It was our pleasure this past week to welcome aboard a 33-member team from different churches in the North Wilkesboro, NC area. The team was led by Frank and Dottie Shealy of Baptist Home Church of North WIlkesboro, NC, who have led several other teams in past years. Frank and Dottie’s two daughters, Stacy, Sandy and Sandy’s son, Andrew, were also on the team, which was especially nice for Frank and Dottie. (Sandy and Andrew live in Alabama.)
Dr. Joe Pinkerton and wife, Doreen, brought family members, Derek, Elisa, Jerry, Joshua and Randi for a family week of missions. Doreen, an RN, led the team in worship at each of the team meetings and is also a recording artist featuring her own words and music.
Dr. V. O. Roberson also brought some of his family, Lilly and Andrew. V.O. has also been on other teams here to help with the medical clinics and it is always good to see old friends again. and meet new ones. Steve and Marie Schmitz and children, Deedra and Winston also came as a family this past week for their first visit.
Dr. Shane Hodge, MD, Dra. Melissa Davidian DDS and Sandy Edwards, PT rounded out the American team and Dr. Tony, Dr. Ottmar, DDS, Charles, RN, and Susie, RN rounded out the AMM team.
This team functioned in unity and all of the doctors were so nice and easy to work with and much good work was done to help restore health to the people of the Amazon River villages of Sapo Playa, Santa Martha, Santa Elena, Nuevo Porvenir and Nuevo San Juan. A total of 503 medical and dental attentions were given. Each of the families received a bible, new glasses as needed, mosquito nets, clothing, sandals, medicine and food.
We started each day with a full church service and many came forward for salvation or reconciliation at each altar call. It is still an amazing sight to see people leave their seats and publicly declare their intentions to live for Jeshua, accepting Him as Lord and Savior. There were 66 salvations and 49 reconciliations, to God be the glory!
In Santa Elena, when we went there the very first time in 2007, when I had presented the gospel story of Jeshua from creation to heaven, one elderly gentleman stood and said that the story was beautiful, but they really hadn’t heard it and didn’t really understand all of it. Then he sat down and another young man stood and said, No, we don’t understand it, but we would like to learn about this. Then he asked us to come back and teach more. No one responded to the altar call on that visit.
Former pastor of Baptist Home Church, Lonnie Chenowith, came with his daughter, Karis, and he and Frank worked the prayer station, seeing many accept Christ as their personal Savior.
So the visit this past week was our third and I went into the village before the team went in, while our crew was setting up the big tent, and spoke with several people, who said they had never accepted Jesus and were not Christians. After the gospel was presented, 15 people came forward at the altar call for the very first time for salvations and 11 came for rededication!
We gave chickens, rice and green plantains to a woman in the village and she cooked a noon meal for the entire village.
In the afternoon, Autumn led the VBS exercises and the adults and children alike love this part of the day! They had sack races, piggy back races along with other games and crafts. It was fun and very exciting to watch, even for the parents!
Friday morning we ended up the week’s activities before noon on a bleak, windy, rainy day with the temperature hovering at 61 degrees F. and after temps in the 90s that is quite a shocking temperature! I had a sweater, a hooded sweatshirt on top of that and a warm fleece jacket on top of all that! I also wore gloves and had my hoodie up! We headed out for our home port and encountered no mishaps during our travels, for which we are very grateful to the Lord for His protection.
The team spent Friday in town enjoying the sights and sounds of a new city and shopped and enjoyed themselves. It was a fun team and many good conversations were had around the table while enjoying a good meal. It was a pleasure to serve this team and see them serve the Peruvian People of the River. We look forward to seeing ‘the rest of the story’ of what all really happened during this week of ministry, as now we only see from our earthly perspective, but some day we will be able to see it from a heavenly point of view!
There were several young people on this trip: Deedra, Winston, Lillian, Andrew, Randi, Josh, Elisa, Derek, Sarah, Anna, Jessica, Tim, Joey, Lauren, Andrew, Karis, Ali, who were all under 25. Boys and girls alike did a lot of fishing this past week!
We appreciate all who participated in coming on this trip, all who sent them or helped them in any way to get here and for all the churches represented here this week, including our own home church, Free Chapel, Gainesville, GA and all they do for us and the ministry here! It took each one doing their part to make this week possible. Eternal things happened here this past week and by God’s grace and favor, what was started here will continue on and remaining fruit will be wrought for the Kingdom!
People are staying away from the mission field by the billions and many wonder, yea even criticize why people have to go to other countries to preach the gospel to the lost when there are so many people lost in the USA.
Well, first, Jesus told us to go. There is something in that little word, ‘Go!’ that we have somehow not grasped. He said to His disciples to start in Jerusalem, their home town, but not to stay there, but to go on to the uttermost parts of the world to make disciples. There should be sufficient people at home to reach those at home, along with 24/7 Christian TV, radio and churches in every community with multiple services each week.
But, the laborers are indeed few, who will follow Jeshua wherever He wants to go; wherever He wants them to go. Someone has said that if we are not going to reach the lost or at least sending others, are we in His will at all, since the one call for all is to be His witnesses? Oh, I’ve gone to meddling now!
Anyhow, we are grateful for these 33 people who were somewhere listening for their names and when they were called out, they obeyed the call. I know they have been blessed in the USA to be a blessing here in the jungle of Perú!
Looking forward to the next visit…….