Blessed to bless believers
By Jordan Rowley
Climbing For Christ spiritual coordinator
Throughout Climbing For Christ’s third mission to the Cordillera Blanca range of the Peruvian Andes, I found myself thinking often of God’s love for the world, and His call to His Church to love others in the same way. During the days leading up to and throughout Mission: Peru 2013, the Lord put 1 John 3:16 in my mind and on my heart, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” We even discussed this verse early in our trip during our team devotional time, before we made the journey into the villages the Lord had planned for us to visit.
Looking back, it’s incredible for me to see how the Lord directed our mission around this verse, in which we’re not only reminded of Christ’s love for us, but strongly encouraged to love our brothers and sisters in the same way.
Brotherly love: Justin and Jordan Rowley on Mission: Peru 2013.
Our first mission to Peru back in 2011 was essentially a survey trip. Although God blessed us with a fruitful visit, our main vision was simply to gain a sense of the needs, get to know the people, and determine how God might have willed to use C4C in Peru. Then in 2012, a year after we began supporting a full-time missionary, Jaime Servat, my brother Justin Rowley and I returned. The main focus of our 2012 mission was evangelism. We visited six villages, showing the Jesus Film, sharing the Gospel and distributing Bibles everywhere we went. It was an incredible harvest!
As Justin and I prepared to return to Peru for our third straight year, my plan for 2013 was basically the same: to share the Good News of Jesus with those who were spiritually lost up there in the Cordillera Blanca. Although our team (consisting of Justin and me from the United States, and Jaime, Edwin Milla, Franklin Chavez and Jonathan Luciano Rodriguez from Peru) would have a number of wonderful opportunities to evangelize, it seems God had a slightly different plan. God’s plan was for us to focus much of our efforts on the believers; to minister to our brothers and sisters in Christ; to “lay down our lives for the brethren” as 1 John 3:16 instructs.
We were blessed to bless the believers in five villages in a number of ways, including the showing of the Jesus Film (both the adult and children’s versions), ministering to the children by simply loving them and playing with them, praying over people (many of whom were sick), providing Quechua and Spanish Bibles, and finally witnessing and praying over the building of the physical church in the village of Chalhua.
Because pictures often speak much louder than words, I’ll simply let these photos give an idea of some of the work we were blessed to be a part of:
Brother Jaime sharing an encouraging message after showing the Jesus Film in the village of Colcobamba.
A “full house” ready to watch the children’s version of the Jesus Film in Chalhua.
Justin drawing a few pictures with a new friend – just one of many opportunities to build relationships and friendships with the kids.
Jaime joking with Darwin, a precious young boy with developmental disabilities, who Jaime has ministered to (along with his family) for years.
Sister Alejandrina filled with joy after God miraculously healed her as we prayed over her in Chalhua. Previously she couldn’t walk; now by God’s grace she can!
Lucila (in the orange hat) with her family in her Chilcabamba home, after we prayed for God to bring healing to her. Her son and oldest daughter, though resistant and bitter towards God at first, joined us in the evening at our Jesus Film presentation.
An excited brother in Christ from the village of Mascho, with his new Bible.
Another man blessed to receive God’s Word.
The church at Chalhua at the time of our mission.
Jaime, Jordan, Justin and Edwin (left to right) standing in the middle of the future sanctuary of the Chalhua church.
In spite of how our Lord used us in many wonderful ways to bless the brethren, throughout this and every mission we pray and search for open doors to share the Good News with the lost and to serve the physical needs of the people. Many of the folks who attended our Jesus Film presentations were no doubt unbelievers; many are former unbelievers now. Many of the children we loved on were not Christians.
Many of the people we met and prayed with during our outreaches were unsaved. In fact, one man, named Martin, stood waiting for us; and, more importantly, the Lord. Martin heard that there were Christian missionaries in his village, so he stopped what he was doing and waited for us to come by his home. As we began speaking with him, we learned that Martin had decided that this was the time to receive the Lord, get a Bible, and begin living a Christian life. We joyfully encouraged Martin, gave him a Bible, and prayed with and for him. It was a wonderful opportunity that the Lord literally put right in our path! Jaime plans to following up with this new brother on his next visit to his village.
We prayerfully look forward to the next mission to Peru, and all that the Lord will accomplish through our missionary Jaime and others from now until then. We anticipate a continued harvest and ministry to the lost, and many more opportunities to bless the brethren in the mountains of Peru.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” – John 13:34 (NKJV)