It was time for a second scouting trip. The year is now 2016. The first scouting trip was 2007, and we are about to send a March Break Team, an annual Mission Peru Trip for the 9th consecutive year. For me specifically, it was worth another 5 day scouting trip in order to “stop, long enough to listen”. We were there to ask questions of the churches, ask questions of the ministry leaders, and then prayerfully move forward again with renewed vision and a stronger partnership for the years to come.
I am grateful for Graham who has been a key founding leader since the inception of Mission Peru.
(We were both on the original scouting team, and he continue to help me manage the vision)
What were our roles? I was to speak Spanish, and he was to try. In all seriousness though, Graham is the type of leader who asks great questions about vision that bring clarity and focus to help the way forward.
One of my first observations was one that stuck with me through the trip and I’m still pondering it now.
I will focus a few words around this observation for the purpose of this post, and I trust that these words will serve both as an update, but also a challenge for how we view our partnership moving forward.
Without too much detail, the trip, or process for arrival in Trujillo, was a whirlwind clouded by tiredness ending in exhaustion. After leaving Toronto at 600 on a Saturday Night, 730 Sunday Morning found us at the gate being greeted by Juan with his eternal smile of what seems to be 100 years plus. We then looked at our beds, realizing we had until about 1030am to catch a few winks of sleep.
When I awoke just before 1030am, I stepped outside the dorm-house and the sound that greeted my ears was one that I can only describe as an eerie silence (Don’t get freaked out or anything; context is everything). I can’t remember ever being on that property without a hustle and bustle of activity: cement mixers, teenagers, Peruvian kids, translators, interns, directors, constructions managers, programs...always something going on...a buzz of activity, the sound of productivity. But this day, the only sound was that ominous silence. Then I remembered, “stop, long enough to listen”.
After years of waiting, years of pushing through barriers, and frankly piece after piece of red-tape, changing rules and legislation, the Board of Inca Link Peru had to come up with a seemingly impossible decision. Do we continue to pursue the vision of opening this orphanage, or do we need a change in direction, a tweak in vision? On December 10th the decision was reached to no longer to push through the incessant obstacles and seemingly unending process to open the orphanage. With much discernment, through prayer and fasting, one of the realizations that emerged is that this centre, “Pasitos de Fe” is already impacting hundreds of people weekly, people directly from their community (If an orphanage were to open, much of that community work would be restricted because of who can be on the property at what time). The question now becomes: What can be done to enhance all this potential moving forward without using the current property for an orphanage?
As I stopped long enough to listen, I prayed... “What do you want me to hear?”
In the midst of the silence, I took some steps around the property; I noticed three things that became central to my observation of silence.
Number One, I saw an empty vessel. The property has been purchased, all 30,000 square metres of it.
Number Two, I saw a solid foundation. What an incredible facility!
There is a great dining hall and kitchen (we poured those floors and left money for this finishing of that floor); there is a director’s home (we helped pour that foundation too); there is a dorm house (we left money in 2010 to buy bunks, mattresses, bedding and even the kitchen appliances); there is a soccer court (a necessary part of any facility in Peru); there is a small bus or van (thank you to so many of you who participated generously in that fundraising campaign); and most recently a playground installed just this last year (another great project of Mission Peru).
Before I write #3, let me first tell you the question that appeared in my mind:
What if we could begin anew?
It’s all here, not just an empty vessel, but also an incredibly solid foundation that has been built.
I somehow sensed hope in the midst of that silence. But why? Where would we go; what would we do?
We were about to interact with leaders over the next few days who were poised to go on mission.
And then the phrase appeared:
Number Three: On Mission
These leaders were simply waiting on God, listening long enough to agree on vision, but all the while ready for mission. All they needed was the Spirit to go before them, and the Spirit to go with them, ready for mission, and filled with hope.
This is where we, as Mission Peru alumni and supporters, emerge back onto the scene! I am so thankful for all your support over these past almost 10 years.
These three descriptions aren’t a lot unlike us eh? Think about it.
We are empty vessels...and if you’re not; it’s your job, so get on that! The solid foundation has been built...your knowledge of who Jesus is, Jesus as Cornerstone...you all know the song!
Consequently, you are ready for mission.
Will you allow yourself to be sent out by his Spirit to impact a hurting world? You’ve been to Peru, how are you doing in your back yard?
The churches remain active. Their leaders are committed. Inca Link is active. They have great directors in place. The vision has been slightly altered; it’s changed direction. All these leaders understand how they need to be empty vessels. They also have a solid foundation; their love of Christ compels them to continue in service toward Kingdom ends. Guess what? They are also very ready for mission.
So what’s our role? Are you willing to pray? Are you willing to give? Are you willing to continue to partner as the new vision is revealed for how they can use this property we helped build to best impact their community for Christ?
Let’s be hopeful and submissive to the vision of what comes next.
Thank you for your faithful partnership.
Mission Peru started with a scouting trip by four youth pastors from the CCD in November of 2007. Check out previous blog posts, testimonials and videos from 2007 through 2013 at our Mission Peru Archive site.
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