DISPATCHES: Peru (July 2013)
By Jordan Rowley
Spiritual Coordinator, Climbing For Christ
Our first view of the beautiful Cordillera Blanca range on July 9. (Photo by Jordan Rowley)
- Scroll to the bottom of the page for the Mission: Peru prayer calendar
Sunday, July 21
Saturday night we said our goodbyes to the team and began to make our way home. After a connection at JFK in New York City, my brother Justin and I arrived in Rochester just before 3 p.m. We're incredibly thankful for all that our Lord accomplished, and we pray that all of our labors would continue to bear Him fruit!
Saturday, July 20
I met this morning with Jaime Servat, our missionary to Peru, to discuss our mission. It was a great conversation. We reflected on a few of the wonderful things the Lord privileged us to be a part of, and spoke about the future of our work in Peru (and perhaps beyond).
Afterward, we met with two missionaries, David and Rachel, from the United States. They mentioned their desire to work in the highlands of Peru and we shared some insights we've gained over the past three missions here. It was a God-ordained time.
In the evening we headed to the airport for our red-eye flight from Lima to New York City. We pray that God blesses our travel as well as our beloved team members we're leaving behind – until next time.
Friday, July 19
We learned Friday morning, that the anti-government protests apparently began shortly after we made it through to Lima late Thursday night. In fact, our driver Franklin mentioned Friday morning that he saw many people preparing to block the road as we were traveling over the mountain pass through the Cordillera Negra Range towards Lima. We praise the Lord that we were able to learn about the protests and get on the road before travel became too difficult.
Today, it seemed to be made clear why the Lord brought us to Lima. We met with Pastor Cesar, who was a part of last year's team. It was great seeing and catching up with him. He hoped to join us again this year in the Cordillera Blanca Range, but a few physical ailments kept him from joining us.
Later, we traveled across the city to meet with Alisson's mother, Taina. We were surprised to see Taina's brother, Andreas, again as well as their sister, Milagros. It was an incredible time of fellowship and heart-wrenching discussion. As we caught up, Taina shared that she still suffers from seizures and is struggling emotionally and financially. We prayed and encouraged her to call on and cling to Jesus, especially during the hard times. Please join us in lifting up this sweet sister in prayer!
Thursday, July 18
Thursday morning we got word that a protest was beginning in the province of Ancash, where we've been ministering for almost two weeks. Many of the people are upset because of a new law that the government passed favoring government workers. As in years past, streets may be blocked by angry protestors, in which case police would likely intervene. The protests are planned for a few days (starting Thursday night), so it seemed wise to head to next province of Lima – which we reached after midnight (early Friday morning). We'll use this God-ordained time to connect with a number of C4C members in Peru's capital of Lima, as well as Taina, the mother of our beloved little sister Alisson, and Pastor Cesar, who joined us on last year's team. We know that our Lord has a plan for this change and trust Him in all things.
Wednesday, July 17
We trekked to the village of Carhuapara, which we visited on last year’s mission as well. It was a great blessing being able to spend a full day here this time. After reconnecting with a few amigos, we began our outreach. We went house to house and invited everyone to our last presentation of the children’s Jesus Film, and offered our prayers for a few people suffering from various illnesses.
In the evening, about 45 people crowded into a small room where the body of believers meet in Carhuapara. After the film we handed out New Testaments and candy to the kids. We also enjoyed more sweet and spirit-filled prayers and praise together before making our trek through the dark back to Chilcabamba. We thank God for another fruitful day.
Tuesday, July 16
We said our goodbyes to Chalhua this morning after praying over the church, which is nearing completion. It’s difficult saying goodbye to so many whom we have grown so close to over the past three missions, but there was work to be done in our next village.
After hiking from house to house in Chilcabamba, we had another presentation of the children’s Jesus Film this evening. About 30 people, young and old, gathered to watch. After the film, we sang some praise songs, and handed out Bibles and candy again. The kids were so excited to receive their very own New Testaments and at the end of the evening they treated us to some incredible praise. We thank God for them and pray He blesses their lives.
Monday, July 15
“Tu estas conmigo, tu estas con Dios” is a popular expression in Peru. It means, “If you are with me, you are with God.” We certainly felt God’s presence and experienced His blessings as we walked with Him today, in spite of the off-and-on rain showers.
In the afternoon, we were blessed to make a quick visit to the mayor of Yanama, Lorenzo Milla, who donated all of the dirt needed to make the bricks for the church at Chalhua. This may sound simple, but the dirt in Chalhua is not suited for making bricks, so Mayor Lorenzo donated not only the dirt but also provided for its delivery from Yanama to Chalhua. He is a wonderful Christian leader and a great blessing to the people.
When we returned to Chalhua, we dodged the raindrops to continue our outreach in Mashco and Chalhua. The rain could not dampen our spirits as we joyfully shared the love of the Lord with all we met. During our outreach we spread the word about our presentation of the children’s version of the Jesus Film tonight.
In the evening, about 25 children and youth gathered to watch the film. Afterward, we shared some candy, children’s praise songs and a lot of hugs and laughs. Many of the kids also received Spanish New Testaments. A few of the older kids received bilingual Spanish-Quechua Bibles. We prayed that the Lord would bless each of these precious children.
Sunday, July 14
On last year’s mission, we noted that the harvest was plentiful. This year is no different. It is harvest time yet again – in both the physical and spiritual sense – in the mountains of Peru.
As we were conducting our outreach today in the village of Mashco, we came across one man, Martin, who was more than ready to meet with us. In fact, when he heard that we were in his village sharing the Gospel and handing out Bibles, Martin was waiting for us by the road. He was excited to receive the Word of God – both the Scriptures that we brought and the Lord Jesus Himself. It was an incredible experience for our team. We met and prayed with many others as well during our outreach.
In the evening, we were treated to a special fellowship dinner with our brothers and sisters in Chalhua. We rejoiced to see sister Alejanbrina – walking, of course. Thanks be to God!
After dinner we sang and praised God with English, Spanish and Quechua songs. It was a special day and a special evening. We praise God for blessing our time here in Chalhua.
Saturday, July 13
This morning we said our goodbyes to Colcabamba, and received an open invitation to return. It’s bittersweet to move on.
In the afternoon, we arrived in Chalhua and were cheerfully greeted by our beloved little sister Alisson and her grandmother, Teresa. It was wonderful seeing them and so many others we’ve gotten to know during our last two visits here.
After greeting them, we were asked to visit a sick young girl in Hierbabuena, which is not far from Chalhua. Her father, Victor, escorted us as we climbed up to their home. It turned out the young girl, Luz, and her mother, Andrea, were both saved during Jaime’s last visit to their village. Brother Franklin, who has served on a number of medical missions as well as all of Climbing For Christ's missions to Peru, spoke with Luz at length and we prayed that our Great Physician would heal her.
In the evening, we gathered with about 20 Christians from Chalhua. After sharing some worship songs and a short message from the Word, we were asked to pray over an old woman, Alejanbrina, who had pain in her whole body. She was often carried to church because she couldn’t walk any more. After we all passionately prayed for her healing, she stood up and began walking. She said she was feeling much better. We gave glory to God for bringing relief to her body.
Then we finished our evening worshiping our Great Physician.
The church at Chalhua, which is under construction, is “looking amazing,” Climbing For Christ staff member Jordan Rowley said. More funding will be needed as construction costs have gone up since the original estimate after Mission: Peru 2011. (Photo by C4C's missionary to Peru, Jaime Rowley, taken during visit to Chalhua on June 28.)
Friday, July 12
Today we were blessed to reach out to the people of Colcabamba – and the neighboring village of Huaripampa – with the love of Jesus. We divided into two groups and went door to door to introduce ourselves and to invite everyone to our presentation of the Jesus Film later in the evening. The Lord blessed us with many open doors for prayer and ministry as we made our way through this beautiful village.
In the evening, a large group of about 75 gathered to watch the film. Most of the people who came were from Colcabamba. Praise God that so many from this small village of about 100 gathered to learn about Jesus. After the film, a number of those present made the decision to follow Jesus. We prayed over many others who had various ailments and concluded with some incredible worship, including the play of some locals on the harp and violin.
We thank God for the work He has done in Colcabamba, and we pray that our labors will continue to bear fruit as we pack up and head to Chalhua on Saturday.
Thursday, July 11
After a blessed send-off by some of our dear brothers in Huaraz, we began what would end up being about a five-hour drive through the Huascaran National Park to the village of Colcabamba, which has a population of only about 100. We were joyfully greeted by the 10 Christians who call this village home. Then late in the evening we enjoyed some sweet worship with the saints of Colcabamba. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and encouragement. We hope to have many of them join us Friday for our outreach. We look forward to all that the Lord has in store for us here.
Wednesday, July 10
We began our day with a Spirit-led conversation about the cross of Jesus. It was a sweet time. Afterward, Justin and I presented some small gifts to our team members, including a new mid-size backpack for our sponsored climber, Edwin Milla.
Later, we made the long drive and short hike to Laguna Llaca (pronounced “yah-cah”) in Huascaran National Park. We're thankful to the Lord and our prayer warriors for how well we're acclimatizing.
After a couple blessed hours at the lagoon, we made the journey back to Huaraz, picking up a few climber hitchhikers along the way. We ended up with a total of five nations represented (Peru, the United States, England, Holland and Czechoslovakia). It was a great opportunity to share God's love and a little bit about His ministry of C4C with our new friends.
Upon our return to Huaraz, we added another member to our team. A young brother named Jonathan, who is a member of Edwin's church and has a great passion for the Gospel. He asked if he could join us in hopes that he could learn more about missions. We look forward to how the Lord will grow and use this young man of God as we head to the village of Colcabamba on Thursday morning.
“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” – Psalm 33:20
Tuesday, July 9
After a 1½-hour delay flying out of Rochester, NY, USA, and literally running through JFK, we made our connection for the eight-hour flight from New York City to Lima, Peru.
Upon our arrival we were thrilled to reconnect with Jaime and our beloved brother and driver, Franklin. After plenty of hugs and prayers of thanks, we made the roughly nine-hour drive from Lima to Huaraz.
We know that our Lord has many great works in store for us. We look forward to joyfully serving Him and His created people in the coming days. But in the meantime, we are simply overjoyed to be with many of our beloved brethren and we pray for God to open doors and hearts as He wills.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” – Psalm 133:1
Monday, July 8
Colcabamba, one of the villages our Mission: Peru 2013 team will visit, on the road from Chalhua in June. (Photo by Jaime Servat)
Today, we begin Climbing For Christ’s third mission to the South American nation of Peru. My brother, Justin Rowley, and I have been incredibly blessed to be a part of all three teams, including Mission: Peru 2011 and 2012. Justin and I will again commence our travel from Rochester, NY, USA to Lima, Peru this evening. We look forward to all that the Lord has planned – like reconnecting with dear brothers with whom we have served on previous missions. These brothers consist of a number of C4C members and friends from Peru, including our Peruvian sponsored climber, Edwin Milla, and our missionary to Peru, Jaime Servat.
We anticipate great and mighty things as we seek to lift God’s name higher than mountains we’ll be trekking in. We’ve prayed, we’ve planned, and we’ve prepared as best as we can. But ultimately, we look to the Lord to shepherd us in His perfect will. May our Great God bless us and keep us. May He surround us with His favor. May He lead and guide our every step. May He prepare each and every heart (our own included), for the good work that He wills to do in the Cordillera Blanca Range of the Peruvian Andes.
“And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great.” – Numbers 14:17