May 16

Memories of Peru

 Peru 2017
   Peru is Located in The northern Andes mountains of South America. It’s vast and diverse geographic makeup varies from Hot and humid in the Amazon Basin to the cold almost moon like landscape of the Lima region. 
Doreen and I spent three months there in 2017 carrying the Cross. We encountered so many people eager to talk and to hear what we were doing. We carried the cross in Mountain Villages, downtown Lima and along the Amazon River.  We helped build kit houses, spoke in several schools, taught in a nationwide pastors conference, did radio shows, and fell in love with the children in the “NEW LIFE CHILDREN’S HOME” where we stayed. Doreen even gave haircuts and taught guitar lessons at the children’s home. All GLORY TO GOD!
   On several occasions we witnessed, passed out Bibles, carried the cross and prayed with people on what they say is the busiest street in South America. We were told that over 300,000 people a day walk down that street named Gamorra. As I carried The Cross every couple hundred feet I would preach as a crowd would gather around. Through our interpreter, Christian, we prayed with a number of people, some to receive Jesus into their hearts. At one point, a lady approached us in tears, and requested prayer for her son. As we prayed with her, she wept and hugged our necks and thanked us for being there. As one man approached the Cross, he humbly shared how the sight of the cross stirred the memory of how the Lord had called him to preach many years before but he did not follow through with the call and with sadness, he recognized his disobedience. He wondered if the Lord would still want him to pursue that. We laid hands on him and prayed that The Lord would give him a fresh baptism of fire in his heart and clarity of his call. He left with joy and a new commitment to follow Jesus.
“I will take up my own cross” he said, “and do what the Lord wants me to do.”
Doreen had noticed that a young man had been standing with us and listening through that whole encounter. As she turned toward him to say hello, he excitedly exclaimed, “I would like to receive Jesus too!” What a joy it was to watch God work, you could literally see his countenance change and the joy flood his face as we counseled him and led him in a prayer to receive Jesus into his heart. All glory to God for great things He has done!!!     

Amazon River.
Oh we saw the Glory of the Lord come down in the city of Iquitos. A bustling city of three wheeled taxis, honking horns, dust and dirt. Elmer met us at the airport when we flew in and was our translator, guide, taxi driver and friend, all rolled into one during our time there. His love for Jesus shone bright in everything he did. He took us out into the streets witnessing as I carried the cross. He arranged for us to share in several churches, helped us get water taxis to go down the Amazon river, took us out to restaurants where it was safe for us to eat…Whatever we needed he got it done!
The heat in Iquitos was always overwhelming but nonetheless, we went out with the cross every day and preached on street corners and witnessed one on one. Elmer would translate and would give invitations.  We prayed with many to receive Jesus. In the churches we fellowshiped with some of the most precious people in the world. I would preach and Doreen would sing. The churches were in some of the poorest areas I have seen in the world but oh how sweet the people were. Many came forward for prayer. The hugs and embraces of love that we experienced filled our hearts to overflowing. I know Doreen and I will never forget our time there in Iquitos.
One day we chartered a boat that belonged to a pastor friend of Elmers and headed on farther down the Amazon river. We bought a 100 pound bag of rice and separated it out into 52 small bags and gave them away in each village we stopped in. We would unload the cross and carry it through each village giving out tracks and Jesus stickers, I would preach and then we would give out the rice. Then we would load the cross back up and head on down river to the next village. It was so wonderful seeing the response of the people. How eager they were to hear the message of Gods love and so grateful that we had come. Another day Elmer arranged for us to do an interview with the only Christian radio station in the Amazon basin. It was a great opportunity to share the gospel with the whole region! I shared about the ministry, they played several tracks from Doreen‘s and Dianne’s CD’s Hiisongs.com) and even asked Doreen to talk to the people and say a prayer! That was a blast. We had such a good time in Iquitos. Thank you Jesus! ☝🏾🙏🏼🌍⚓

  Back at the orphanage, one night Doreen noticed one of the children staring at the slippers that she was wearing. It was a chilly evening and she wondered if the little girls feet were cold as she was running around in flip flops. The little girl pointed to Doreen’s slippers and then to herself as if asking for them. After talking about this incident, Doreen and I prayed and felt led to bless all the children and each staff member with a pair of slippers. I can’t begin to describe the adventure that that turned out to be! We needed to hire a taxi to take us to this shopping area which was an hour away and also find and hire an interpreter, not to mention, try to find a store that had 25 pairs of slippers in various styles and sizes. Oh but the joy on the faces of the children as they were given a pair of slippers hand picked for each one, it was beautiful. They all, including the workers, were so very happy and grateful. We prayed that it warmed their feet as much as it warmed our hearts to see them all with their slippers on. Glory to God!
    Oooh Peru…. we left a piece of our hearts there. Time and space fails me to be able to write all the things I would love to share about Peru. The earthquakes, one entire family that prayed to receive Jesus, an elderly lady that chased me down the street weeping and asking for prayer, the Lord calling Doreen to sing the song that he gave her in Spanish (“the sinners’ prayer”) over the streets of Gomorra…The many nights that Doreen and I laid in bed and prayed for those that we had encountered. The sweet memories of Stories of other missionaries that Doreen read to us each night. Peru was definitely a special place and a special time for us both.



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