The Last Rumble
This morning I am finding myself packing up to leave Puerto Maldonado. This project has been one of the most impactful with regards to numbers of days versus the number of decisions for Christ. That gets me excited. Let me give you a rundown of the week since last time I wrote.
Each day was filled with constant activity. We originally asked the 40/40 missionaries working in Puerto to put together a schedule of events that would help them in their church planting efforts. They had big expectations for sure. No problem; this group of anxious young people were ready to tackle anything we threw at them.
The schedule itself was full of children’s festivals, sports events, community events, prayer events, as well as many other activities that would not be considered normal in the realm of ministry. That is what I like-Outside of normal. Let me share one of the events with you.
It was Friday morning and off to Triunfo to visit a school. Triunfo is actually a boat ride across the river in a rickety boat with only enough life jackets to keep our backpacks afloat for a few minutes. In addition to the passengers, there were other things on the boat such as bicycles and motorcycles. Not a harbor cruise for sure, but it was an exciting adventure none the less. We arrived after about 30 minutes of trying to forge upstream along the bank to get to the port. We exited the boat from a large plank of wood which was embedded in the mud. Now it was time to walk to the school.
Up the hot and dusty road we travelled. No shade! Regardless, we reached the school location and entered the yard where the administration was anxiously awaiting our arrival. Our plan was to cut and wash the students hair which was ridden with head lice. They desperately needed the help. There were about 150 students in all. We washed many a head of hair that day! In all we washed the hair, then we combed out the lice and eggs, then we managed to do about 30 haircuts, some of which actually looked pretty stylish.
Also during the day, we spent time teaching the kids about personal hygiene. In a funny little lesson about a toothless kid named Jacob, the idea was given to the kids that if they did not take care of their teeth, they might end up like Jacob who had to eat everything through a straw. It was a good story and kind of funny too. They got the message. We handed out toothbrushes afterwards and all was good. The school is letting our 40/40 missionaries teach religion classes to the kids. Our event was designed to seal the relationship with the school. They really love to have our people working with the kids. God blesses!
Another impactful thing we did was send our groups out into the red light areas of town to pray over the areas that we are trying to reach. Prostitution is a terrible problem here in this area. It was an eye opening experience for our group to realize what is taking place in our world. We did not take them into the prosti-bars, but we exposed them to the problem. I think it stirred some of them up a little. The prayer time was amazing. Sometimes as they prayed, many times within eyeshot of the bars, they could hear the noise and know the evil that was suffocating the people of this town. It is sad to see the destruction that is causes, but there is no better place to start than with prayer. The 40/40’s will continue to work these areas and over time will be able to make an impact. It will not be an easy battle, but will sure be awesome to see some people’s names added to the Book of Life. With God, all things are possible.
This morning we had a final sharing time and devotion with some music. It was a great time for the group to reflect on the experience as well as share some of their experiences. I think that many of the group was touched by any number of things. What really impressed me was the amount of people that we were able to directly impact. We counted up the attendance to our number of people at our events. It was 2800 in total. We had 26 different events. We reached all segments of the community, but were able to really reach a lot of children and youth. One area that had not been reached by our 40/40’s was the male youth crowd. We reached them this time. We played a lot of soccer and had a lot of interaction with this group. Many sore muscles and joints can account for the hours that we spent attempting to kick a little white ball through a goal. In the end, the results were fantastic. The big statistic that I want to share is that we had 279 decisions for Christ. Praise God for his willing servants! Much work was done through the efforts of this group. Lives have been changed.
It is just a few minutes until the group leaves for the airport. What an adventure it was. They will go back home exhausted and on fire for more work in the future. Thank you all for praying and supporting our mission here in Peru. It is because of you that we can accomplish these things. Keep up the good work. May God bless you abundantly!
The Englund Family