day, we headed to a place called Norky's for dinner. It was here that I experienced Bette's level of hangry. Here is a public announcement that BETTE IS A VEGETARIAN! Poor thing, all she wanted was rice and fries. While the rest of us dug into some delicious chicken and rice, her patience was being tested. First came the rice. While waiting for her fries, I suggested that she dig in to her rice. It seemed like the sensible thing to do, right? "It doesn't work like that, boo," she replied. Mm girl. Her fries finally arrived, and she was a happy camper.
The double A package (Amber and Andon) arrived once we returned home. After introducing ourselves, we all headed up to bed.
And thus concludes a busy Father's Day in Peru.
Soul Wins on Day Two: 19!!
-Sawyer (aka #14)
The second part of our first day was spent at Hope House Girls Orphanage. These girls were either abandoned by their family, or their family could no longer take care of them, or in a few cases the girls were sold by their family and rescued. Hope House takes these girls in, cares for them, educates them and prepares them for life's journey once they graduate.
We spent the afternoon with these precious girls getting to know them, their dreams and hopes for the future. Some wanted to be doctors, an engineer, one wanted to design clothes. They are one big family, and relate to each other like sisters and are supportive of each other. We shared the Father's love with the girls and Chuck reminded the girls of their value and how loved they are.
The gate and wall below was built by our team on a previous trip to Peru. The orphanage had experienced multiple break-ins and theft prior to this wall and gate.
Our time at Hope House was full of love and joy. These girls are so precious and wonderful. They performed a father's day song for the men, showed us their rooms and baked special cookies for us that were delicious!
Soul Count on Day One: 25! A definite Kingdom Win!
Rebecca aka #4 - stay tuned for Day 2 by Sawyer aka #14
We were up bright and early and ate a yummy breakfast prepared by Laura. We then headed out to Star Kids Club. They have a program called Make a Miracle where they go into communities and do needed projects such as build houses, plant landscapes, build gates and Kids Club is just one of their community involvements. Some of you in the US may be familiar with Stars and Strikes entertainment - they raise money to fund these projects and are a worthy cause to support.
Kids Club is for kids from broken homes and difficult family situations. These kids need lots of love. Kids Club provides these precious little children fresh water, vitamins, fruit - they play games with them, worship with them, teach English classes and physical education. The goal is to build relationships and raise up a whole generation breaking the dysfunctional cycle by teaching them love, hygiene and how to take care of themselves. They address the whole child: physical, educational and spiritual.
We played soccer with the kids: Peruvians vs Americanos. The Peruvians won, basically slaughtered the Americanos who scored only a single point. Good times!
Candy - the universal language!
Heather and LeAnne passed out candy to the children.
We had the best time playing with the children, reading a story, doing a craft and just loving on them. When we left they gave us the sweetest and most precious hugs. We left with our tears and full hearts.
This ends Day 1 Part 1 - read on for Part 2 - it was a full and glorious day!!
Rebecca aka #4
The blog has been silent, but we've been busy! Now that we have our link active, we will be posting frequently.