Friday, June 5, 2015

Jungle Conference - New Opportunities

Wilder and his wife from the far village of Nazaret
The first day of the conference surprised us.  There was a much bigger turn out than expected, in fact, we had to buy more chairs.  Around 40 people from 10 different Ashaninca communities were represented, not to mention the pastors and leaders from the surrounding area.  

Some of the tribal people traveled for two days through the jungle to arrive at the conference.  

Scott Dollar taught an Old Testament Survey for most of each day.  Joe and I taught on the disciplines of Scripture reading, Scripture memorization, and Scripture meditation each morning.  The teachings went so good.  Everyone was very attentive and asked very good questions.  After I finished teaching on a method for memorizing whole books of the Bible, I challenged them to memorize a book between 90 and 160 verses.  This should take a year or more.  I told them that I would give them a big reward of their own library of theological books.  At the end when I asked them to raise their hands if they wanted to accept the challenge, almost everyone raised their hand.  I now better come up with some books because I think these people may just do it.  How strange and awesome would it be to be lost in the jungle and stumble upon a village where they all had the book of Ephesians memorized.

During each day the people who were not teaching did street evangelism in the plaza, which ended up bearing fruit by bringing in a key contact.  Each night we had a preaching service as well.  Brad, Bryan, Jack, and I preached.  The people really endured long days of teaching.  We started each day at 9am and finished at about 9pm each day, with only a few hours break for lunch and dinner.

At the end of each day session we had a question and answer panel.  They asked so many questions that we always went over the allotted time and finally had to close it down until the next day.  We answered a wide variety of questions and got in to some heated debates at times.  We answered a lot of questions about the qualification of pastors, women pastors, eschatology, prayer posture, the proper clothes to wear, women's make-up, Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, the Israelita cult of Peru, a heated debate about losing salvation, and countless others.

A key contact came to the conference through a providential meeting during evangelism.  This man, Teddy, used to work for a mission agency to gather pastors from the jungle for conferences.  He worked with a people group that we never heard of called the Yanesha people.  

According to Wycliffe the Yanesha people with a population at over 10,000 distributed among 48 communities near Satipo. The Yanesha people speak Yanesha', a language family that also includes Asháninka. A dictionary and grammar have been published in Yanesha', and also a New Testament, although they only have a literacy rate of 10%-30%.

Teddy told us that the Yanesha people have been abandoned long ago in the area he worked with them, and now there are no churches.  However, after attending the conference for three days, and loving it, he said he would bring up to 30 leaders from this tribal group to Satipo for our December conference.  Teddy is well educated and knows his Bible well.  This could be a key contact to expand.  We will talk to Teddy in December to determine if we will start another training center in this area in 2016 or 2017.

Some of the crew went to an orphanage in Satipo and Joe Martinez shared the gospel with them.  Later we gave them a proclaimer audio Bible.  We made many other good contacts during the week as well, one of which was a very solid young man named Jonathan.  Jonathan went to a seminary in Lima and is fairly new to Satipo.  He was very grateful when we told him about Miguel's church.

We decided to call our training center Reforming Peru.  Scott Dollar is developing a web site now and I will share it when it is finished.  We have all the themes for the nine conferences and will develop the curriculum as we go.  We should be able to replicate this training center in any part of Peru.  As we expand we will seek key partners to help us put on these conferences.  We are so excited about the huge success of the first conference, and we really believe that the conference attendance could double in December.

Here are a few more pictures from the conference:

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Help Peruvians Get a Pastoral Library

We discovered an amazing ministry that will give solid Spanish books to missionaries for the work in the field. It is called Packing Hope. You can see the video above.  

If you would like to help us get theologically sound books in the hands of many Peruvian pastors and leaders, you can request a lot of free books, ship them to your house, and when then next group or person comes to Peru, they can bring them to us. For example, you can request a case (24 books) of The Gospel-Centered Life for free. You only have to pay shipping. To find out more go to their website HERE, choose Spanish as the language and then simple choose the book and how many cases you want. Please contact me if you are interested in doing this or if you have questions.

Jungle Conference

Our recent trip to the jungle went far better than we imagined that it could go.  After the ordination in Cusco, Scott Dollar, Jack, Larry, Joe, Anthony, and I flew to Lima and then took a bus all night to a little town called Tarma.  It is about the same elevation as Cusco, but it was cold.  We arrived at 6:30am and had to find a hotel.  We later connected with a contact we had for a little house church.  We met with one of the men and then we went to their house to teach.  Scott Dollar taught and we all encouraged the little band of believers.  Their pastor, Carlos, was living in the jungle for a season so a guy named Daniel was teaching each week.

We were very encouraged by them and I think they were also encouraged.  After our meeting we went to eat the first of many plates of chaufa (Peruvian fried rice) that we would eat for the next week.

The next day Scott Dollar, Anthony, and I found a guy to take us to the jungle town of Pichanaki, which was about a 3 hour ride.  Joe, Larry, and Jack stayed in Tarma to teach on Saturday and Sunday.  The teaching went very well.  In fact, Daniel came to Satipo and attended the conference all week.  We only got delayed for a half and hour because of the often occurring mud slides the block the highways in this part of Peru for sometimes days.

We met up with another church in Pichanaki.  Roric is the pastor of this very solid church.  We had lunch with them and talked for a while.  These guys are amazingly solid and have a very healthy church.  We are looking at partnering with Roric in our work in the jungle and providing them with books.  

The leaders of the church in Pichanaki.  Roric wears green.

One of the biggest requests we get from pastors in Peru is resources.  They long to read books to continue to grow in knowledge, but there are so few good books in Spanish, and the ones that exist are hard to come by.  We are in the process of developing a pastoral library of good books we can give to many pastors that we know who need them.  If you want to help us in this area you can get free books from the Gospel Coalition HERE and someone from the States can bring them to us.  Contact me for more information.

Roric is an amazing guy.  He and a friend once hiked 30 days through the mountains preaching the gospel to unreached Quechua villages.  They lived only by faith and prayer, eating only what people provided them along the way.

After lunch and sweet fellowship with these believers, we moved on to Satipo.  We met up with Alex (a dear brother in Christ from Lima that translates for Scott Dollar), and Bryan and Brad who are from a church in Atlanta, Georgia.

On Sunday morning, Alex delivered a good message to the church.  We spent the rest of the day preparing for the conference which would start the next day.  We returned for an evening service and Brad preached a good message to a room filled with the recently arrived Ashaninka people from Chembo.

Some pretty amazing things took place during the week long conference.  I will post the next blog about the conference soon.