COMMENTS BY YURI ESCANDON, CALVARY CHAPEL DOWNEY
Yuri, Calvary Chapel Downey has been coming down to work with this ministry for many years. Tell us how the Lord has led you:
When we arrived in Peru with our first team in 2000, we realized that the Lord was going to use our church body to continue to make the Gospel known we have returned every year since then. Recently we have experienced a movement within the Spanish ministry to get involved in traveling to Peru . We are looking forward with great anticipation to the January 2008 outreach
and the Youth Summer of Missions team.
Is it difficult to put together a team?
Our returning team members are the best recruiters
they pass on the report of what they have experienced and many show interest in joining the Peru team. We also showcase the Peru mission trip during the annual missions conference here at church many sign-up to receive additional information.
Can you tell us how your missions trip effected those on your team?
My son Andrew was empowered to share his faith while in Peru . A life defining moment for me was when I translated for my son as he led a young Peruvian boy to the Lord wow! Just thinking back on that day makes me want to return right now. My son was changed during that trip he understands that there is a great hunger for the truth.
COMMENTS BY KENNETH DUJAY, CALVARY CHAPEL OF CORPUS CRISTI, TEXAS
1. Before our trip to Peru, my Christian life was. . . more than nominal, but far from where it should be. I served in my local church on the worship team and leading the college ministry and really desired to see lives changed by Jesus Christ, but never really had a burden to reach out beyond my immediate area. Pictures of Peru stirred my heart and we just started planning. While there, the Lord really taught me a lot of things about Him and about myself. My eyes were opened to the need for people to reach far beyond themselves and trust the Lord for results. Here in America we have our checkbooks that we often trust in, but there, they don't.
2. We really didn't have any difficulty putting together a team. Originally I started planning with one other guy, we were just going to go there and see what kind of opportunities there were and then come back to try to get others to join up. I mentioned it one night at our college Bible study and immediately there were people that said, "Can we go too?" With one mention of the possible trip during Sunday service, our group of 4 or 5 grew to 21 that ended up going with us.
3. We were only in Peru for two days when my wife and I decided that we were going to come back the next year and try to bring our kids next time. We have talked about making Peru an annual trip for our family and we are praying that the Lord would provide so that we can all make the trip. My biggest suggestion for next time is to learn Spanish! Translators are good, but there is nothing like being able to communicate with people in their own language.
4. Though we were busy ministering to the people of Peru, I think the most fruit came within the team. Relationships were formed between team members that have only grown stronger as we have come back, ideas for ministry here in Corpus Christi have really taken off. . . we now have a drama ministry, and groups have been going out street witnessing also. One of the outreaches that we got to be a part of had tremendous fruit. We did a VBS and women's dinner in San Juan de Lurigancho that was awesome. We planned for about sixty children and on the second day of VBS almost 200 showed up! We weren't able to do crafts on day one, so on the second day, we had everything that we had brought and were able to get crafts to most of the children that came. God is funny that way, we were all bummed that we didn't get to do it the first day and we just hoped that there would be at least as many kids the second day. . . God knew.
5. Pastor Rod is very big on missions, and as a result, the majority of our church is pretty big on missions. Since we have been back, there isn't two weeks that go by that we don't get asked when the next time we're going is. People already want details on the next trip that we really haven't even started planning! Pictures help, it was seeing the faces of the children that stirred my heart to go, so when we got back, we showed the people of Peru to the People of Texas.
Calvary Chapel of the Ozarks Team Testimony, by Janet Hallam
I would be happy to share some about our trip to Peru.
First of all, I just want to say thank you being faithful to God's call on your life. He is truly doing amazing things through your work in Peru. We pray that He will continue to lead all of you. We also pray that many will come to know the Lord through your ministries. You are a great example of what the Lord can do with a willing vessel :).
The Lord put Peru on my heart about a year and a half ago, and I just knew that we were supposed to come. Our team met together on a regular basis for prayer and planning. We had a small team (two couples) and it was very easy to organize the trip.
During our time in Peru, we were so blessed to be a part of 4 of the park outreaches! How awesome to serve alongside the CCBC students. They are committed to sharing God's word with these children, and there is so much fruit :) These outreaches are reaching kids with the only true hope in this world, and they are coming to know a loving God who can see them through anything that their lives may hold!! When we returned from Peru, Christina, who was part of our team, felt the Lord stirring her to begin a very similar outreach in our community. She was very impacted by how simple, yet effective your outreaches are. She wants to just keep the focus on learning the Word of God! We have been involved in many outreaches, but they have always been so expensive and very time consuming to organize. We were so blessed by what God is doing through your Park Outreaches.
We also had an opportunity to go to Chaclacayo to help at the orphanage. One morning while watering the fruit trees and flowers, I just had such a beautiful picture of the children running and playing in the yard. They will be safe and loved at the orphanage, but most importantly, they will know about their loving Father who created them and longs to fulfill every need they have. We really enjoyed spending time at the orphanage, and shared many prayer needs with our congregation when we returned.
I have been so encouraged by this trip to seek God's will for my life. I know that I am drawn to missions, but I do not know if it is for long-term work or for raising awareness here in the States. I do know that since returning from Peru, God has started putting Ecuador on my heart. I am not sure if God is leading in that way, but I do know that God is faithful to direct our steps and shape our desires into His so that we can complete the works that He planned before we were ever born. Thank you again for allowing us to be a part of what God in doing in Peru.
God Bless You,
Calvary Chapel of the Ozarks Team Testimony, by Christina Cooksey
". . . the college made it easy for us to feel useful for the outreaches. Even though we did not speak Spanish, we were still able to minister to the people. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. The Lord showed me a great way to minister to kids in the States by implementing the park outreaches we observed in Peru."