We’ve had four days of calm after almost a month of non-stop rain. It was problematic trying to work on the church construction every day it rained. Water was coming from everywhere and flooded the space where Pastor Cesar and his wife and kids live. They were worried because the water had filled the latrine they were using and water was starting to come out of it! Can you imagine have to wade around in that water with feces and all? Terrible. But now the water level is down again and we are trying to construct the real bathroom and shut off that latrine because we need that area anyway for the next phase of construction.
We’ve been at it since Monday a week ago and now part of the walls and columns are ready. After that, we’ll have to put up wood to prop up the roof/floor of second story for pouring the cement on the front part of the building. I’ve bought all the rebar for the roof and second story of the church, and I think the weather is going to be better. So we’re going to keep going.
Here’s a photo of me on a recent trip taking literature and Bible studies to the new churches we have in the mountains. Some days I was able to conduct Bible studies in two locations as some of the towns have their meetings during the day, while the larger towns tend to have their meetings in the evening.
We have decided to start a church in the mountains of a region called Chachapoyas in the coming year, and we continue in prayer about it, because we have no means of support to plant churches. As with the birth of any baby, there are expenses. It doesn’t matter what brand of diapers we use on this “newborn,” we will just trust that God will provide what this new work will need to survive and grow.
This reminds me of a story that a woman from the Chachapoyas region told me. She had a brother in Lima whose wife had left him with a baby. Her brother was not able to take care of the child because of his work. So she asked him to let her raise the child in the country. She said, “Even if he has to eat chicken droppings, it’s better than being raised alone in the city.” Quite literally, in these mountain areas, many times the children are set on the grass while the mothers are working. The chickens roam the same grass. Therefore it is not uncommon for the babies to happen upon chicken droppings, and as all children do, they may pick things up, play with them and then either put them in their mouths or put their hands in the their mouths after having played with these things. The woman said to me, “You may think that sounds awful; but one thing is for sure, they grow up.”
The same is true with our spiritual children some times. We may not think this is any kind of way to raise “children,” but the important thing is that they grow.
We travelled to a small town called Jaen and conducted a Bible training course to prepare leaders for the churches that God is calling together in that area. We had 25 taking the course. Now we’re back in Cajamarca where each Monday I wake in the middle of the night to make it up to the Porcon community and preach a 6 a.m. service that these dedicated Christians attend before starting their work week. Then on Tuesday of this week we began a vacation Bible school. A public school teacher from Lima came with some other sisters to help us in this work.
Next up is another Bible training course with the church leaders in the Cajamarca region. We need to prepare workers to plant new works and make disciples. We appreciate your prayers and support.
Below: The group of participants in the Bible training course at Jaen.
We have decided to start the roof/second floor of the church in Cajamarca. Each church in this region and some from Lima are participating by each family donating a bag of cement, others some rebar and still others a gift of 20 bricks.
We need 200 bags of cement, 50 rebar, 1800 bricks and 60 cubic meters of sand/mortar mix. A bag of cement costs US$9.00, rebar is $11 each, 20 bricks cost $9.00 and a cubic meter of mortar mix is $22.00. If anyone would like to help with any of these supplies, you are certainly welcome!
Starting last weekend and for three days of this week, we had a group working in door-to-door evangelism here in Cajamarca. The group arrived on June 21. It was three brothers from E3 Partners, from Alabama in the United States, and three translators from Lima. They worked with a “gospel cube.” It was interesting and brought an enormous benefit. Twenty persons made a decision to follow Christ—10 of them from just around our neighborhood. They offered eye glasses to people. First they would present the Gospel, using the cube, then they would fit them for glasses.
Yesterday we went out with two brothers to visit those who made a decision. We found some at home, but we need to follow up with the rest this weekend. We had a discipleship meeting yesterday at 5:30 pm and 10 new people attended—a blessing.
Now, I regret to inform that my wife’s health is very poor. Her kidney is shutting down and she is swollen and having trouble breathing. Right now she is in the hospital in Lima. She has been a very brave, valuable and wise woman in raising our children in the ways of the Lord; competent in the work of planting churches; loving in seeking the salvation of souls. When this group arrived, she cried because she couldn’t go out with us to evangelize. Her vision is poor and she trips and falls a lot.
Please, I ask for your prayers. If God wants to take her, may it be without the pain of dialysis. If God wants to give her more life, may He give it to her. And when He does take her, let it be without further pain. I miss my wife, a valiant woman who has helped me so much with her words of encouragement. But time doesn’t stand still, everything comes to an end. Please, pray.
We just finished our workshops for children ministry workers. We had 20 participants over two days. A brother from the Proevangelization of the Child Alliance presented the workshop and had assistance from some ladies to do practical exercises. We hope to have some new works with children soon. People of all ages came who want to work with children. I was surprised. Most were from Cajamarca and within an hour and a half into the mountains. Three came from Bambamarca, two of whom already work with children under the direction of Pastor Segundo Goicochea. The other from Bambamarca comes from the countryside around Bambamarca and she vowed to work with children, even if she can only find two! Additionally three attended from Chota and three from Lajas.
Here are three recent pictures of our work in children’s ministry in three different locations: Cajamarca, Bambamarca, and a new church we are planting in Luya. Merry Christmas from us all and please keep these children and the growth of the Body of Christ in Peru in your prayers for the new year.
By Narciso Zamora
I recently returned from a church-planting trip to a small town of Luya, that on a good day, is about 15 hours by bus from my home in Cajamarca. I’m happy to say that I was well received. One day, we had 14 meet together, 17 on another day, and 10 new children came to meet with us as well. The three families I worked with are now meeting for Bible studies and we’re preparing materials for them to evangelize, disciple and cement their new congregation.
I thank God for the outcome of that trip, and I had plenty of reason to praise God for the journey too.
I left on a Tuesday morning at 4 a.m. for a 17-hour trip on a mini-bus. All day we went up and down hills and mountains, with narrow curves where only one vehicle at a time could pass. If we met up with another vehicle, one of us would have to back up for the length of several blocks until there was a wider spot in the road where we could pass. And if that was bad enough, it seemed that about half the trip was on roads under construction.
At 1 a.m., we finally arrived in the city of Chachapoyas. When the bus arrived, many people had someone waiting on them, and within minutes, there was only me and another young man standing around. He had to catch a bus out at 5 a.m. and I had to catch one at 7 a.m., so we wondered what to do for those short hours in the middle of the night.
The young man said, “Let’s walk one block and see about that hotel.”
We arrived and rang the bell and a young woman came out, asked for our documents, and then said, “I have room, it will be $13.”
That was very expensive for me.
As I was thinking about what to do, the young man said, “I only have four hours to sleep because I have to leave again on a bus at 5 a.m.”
The young lady then replied, “There is a room you could share for $10.”
The hotel was pretty full that night – the room was on top floor. When we opened the door, we were surprised to see that there was only one double bed.
I placed my backpack on one side of the room and lay down on the bed. The other man just sat up on the bed.
I said, “Lay down.” And then I started to tell him about the Gospel. I thought it was the best thing to do since we were as cozy as two cats in a bag! We certainly hadn’t intended to end up together in a room. We talked about the Word of God for about an hour and then we prayed. The young man was a Christian, but admitted that he had been lagging in his zeal for God. It had been some months since he attended church, because he had moved and not yet found another church home.
We slept for a couple of hours after that and then the young man woke and left in time to catch his bus at 5 a.m. But those few hours meant a lot more than just a little rest for his body. That night he renewed his faith and commitment to Christ!
I was left wondering what kind of fool would take a hotel room with a total stranger – and share the same bed, no less! I had taken into account where this young man had gotten on to the bus, however, and knowing that small town he was from gave me some confidence about his character. But that was all I had to go on as I consented to sharing a room and falling to sleep with my backpack full of my ministry materials – computer, projector and films.
The trip home was another adventure. With all the road work, compounded with strong rain, our trip was delayed by eight hours. The people on the bus had eaten breakfast at 8 a.m., but we got stranded by the rain and construction in a place where there was no food to be had. There were children on the bus and they cried out of hunger. It was a tough day and people were disgruntled. When we finally were able to get through, we stopped at the first place we could find and they only had rice and potatoes to serve us. We ate it – our lunch and dinner at once – and finally made it back to Cajamarca at 12:30 a.m.
At that hour, I was not able to find any transport back to my house from the bus stop – no buses or taxis, so I had to walk. It’s not safe to walk by oneself at that hour and there I was with that computer and projector in my backpack! I went praying all the way, trusting Jesús’ care.
God continues to bless us as we work to establish new churches in places without evangelical churches.
We just finished one week of classes with our Missions Institute. It was tiring, especially for my son Gerson who taught many of the classes. (He is a professor in a seminary in Lima.) We held classes in Bambamarca, and I took advantage of this time to check out a number of questionable requests for literature that were coming out of Bambamarca – addresses provided to me by the staff at Christian Triumph Company. Sadly, I was not able to find any of the addresses or people that have been requesting literature (and Bambamarca is not a big place). It’s sad that people will abuse a free resource like this to turn a profit.
Guest post by Donna Lee Schillinger
A group of six of from Hilltop Bible Church just finished a two-week trip in Peru, hanging out with the Walking Man, Narciso Zamora. It was an awesome trek in which we retraced our way from Chota in the mountains back to Narciso’s spiritual roots, outside the jungle town of Moyobamba. We had the privilege of meeting his spiritual parents – the family that took him in when he was “yet a sinner” and loved him into the family of God – Don Jose Tiburcio and Doña Emelina. We also met mots of the grown children of the family, and were hosted for two nights by “Agucho”, the oldest brother (Agustin).
Narciso spent more than two years with that family, and after they helped him through seminary in Lima, he returned to the jungle and worked there for two more years…which was why it was rather surprising to learn that Narciso had never held a monkey! Well, we remedied that!
We set out in boat from Iquitos, motoring two hours on the Amazon, before coming to the Amazon King lodge, near a tiny jungle town – more like a settlement – I looked for it Google Maps, and well, it doesn’t make Google, it’s off the grid. Near the lodge is a small animal rescue operation where we were able to hold and touch a lot of jungle animals that live there while they are on the mend. They were not in cages and were free to roam and go whenever they wanted, including the anaconda that was featured in this video. It was like being behind the scenes at a zoo, but better! Here’s a brief compilation of some of our jungle fun, and in particular, the historic first of Narciso holding a monkey! (Note his joy! Haha)
Tomorrow begins a general strike in the city of Cajamarca and the news reports are that it will last indefinitely until there is a resolution to the concerns about the mining companies in the State of Cajamarca. I’m concerned that the strike will close the roads and airport, so Udelia and I are leaving here on Wednesday to go to Lima, to make sure I can travel to the States on June 13.
<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3740728/walking-man-the-book?claim=ms9aa4m87k6″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
Since entering into a strategic alliance with Christian Triumph Co. to print and distribute literature in Peru, we have distributed about 20,000 tracts – surprising even to me!
Udelia’s health is particulary bad just now and we are making frequent trips to the clinic. Prayers please.
Also, I have an upcoming trip to the U.S. planned – June 16 to July 2. I will mostly be in Texas with maybe quick trips to Oklahoma and/or Arkansas. Please contact me if you’d like me to visit your church in one of those states. I’ll need to nail down my schedule by the end of this month. In Texas, John Anderson, an accomplished young opera singer, is going around with me to offer a few songs of praise to go with my speaking. Should be interesting! Here’s a video of a performance of his.
Join us in prayer for Norberto Kurrle and his daughter Anahi as they mourn the loss of wife and mother Julie and son and brother Timmy who were killed in an automobile accident this morning. Anahi was hospitalized at last report. Julie, an ordained minister and missionary to Paraguay with the Church of God, initiated, developed and directed the Children of Promise sponsorship program in Paraguay from 2004 – 2010.
You may want to visit the Kurrle’s blog and read what Julie was up to on the day before the accident. And please consider a gift to help Norberto during this time of loss. There is a donation button on the blog, you will need to designate the donation for Norberto Kurrle, as the donate link goes to a missions organization.
Children of Promise is also accepting memorial gifts. Julie Kurrle Memorial Gifts for special health needs of sponsored children in Paraguay; local administrative support for the program in Paraguay; resources for the spiritual formation of the sponsored children in Paraguay; and other sponsorship program needs in Paraguay as determined by the Kurrle Family and Children of Promise.
Timmy Kurrle Memorial Gifts for unsponsored children in the Children of Promise program in Paraguay for food, education, and health care for these children until new sponsors are secured. In this way, the fund provides continual care for Paraguayan children.
It is at times like that that we are so very thankful for the hope of the resurrection!
I was in Chota working in the Bible Institute, but I got home to Cajamarca on Saturday night. I brought with me several boxes of the periodical El Mensajero. We left one box in Chota and Bambamarca which was handed out personally to the pastors and churches of the area. This morning I took a suitcase full of packages to the post office to send the Mensajero to other subscribers and still more will go by bus. Then I will also personally deliver others to the churches in Porcon and five other churches in Cajamarca. It’s getting interesting how many subscriptions we have and we’re happy that the pastors here have this material to help in the spiritual growth of their congregations.
Preparing the periodical for shipping throughout Peru. Udelia helps any way she can but her vision is poor, which limits what she can do.
In February 2012 we had an evangelism seminar to teach the local churches how to plant other churches. There were 27 church leaders present. In an upcoming meeting, we expect to have 35 church leaders in attendance. Before the end of this year, we are hoping to see the first fruits of our focus on church planting. Keep us in your prayers, Narciso.
I travelled to Chota last week and preached the night I arrived. There are a lot of youth in that church and it’s growing all the time. Then on Friday we had a church planting training from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and there were 27 people in attendance. Twenty-two of them committed to working with home churches – starting Bible studies in houses – and after a year we should see some new congregations.
We are about to print another 16,000 tracts – different ones from the last printing. When we printed the first time, I honestly thought that 16,000 was a lot, but it all fit in two boxes. We have already distributed about 12,000 of them throughout the country. We’ve given them to pastors and we even have a radio station that is offering them to their listeners who request them.
God is blessing this effort by adding saved lives to our congregations and this is comforting.
These Spanish tracts we are distributing are available to download and print at Christian Triumph’s Web site.
This morning I spoke to two groups of workers at Granja Porcon. Services there start at 6 a.m. – they start each day out this way! I have to get up and going by 4am to get there on time because traffic is bad going up the mountain if I leave any later and have to compete with the commuters to the gold mines.
Tomorrow I leave for the mountains with two other men. We’re taking literature and the projector and films with us to help reach the people there. Pray for us!
Last night, we visited three churches up in the mountains. I went to two in towns and Pastor Jorge from Chota visited one out in the countryside. The congregations were very happy to receive teaching and our help. We took tracts and 30 copies of Mensajero de Esperanza for each congregation. We got home at 12:30 a.m. this morning.
This weekend, I’m travelling to Bambamarca and from there into the mountains to visit some other small groups and to receive a new group of brothers who wants to join in our fellowship.
Every day the church continues to grow in this region and we are so happy for that, but now I have a lot of work to do because I need to visit the different places each week where new churches are starting.
We are starting two new churches in the mountains, and in March, I am going to travel with Pastor Jorge from Chota eight hours into the mountains –up and down and there is one part that lasts for three hours where the road is about a half-mile above a drop to the river down below. If a driver were to go off that road, he would be a goner. In one of the new groups there is a high school teacher and a nurse, as well as some high school students. We meet in a room provided to us by the local clinic – interesting.
Last Saturday we had a meeting of the region’s pastors to plan the work for this year and how to reach new areas. Soon we will have 20 churches in this region. When Udelia and I arrived four years ago, there were just eight or ten congregations. God is really blessing now! I am preparing Bible lessons to send to the local church leaders for them to use.
I also have to prepare the missiology institute materials. Every other month the group gathers for one week of intensive classes then they take home lessons to study in the interim. This year, we have 14 students who came to the on-site classes and four others who could only study from home. There were three professors. We were encouraged that some of the new students are young people who we believe will be ready to go into these new churches when they finish their studies. It was also a surprise to us this year to have three women among the students. In years past, there has only been one. God is calling women this year.
We are so grateful to Christian Triumph Company for the offerings that pay for the professors’ room and board, the course materials and to hire a cook for the week. And we are now stocked up with literature for use in edification of the church, El Mensajero de Esperanza, as well as tracts for evangelism, thanks to CTC.
We are starting this semester of missiology and ministerial studies on the 10th. Additionally we have a group of Sunday school teachers that we are going to train in a two-day event.
My wife Udelia’s health is better now and thank God, my 10-year visa to the U.S. was renewed.
I am in Chota now; I got here last night and today Pastor Jorge, another brother and I are taking literature, films and Bible courses to work with during the day as we invite people to attend an evening service.
Last week I was going through the mountains, travelling toward Trujillo, in a town called Magdalena that produces fruit and sugar cane. It’s between the high mountains. I walked up the mountains to visit a man had been with the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.) a long time ago. But when my wife and I left for mission work in Ecuador and Chile, no one ever came again to visit this man. There were three churches in this area and I met with the three leaders and they told me, “We are from the Church of God, but we’re all alone up here. No leader has ever come to visit us. We have received visits from pastors from other churches, but nothing from the Church of God.”
So in talking with these leaders and one other, they decided to join us. We are incorporated separately from the other Church of Gods (Anderson, Ind.) in Peru. To do that, we had to change our name, so we are actually recognized as a new movement, which is why the Church of God leaders in Peru have told me they don’t recognize our organization as being as part of theirs. But in actuality, each region has its own corporation, and ours is the largest of the Church of God in Peru. There are three churches in the jungle, two in Lima, five between Chepen and Chiclayo on the coast and we have 16 churches in Cajamarca. And we have a plan for each congregation to plant another church within the next two years, working in conjunction with other denominations if we need to. We are praying that God will provide leaders to continue this growth.
It’s rainy all throughout the region now. I have been in the mountains this
week, taking literature and new testaments to the people there. I also was able
to conduct some Bible studies in different homes. While I was travelling through
the mountains, I met up with a man who had been in a Bible study last month and
he told me, “Pastor Zamora, I have decided to accept Jesus and I hope that next
month my children can come and hear the Word of God.” It’s always interesting
how so many people need Jesus.