We leave Australia on 22nd Jan 2012. So many things to get organised before then, immunisations, visas, sorting through our home and packing it up. Its amazing how much 'stuff' we collect and how little we actually need.
It was a huge privilege to be part of a Student Conference for AGEUP (evangelical university student movement in Peru). Students leaders from around southern Peru came together for four days in Cusco.
Students from Arequipa
My Spanish skills are at the point where it's easy to get around and do things and to have simple conversations. Phone calls are still a challenge. I wasn't surprised that even though I thought I had spelt my name carefully on the phone, my name on my bus ticket was "David Yiewayacf".
I met the group of students heading to the conference at the bus terminal. They were a welcoming group and I felt at home immediately. These student knew how to find a good bargain. It was about a 12-hour overnight bus trip to Cusco & they got a ticket for 30 soles (11AUD). It's easy to spent triple that amount on the same trip. The bus was quite comfortable. Several non-essential items didn't work like the reading light and the air vents but the only issue was that our leader ended up getting wet when it rained as the bus leaked a bit.
I chatted a lot with a student named Erick who is studying Engineering and had a whole stack of English questions. What's the difference between "see" and "look"? What's the difference between "talk" and "speak"? Since coming I've realized what a huge task it is to learn a language. Several students had spent many years learning English but without people to practice with, no matter how many hours you spend with a book, it's very difficult to speak. Teaching English is a real opening to connect with students at University. If you're considering doing a short-term mission in Peru, without knowing Spanish, I would highly recommend teaching English. When teaching English is connected with a local church it is a powerful outreach.
At the conference, concentrating in the morning talks was sometimes hard. I had a few things working against me - lack of sleep, lack of coffee, the altitude (3400m) and what many of us would consider long talks (1.5+hrs) and in Spanish. No one told me that coffee is not a drink common with students in Peru. Fortunately we had some highly engaging speakers like Alex Chan who spoke about Sexuality and God's plan. He had the audience in hysterics. It was also good to hear talks about Christianity and Politics. In South America it can be dangerous for Christians to get involved in politics but often it is much more dangerous not to be involved. The political climate seems prone to extremes and Christians need to be a light in this arena.
It's exciting to see a group of students who are passionate about serving Jesus and meeting together. The students also take the initiative in running the ministry. This is important here because there are so few full time staff. Currently they have just one staff worker who looks after all of southern Peru - an area spanning hundreds of kilometers and several major cities including Arequipa.
- thank God for the staff workers that do an amazing job with limited resources
- thank God for the students who are passionate about serving God
- that I can make a valuable contribution as this becomes the focus of my ministry next year
I heard about reaching the unreached people in my last mission's training.
While I was involved in the "Wheels for the World 2011" as a general coordinator I saw a lot people in bed for long periods of time - stuck inside their home. They had never heard about Jesus and the message of the eternal life and especially about our new bodies in the future. I met children that in last 10 years spent most of their time in bed.
What would you do if a stranger knocked on your door and insisted on coming in? Read the story of someone from a terrorist group, desperate to be made right with God.
Story from Peru... It was just another ordinary day in the small Andean town where I worked. It was mid-day and someone was knocking at the door impatiently.
When I opened it there was a middle aged man very happy to find someone at home. He was desperate to talk to someone and I was the third missionary he had tried to find that day. Normally with a stranger I would talk with them at the door but, he insisted that he come in and kept looking over his shoulder. Finally I gave in, only because I felt God telling me to and because my roommate was home.
He said his name was Daniel and that he was with a leftist political group (considered by most as a terrorist organisation) and that he had come to confess. That information immediately put me on edge and I thought, “oh no what have I done letting this dangerous man into my house.” I tried to push back the fears and scary thoughts that were crowding into my brain and remember that I was here to serve the Lord and that He was with me.
He said he was tired of doing bad things and that he wanted to confess to God and receive salvation from all his sins. “WOW”, I thought, “most of the work is done.” He then proceeded to share all that he had been involved in and done. It all just came pouring out of him with great sobs and regret. His stories were chilling and very hard to hear. At times I wanted to run crying from the room but instead, I sat there and listened in silence.
The whole ordeal took close to three hours as he had a lot to download and we spent a very long time in prayer afterwards. I remember him saying, “I know God can forgive me of these horrible sins.” “Do you believe God has forgiven me?” I spend a long time reassuring him of what his new reality would be like and what his tasks were from now on.
I remember him finally standing up and saying he had peace to start his new life with God now. He gave me a big hug and that was the last I ever saw of him. He was running away to another country that night to start afresh.Never have I witnessed someone so desperately seeking restoration with God and wanting a true relationship with Him. It was an incredible insight into how big God’s grace and mercy really is. Daniel’s salvation was a true miracle.
Afterwards, I felt very privileged to have been God’s instrument that day. I am forever changed. Even now, years later, whenever the door bell rings my first thought is “is it another person in need of God?
Please pray for Daniel and the rest of the people who have been involved in this horrible group. Pray that they too may find new life and come to know the God of grace and mercy.
(Names have been changed to protect anonymity. Image from of sixninepixels /FreeDigitalPhotos.net )
It is truly such an enormous privilege to be part of God's Kingdom as a result of the Amazing Grace - Jesus Christ. What a huge task we Christians have to take this wonderful message of Hope, salvation, redemption, restoration to the ends of the world! Without Jesus, none of this would have been possible and life would have been totally meaningless.
We have established the administrative basis for this new ministry and now comes the task of making it happen. Jesus gave the vision, and this is where FAITH kicks in big time :) - knowing what God's plan is through His Word, understanding and believing that it is within His Will. His command to all believers is to GO and make disciples, baptize and teach them... to plant churches (Matt 28:18 - 20).
We believe that God will not only build this house, but also bless it with His protection and favor! Therefore we will move forward in anticipation of the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We are now contacting Christian organizations, believers, churches and businesses all over the world to partner with us so that this vision can be made possible. We place all our trust and belief in the Holy Spirit for God to supernaturally raise this ministry into being!
The following partnerships are important to us:
- Prayer warriors
- Managing and guiding the ministry
- Funding or financing
- Participating in the mission program
- Technical / building support
- Training and sound equipment
Many other partnering opportunities not mentioned above will develop over time.
If you didn't get a copy of our quarterly newsletter, just drop us an email and we'll get a copy for you - it's got some interesting bits and pieces in it.
Here are some prayer points for the next month or so - not sure how much you'll hear from us til the end of January as we're looking forward to a holiday.
1. Praise the Lord for a successful Missionary for a Weekend in November, the weekend ran smoothly and the participants were challenged about their role in cross cultural mission. One of the participants will join one of our Asian fields for 12 months next year.
2. Jan's trip to Perth went well, she was able to meet with each of our mobilisers there and reflect on their last year of ministry and look to next year and what they hope to achieve.
3. Pray for Jan as she leads her last playgroup on December 1st, that she will finish well and have a good chance to share with the ladies.
4. Pray for Sean as he runs another Missionary for a Weekend 2nd-4th December, this is for a group from Dubbo, pray that they will really be challenged about coming out of their comfort zone and be able to talk and share with people of other cultures.
5. Jan will be involved with the WEC board meetings from 7th-9th December, pray that we will have wisdom and clarity from the Lord to move forward in the decisions we need to make.
6. Pray for safe travel to Adelaide for Christmas 22nd-23rd December as we will be driving over.
7. Pray for a good break over January as we take time out as a family, please pray for physical and spiritual refreshing for the year to come.
Como vocês já sabem eu e o U-Don estamos no Brasil.
Fora estarmos aproveitando a família, nós já começamos a participar de alguns programas locais.
O primeiro ministério que participamos é chamado projeto IDE. Esse é um projeto na periferia de Campo Grande (MS).
O fundador do projeto é cristão evangélico que tinha um sonho de construir um espaço onde as crianças da periferia pudessem ir quando não estão na escola para brincar e aprender em vez de ficarem nas ruas.
Esta é a entrada do centro
As famílias matriculam as crianças no projeto e a idéia é que somente se a criança vai à escola ela pode participar dos programas e atividades do centro.
Eles oferecem muitas oficinas: música (aprendendo a tocar vários instrumentos), aulas de teatro, computação, treinamento de líderes, reforço escolar, recreação e esportes.
Crianças do programa da manhã esperando em fila para ir para as oficinas
Laboratório de Computação
Sala de reforço escolar
Estúdio de música – aulas de bateria, guitarra, violão, flauta, saxofone, etc
Olha só que lugar gostoso para aprender!
Eles tem um programa para as crianças aprenderem a ser líderes por um sistema de se tornar monitores no próprio projeto. As crianças aprendem disciplina, respeito, como pesquisar e melhorar conhecimento, como ensinar aos outros, eles participam de oficinas que os preparam para o mercado de trabalho e se tornam exemplos de sucesso para as outras crianças do projeto.
A camiseta de monitor que mostra os passos do programa de monitores para adolescentes de 14 a 17 anos
A atividade que nós estávamos indo participar era a aula de jiu-jitsu. Mas quando chegamos lá o professor pediu ao U-Don para ensinar o que ele sabe em defesa pessoal para as crianças. E ele acabou dando mais de 5 aulas durante o dia todo. Foi muito legal ver como as crianças adoraram as aulas.
U-Don dando aulas de defesa pessoal e a garotada toda interessada em aprender!
Até as meninas foram aprender!
No final de cada aula nós tivemos tempo de sentar com as crianças para bater papo e orar juntos. O U-Don contou para eles como Jesus é importante na vida dele e o quanto Jesus nos proteje mais do que qualquer defesa pessoal que possamos aprender.
As crianças fizeram perguntas e estavam muito felizes de ver que um estrangeiro quis ir até lá passar o dia com eles e para ensiná-los a se defender.
Momento para perguntas, testemunho e oração
Nós realmente adoramos a experiência.
Nós conversamos com o fundador do projeto sobre a idéia de comprar a área e expandir o centro que até agora não foi possível fazer por causa da falta de recursos. Existe uma lista de espera de quase 100 crianças que querem se inscrever no projeto mas eles não tem estrutura para receber mais crianças no momento.
Nós também ficamos sabendo das histórias de algumas crianças na região que sofreram abuso, violência, miséria, famílias com muitos problemas. Nós ficamos felizes em pensar o quanto pode ser feito para ajudar essas crianças mas ficamos tristes de saber que não há recursos financeiros para fazer ainda mais, há necessidade de mais voluntários e há necessidade de uma solução da doação ou venda da terra que não pertence a eles no momento.
Uma experiência dessas transforma a gente. Nós não deixamos de lembrar como Deus é poderoso e como ele pode usar um espaço tão pequeno, sem muitas condições, com poucos voluntários mas que ainda assim o poder de Deus transforma a vida dessas crianças, oferecendo esperança para o futuro e para a eternidade.
Agradecimento a Deus:
- Pelo sonho do fundador que tem se realizado pelas bênçãos de Deus,
- Pelo projeto e os resultados alcançados,
- Pelas crianças que participam do projeto,
- Por tantas crianças que já aceitaram a Jesus como senhor e salvador,
- Pelos empregados e voluntários que ajudam com tempo e carinho,
- Para que o projeto continue mesmo nesse momento de dificuldade financeira,
- Para que Deus levante pessoas para colaborar com a obra e para trabalhar no projeto,
- Para que o plano de expansão aconteça para que mais crianças possam ser inluídas no programa,
- Para que as crianças que estão participando do programa tenham suas vidas transformadas por Jesus.
As you know U-Don and I are in Brazil.
Besides being with family we already got up to a special time with the locals.
The first ministry that we have already participated of is called Project IDE. This is a project for disadvantage children in the city of Campo Grande in the countryside of Brazil.
The founder of the project is a Christian man who once had a dream to build a space where kids can play and learn after school instead of being on the streets.
This is the entrance of the centre
The families register their kids in this project and the idea is that only if the kids are attending school they can participate of the after school activities in the centre.
They offer many activities such as: music (learning all sorts of instruments), drama, computer skills, leadership courses, homework help, recreation time and sports.
Kids in the morning programs waiting for their classes
After School homework help
Music studio – classes to learn drums, guitar, base guitar, flute, saxophone, etc
What a great place to learn!
They have a program for the kids to learn how to become leaders through a system of becoming a monitor/mentor to other kids in the project. They learn discipline, respect, how to research and improve in their knowledge basis, how to teach others, they participate of workshops to prepare themselves to the workforce and become examples to the other kids who join the program.
the monitor T-Shirt that shows the steps of the program to train leaders – for teenagers from 14 to 17 years old
The activity that we were going to watch and participated of was the jiu-jitsu classes. But when we got there the teacher asked U-Don to teach the kids self defence. And he ended up teaching all 7 classes for the whole day (with translation of course).
It was really nice to see how the kids loved the classes.
U-Don teaching self defence to one of the classes and everyone really interested!
Even the girls got into it!
After the exercise we had a time to talk and pray together when U-Don shared a little bit about how much Jesus is important in his life and how much Jesus protects us more than anything else, even more than some self defense techniques we might know.
The kids asked him many questions and they were really excited to know that a foreigner cared about them enough to go there and teach them something new and spend time with them.
Time for questions, short testimony and prayer
We really enjoyed ourselves there.We heard about the plan of expansion of the centre that so far cannot be done because they are lacking financial support. We saw the 3D project idea with all facilities that the founder is praying for to be able to build to attend more kids. There are almost 100 kids on the waiting list to get a chance to join this project.
We also heard a little bit about some of the stories of kids in the program that had suffered abuse, violence at home, extreme poverty, broken families and many other unstable home situations. We were happy to see how much can be done to help those kids but sad to hear that so little is done at the moment because of lack of financial support, lack of volunteers, lack of more space to receive more kids, and other issues.
We can say that an experience like this transforms us. We are reminded that God is so powerful that he can use such a small place with no much facilities and only a few workers to transform the kids’ lives forever as hope for a future and for eternity is offered to them.
- for the vision,
- for the project and its results,
- for the many children that have been taken out of the streets,
- for the many who accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior,
- for the volunteers that work there every day,
- for the project to continue even though they are struggling with finances at the moment,
- for God to raise supporters and workers,
- for the plan to expand to happen so more kids will be able to participate of it,
- for the kids who are currently in the project to have their lives changed.
Gurué is one of the principle towns located in the centre of the Zambezia Province of Mozambique. The town is also centrally located with respect to the northern Mozambique region i.e. north of the Zambezi River, as well as access to all the areas of the this northern region, including into Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania.
Gurué is located in a mountainous part of the province which has its own microclimate very suitable for the growth of tea upon which the town economy is largely based. As a fast developing town Gurué offers good infrastructure.
In partnership with and under the direction of the Holy Spirit, there are two main objectives to this ministry:
o To establish a centre in Chá Gurué, Zambezia Province, Mozambique where local men and women will be trained up as evangelists and missionaries before being released into the surrounding districts and further into Mozambique. This would require the establishment of an institution for bible-based learning in order to equip the prospective Jesus workers for evangelism, discipleship and church planting. The process of equipping can be undertaken at various levels, but such that workers for Christ can be sent out in order to spread the Gospel.
This training and equipping can be structured from basic Jesus Workers to more advanced missionaries capable of discipling believers and planting churches.
o To establish a church in Chá Gurué which would comprise of a facility for community worship, but primarily consisting of a network of Jesus centred house churches. Once this concept has been developed and functioning in Gurué, to start spreading it to neighbouring towns and even countries.
There is already a huge complex available for this project with excellent infrastructure, workshop facilities, etc. It is an old disused tea factory which has been stripped down. The basic structure is still excellent, but would require upgrading to comply with the needs as it has been standing empty for some time.