Trip Report: Peru 2023
A day in the life of Mission: Peru
By Andreas Moritz
The third day of our 10-day trek in the Cordillera Blanca was initially planned for reaching the first inhabited area. As I crawled out of my tent at around 6:45 a.m., a sense of uncertainty came up. Nothing was taken down, no signs of the usual packing up from previous days.
Upon checking with our guide, Kingdom worker Edwin Milla, I discovered Zach Wiegert was unwell, battling through a night of diarrhea and stomach cramps. After consulting with the team, Edwin suggested a day’s rest for Zach. Despite really seeing the appeal of additional rest and escaping the impending rain, staying in a place where we couldn’t share the Gospel didn’t sit right.
Before expressing my thoughts to Edwin, I consulted with team leader Brandy Fisher, who echoed my sentiment: “If Zach believes he can manage it, let’s press on to the next location. There we will be able to connect with people even if we remain stationary.”
Edwin agreed and Zach, confident in taking it slow, joined us. Finally, at 9:45 a.m., we set off, with Zach occasionally riding the horse that was accompanying us.
Weather conditions were favorable until this day. Midway through our journey, heavy rain began, persisting, except for a brief respite after descending from the Pukaraju Pass at 14,583 feet/4,640 meters. Most of our clothes were completely drenched, and Brandy commented, “I’ve never been as wet in my entire life.”
In the late afternoon, nearing our camp, we faced an unexpected obstacle – the bridge was impassable due to the swollen river from the rain. Matthew and Zach managed a mostly successful jump (only one wet shoe), Edwin opted to wade through, accepting wet boots. Hubert, one of the porters, came to the rescue, leading the horse through the river for Brandy and me.
Upon finally reaching camp, everyone swiftly changed into dry clothing. Despite the wet day, all gathered later, except Zach, who finally obtained the much-needed rest for recovery. We then headed out to meet the locals.
Edwin leads team members across the valley to a small house in the distance, above center. (Photo by Andreas Moritz) Below, Quechua farmers Trinidad, second from left, and her husband, Principe, right, with Mission: Peru 2023 team members Brandy Fisher and Andy Moritz. (Photo by Edwin Milla)
After a short walk and a river crossing without animal assistance, we arrived outside an old mountain house. Greeted by confused, barking dogs, we met Trinidad and her husband, Principe. Trinidad expressed joy at our visit, mentioning that nobody comes to visit them; she only ever sees other tourist groups passing by the valley.
Edwin engaged them in a conversation about faith. Just like Edwin, who had a “hard heart” when he was still Catholic, Trinidad admitted feeling a “hard heart.” Both shared about physical pain, and after Matthew provided medicine, we offered prayers. Immediately after, Trinidad exclaimed, “I feel joy in my heart … and my shoulder pain is gone!”
Following God’s path, we often face opposition from the devil. This day exemplifies it through Zach’s illness, adverse weather, and route challenges. Yet God’s power prevails when we seek Him and persevere. The story of this day really shows how the enemy was opposing us, but God’s plans were bigger.
I am so grateful to have contributed to all that God accomplished in the 2 ½ weeks of Mission: Peru 2023. Praise God, and please continue to pray for Trinidad and Principe, that the seeds sown may find fertile ground, take root, and bear fruit.
Andreas “Andy” Moritz, a Climbing For Christ member from Freiburg, Germany, went on his first C4C mission trip in November. He helped to lead Mission: Peru 2023. Andy joined Climbing For Christ’s staff after this expedition. He will be leading Mission: Peru 2024. Andy also serves as a leader of YWAM Freiburg.
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