I guess anyone that has been on a trip of any great magnitude knows the struggle of trying to convey the sights and sounds that one experienced while on said trip. And yet we try and describe it so that our friends and family can in some way experience a piece of what we went through while we were away. So what follows here is my feeble attempt at letting you dear reader, in on what happened last week while I was in Peru.
We (by we I mean our team of 13 people, 1o from my home church, Cross Creek Church, and 3 others going with us) landed in Lima, Peru on Thursday night and got settled in and sorted out until Friday afternoon. We then had the opportunity to spend the rest of the day and most of the evening with the girls at the House of Glory in Lima. The House of Glory is a home for teenage girls that have gotten pregnant through some sort of abuse and do not really have anywhere to go. This home takes them in and cares for them, providing them
with education, counseling, support, and the skills they will need to not only raise their child but to also survive in life. There are five girls that live there and the oldest girl there is 18 and has a 2 year old and the youngest is 13 and has a 4 month old. It was heartbreaking to meet them and to think about their situations, but it was also incredible to see the work that God was doing in their lives. In the midst of one of the most horrific situations that I can think of, God has brought these girls to a place of salvation, to a home where they are not only cared for physically, but also emotionally and spiritually as well. Certainly it is a hard thing to process, but in the same way that Joseph in the Bible saw God’s hand in his terrible situation, I can see how God is taking a tragedy and carefully weaving a wonderful story out of it, in the way that only He can.
Our days Saturday and Sunday were spent with the local church body in Lima, Luz de Vida, visiting some members of
the congregation and spending time worshiping and hearing the Word of God with them. I always enjoy the experience of worshiping in another country because I feel like it gives me a small glimpse of what it will be like in Heaven when there are people from every Tribe, Nation, and Tongue praising God. Sunday afternoon we were able to take some time to travel to a place in the mountains where we sampled some of the local delicacies (like goat, beef heart, and guinea pig…) and enjoyed a short walk up into the foothills.
Monday morning of our trip was when the real work began. Our trip was set up as a medical mission trip and we were planning on doing a free clinic in an area of
Lima that was very impoverished and had also been targeted by the local missionaries as an area where they wanted to plant a church. We had 3 doctors and a pharmacist and a bunch of medicines, in addition to 9 other people that were willing to serve where they were needed. We arrived on Monday morning and set up our clinic in a small alley way that was used as a garage. We had a table out in the street where we registered and triaged people, taking their vitals and finding out
why they had come to the clinic that day. From there they entered the alley and our makeshift waiting room, where they took a seat and waited to see one of our doctors. After visiting with the doctor and getting examined, they continued further down the alley to the pharmacy, where they received their medicine and the instructions on how to use them. And then lastly, after all of that, we had a station where
they could sit down with someone and pray, talk, cry, or listen as we tried to explain why we had come to their neighborhood to give them free medical care. There was always a line for our last station and it seemed as if almost 75% of the people
we saw wanted to either be prayed with or to speak with someone. We shared the good news of God’s salvation with them and we had about 10 people pray to receive Christ as their Savior and then we also had another 20 or so say that they were interested in attending the Bible study in that neighborhood. It really was incredible to see God working in the lives of those people.
For me, I’d say that the best part was seeing the looks on the faces of people as they left our clinic. I can’t tell you how many times someone that had entered downcast and tentative left with a huge smile on their face, a hug for each of the gringos, and many thanks on their lips. It really was the most rewarding thing. So thank you to each of you who prayed and supported me financially because I know that I could not have done it without you. It was a great trip and one that I will not soon forget.