After spending two months on a short-term mission in Peru we saw the huge needs and felt that God could really use us in Peru.
When we got married we decided to do a short-term mission? Christine was happy to go anywhere. I immediately suggested Bolivia in South America. I had been to Bolivia on holiday twice before. I felt a connection with the people and thought that this was one of the most beautiful countries in the world with the Amazon jungles and the Andes mountains. I had also sponsored a child named Junior in Bolivia through Compassion.
We approached the mission organisation SIM (Serving in Mission) with our plans for spending a couple of months in Bolivia on a short-term mission. Most of the contacts that SIM Australia had were in Peru and we were asked if we'd be happy to go to Peru instead. Peru borders Bolivia and is similar in many ways. Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and Peru comes next. We said we were happy to go to Peru.
While in Peru, we stayed with missionaries in a small village called Cotahuasi (pronounced coat-ah-wah-see). It is here that we saw the huge needs in Peru. We felt that working in a University ministry would address some of these needs. Peru is also a country of great opportunity for the good news of Jesus. There is now an incredible openess to the gospel and the church in Peru seeks to make a difference in their community. It is a time of political stability. The village where we spent two months during our short-term mission was just fifteen years ago out of bounds for foreigners because of the Shining Path who operated in the area.
These are a few of the reasons we've decided to head to Peru. We are also glad that Spanish is a relatively easy language for English speakers to pick up. I have some basic Spanish having spent about five months in South America over three trips. Christine has had about two months of exposure to Spanish. We are looking forward to when our children can correct our Spanish.
It has been great that some of our long time friends have been missionaries to Peru. Phillip and Diane Marshall were sent from Blakehurst Baptist which was my home church for about 20 years. In the last few years we've learnt much from them personally and also in lectures. Phillip is a lecturer at Morling Bible College and has great cultural insights. Christine's Sunday School teacher also ended up being a missionary in Peru and she too has been the source of much wisdom (and laughter). Recently we've got to know Edwin and Diane Porter who have given us our most up to date information on Peru along with lots of very practical tips. Their love for the Peruvian people has inspired us.