Posted by: whereheleads | April 26, 2009

3-17-09 Jesus Shows Purpose

This was the day I had been waiting for;  this was the day we were going into the desert hills of Tacna to see the squatters who  have moved out from the desert and the mountains so their children can go to school. Every day we could see the shanties on the side of the hill. I wanted so bad just to go up there and see these people, to bring Jesus to the broken. These people move just for their children. They live there with nothing but what they can find to throw up for walls.  Mostly tin or thatch, and then dirt floors. They throw up make shift fences stating where their land begins and ends.  Numerous families will live in one shanty. Every morning the children will put on their nice school uniforms and walk from the village to the school. Sometimes the government will come in and knock down the homes to prove the land does not belong to the family. However then the family would come right back and rebuild again (because they have nowhere else to go). Eventually the government will give up and give them the land. These people feel so alone and abandoned out there. When we went, we gave out groceries and prayed with the families. We would love on them and their children. There was one family that really broke our hearts. It was a mother who had moved there with her two children, sister and her two children. The sister died later leaving the mother all alone with all four children. On top of all this, the youngest child had kidney failure and was on a catheter. They were hoping for a transplant, but they had no idea when or where from. The mother broke apart when we prayed for her. She kept saying she was all alone. We felt so broken: we were leaving and wouldn’t be able to be there for her. She needed someone to help her. All we could do is put her in Jesus’ hands. It frustrated me so much that I couldn’t do anything more. It’s funny that I couldn’t trust Jesus to be there for that family. Then Kim Bridges, our leader in Peru, reminded me of Phillipians 1:6  “being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ”. It was my responsibility to be there for that family while I could. Jesus will send others to finish His good work. God taught us so much through this trip. He has blessed us to be a part of His work.

squater-bikes

squatter-village

Posted by: whereheleads | April 25, 2009

3-16-09 God Is Faithful

Today we woke up with purpose. We knew God had called us to Peru for amazing things. Most of the day we spent evangelizing. We were having a service in a woman’s house and we invited all to come so that we could pray for any of their needs.

The service was amazing. God spoke through me tonight and He changed lives. One of those receiving the biggest effect was mine. God  really worked in conformation in the hearts of Melissa and I that we were called to Peru. One pastor had prayed for us, not knowing our call and said we were receiving the heart of God for Peru. It was so amazing to see what God had spoken to us for so long coming to pass. That night three people came into the house off the street and gave their lives to Jesus. God does exactly what He says He’s going to do.

It’s really becoming evident how much more we must apply ourselves to learning the language and culture of Peru. We must not also take for granted the training we are receiving in Jackson. There are many of the same strongholds in Peru as there are in Jackson. We are learning much discernment, and how to handle these things as well. “God don’t let us miss out on the lessons you have for us this day.”

Posted by: whereheleads | April 25, 2009

3-15-09 Jesus is Victorious

We all got much needed rest from the traveling it took us to reach Tacna. Now it was time to see what God had in store. We broke up into teams. The men were going to the prison, and the women were going to the marketplace to evangelize.

The best way to get around were taxi cabs. These weren’t the normal cabs. These were New York cabs on steroids. There were no traffic lights. The way they would approach an intersection was to honk their horn. If nothing honked back they would continue barreling through. If you were a pedestrian, you watched out for them, because they were definitely not going to watch out for you. We packed 5 guys into each cab and we were of zooming through traffic, barely getting enough time to catch a glimpse of the city. We reached  the prison and waited in line to be patted down before we could enter. If the only knew the arsenal we carried between the pages of the books that each one of us carried, the power that the Bibles had to deliver those who were bound. The prison had given a ministry it’s own room right in the middle to preach the word. The service was amazing. Those inmates were so hungry for God to move. They had nothing else. They were passionate in their praise and passionate for the word of God. When the alter call was given people flooded the alter not for their 30th conversion, but to have God bring them closer and closer to Himself. One man I prayed with cried so much with passion for God that his tears made puddles in the deep crevices of the bench in front of him. It had been a long time since I had seen people with such desperation for God. As we were leaving the prison, one of the evangelists with us told us that the guys from the prison had fasted for a week just because they knew we were coming for a service.

We took taxis back to the hostel so we could meet the women for lunch. After lunch we got acquainted with a great tradition in Latin America known as the siesta. This was something that I could grow to like. Because the mid-day sun is so hot, businesses and homes alike would close for a two to three hour rest, then they would open back up when it was cooler.

That night we had service at the mission church in Tacna. It was a small store front church, hardly enough room for about thirty people. Some other team members and I stood outside to give room for more people and to usher people in off the streets. The service went really well as Amy preached and Melissa and others shared their testimonies. While the service was going on a woman with a baby walked up. The baby couldn’t stop crying. The mother told us that it had been going on for weeks. The baby went from walking all  the time to where it would fall everywhere. It had gotten to where she couldn’t even hold him, because he would jump from her arms. As people were passing him around i couldn’t help but think of the boy in Mathew chapter seventeen that kept falling into the fire. Finally I held the baby boy and just started whispering the sweet name of Jesus into his hear. He immediately got quiet and stopped squirming. He was all content to hear the name of Jesus. I sat there with this baby in my arms and thought of how a year from that now I would be holding and praying over my own baby. What a great and loving God we serve.

Posted by: whereheleads | April 15, 2009

3-14-09 Finally in Peru.

The mountains in Santiago were so beautiful from my window on the plane. They looked like paintings or the pictures you would see in a magazine.We were so tired from the all night flight. With the exception of a few that miraculously flew first class, we hardly got any sleep.

The first thing I noticed when I stepped off the plane was the fact that everyone spoke Spanish. I know that seems stupid. Of course they spoke Spanish. I guess it just hit me so strong. I thought that I knew a whole lot more than I did. It was a very humbling state. Everywhere I went everything was Spanish. The people spoke Spanish, the signs were in  Spanish, and everyone spoke so fast that I couldn’t pick the words apart.

We spent a good part of the morning wandering around the airport, trying to keep ourselves amused. Since we were there for so long, I really tried to prepare myself for the trip to come. I spent most of my time praying and studying the word. Every once and a while I would get  distracted by the beautiful children. The children of  Latin America have a very distinct beauty. With high cheekbones and a very dark, tanned complexion, they really stand out. I wanted to run up and hug each one. It makes me think of what my baby is going to look like. I pray it has looks far from mine, I would not wish that on anyone. Maybe it will be dark complected from growng up in Peru. Either way, if it is a girl, I’m sure I’ll have my fare share of fending off the boys.

Flying out of SantiagoI couldn’t help but worry what we were going to do when we reached Lima about our tickets. When we landed in Lima it looked like we were going to land on the ocean. It was pretty cool. As we passed through customs it really hit me: we were finally in the long awaited land of our calling. Wiping the tears from my eyes, I breathed in the air of Peru for the first time. I know it sounds real corny, but when God has put a burden on your heart you long to carry it out. We had waited for so long to step foot on Peruvian soil. It almost seemed like a dream.

Now back to the tickets, we had not reached our destination yet. We were frustratingly trying to get in touch with a man that was supposed help  us communicate with the airlines. After about what seemed like hours, we finally met up with the man named Telmo. He took David and Amy while we sat for a few more hours. When they finally returned, they had bad news. Since we did not purchase the tickets through Delta, they would not help us to get to Tacna. Lan Peru, whom the tickets were with, said that since the delay was Delta’s fault, they would not honor the tickets. So we had to purchase new tickets at $130.00 a piece. Finally, as we were in the air we all kinda breathed a sigh of relief. At least now we could move on to the next leg of the trip. Soon we would be in Tacna. It seemed not soon enough though. We were all tired of airports and airplanes. It was like we were trapped buildings with concrete walls and recycled air.

Finally in Tacna, we wrap our arms around the Bridges, a family we had been dying to meet. We boarded this a bus that was very small and tight. After loading our bags on top of the bus, we were off speeding through the city, coming within inches of pedestrians and other vehicles. When we reached our hotel it was an amazing end to a exhausting two days. We look forward, with much anticipation, to the ministry God had in store for us the next day.  But now was time for sleep.

Posted by: whereheleads | April 14, 2009

3-13-09 Left for Peru

This day was pretty rough to say the least. It started out by us being delayed from our flight in Jackson. Which made us miss our flight from Atlanta to Lima. Therefore missing our flight from Lima to Tacna. We ended up having to tke a flight to Santiago, Cjile from Atlanta. This set us in Atlanta for about four hours. The whole time we were asking God what in the world are we supposed to be learning from this. I chose to pray and observe while we were impatiently waiting for our flight. The way we all haldled this situation was different for all of us. Some prayed, others covered anxiousness with humor, others just watched all the other people who were passing by. David and Amy were our rocks at this moment. They were hacking away at the seemingly impossible barrier between us and the destination God had set upon our hearts. At this point no one wanted to honnor our tickets from Lima, Peru to Tacna. We had no idea how in the world we were going to get there. They pressed on with such perseverance, they knew that God had told us we were going. Eventhough we faught a strong fight, we still boarded the plane unsure how we would end up in Tacna. One thing was for sure,  we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt we would reach  reach our destination.

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