Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Last Day

     This will be our final post from Peru. The last day is always filled with raw emotion. We are nearing the time for our return to the States and a reunion with our American loved ones. Yet, we are also nearing the time for our departure and a goodbye to our newly made Peruvian friends. Most heart-wrenching of all, we have had our goodbyes with the precious little ones who call NLCH home.
     The Lord has been especially kind to us before and during this trip, and we are certain He will continue to shine upon us in the days ahead. We will arrive with more stories than some will care to hear, but for those who will be willing to listen, we feel certain that God will touch your heart. Maybe...just maybe... if you listen closely, you will hear that still small voice that Isaiah heard as the Lord says to you, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" This trip has almost come to an end, but the greater journey continues. The dates are already on the calendar for next year, and if the Lord wills it, we will return to Peru. Who knows, maybe you will be the one who writes this blog next time as you detail the work of the Lord for all to hear!
     See you soon!!

     Pastor Rob  

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Day 7

As I sit reflecting on such an awesome day, a few are unwinding playing cards, some are getting ready for bed, while others are out for some fresh night air.  All have found a common bond of love for these Peruvian people.  Today  we started the day cooking up a dish of rice, chicken, hot dogs and scrambled eggs seasoned with peppers and onions.  Our group was most efficient in the kitchen and even had it cleaned up in less than 3 hours.

Once our food was prepared, we stopped to feed ourselves before heading out to serve the masses.  Earlier this week some of us requested a Peruvian dish of Cuy (guinea pig) so our cooks granted our wish and  fixed this delicacy for us to sample.  I can say that it truly taste like dark meat chicken.  Now every time I see that guinea pig in the Academy classroom I will think of eating it. Mmmmm

We loaded the food trailer and bus with people, food, and Bible with stickers and candy to attract many kids and adults alike.  In Manchay, there is a new church start that is struggling (prayers needed) so we went there to encourage and serve that community. Armed with a bullhorn, a man called to the people to come and hear our message and get free food.  Before we could set up the trailer there was a crowd gathering to see what these Americans were up to.  Marcela gave her testimony and Laurie shared the gospel message and many boys, girls, and adults gained a forever home in heaven.  We had met a spiritual need now it was time to meet a physical need, food.  We served our rice and chicken dish until there were no more people and even sent extra  home to some siblings or parents.  All received Bibles as they came through the line.  As we were pulling away from the first site an older man could be seen sitting on his porch reading the New Testament that we had given him.

We had not gone but two or three blocks when the pastor said the "president" of this community wanted to speak with us.  We had a little food left so we set up again on another corner.  This time I (Anne) got to share my testimony and give the gospel since it was a small group of mostly women.  I really don't remember what I said but about 30 or so people prayed to receive Christ right there on that street corner. We gave them Bible, stickers, candy, food and drink.  All left feeling excited about how God was using us to touch His people.

You might think that was a full day but we were off to Lima to take supplies and the gospel to 15 boys in a "holding tank" who all prayed with Pastor Rob to invite Christ into their lives.  In times like these I sometimes wonder if they are really making this decision seriously or just raising their hands because they want to please us.  It is not up to me to decide but to be faithful in letting God use me/us to deliver His Word and let Him draw each individual to Him.

Please join me in praying for each individual who heard the gospel today whether they responded positively or not.  Pray that the seed would sprout and grow.

Our group is healthy and happy and preparing to return home.  Please pray as we say our "see ya laters" and return to our loved ones in the states!

Day 6

We began our day with a delicious breakfast, and after our morning devotional, we went for a tour of the New Life Children School. This school was built upon a dream and has now become a reality. Ninety children, more than was what expected, are enrolled this year. It was great to see the smiling faces of the happy children in every classroom. We met the principal and teachers who love and serve the Lord. Leaving the school, we headed to the Indian Market. At the Indian Market, vendors sell beautiful art and colorful textiles as well as other souvenirs. Our interpreters helped us to negotiate prices and we walked away with great bargains. We left the Indian Market content and planned to find a pretty spot to eat lunch. Sometimes plans change, so we parked the bus beside a busy road and enjoyed our sandwiches, watching the cars go by. Convenience was priority in this - we are easy to please! We stopped at the store before returning back to the children's home to buy groceries for tomorrow's soup kitchen excursion. When we arrived back at the children's home, our assignment was to chop up vegetables and hot dogs to expedite
tomorrow's cooking process. We had delicious supper, followed by our evening devotions. But our highlight of the day was delivering blankets and distributing bibles to the people in Estellitas. This is a poor community near by that is growing in population. Pastor Rob shared the message of salvation to about 150 people who congregated in one small room. They were hungry to hear the Word and many accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We handed out Bibles and blankets, which were received with gratitude. A little girl even said, "Now I will sleep warm tonight." What a blessing! But after all the blankets had been given away, a lady walked up with a ticket to claim her blanket. Sadly, all the blankets were gone as she had arrived too late. It reminded us of the urgency to proclaim the gospel because one day it will be too late. At that point, God will close the door and no one else will be able to enter heaven. That only confirms how important our mission is - not just here in Peru, but also at home.

Matthew 25:13
While the angels rejoiced in heaven after so many gave their lives to Christ; We rejoiced with them with songs of praise.
Velad, pues, por ques no sabies el dia ni la hora en que el Hijo del hombre ha de venir.

Posted by  Maricela Wyand and Mary-Catherine Slaughter

Monday, August 3, 2015

Day 5

Sunday: Day 5

We began our day probably much like you did...excited to be going to worship.  Four of our team members headed out early to pick up the children for church. Armed with a bull horn and much like the pied piper they stopped and picked up young and old. Led by some of the older children, they sang all the way to church. The children from the Home dressed in their Sunday best.  For the boys that meant collared shirts (tucked in) and jeans with a belt. Many of the young girls were wearing new outfits sent with love from many of you. Our team looked much like we do ever Sunday. Laurie had a suitcase full of key chains and butterflies for crafts, a story from the Bible and our faithful youth to do whatever was needed. We dressed in our Sunday best and were thankful that our dresses were long enough to cover our tennis shoes. We were welcomed like family by greeters much like you. Just like home the words for the worship songs were up on a screen and just like home sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not. The words were in both Spanish and English and somehow it blended together.  We lifted our voices in one of the best renditions of "HOW GREAT THOU ART" I have ever heard.  I am sure God was pleased.  One of our team members and a young intern from the home gave their testimonies,  Pastor Rob delivered the sermon with a translator. Pastor David extended the invitation. Many went forward.  I am sure God was pleased. Everyone handed out beautiful bookmarks made by our faithful WMU ladies at NBBC.
We came back home, played with the children and headed out to see the Inca ruins. They are incredible.  It is amazing that they are still standing.  A legacy of civilization that is long gone but to which we are drawn.  We all took lots of pictures to share with you.

Our trip has been amazing. We have seen and done a lot. We have seen despair and poverty that a picture or words cannot describe.  But we have gotten to stay in a place where people that love God and are willing to share the love of their Jesus with a child can change the world.  They restore human beings into what God originally created them to be.  I have heard more laughter in the last 5 days than I have heard in the last 10 years. Our team has 4 members under the age of 18 and I can see that they have in them the ability to turn despair into hope with their smile. The language barrier has not been a problem. When the children on the playground run and jump into your arms I know they are saying "I love you."

We feel all of your prayers and are so thankful for them. As we begin to make our journey back to your loving arms please keep up the prayers that have carried us thus far.  We have much more to do before we leave here.

We remain in HIS grip!

Love You,

Your Peru Mission Trip Team



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Day Four

 The day started with french toast for breakfast. After breakfast, Kelsey did the devotion about spiritual gifts and how we're all here for a purpose. Right after, the team went outside to play with the kids. We did everything from running and swinging, to playing with a Peruvian toy. Playing with the kids did not stop there, we then took them to lunch at a local rotisserie chicken restaurant. While we were there the movie Toy Story was playing and all the kids were watching so intensely that they did not even pay attention to their food until they were told it was time to eat! Even at that point, some of the kids were still watching the movie and not eating. While we were there, Peruvian Peggy ordered cow heart. Abby, David, Elizabeth, and Kelsey all tried it and they loved it!!  We left lunch and we took the kids to the new playground near the children's home. After about 30 minutes of playing on the playground, we took the kids to go get ice cream at a local market. We then walked back to the children's home where we again began playing with the kids for a few more minutes. At this point we had to get ready for a wedding (for people that we had never met) we would be attending later that night. After getting ready, we headed to the church and watched the beautiful couple get married. In Peru it is a tradition to take pictures with everyone who attended, since we attended we had to take pictures with the newlyweds. Once we left the wedding we ate dinner and listened to a wonderful devotion by Terri Lawler. Today was all about spending time with the precious kids of the children's home. We want to thank you for your continuous support and prayers for our team and the people in Peru.

-Abby, Kelsey, Elizabeth, and last but not least David

Friday, July 31, 2015

Day Three

Greetings from Peru,

As a prelude to our breakfast, we enjoyed feeding our hearts and minds with the word of God during our morning devotion.

There is always special work for the willing hand of God.  Today was a "hands" on day of ministry.  The original plan was for everyone to paint as it was much needed here at the home.  However, this was not God's plan.  He used our hands to paint, but he also used our hands to minister to the staff and children in different ways.  They were treated to manicures which made them feel special, and God used us to encourage them through prayer and pampering.  One lady enjoyed it so much she closed her eyes and smiled.  What a treat to witness her joy! Several little girls wanted a different color on each finger and warmed my heart with their smiles and hugs.  The staff take such good care of us, so it was a way for us to give back to them in return.

We made major strides in our efforts today and formed strong bonds with the staff and children.  One of our team members used her hands and talent to bake bread for all.  It too was a ministry that was laid on her heart by God.  But God didn't stop there.  Other team members jumped in to help and the kitchen became alive with a team of willing hands and hearts.  

The day did not stop there.  We walked to "downtown" Cieneguilla and climbed a flight of steps that left us breathless.  At the top stood a cross, representing the symbols of Catholicism.  We proceeded to the market where vendors sell everything from fresh produce, clothing, housewares, and specialty food and items.  We enjoyed Peruvian chocolate, Sublime, and marveled at the exotic fruits that seemed to be on steroids.  Yes, they actually are that big!  Leaving the market some decided to take the taxi back to the Children's Home.  The taxi is actually a motorcycle with an extra axle in the back.  It was an adventure!  Others wanted to walk back, but along the way took a little side trip to tour the new park.  We even saw a hummingbird!  
After dinner, we were invited to participate in a scavenger hunt with the children. It was a fun filled event, teaching the children how much God loves them.  The children are so precious and hungry for love.  What a wonderful God we serve!

The day ended with another devotion and time of prayer.  Our time together as a team continues to draw us closer.  We can't wait to see what God has in store for us tomorrow!

Day Two

Where do I even begin??  What a day!  We woke up and started our day with a hot breakfast of pancakes and bacon.  Maricela shared some of the local fruits with us so we experienced a delicious taste of Peru! Then we headed upstairs for our devotions.  It was a great time of remembering that God will provide the words we need if we are willing to humble ourselves and be used by Him.  
We headed to the center of Lima,  up a mountain (where we had to wait for a broken down car to be pushed up the road), to the cross on the top of the mountain.  We handed out tracts to the people there and then spent time praying over the city.

Our next stop was the Presidential Palace area.  We ate a lunch of roasted chicken, fried potatoes and salad before heading to the streets.  In the next two hours, we handed out 600 Bibles and hundreds of tracts within the square and the streets. One of the coolest things to watch was how Abby was able to break down some barriers by handing out stickers to children.  A shopkeeper even came out to get one!  We met people with real questions about an eternal home in heaven.  We met people who had real despair.  We met people who encouraged us. Many of us had conversations with people that had questions or wanted clarification.  A few people prayed to accept Jesus as their Savior.  We met students, shopkeepers, Mormons, and some that just were in despair and needed prayer.  God set some divine appointments for us.

We walked a few blocks to the Inquisition Museum.  We were able to see some of the ways they tortured Christians during that time in history.  It really made me think, what would I do?  I cannot imagine the horrors they faced.  And the horrors some Christians around the world are currently facing.  It made me reflect on how fortunate I am to be able to worship how I want, where I want.  And how fortunate we are to be here sharing freely.

Our next stop was Magic Waters.  It was an outdoor water park (not like Water Country) but fountains.  You can play in the water.  It was a little chilly to do that but some of the younger ones in our group played in a fountain.  They only got a little wet!  Others who are young at heart rode the little train around the park.  It was a nice place to sit and reflect on the day.  A calm after a storm of emotion.  

Our final stop of the day was Jockey Plaza for dinner.  Some of the group ate food that was Peruvian.  Others enjoyed fruit smoothies.  Then we headed for home. 
It was a long, good day.  A full day.  There were interactions with people, historical reflections, quiet times with the Lord, and silly times of giggles.  Thank you for praying for us.  Please join us in prayer for Kelly, Beatrice, Carla, and Abel.  They made a choice to follow Christ as Savior and we are praying they connect with other believers locally.