Monday, December 31, 2012

New Blog site from Raegan, Sabrina, and Adrianne

I would like to introduce you to a blog that my daughter Raegan and her friends Sabrina and Adrianne started.  According to their blog, this is their purpose:

Adrianne, Raegan, and Sabrina created this blog to connect teen girls living for Jesus around the world. Whether those girls are in their home country or in a foreign one, they are all shining His light. Girls Gone Global is a place for them to share encouragement, thoughts, and experiences.

Raegan and her friends are all about the same age.  Raegan, of course, lives in Peru, Adrianne lives in Ecuador and Sabrina lives in Uruguay.  The are all missionary kids and they have unique perspectives about life in the field.  For those who are interested, you can check out their blog:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our new work in the Jungle

We are excited to announce a new work we will be starting in the Peruvian Central Jungle.  We will be partnering with Scott Dollar from the The Way Church in Clarksville, Tennessee. 

How it all began.... A Peruvian pastor named Miguel was a pastor of a Pentecostal church in a small jungle town but his denomination told him that he had to move to another town in Peru to pastor a different church.  His denomination does this every 2 years.  This devastated his family and the church.  When he was at his new church, he studied the Scriptures continually and soon came under conviction that some of what he was taught in the Pentecostal church was completely wrong.  He continued to study and conform to the Word of God and found the doctrine he was taught was much different than what the Bible taught.  Because of his understanding of Scripture, he left his church and found that how he understands the Scripture aligns with Baptistic beliefs.  Miguel met Scott Dollar in Jauja and told him about his new convictions and his desire to start a church in the jungle town of Satipo. 

Scott kept in contact with him and then decided to meet up with him this December to explore the possibility of working with him in the jungle.  Scott brought him a MacArthur study bible and some great resources from Paul Washer.  We then went with him into the jungle and when we came out we learned some amazing things.

The first thing we learned was that he was pretty solid in doctrine and his idea for church planting in the jungle was amazing.  Miguel and his father in law already had went into 8 villages, gained permission to teach and began to teach them a little.  Miguel's father-in-law, who has a little farm in Satipo, taught the villages to grow and harvest coffee to make money to sustain a church.  He bought the harvest from them and sold it on the market.  This was amazing to us because these 2 men were already laying the foundation for self-sustaining and self-replication churches in the jungle. 

We also learned how the gospel was brought to these jungle villages.  It is not clear but either Peruvian or Brazilian Pentecostals planted the churches a long time ago but then abandoned them.  After the bad doctrine began to play its course, the churches fell apart and lost most members.  This was a blessing because only the true Christians remained.  Now is the perfect time to teach solid doctrine to these few remaining believers.

While we met with these men in the jungle, each tribal representative told us their needs.  They all stressed that they wanted us to come teach them as much as possible and to supply them with materials that they could study and teach the tribe with when we were away.  Others had small needs for their church "huts" like tin for a roof or gasoline to cut wood for walls and doors. 

We are partnering with Scott Dollar to meet their needs of teaching the Word of God and to supply materials.  Scott's church, The Way, is also going to support Miguel financially so that Miguel can start the church in Satipo.  Satipo will be the launching point for the work with the villages, even though it is still 150 miles and bad roads and an hour long boat ride away.  Our team is also going to take part of the burden in supporting Miguel, starting in January. 

Our team in Cuzco will be going with Scott back into this village in May to teach and preach.  After our trip in May, our time will be returning to teach and preach every other quarter and Scott and his team will be going in the opposite quarters.  This way the people will receive training and materials every quarter.  We will eventually go much further into the jungle to the villages of the other leaders.

Below are the pictures of Miguel (the pastor we will be supporting in Satipo) and the leaders of each village we are working with:

Pastor Miguel starting a church in Satipo...population over 40,000 with only two small evangelical churches.
Pastor Eli of the River village of  X...15 believers with Population of 120

Eliazer...Pastors River Village of  XX...population 42 with 12 believers...Eliazer has been a Christian for about 6 months
Juan...Pastors river village XXX which is on the X River...28 people in village with 10 believers
Pastors river village XXXX...population 48 families with 4 families that are believers

Teofillo Pastors river village of XXXXX...population 30 families with 6 people that are believers

Wilder...Pastors village XXXXXX...12 families and all are believers...Wilder is impressive. 
He has killed 10 black panthers, and many boa constrictors, and anacondas. 
This is a man that the terrorists are scared of. 
I like him a lot and he really wants us to make the 30 mile hike to his village next trip.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jungle Expedition Part 2

We followed the lady to where they were holding our friend.  It turned out that Raul was bird watching 5 Kilometers from the village when a group of women saw him.  They got scared and ran back to the village to tell the men.  The men responded promptly and surrounded Raul with guns and he was brought into custody. 

The reasons that they were so afraid were bazaar. 

First of all because the Shining Path terrorist group is near this area and they are afraid of them and are very protective of their people. 

Second of all their are also organ traffickers in the area and they have killed their people to steal their organs to sell on the black market. 

Thirdly because their was an old wives tale that Gringos come to slice open their children and take their grease.  This was a bazaar one and I have no idea of where it started but the people were so scared that women hid their children for 2 days when we were in the village. 

Fourthly because someone heard a crazy Pentacostal preacher once say that in the United States they were administering microchips into people which was the mark of the beast told in Revelation.  Many of the professing believers in the village really though that our purpose for coming into the village was to give them the mark of the beast.  This was the first question they asked when we got there.

So Raul is sitting on a bench when we arrived and Adin did all the talking.  A large group of angry and scared people surrouned us and began to express their trouble and the predicament that we were in.  Adin was a swift talker and handled the situation perfectly.  They express that we are not to go more than 100 meters from the main hut we were using and that pictures or video were not allowed.  Woops!  That one got lost in translation somewhere.  Both Jack and I had video cameras with us at the moment but they were hidden.  Adin talked and talked to calm their nerves and convince them that we meant no harm.  We had permission to come to the village through Migual so the boss of the village knew we were here, which was the only reason we were not killed.   A big group now warned us that if we were found more than 100 meters from camp that we would be shot on sight.  They told Adin to tell the gringos this because they wanted us to understand this very clearly.  Adin translated it to us and they had a look of satisfaction and kind of a "try me" look.  We took Raul and walked back to the hut with the Christians.  The people followed.  One little girl had a monkey on her head the whole time, which was a little distracting.  This would have been a bad time to take a picture. 

We never saw any monkeys because the people shoot them for meat and then the little kids get the baby monkeys and carry them on their head.  The baby monkey thinks that their hair is it's mom.

We took it easy back at the eating hut until after dinner.  Obviously we did not want to test the 100 meter warning because their is no doubt we would be dead.  They told us that without permission from the Jefe, we could not have entered the village and most likely would have been killed.  The told us there is no Peruvian law in these indigenous zones but only their own law.  They have killed people before. 

After dinner we walked in the dark to the little church hut.  They prayed fervently for a half hour and then sung a few songs.  I had the opportunity to speak this night.  I shared my testimony and then the gospel, calling for repentance and faith.  This was my first time preaching in Spanish and I thought it was a great place to do it.  I feel my Spanish went smooth and easy, although I know that I made a few mistakes.  Around 70-80 showed up I would guess.

Scott Dollar got up next and preached an outstanding message on the doctrine of regeneration from John 3.  It was a little distracting trying to worship with giant spiders on the walls right next to us but we managed.

We hit the sack in our "beds" early this night and dealt with the same spiders, cockroaches, bats and now shouting villagers that were in the direction of our incident.  Jack was worried that the villagers would kill us so he asked Adin if they were serious or just messing with us.  Jack was hoping for latter as a sign of comfort but Adin said that they were angry and could try something.  This did not help Jack.  Throughout the trip whenever Jack was freaking out he started talking in the 3rd person and this time, like several times before he said, "Jack is not coming back to the jungle."

Our typical breakfast, lunch and dinner
It started raining at 4am and it was so hard.  Jack called it a monsoon.  It rained hard until day break where it let up only a little.  The village was now flooded.  We were scheduled to leave at 6am so I walked in foot deep water to the gathering hut and found everyone asleep.  I asked if we were leaving and they looked at me funny, like I asked a strange question.  Apparently everyone knows that when it is raining they don't go on the river.  They said their pants would get wet.  This saying became a joke for us for the next several hours.  It was now a waiting game.  I brewed up some coffee with my stove and it sure hit the spot.  Adin finally convinced them to let us leave and we piled in the old wooden boats. 

I had rain gear so I road up front.  On the way down the river I had a little shock.  One of the big spiders must have been in the boat and it crawled up my back and peaked over the brim of my hat, trying to get shelter in my rain coat.  I knocked it off but never saw where it landed so I spent the rest of the boat ride wondering where it was.

We got to shore, ate lunch and where off in the truck again for a long ride on bad roads.  This time it was worse.  We came to the first major river crossing and because of the heavy rains, the rivers where 10 times bigger than when we crossed a few days before.  Trucks where lined up and had been waiting to cross all night since 1 am.  We waited an hour and a half and then a crazy guy attempted to cross from the other side.  I would have never attempted this.  It would be like trying to drive a truck across the Big Hole river (for those of you in Montana).  The water was measured by a a kid and found to be over 4 feet deep.  The truck started across despite many warnings and as he entered the water went over his hood.  He somehow managed to make it across which encouraged another guy to follow.  He made it too so our guy was next.  I rode in the back in case I needed to make a quick escape.  We somehow made it and were off.

A black truck passed us but when we came to the next river crossing, the black truck was stopped because he was scared to cross.  Our drive pulled up to him and asked him why he wanted to go first if he was such a chicken.  Our guy plowed into the river and we once again somehow made it across.  The black truck followed and was made that he was called a chicken so he started tailgating us and honking his horn.  Our driver would not let him pass because he said chickens shouldn't be first.  We now raced through the muddy, dangerous, jungle roads at top speed, almost hitting other cars, motorbikes and people.  He would not listen to our warnings so after 2 hours of this we said we need to go the bathroom.  It worked, he stopped, the black truck past us and the rest of the trip was the usual hair raising ride. 
Barge crossing
After 6 more hours we got to the river crossing.  This one would be like crossing the Mississippi so there was a "barge" which was two wooden boats with a platform to drive the truck on.  We made it across and back to Satipo after dark.  We got a hostel with a bed, toilet seat, towels, and toilet paper, which are all options in Peru.  We had no hot water but we were to tired to care.  I must say it is quite difficult to use the bathroom with no toliet seat.

The next day we spent at the chacra (farm) of Miguel's father in law.  They made Pachamanca which was a meal they prepared by digging a hole, starting a fire, heating rocks and then filling it with potatos, yuka, chicken, pork, beans and then banana leaves.  They cover it with dirt and after an hour they dig it up.  It was outstanding.  They also gave us the best bananas in the world and the best orange in the world and many other things they grew on their place.  We talked a lot about future missions work in the jungle and about Miguel's work in Satipo.  Which I will right a separate blog about Miguel soon.  We had a church service in Satipo with Miguel and prayed over them and their new work and for the tribes on the river. 

Got up early the next day and drove 5 hours to Jauja.  We saw a taxi that missed a turn and shot over a cliff into a raging river.  We were now back up at the 10,000 feet range and it felt cold to us.  Jack preached the evening service which went very well. 

We hit the sack early but our hostel was hooked to a bar that blasted music until after 5am so it was hard to sleep. I left at 5am to take a flight from the little airport in Jauja. My flight was 3 1/2 hours late so I waited at the airport for 5 hours before the plane double prop plane showed up. I of course missed my flight from Lima to Cuzco and they would not help me get on another flight so I had to buy a new ticket. I got home at 3 pm.

Our trip was filled with a surprise around every corner, constant excitement, and an amazement of God.  My ipod was stolen in one of the hostels and I had to buy an extra plane ticket but I wouldn't change the trip for nothing.  We saw a hunger for the word of God, believers were encouraged, the gospel was clearly taught and preached, and the whole jungle has now been opened up to us so that we can proclaim the glorious reaches of Christ and so that His Kingdom will be advanced.

I will be writing about our future opportunities as well as posting some video very soon.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jungle Expedition Part 1

So far after 3 days, 1 hour by plane, 26 hours travel by truck,  130 miles on bad, muddy jungle roads, 2 major river crossings by truck, and 1 hour by an old, leaky wooden boat, just as the sun was setting, we found ourselves sitting in the village of an indigenous tribe of Indians deep in the Peruvian Central Jungle.  We were told when we got there that we were the first white men that have entered this village of 120 people. 
Many of the details of this trip were unknown when we left.  Scott Dollar had a contact with a Pastor named Miguel, who told him about his burden to reach a series of villages on the Tambo and Urabamba rivers.  He invited Scott to spend a few days there this trip.  That is pretty much all we knew when we started off.  We had no idea that we were going to an indigenous people, nor that we would be the first white people, nor that the people spoke Spanish as their second language, nor that it would be a reckless adventure just getting to the village, nor that we would be sleeping with spiders, like Jack would say, the size of a dinner plate, nor did we know many other details.
A taxi driver who did not make a turn on one of the twisted
Andean roads.  He launched off a cliff into the river.
 Very common here.
We left from Lima late, as usual in Peru, and we were headed for a small jungle town called Satipo.  We traveled across just about every environment in Peru.  We started on the coast and then climbed through desert and mountains until we reached one of the highest drivable passes in the world at just about 16,000 feet.  It was cold and there was a little snow on top.  We descended the rest of the way and stopped in a small mountain town called Juaja for some Chafa, which is Peruvian Chinese food.  We then continued our decent to the jungle and the finally arrived in the hot and humid town of Satipo about midnight.  A 16 hour day on the road wore us out.  We took cold showers and hit the sack.
Our guide, Pastor Miguel, insisted that we get shots for Malaria, Dengue fever and Yellow Fever.  We told them we already had Yellow Fever shots and Malaria pills but they insisted anyway and made a big deal out of it.  When the place giving the shots was closed, the issue was dropped and apparently became unimportant.  We began to find out more details of the trip.  We found out that we were going to an indigenous tribe that spoke a different language and that we had to rent a driver and 4 x 4 truck and drive 130 miles on bad muddy roads just to get to a small river town where we would take old wooden boats up a huge river that was flooded and the color of chocolate.  We also found out we would be sleeping in huts under a mosquito net.  This was a very accurate description because that is the only thing we had was a net. 
We left Satipo in a Toyota truck and 3 people road in the back and then we swapped about half way.  It was a long, long, long, 130 miles and our driver drove as fast as humanly possible which rattled us around and kept us awake.  We picked up a man and his nephew along the way, who jumped in the back with Scott Dollar and I.  He could not speak Spanish and was the first native that we saw.  We arrived at the river town with an hour of light to spare.  We jumped in a couple wooden boats with very loud motors that a few men from the village brought to town to pick us up.  We headed up stream for the 10 minute boat ride that was really an hour.  Time is relevant in the jungle, it seems that they just tell you what you want to hear. 
As we motored up the river we saw many people fishing from wooden canoes, washing clothes and bathing.  Scott Dollar's boat arrived 20 minutes after us because their motor had problems and they almost capsized when they hit a log in the river.  Some of the people in the village welcomed us.  Out of the 120 people there are maybe a dozen or more believers.  The village was spread out and consisted of many grass roofed huts and a few concrete buildings the Peruvian Government built for a school a long time ago.  There was no electricity or potable water.  We ate dinner after dark and they graciously fed us rice, fish, papaya, yuka and some kind of drink.
After dinner we went to the little church building they constructed so that Scott could preach.  It was translated in 2 languages so it was difficult but it went good.  Adin was the interpreter that Scott always uses and I must say that he is the best interpreter that I have ever seen.  There were about 70 people present. 
We were then brought to the old abandoned building that we would sleep in for the next two nights.  We had mosquito nets with woven grass mats.  Our rooms were infested with bats (which smelled and made all kinds of noises all night), huge cockroaches, and giant spiders.  The natives killed a couple of the spiders to appease us but they had a little chuckle that we didn't like the spiders.  The sounds of the jungle do not quit all night and there are many and they are loud.  A ton of different frogs.  Then of course you have the domestic animals of the village like the many dogs that barked at something throughout the night and the roosters that crowed every hour for some reason.  Around the village were anacondas, boa constrictors, poison frogs, caterpillars, jaguars, tarantulas, blood sucking bats, dangerous ants and just about everything else that can kill and maim you.
We woke up....or got up, since we never slept much, and went to the main gathering hut for breakfast.  They fed us fish soup with the guts and of course the head still attached, a stick of sugar cane that we pealed and sucked on, as well as papaya, yuka and sweet water.  The kids and a lot of the adults stared at us a lot and followed us around.  I told some kids that Jack was scared of spiders so they found a big one and were hitting it with their bare hands to freak Jack out. It worked.
Scott then taught for 3 hours on various subjects, which went very well.  The believers here are so hungry for the Word of God and they seem to soak it up.  On man walked 6 hours, which is about 30 miles at his pace, and then traveled 3 hours by boat just to come to the teaching.  This man was a real man.  He was humble but after some prodding he said that he killed 10 jaguars and many anacondas and boas.  This is a guy that the shinning path terrorist group, which were in the area, would be afraid of.  This is a man that you would not want to have on your bad side. 
After the the teaching we had another meeting so that the leaders of the 7 villages that were represented could tell us their needs.  All of them stressed that they need biblical teaching and materials and they invited us to their very remote villages to do it on our next trip.  They were very humble in their presentation of their needs and they glorified God.  After this meeting an old man wanted to show us his chacra (farm) so we followed him through the jungle.  On the way we saw the deadliest ant in the jungle whose sting is said to be more painful than anything on earth.  We got to the river and turned back. 
Then the incident happened.  A woman came running up to us and said that our friend had been found wandering and taken captive by gun point and was being held.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Post Office, The Gospel and a God Hating Hippy

So I had to go get a package out of customs this morning before I left for Lima.  In Peru, like the rest of Latin America, you just learn that you are going to have to wait in line for a long time no matter what you are doing.  The customs office at the post office is no different. 

While I was waiting, a lady from South Africa sat next to me and she started talking to me in English.  We made small talk and then I asked her what made her move to Cuzco 15 years ago.  She told me she came to go on a spiritual journey.  This clearly blew a door wide open to talk about the gospel.  She went on to tell me a bizarre story that seemed like it was the demonic world manifesting itself to her.  She thought it was God and said it was the first time she knew she was a child of God.

I asked if she was a professing Christian before the incident and she told me that she was not before and is not now a Christian.  She went on to tell me of her goodness and how she cares for the earth and that God is with her and speaks to her all the time.  She began to preach her sermon about loving people and especially yourself because, after all, you are a great person that God is praising all day. 

I asked her how she deals with the sin issue and how she intends to find pardon for her sin.  That was simple to her, she did not sin, ever.  I could not hold in the laugh as I asked her how many lies she has told in her life.  She said only a couple.  I guess now she just told her 3rd lie.  I asked if she ever stole anything and she said never.  I asked if she ever bought a DVD in Cuzco.  Every DVD is illegal in Cuzco because they are all pirated and violate the international copy right law.  She said she did because it was her only choice in Cuzco.  So I said to her, to make things clear, that she stole DVDs because she did not have other options.  She said yes.  I went on to ask if she has always honored her parents and she said that she didn't but that she did not have to.  I told her 5th commandment but she disagreed very colorfully. 

After beginning to take her through the next commandment she started getting convicted and angry as her sin was exposed.  She started yelling at me and saying that I lived in a box and that I was judging her.  I said I was just asking her questions and she was answering me, which she condemned herself.  She then went on to tell me how all religions are right, except Christianity, and that everyone will go to Heaven, except Christians. 

She then went on to tell me how the Bible is not inspired and it was written by the Catholics.  It is amazing how ignorant people are about simple history, like when then Catholic church started.  She was convinced the Catholics wrote the Bible to control people.  She then denied that Hell exists, we have free will and that God needs us to help him because he is not Sovereign or really in control of anything. 

She now started to get really fired up and made a scene.  She called me a whole bunch of names because I said that you could only have your sins forgiven and go to heaven through Christ.  She was now more angry because she said she knows many mystics, Rabbi's, Buddhists and new age hippies that are great people and are going to heaven because they believe their own truth.

I tried to explain absolute truth to her and that there can only be one truth but she was so far gone that she started laughing loudly at the fact that there could only be one truth.  She looked at me with fury and said, "are you telling me that you think that there is only one way to Heaven".  I said that there was absolutely only one way.  She said that I was a fool to make up a statement like that.  I told her that Jesus said it not me.  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Him. 

She blew up at this statement and blasphemed God.  The scene intensified now.  She erupted and yelled that she would go to heaven along with everyone she knew (except Christians of course).  I told her that unless she repent she would perish.  She would die in her sins and go to Hell.  She railed off some more blasphemy and cursed me out and then shut up. 

I have to say that arguing with a foolish new ager and getting cursed out in English because of the Gospel brought back a lot of memories from the many years of street evangelism in the States. 

Once again it is proven that no matter where you are at in the world you will find that people can't bear the gospel and when it is preached, people will become angry or converted.  Those are the only two options if you are preaching the biblical gospel. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Team video update

Here is a quick video update from our team in Cuzco.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tambo River Trip

The Tambo River
On Monday December 3rd I will be flying to Lima to meet up with Scott Dollar and then on Tuesday we will be traveling from Lima to Satipo. It is a 9 hour drive.  On Wednesday we will drive to Puerto Ocopa and take a 5 hour boat ride down the Tambo river.  There has been 40 communities identified along the Tambo River that have no known believers and no churches. We will be traveling down this river to see some of them. We will spend 2 days in a village called Shevoriato. This river village does have some believers. We will be encouraging them and seeking how we can be affective in taking the gospel to the other communities.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Partnering with Wretched Radio!

We are excited to announce that we are partnering with Wretched Radio to distribute 1600 of The Biggest Question DVDs in Spanish.  The DVD address the 3 most profound questions in life that every human must answer at some point in their life.  This is an evangelistic DVD that explains the gospel extremely well.    Wretched Radio is giving us and shipping the 1600 DVDs to Cuzco for free.  We will distribute all the DVDs on February 14th as part of their plan to distribute tens of thousands of these DVDs throughout Latin American in 2013.  You can read more about the biggest project.  We will be giving them out at the two Universities in Cuzco.  The promotional video for this DVD in English is below.  We are very excited about this project and it will be perfect timing for the start of the church in March.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Going to the Jungle

The Tambo river in the Peruvian jungle
I have an opportunity to go into the jungle with my friend Scott Dollar, who is a pastor in a Baptist church in Clarksville, Tennessee.  Scott has been coming to Peru several times a year to work with church plants in different regions.  This time God has providentially provided an opportunity to explore a church plant with a native pastor in the a small jungle village along the Tambo river.  You can read the story of how this came about here. 

Our mode of transportation

I will be flying to Lima on December 3rd and returning to Cuzco on December 10th.  It is not very easy to get to this village, as you can see from the agenda below.  So please pray each day of the trip for us.  Please pray for God to work among the people in these areas and that the Kingdom of Christ will be advanced.  Please pray for our safety along the way and that we will have providential opportunities to proclaim the gospel.  I attached a few pictures of the area and the Agenda.

December 2012 Trip Agenda

December 3 – Fly to Lima
December 4 – Drive to Satipo (l1 hours)
December 5 - Drive to Puerto Ocopa and then take 5 hour boat ride to Shevoriato.
December 6 - Visit in Shevoriato and discuss training and future church planting along the river
December 7 - Head back to Puerto Ocopa and Satipo
December 8 - Stay in Satipo, Pray and check out city, preach in evening
December 9 - Travel to Jauja- Attend, Preach in evening
December 10 - Fly from Jauja to Lima and then Lima to Cuzco

Thank you brothers and sisters back home that spend much time on their knees interceding for us and for those who hold the rope to enable us to labor in Peru and seek the advancement of His Kingdom.

Monday, November 12, 2012

MMI Medical campaign

I must say that I have a renewed urgency to brush my teeth ever since Joe Martinez and I worked as translators for doctors with the MMI medical campaign in the small town of Urcos for 2 days. Joe was in triage and I was in the dental clinic. It seems that out of the hundreds of patients that came in the doors, almost all of them had back problems and teeth problems. Back problems because the Quechua people spend their lives lifting heavy thing and working back-breaking hours in their fields. Teeth problems because they don't brush their teeth and many of them, especially the older Quechua women, spend most of their lives chewing on Coco leaves. 

Translating was great but it was a challenge. The realm of dentistry is a realm of vocabulary that I have no experience in. I had no idea how to say many things and the dentists were relying on me to listen to the person's complaint and then explain it to the dentist and then relay what ever the dentist told me back to the patient. This became more complicated when the patients only spoke Quechua and not Spanish. Then the bilingual (Quechua/Spanish but no English) entered into the mix. The chain of questions from Quechua to Spanish to English put a damper on time and communications. But I must say that things went pretty smooth and I learned a lot by the end of each day. After all, I heard the same complaints over and over and I gave the same diagnosis and instruction all day. After you say, “We are going to have to pull 3 teeth” or “We have to give you several shots of anesthesia to dumb your mouth” or “Is your mouth numb yet?” or “There is just no way we can save the tooth” about 50 times a day, you begin to get it down.
I saw so many shots to the mouth, blood and teeth pulled that I lost count. One poor lady had 12 teeth pulled. I was able to share the gospel in the waiting room with a guy and talk about the things of God with some of the workers. MMI had a Quechua pastor sharing the gospel in the waiting room each day and they played the Jesus film in Quechua in the waiting room as well. One of the Quechua translators was a pastor and we talked a lot about the gospel in Peru. He told me about a very remote region (which I had already been studying on maps) where it was a 2 day walk into a few scattered villages. This is definitely a place that I want to check out in the future.
On another note, we did finish the church offices.  Here are some pictures.

My office/closet
The Family at the little church we attend


Sunday, October 28, 2012

A night of Catholic idolatry in Cuzco

As I drove my rented car down another street in Cuzco that was blocked by the Catholic festival of idolatry I happened to see an older lady arguing with another lady in the midst of the procession.  I couldn't hear what the argument was about but the Catholics were pretty upset.  My guess was the older lady was denouncing their idolatry.  As the intensity increased, another lady came up with a bottle of water and dumped it all over the older lady.  The crowd of idol worshiping Catholics broke out in laughter.

Processions of idols are so common in Cuzco that I see them almost weekly.  In combination with the fiestas that they have, which gives the Catholics an excuse to get drunk, there is always something blocking the roads around here.

We happened to be downtown last night and ran into a very disturbing showcase of idolatry with 1000's of people in the main plaza watching the procession of the señores de los temblores.  Which is basically the lords of the earthquakes.  They normally celebrate this around Easter so I´m guessing this was another tribute to the same idol.  These processions are blasphemous affairs of the demonic syncretism of the Roman Catholic religion and the ancient Inca beliefs.
Ever since 1,650, when the ridiculous claim that an oil painting of Christ on the Cross held off a devastating earthquake that was rattling the city of Cuzco, the locals have been rendering homage to the image of Taitacha Temblores, the Lord of the Earthquakes. This celebration allows onlookers to get a glimpse of the fusion of Andean religions and Roman Catholicism.

The Cuzco Cathedral, where the image is kept, is built on the foundations of the ancient temple dedicated to the pagan god Apulla Tikse Wiracocha. The image of the Lord of Eathquakes is carried in a procession through the streets of the city just as the Incas used to parade the mummies of their chieftains, high priests and supreme rulers. In the end, the dominating part of the celebration involves the ñucchu flower (salvia esplendes), used as an offering to the ancient gods Kon and Wiracocha.  This is rather amusing because an image that can stop an earthquake can´t even walk but must be carried.

So has we are getting a cup of coffee, Emmy comes up to me and ask why they are worshiping statues.  Emmy is memorizing the 10 commandments and she just finished memorizing the 2nd commandment in it´s entirety, which states:

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments."

Emmy had a great question, why do Catholics worship idols?  The answer is simply because they are not Christians.  Later, after watching this ridiculous display for a while, Emmy came up to me again, saddened, and said, "I wish Adam and Eve didn't sin."  It was a great opportunity to explain the gospel to her again.

I was also interested to see how our 13 year old, Raegan, viewed this event.  I saw that she wrote the following in her journal when we got home last night:

"The other day my family and I went to downtown Cuzco, which is filled with Catholic churches and people.  At the moment they seemed to be having a huge festival.  They had huge statues of Mary and Jesus on the cross and elderly people with cloaks on.  Many idols were present and lots of partying.  I felt so sad for the people.  They didn't realize how evil it was.  Leviticus 19:4 says, 'Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal:  I am the Lord your God.'  I pray one day they will see the truth.  That they will put down their idols and pick up the Word of God."

Raegan is right and she had a wise understanding of the event.  In 1 Chronicles 16 we read a song of David.  In verse 26 he says that, "For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols." The Hebrew word, אֱלִיל , for "idol" means something that is worthless, nothing, empty, or vain.  This means that the "gods" had no existence, they were creations of the imagination.  What we saw last night was the inventions of a depraved mind.  Although, there was some help.  The Septuagint (The Greek translation of the Old Testament)  translates the word "idol" in this verse as "demon."  This means that behind every idol, there are demons.  The worship of anything in the heavens, earth or the sea besides the true God, is not only idolatry but it is demonic worship.  This is what we saw last night and this is what we see on a regular basis in Cuzco.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Visas and Building Progression

Please pray for us and our resident visa process.  We were supposed to return to Lima over a month ago to finish the process but we still do not have the green light.  The new law that would prevent us from getting visas is supposed to take affect in November but I have not heard what is going on with the law.  We are praying that we will be able to get to Lima next week so we can finish the process and start our kids process.  We already got the newly apostilled birth certificates from the States (because of a new rule they made) so we have everything read on our end.  Please pray for this.  Not getting visas would cause many problems.  God is sovereign though and we trust in Him.

We have been building the offices in our new place, where the church will meet in March.  It has been going well and we are making progress.  Here are a few pictures.

Yea, we know, the offices are small.
Our team, including Wehrner and his mom, spent the afternoon at the Killillay's for a brunch.  We spent time praying as a team and Wehrner talked to us about team unity and the dangers we will face as we enter into war with the devil.  He stressed the importance of guarding our families because that is where, often times, the greatest blows come. 

I was excited that our friend Ike brought me back some maple breakfast sausage seasoning that I ordered from the States.  I talked the butcher shop into grinding me some pork and I made 10 pounds of sausage.  I have to say that it was great and tasted like the stuff I made back home in my butcher shop.  They have nothing that resembles breakfast sausage in Peru or Costa Rica, so this was the first time any of us had eaten breakfast sausage in over a year.  It was a great treat and Wehrner loved it as well.  I can see that I may be getting back into meat processing. 

Emmy and Micah relaxing with a movie

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Josephine House

We would like to introduce you to the Josephine House, which is an orphanage in Cusco ran by missionaries.  We spent an afternoon with the kids a few days ago and really love this ministry.  The Josephine House is named in honor of Josephine Kupferschmid, who ran an orphanage in Brazil for more than 15 years.  The Josephine House was formed in early 2008 and received final permission to function in late 2008. The first resident was a 78 year-old blind man! Since November 2008, they have taken in 18 children. Some of those have since moved either back home or to another children’s home so they are now at what is consider their maximum of 15 at any given time.
The Josephine House's goal is that babies born into difficult situations of alcohol or physical abuse, extreme poverty and abandonment, can find a place of safety until they can be adopted and placed in a permanent home.  To see the kids and read more about them, click here.  To find out how to adopt one of these little guys in Peru, click here.  Some people back home have already asked how they can support this ministry so if you are interested in supporting this orphanage, click here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The plan is unleashed

The plan is unleashed.  Our Peruvian pastor Wehrner Pancorbo is with us in Cusco this week.  We meet and discussed our plan when he arrives with his family in March.  He has quite an intensive plan for evangelism.  The initial plan is to do heavy evangelism in 4 districts of the city. After spending the morning in prayer and our studies together, we will hit the streets.  We will spend 4-5 hours each day witnessing one on one, visiting homes and preaching in the open air at the markets. The church in Barranco, Lima is going to send up some evangelists to assist us and do a lot of open-air preaching.  We are praying that God will raise up His sheep in each district so that we can start a bible study. Each of us, Wehrner, Joe, Tim and I will lead the bible study in a district. After the groups are strong and ready to unite, we will bring everyone together into the building and start having services. Our idea is that we have groups of people in each district that will be able to evangelize the people in their districts. I do have a feeling that our building is already way to small.  Between our four families we already have 23 people so if each bible has 10 people then there will be a line out the door of our little church but this will be a good problem to have. This is the plan but everything can change and we do realize that nothing will happen unless the Spirit of God awakens people from the dead. We have no ability or strategy that can accomplish anything real so our dependence is only and totally on God to raise up His church in Cusco.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

We got a building!

After spending some time scouring our work area, we found a building.  It is in a good location on a main street and is two stories.  It does have a bathroom, which is a step up from our church in Wolf Creek.  We will use the main level floor for our services and the upstairs for offices and a Sunday school room.  I think we can stuff about 50 people in the congregation but if God grows the church more than that then we will search for another place. 

Wehrner, our Peruvian pastor, will not arrive to Cusco with his family until March, so we will probably not start services until the summer or fall, God willing.  We sign the contract tomorrow and get the keys!  The one little quirk to this building is that there is a Karaoke bar hooked onto it, which means after 8pm, it is probably too loud to be at church.  We are hoping they will go our of business or that the people will get saved.  There was talk of standing at their front door and giving out tracts as the people enter.  This may be a downfall but it is better than the last building that included a man that lived in the church.  We are very excited about this and we thank God for it.  We will begin cleaning, painting and building the offices right away and when we buy the printer, we will begin printing and storing 1000's of books and tracts which will be ready for the time Wehrner arrives. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Printing Operation

Lately Tim, Joe and I have been spending time in the area where we will start the church in March. We have been getting to know the area and looking for a building to rent. We thought we found a perfect building which was an old chicken restaurant in a great location. One of the catches was that the owners lived on the second floor and would have to always go through the church to get to their apartment. Another catch was that there was a guy living in the back of the church who apparently came with the property. We are still searching for either an office to rent temporarily, so that we can work out of it until God builds the church, or a building that would serve as the church and office.

Hopefully our operation will be a little more modern than this
Another new development is that we are going to start up a printing operation, thanks to the help of our friend Josef Urban in Mexico who is guiding us through the process and to God, who always supplies our needs to accomplish His plans.  The printing operation will print books and tracts in Spanish from the old guys, like Jonathan Edwards, Spurgeon, Muller and many others.  You can see a small list here.

God has already provided the means to get the printer and the printing supplies. We had one of our supporting churches call us and say they wanted to give some money to a project. They did not know about this project or that I had been working on it for weeks before. God knew and He raised up the money needed to buy the big printer and supplies for the whole operation. God always knows our needs before we ask and He always provides them according to His will. With this printing operation we should be able to distribute 1000's of books and tracts.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Climbing the Andes

One early explorer described the Andes like this: The Andes mountains in Peru have the majestic grandeur of the Canadian Rockies, as well as the startling beauty of the Nuuanu Pali near Honolulu. In the variety of its charms and the power of its spell, I know of no place in the world which can compare with it. Not only has it great snow peaks looming above the clouds more than two miles overhead and gigantic precipices of many-colored granite rising sheer for thousands of feet above the foaming, glistening, roaring rapids, it has also, in striking contrast, orchids and tree ferns, the delectable beauty of luxurious vegetation, and they mysterious witchery of the jungle. One is drawn irresistibly onward by ever-recurring surprises through a deep, winding gorge, turning and twisting past overhanging cliffs of incredible height.

We tasted only a minute piece of the Andes when Joe, Chase and I decided to climb a little mountain outside of Cusco. I say little because we are in the Andes. The tallest peak in Montana is Granite peak and it boasts an elevation of around 12,800 feet. This little foot hill of the Andes that we climbed was 14, 380 feet. The climb was difficult and we lost our breath fast but when we reached the top we could see what seemed like endless mountains. We saw towering snow covered peaks that were over 20,000 feet and many valleys and mountains between us and them. Scattered throughout these mountains are a multitude of little Quechua pueblos, some so remote that you must hike a great distance. Some of these people still live like the way they have lived for centuries. I can relate to Livingstone who said he could see the smoke of a thousand villages that do not have the gospel. There is so much work to do here but I have never been more ready and more dependent on God to do the work.
I think David Brainerd put into words what I am feeling: "Here am I, send me; send me to the ends of the earth; send me to the rough, the savage pagans of the wilderness; send me from all that is called comfort on earth; send me even to death itself, if it be but in Thy service, and to promote Thy kingdom."