On the outside of the city, the rivers are swollen to the point where the thousands of acres of farmland is currently being scraped clear of any crops. What is left are piles of garbage that has been washed down with the torrents of water. It is an amazing thing to see, but what I have not explained is the amount of houses and buildings that have been folded into the water. The primary construction is built with adobe. This is in itself a mud and straw type material that when in contact with large amounts of water, disintegrates and becomes part of the muddy river. Hundreds, if not thousands, of houses have been crumbled into silt and then washed out into to cornfields and roads that run along the river’s edge.
The tent city that has been set up at a local school and police station leaves one with the impression that the storm will impact the local people for a long time to come. There are hundreds of government issued shelters lined up on the hillsides along one of the main highways that lead to the south of Peru. This is only assisting the local people that live close. The problem is widespread throughout the region. What I have seen is unbelievable. It is hard to imagine the destruction.
We are in the middle of an amazing project that combines hard hitting impact and mud riddled construction. The project team that we have here at this site is really doing a fantastic job at being flexible as the forces that are against us are unfathomable. We are working with a new pastor, David, who recently answered the call to move his family to Cusco, sight unseen. What an incredible step of faith. We are committed to helping him jumpstart this tiny little congregation. Our goal is to plant 18 new churches in the next 2 years. Pastor David is excited about what is taking place.
We have had some enthralling experiences in our impact events. Prayer has been the backbone of our work here in Cusco. We have gone to 7 of the new church plant locations and have anointed them with oil and prayed over the sites. This has been a lively and successful journey for us. We have showed the Jesus film one time and had 26 people come forward and make decisions for Christ. We have 3 more Jesus Film showings scheduled. Pray that God will allow the film to be showed. The rains generally come in about 4 in the afternoon.
One story about our Jesus film that we showed last night, is that one of the local people came up and asked if we would be interested in building a church in the small community of Saylla. This gentleman has some property that he wants to donate in order to construct a church. We will see if the details can be worked out, but what a miracle. I cannot wait to see how God finishes this plan.
We have also had a few days of our bible school. Kids and parents are being reached. It is exciting to see how God uses people who do not speak the language to reach kids and parents for Christ. In all, we have had about 50 decisions for Christ and still have a long way to go. Continue to pray for us and this project. I will give you a full project update in a week or so.