30 June 2012

Peruvians give their all to reach Amazon region for Christ

IQUITOS, Peru (BP) -- Just three days after his wife died, 72-year-old Edison Romero climbed into a cramped wooden boat for a journey down the Amazon. He could have stayed home to mourn, but he took a 12-hour trip from his village to Iquitos, Peru, to attend missions training.

"I just couldn't miss it," Romero said.
The School of Cross-cultural Missions that Romero attends near the city of Iquitos is one of three training centers launched by Peru a las Naciones (Peru to the Nations), a Peruvian Baptist organization. 

Every two months, Romero and about 30 other participants and family members -- ranging from elderly adults to toddlers -- convene outside Bethany Evangelical Baptist Church in Iquitos. They pile into two crude metal buses with their luggage and a half-dozen live chickens for a jarring hour-long ride over a muddy road full of potholes.

When the road ends, the travelers -- loaded down with young children and luggage -- hike barefoot through a swampy mud pit. At the bank of the Nanay River, which flows into the Amazon, they cram into a narrow wooden boat. There's barely breathing room; the air is stifling. Then it's another 45-minute trip downriver to the jungle camp.

After they reach the shore by the camp, they haul their belongings down a dirt path to the wooden cabins -- covered with dried banana leaves and mosquito netting -- that will be home for three days. There's no electricity or hot water. And since there's no refrigeration, the live chickens will provide fresh food each day. The small children must occupy themselves without the help of modern conveniences, toys or physical comforts.

But no one complains.

Leaders of the group are Tommy and Beth Larner, International Mission Board missionaries from Texas. Tommy, who works with Peru a las Naciones, helped to start the training camp. He and Beth lead a team that teaches Bible storying, evangelism techniques, church-planting methods and other missions principles.

Training national believers in missions is crucial to reaching Peru with the Gospel, Tommy said.

"We can't [reach the world] by ourselves. There's just too much to be done," he said. "We could go to an unreached people group. But if I can send a bunch more Peruvians and invest my life in them, I can be more effective sending than I can going."

Cross-cultural missions often implies taking the Gospel to other countries. But the school near Iquitos teaches believers in the Amazon how to effectively share Christ in the many jungle villages throughout Peru.

"These [believers] live in cross-cultural missions," Tommy said. "Their passion is to go deeper and farther into the jungle where the Gospel has not been preached." Read More

29 June 2012

Thanks for praying!

Thanks for praying! We are safely in the Amazon, and as you see, do have some limited access to internet. However it is veeery slow, so I can't post and update tons. Please continue to pray for health and safety while we are here. Tomorrow is our halfway mark, and then we have 2 weeks left before we are back in Lima. I'll try to write a little about what our daily life is like here in the jungle, but in the meantime, check out these articles about Caracas, Venezuela and please pray for that city and our friends that are working there.

Part 1: Caracas Slums
Part 2: Caracas Upperclass

16 June 2012

"Let me 'splain..."

"No, there is too much... Let me sum up."

I think Inigo Montoya had the right idea. Since my last recap we did a coverage on the island of Antigua, cranked out a bunch of work in Lima, and then I headed to the States for Della's wedding and a little bit of time with friends and family. I've been back in Lima for less than a week and we head out again in the wee hours of the morning for about 22 hours of travel to Suriname, where I will be for a month. We'll come back and immediately jump in to several other projects and coverages. This summer (winter- depending on which side of the line I'm on which day) looks like it will be flying by!

Please be in prayer for those of us traveling to Suriname. Health is a big issue for me, all this running around and changing climate has been rough on my immune system, so please pray for some superhuman immunity! Also, I appreciate extra prayer for this trip as, in addition to my regular media duties, I will be involved with childcare...in the Amazon. :-/

In lieu of more detailed descriptions, here are a few photos from recent adventures:

Making some important calls from Antigua.

Sunset over Antigua

Prayer time in Antigua

Steel drum band in Antigua
Church in Antigua
On the way to and from Antigua we flew through Miami. First Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich in a year!

With my favorite prayer warrior, Jeremy!

I might have eaten a little bit of Chickfila in the US. It was awesome.

So good to see Carolyn after more than a year!!!
The Gator Nation IS everywhere!

Cracker Barrel!

Helping Della get ready

Me and Dells. It was a beautiful day!

Wedding party

The 386 (+) crew

Cha-cha slide time. :-)