It's Emily Rogers here! I'm so excited to share today about Uturn's summer mission trip! We obviously recapped the trip and shared a video during the service a couple weeks ago but we wanted you all to hear from some of the youth who went with us and I wanted to include some more photos that we didn't get to share....hey, what do you expect when one of the youth pastors is a photographer?! ;) So now I'll hush and let the highlight video, some photos, and most importantly, the youth do the talking!
First off, here's our whole team on the Pacific Coast in Lima!
Right- Mike with Donna in front of the church in Jicamarca zone 1. Donna worked with Keith and Mila up until March when she moved to the jungle to work with a ministry for young boys (Keith and Mila take trips there too). She still comes back and helps in Lima occasionally. We were so thankful to have her along!
The Peru trip was very much a success! We saw God move in so many different ways with so many different families and touch the lives of everyone we (the missionaries) came in connection to! While we were there we saw the power of God save people, give people shoes, and much much more! The experience itself was life changing for us who are so free and blessed.
God moves in amazing and remarkable ways. That statement remained true in Peru. From the people we came in contact with, the unbelievable hospitality Mary and her husband showed us, the property we were able to assist Keith in buying, and most importantly, the people we were able to reach out to. One event that really sticks out in my mind was the first day of VBS in the flood zone. My heart has never been moved in a stronger fashion than it was that day. Seeing all of the young children so eager to learn about the Gospel really opened my eyes to what we were really there to do. Uturn’s 2017 mission trip to Peru was nothing short of a work of God. The trip would not have been possible without his guidance and love.
God certainly moved in Peru! On the first day of VBS around 80 kids showed up; and around the second day of VBS 30 came, that's around 110 children coming to hear the Word of God. Everyone we went to was open to hearing the Word of God and quite a few families even got saved! We heard tons of stories of tragedy and pain but when we were done, the families seemed happier than before. People came to us asking for us to share the Word with them. They asked for prayer requests and we prayed for them. Thank the Lord for the wonderful works He has done in Peru!
Not only did I get to encourage others to form a relationship with God, I was able to strengthen my relationship with Him as well. Over the course of our ten-day trip, I got to watch God work in miraculous ways. For example, our trip was in late June-early July. However, unlike the U.S., Peru was in the middle of winter so our trip was supposed to consist of cooler, dreary weather and it did most of the time. However, each time we arrived in the communities in which we were going to speak about forming a relationship with Christ, the clouds lifted and the temperature changed drastically. I knew this was God encouraging us to go and spread His word. We would arrive at the communities different times throughout the day, however each time we stepped out of our vans, the clouds would disappear and the sun shined brighter than I have ever seen it before. I never completely returned from my trip in Peru because when I left the community on our final day of ministry, I left a piece of my heart with all the children, mothers, and fathers I met along the way.
Peru was amazing! My favorite thing was how I was able to share the Gospel. Sharing the Gospel was a very hard challenge for me because I really don't like public speaking. Mike asked me that morning to do the Gospel at VBS later that day, and me not really knowing anything about sharing the Gospel, said "sure." After I was aware of what sharing the Gospel really was, I was freaking out. I didn't know what to say to one hundred little kids. Renzo, my translator, was a really big help in talking with me earlier in the day and helping me know what to say. I led about 30-40 kids to Jesus that day. That was my favorite part of the Peru trip!
I just wanted to add on a few things before signing off. First off, THANK YOU! To every single person who listened to the Holy Spirit and gave, THANK YOU! To everyone who covered our trip in prayer, THANK YOU! We know that we couldn't have gone without financial contributions and our church family, friends, and our families covering us in prayer. Mike and I are already making plans for next year's annual trip and we can't wait to see what God continues to do in Peru through Keith and Mila's ministry!
And finally, I wanted to share a couple other photos and one story of how I saw God move.
So many of you know that in 2011 I lived in Lima, for 4 months. While there I had a wonderful home church that truly just loved me and pulled me right into the church family, exactly what a church should do! I was able to take our team to church the Sunday we were there. We got to worship in Spanish and hear a message (our translators were awesome and translated for the team). The top left photo below is our group with Pastor Richard and his wife, Kattia.
In Jicamarca zone 2 we ate lunch each day at a family's little tienda (shop) with their permission, of course. They had a little girl, Miriam, a couple years older than Ellie and they became fast friends despite the language barrier! After lunch the first day the mom asked why we were there. One of the ministry groups and Mike stayed behind and shared the Gospel with her. She accepted the Gospel! I really believe that Ellie playing with Miriam opened the door for the Gospel!
One other HUGE thing that we were able to do was hand out shoes. About a week before our trip, another team was in Lima with Keith and they had raised money to buy new shoes for about 200 kids who attend a school in a very impoverished area. Many of the parents are prostitutes or street venders and the kids often go without food. Keith told us that many of the kids only had the one pair of shoes. Unfortunately a fire broke out in a nearby area and the team was unable to go to the school and distribute the shoes. So, that's where we came in! We were able to give each kid a brand new pair of shoes and witness their excitement!
Thank you, thank you, thank you LCF! We are so thankful to be a part of this church family and we are excited about our church being involved in missions around the world!!
-Emily and Mike Rogers
P.S.- if you would like to learn more about Keith and Mila's ministry in Lima, Peru, let us know! We can help you sign up to get their newsletter so you can continue praying for the people of Peru year-round!