Monday, August 04, 2008

This boy enjoyed his interaction with our team

While in Peru, we were scheduled to minister in Huamachuco, a mountain village of around 5,000 people. It is situated above 10,000 feet. We had secured bus tickets for the day after a national strike, called a "Paro."

Unfortunately, the paro was not over on the day we were to leave. Men guarded bridges with axes and other tools of convenience. When travelers approached who wanted to pass, they would shout about the inequities of life in their country and present a hostile stance.

Everything shut down for the paro. Schools, businesses, etc., all were closed. We were in the city of Trujillo at the time, and all seemed peaceful. My partner Kristen and I got out that day to take care of some business. We saw some protesters organizing to demonstrate in front of government buildings, but they were doing so peacefully. The city seemed largely unaffected. We were told these things are often more serious in less sparsely populated areas.

An ambulance approached one of these bridges guarded by men with axes where boulders had been strewn across the street. It was carrying a pregnant woman from the village we were to head to, down to the city we were in. She was pregnant and needed medical intervention for delivery.

The men would not let her pass. They chanted and shouted more angrily at the idea of allowing her to receive what she so desperately needed.

These men prevailed, the ambulance turned around.

This mother-to-be and her child both perished.

We were deeply saddened that such an event would occur.

This strike would last days longer than it was supposed to. Our team battled significant spiritual warfare during this time. We were also unable to leave for three or four days past our intended departure date.

When we finally arrived, and as the team was settling in, I took our leadership team for a walk through the village. We needed to know the lay of the land to assist in finding ministry sites.

The people were very cold and hard hearted. As we walked, and saw the beauty God had created, I felt a tremendous sense of those who were deeply lost, and following the lies of the enemy.

We returned to the team. I explained what we had encountered. I told them that I was concerned for them. This team had seen hundreds of people surrender to Christ by this point, and I feared they would not handle the potential rejection of this community well.

I asked them to go out and prayer walk in teams. I told them that if we needed the Lord's favor to overcome the hard heartedness of the people.

To be honest, I was not certain how seriously they would take this time. I only knew without the Lord's blessing, these would be a difficult few days at this high altitude.

The team reconvened after their time in prayer. We headed to the Plaza de Armas of this town. It was ornate, with trees and shrubs trimmed into topiaries. The people were beautiful and dressed in bright colors.

As we prepared to share the Gospel, a significant crowd assembled. In a town of a few thousand people, well over a thousand of them gathered around us. We were engulfed by them.

The depths of their hunger was evident on their faces.

At the conclusion of the drama we presented, the students went out in their ministry teams. The harvest far surpassed our expectations!

Hundreds and hundreds of people came to Christ. They asked how soon the church we were there to plant would start. Entire families were giving their lives to Jesus! In my years of ministry, this was one of the most significant responses to the Gospel I have ever seen.

Day after day, we had a similar response in Huamachuco. Everyday we would be asked by the villagers how soon the church would begin and where would it be? They hunger for Truth had only intensified after coming to Christ!

Tito, our national pastor wore a large grin while we were there. He is a large man and this altitude was hard on him, yet seeing the response of this people, affirmed how the Lord had moved in his own heart. He had brought us to this village out of obedience, and the Lord had moved mightily. He is assembling the team to begin a church there, now. Tito's enthusiasm is contagious!

We reminded our team after this first ministry site, how the power of God had been on display! To see these kinds of numbers come, in a town that was so cold and stoic, was no small thing. I believe this team had moved the heart of God during their prayer walk.

His power is undeniable! We saw Him move in the lives of people in ways I had never seen before.

It is easy in this life to believe that you have seen it all, and that God's ability to move is largely hampered by mans selfishness. Regardless of any validity to that, He moves as He wishes in response to the prayers of His own.

Don't take your prayer time lightly!

Our team did not, after this experience! We learned a great deal about our Lord and His desire to love us this summer. It is truly unfathomable, that He loves us as much as He does!

We are a blessed people, if we seek Him and surrender before Him.



At 9:38 AM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

I'm always blessed when He lets us see a glimpse behind the veil.

Thanks for lifting it today--and for serving so very faithfully this summer and always.

praying in pink
with tender love,


At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana


Post a Comment

<< Home