Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Burden and Need of Missions in Peru

After returning to Cusco after our last trip to the jungle and mountains, I have had a burden to share the need of missions in Peru.  The needs are tremendous here.  Pastors need training and accountability.  We are spread way to thin and cannot effectively disciple, mentor, and train pastors when we are so far away.  What we are doing now is similar to living in Montana and trying help a church plants in Seattle, WA and Casper, WY.  The pastors that we are working with want help and simple training like how a biblical church functions, the roles of men and women, basic doctrine, and countless other things.  Often we walk into a church and see many problems and we know the solutions but we are unable to help effectively because we are so far away.  We really believe that we must invest in these pastors by pouring everything into them; from teaching doctrine to modeling Christ-like behavior to demonstrating how a family should function.  These things cannot be done effectively by showing up for a week, four times a year.  We live here and find ourselves overwhelmed in trying to balance everything and be effective in our work.
We have found accountability problems when a national pastor is working by himself.  We have found that you really can't get to know someone without fully investing in a relationship with him.  Misconceptions and misunderstood expectations begin to develop.  A few mishandled problems or errors in teaching can cause a tremendous amount of problems very fast.  It is often misunderstood in the United States that you can just send money to support a national pastor, who can do the work for a lot less money.  This is a good idea if you can find a qualified, trained, pastor that you know very well and can trust but there are not as many as you would hope.  We need missionaries to live here and work together, on a daily basis, with the national pastors.  We need missionaries who can teach and model Christ as they work side by side with national brothers.
We need qualified missionaries in Peru who are willing to uproot and surrender to a lifetime, not five years, of extremely hard work for the sake of the gospel.  It is very important that the missionary is qualified because an unqualified missionary will cause more problems than they could ever do good. We need missionaries that will take the time to be qualified.  This does not mean that they need to go to seminary.  They must sit under the eldership in their church in order to learn and mature in the faith in order to present themselves to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth (1 Timothy 2:15).
It does not matter from what country the missionaries come from.  I know some very good Peruvian brothers who are qualified and willing to do this work but it takes money to support them.  These guys are able to do the work far better than we can because the language and culture are not a barrier.  The problem is that there are so few of these men. 
We need qualified missionaries that are willing to give up the many comforts of their home country, their family, friends, money, insurance, safety, and security in exchange for a life of hard work, little comforts, separation from friends and family, frequent sickness, and unstable security and safety.  The missionary must also take years of his time to do the very hard work of learning a second and sometimes a third language.  He must be able to manage all these new stresses and hold a family together at the same time.  He must be able to learn and adapt to multiple cultures. 
Not asking for much?  Jesus himself said, "Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." To make things harder, even if this missionary exists and he commits to make this move today, he won't be able to start the work for 3 years and we needed him yesterday.  Even more rare is it to find someone who is willing and able to live with the tribal people and spend his life in the jungle.  But how useful would this be?  Training the tribal people, who are starving for the word of God, for a few weeks a year makes for a slow process in developing a biblical, self-replicating church.  But when you have people living, training, and bearing the burdens with them on a daily basis, this process rapidly increases. 
This is the need.  I could employ 20 families tomorrow if they exist.  The harvest is plentiful but the laborers truly are few.  What has world missions cost you?  Is Jesus worth it?  The labor is hard but the reward is sweet.  Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life."

We need qualified missionaries in Peru that have Christ-like character, who are able to teach, and are willing to persevere through hard work, frustrations, and many trials.  Are you that person?  Life is short, don't wait.


A Lui said...

Thank you for your posts. We enjoy seeing what God is doing with you all. We, the Lui's will continue our prayers for you and your family along with God's guidance and His will for us. Your post said a lot to me this morning. Whether joining the mission field in China or Peru or elsewhere, God willing, we will be out there soon. But right now, the field is in our backyard. We are preparing to move in about two weeks. Please pray that we find solid church. We will be praying for you guys!

Scott Doherty said...

Hey Alex, thanks for your prayers and your encouragement. I will pray for you guys.

Josef Urban said...

Amen! Good word brother. The needs are similar in Mexico and what you wrote is exactly our sentiments. Keep pressing on! The Lamb is worthy!

Scott Doherty said...

Thanks Josef. I know the needs are world wide. The harvest is ripe but the laborers are so few. Praying and pressing on. Thanks for your encouragement.

Ryan Richie said...

Thank you brother for sharing this. Could not agree more.

Unknown said...

Amen thank you for this! There are so many who need to hear, I pray God will raise up more to GO to all the world!

Unknown said...

How I long for God to use my children to help you and/or Josef in Mexico. I am praying for both of you that the Lord would send you qualified men and families. I am ill but I am able to pray.