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.
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.