We have limited internet access here in Peru, but I just had to share some amazing things God is doing. Leaving the four precious kiddos at home was very difficult. I cried. A lot. But there is just no way I could not jump on the opportunity to minister with my best friend and husband for the Gospel. And I know our kiddos are in good hands. The best hands actually. Our parents are taking turns keeping them, but the hand I am speaking of are God's. They're His.
So, we are here in Peru. We are ministering in an area outside of Lima called Quirio. Basically, Quirio began as a squatter town/human settlement. People came from the jungles on the other side of the mountain and squatted on open land. Over the years as they had the money, the built houses and eventually the government recognized them as a community. Quirio has 5 zones and 20,000 people. Zone 1 is the oldest and most developed (I use that word loosely) and zone 5 is the newest, least developed and most squatter-like. There are not evangelical churches in Quirio. 20,000 people and no churches. There is a church in nearby Chosica, but most of the people have no transportation or money for a bus ride. So, this church's pastor recognize the need for a church in Quirio. He has raised up and with the IMB Missionary, John Pham, trained people from his church who are now prepared to go into Quirio and plant a house church in each of the 5 zones. Our mission this week is to penetrate Quirio with the gospel and drum up awareness for the new church plants who are just starting. Basically, make relationship, share the Gospel, point people to the new churches.
We have several projects in place to make this happen. Yesterday we sponsored a huge soccer tournament. Each zone put together a team, the Americans made a team and the Ecuidorian students who are here ministering with us made a team. We also took family pictures yesterday during the tournament. Today we delivered those pictures to the people, got to visit with them in their homes, build relationships and share the Gospel. Tomorrow we are doing English lessons in the schools and painting and repair work at the schools in Zones 1 and 2. Wednesday we are helping the community with the water pipeline that carries the water to Quirio. Thursday we are visiting with the students we meet in the schools at their homes- meeting their families and making relationships. And Friday we are putting on a block party.
I just have to share about one thing that happened yesterday at the soccer tournament. On Saturday afternoon, we walked around the community handing out flyers about the tournament and pictures. One of the students here with us noticed some boys playing a video game that he likes to play. Through a translator, he struck up a conversation about the video game and invited them to the tournament. The boys said that they had a soccer team and that they wanted to play in the tournament. The student told them that he wasn't sure how that would work, but that they should come anyway. Fast forward to Sunday. In the morning we conducted a kid's tournament while some of the crews were at church. A group of boys walked up to one of our leaders and said that they had a team and that they wanted to play in the men's tournament. They were told that unfortunately the teams had already been formed from each zone, but to hang around just in case a team didn't show. Of course, this team was formed by the two boys that our students had met the day before, but that student was at the church so he didn't even know the two boys- David and Jorge- had even come. Well, in God's complete sovereignty, the team from Zone 5 did not show. David and Jorge's team was invited to play in the tournament. Then during one of their team's breaks, some of the World Changers here were meeting the families and players at the tournament, making connections and sharing the Gospel. And some them sat down with David and Jorge's entire team to get to know them. They had the opportunity to share the Gospel with the entire team and to answer lots of questions and really talk with them for a while. In the end, David and Jorge gave their lives to Christ! Praise! And our team of students here really wanted to give them a Bible in Spanish, but the only Bibles at the stadium were the gifts for the winning team. You know where this story is going, I'm sure. David and Jorge's team tied with another team which lead to a kick-off of penalty kicks. David and Jorge's team won. They got their Bibles with their tropheys.
Don't you see the greatness of God in this? How stunningly like Him. The boys that were playing video games want to play in the tournament but can't. But for some reason the team from zone 5 doesn't show. So they get to play. Which means they get to hear the Gospel. And God opens their hearts to the truth and redeems them right there on that soccer field. And they need a Bible so they can grow and learn in their newfound faith. So they coincidentally win the tournament and get Bibles. Amazing. Our God is amazing.
And that is just one story. God is at work here. Keep praying! Soli Deo Gloria!!!!!