Charity

Peru ICM Trip

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Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord!
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Coastal Peru is very desolate. There is no greenery, so it is like a bomb went off with rubble and dust everywhere.  It makes for a very dreary feeling, yet we saw the light of the Church and people at every stop!
Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord!
I started the trip with a devotional.  Very frankly, I was tired from work and my travel schedule this summer having just returned recently from Haiti.  I asked the Lord to give me a lesson that would be beneficial for all.  I went to John chapter 9 and taught on how Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man.  Having been on quite a few vision/mission trips, I have witnessed first-hand so many miraculous things that my goal is now simply to ask God to open my eyes to what he wants me to see.  As I was pondering this lesson, the song, “open the eyes of my heart Lord” popped into my head.  I wrote this down in my journal the first morning and shared it with the group.  God, open our eyes, so we can see what you want us to see was our prayer!
Almost every Church we visited opened with the song “open the eyes of my heart Lord”.  It was so crazy that by Sunday, I had my arms lifted and tears in my eyes thinking of how amazing it was that the last minute lesson I tried to communicate to the group was emphasized over and over throughout the trip.  God was speaking to our entire group and it was so evident!
Our first stop was at a Church/Hope/Feeding Center in a very poor area of coastal Peru.  There was a stench in the air that almost knocked you down because of all the trash in the area.  The kids and few adults in the area piled in and they had a wonderful singing performance for us.  It was awful on the outside, but there was great joy on the inside.  One of the things that stuck with me from this project was a boy who had been abandoned at the Church project.  He led prayer and it was like he was a grown man!  He was only 6 or so, but his Faith was so great as He believed the truth that God rescued him from abandonment and the dump.  God had opened our eyes to his provision at this place for sure!
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At another project, we got to meet and sing with a Pastor and his wife who had been alcoholics.  Their life and relationship was wrecked for much of their marriage as they fought continually and served the addiction.  Missionaries brought the Good News Gospel to their doorstep and over time they both placed their Faith in Jesus.  Their marriage was restored and then the miracle happened.  They had always wanted a boy.  For 11 years they prayed for a boy through tears.  The women went through menopause and hope was lost, BUT GOD.  Yes, you guessed it!  We got to meet the young man that doctors said was not possible!  Our eyes had been opened to the reality that God still does miracles today!
Pastor and His Wife! Location Below!
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A city on a hilltop cannot be hidden!
No matter where we go in the world and how bad the poverty may seem, we continually witness the Church serving each community.  Many of the kids in this community are left alone for the week as their parents travel up to 6 hours by public transportation for work.  This creates a lot of issue including challenges with drugs, prostitution, abuse and alcoholism.  We heard a testimony at the below church from a beautiful young lady who was now following the Lord.  She had gone through the cycle of abuse, alcohol, drugs and prostitution.  Jesus healed her and she is now serving faithfully in the church helping others.  Another man gave testimony that his father passed away early and he ridiculed Christians for their Faith because he was mad at God.  He would literally throw coins at them mocking their Faith.  One day, he found himself at an all-time low and he cried out to God for help.  Jesus healed him and he is now joyful and serving in the Church!  Once again, we see the value of these projects we are supporting all over the world!
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Lighthouse Church and Hope/Feeding Center!  Notice how it pops off the dismal backdrop!
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A Child is sold for this! Really!

There is a lot of human trafficking that goes on all over the world and Peru is no different. We had a wonderful sister in Christ named Norma who traveled with us each day. Norma travels 6 days up the amazon to minister in areas where children are sold for the coins you see in my hand below! Norma has been made whole despite the abuse she suffered as a child and her life mission is to share the healing power of Jesus with other victims. God opened our eyes once again to his healing power through Norma. 

I have barely scratched the surface as we visited more than 15 projects on our trip!  At each location, there was passion and energy to spread the Love of Christ.  I encourage you to talk with those who went on the trip.  Frankly, words can’t express what we witnessed.  I get emotional just thinking about it.

God’s Beauty found in the eyes of children and His Creation!

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Sisters from the Blue Church!

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One of the Church Projects where we washed the feet of the Children after reading John chapter 13 where Jesus washed the feet of the disciples!  They are taking care of a ton of kids in this area!

I will close with a picture of what awaited us after a long day of hearing testimony of God’s work in the lives of people at 13,000 feet.  A mayor even showed up to greet us and tell us how the town’s problems (abuse, addictions and crime) have diminished as the Word of God was being taught!  Think on that for a minute!

Once again, God opening our eyes to His covenant reminder!

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Our Mission is worth it!  Thank You for giving to the Lord!  It’s having an impact in lives here and all over the globe!  Hundreds of kids are being ministered to daily because of your work!

May God open our eyes to this truth and the continual joy of walking with Him daily!

– A testimony from our President, Todd Stewart

For me the trip was about our group as much as it was about the people of Peru. The trip strengthened my resolve that we are all a part of the body of Christ, each bringing a different skill set to the table.  While we in the United States use our resources (time, money) to invest in the global church, the Peruvian people invested their gifts of hospitality and blind faith in us.  The neat thing is that it does not matter on which side of the world a person sits or what gifts he/she has been given, what matters is that we all were/are using what is given to us in order to build up the body!

– A testimony from John Scheschuk, a GWI Team Member