In Review: Medical Missions
Peru 2012; A Team Transformed From the Inside Out!
“Peru again?” Why keep going to the same place many ask me. Well, I want to give you a snapshot of what God has been doing in Peru over the years and also on this year’s trip!
Woodlands church began going to Peru in 2007. We partnered with an EFCA missionaries, Jim and Kay Panaggio and family to help a church plant in a poor community on the edge of Lima, called Condevilla. We were so blessed by the, then, small church of committed people. We, as a church, have gone back and done medical clinics and youth group trips over the last years and we have seen the impact of this small church on the people in their community. The church has grown to over 100 people with a strong base of men and women growing in their faith. The community trusts that if something is going on in the community through the church, Esperanza Viva, (Living Hope) that is must be good and many have come to know Christ through the consistent love and care of the church to the community.
Over the years we have been blessed to be called brothers and sisters in Christ with Esperanza Viva. We have shared in the love, sweat, tears and prayers with our family even from afar.
This year and last year we were privileged and honored to join our Peruvian church family on a mission trip of their own to an even poorer community. We went to Chincha, Peru which is 3 hours south of Lima. We joined about 40 from Esperanza Viva and (22 of us) traveled together. We came alongside them and we served together. We saw over 1000 people for a 3 day medical clinic and all of them were able to hear the gospel and be invited to the church, La Semilla, with which we partnered and the missionary Pastor Felix and his family. Our hope is for this type of vision to continue for Esperanza Viva and after the trip last year they were more intentional than ever in continuing to reach their own community. God is good!
What I mean about transformed from the Inside Out is this, as a big team we gathered in groups and heard each other's testimonies of God’s transforming work in our lives. We laughed, we cried, we bonded, we worshipped, we loved, we served, we even shook the earth. (Actually we experienced a 6.3 earthquake together!) It was powerful to experience, to hear, to share, to encourage and to see the biggest miracle of all... God’s transforming power transforming one life at a time and the body of Christ coming together in unity. I think about the time Jesus invested in his small group of disciples and I feel privileged to have experienced just a taste of that sweetness.
You would be so proud of the Woodlands team, we worked hard and were able to not only do a medical trip and invest ‘inside’ with Esperanza Viva and our own team but we served faithfully in Chincha ‘outside’ and also in Condevilla walking the mountain, handing out vitamins, praying, visiting the sick and holding a medical clinic, game day and luncheon for the elderly in the community. We were so blessed. I will never forget the devotions shared by our team, the worship through service and the last day on the beach full of testimonies, baptisms, celebration of new life and fellowship.
We are thankful to partner with a church that is passionate about their community and we loved to experience a mission trip with them, we were definitely on the receiving end and to God be the glory for it all! Thank you for partnering in prayer and support of our team!
Also, Esperanza Viva sends their sincere thank you to all of you, Woodlands Church for the financial gift to make renovating and expanding their present church more possible!