This was a day I’ll never forget. It started with an adventure I’d only dreamed of as a kid and ended with hundreds of people being eternally impacted with help for today and hope for tomorrow.
Take a look at this video clip to catch a quick glimpse of our journey down the Amazon River.
As we traveled by boat along the longest river in the world, I thought of all the undiscovered villages that are along its banks . . . and the thousands of people who have never had the opportunity to hear the name of Jesus.
Here in Peru, we have the remarkable privilege of sharing the Good News with people who have barely set foot outside their own communities, much less heard of a man who died for their sins more than 2,000 years ago. World Help church planters are strategically working in dozens of these remote villages, raising up new congregations of passionate Christ followers and distributing copies of God’s Word in their native language.
This new partnership is unlocking the doors to a historical movement of God, giving hope to thousands who have wandered in confusion for so long. In the village of Shushuna, located in Iquitos, we have been able to sow seeds of trust in the community by providing for both spiritual and physical needs.
Thanks to the tremendous generosity of World Help supporter Paul Trott Jr., we had the privilege of opening the doors to a brand-new church building in the heart of Shushuna. It is the only evangelical church in existence here and will serve the needs of the community of more than 300 men, women, and children with the love of Jesus.
The church is called Lirios De Los Valles, which is translated to mean “Lilies of the Valley.” It is a place of hope and restoration for years to come . . . a place where hundreds will hear about a God who cares for them and will provide their needs.
We also met with 13 church planters and had an extraordinary time of training, encouragement, and prayer. These fearless servants of Christ are risking it all to share the Gospel, braving the dangers of traveling by river and through the jungle to reach the unreached . . . the back rows of the world . . . those who have never heard the Good News, not even once.
Pastor Vasquez, one of our church planters, shared a remarkable testimony with us. For years, he had been praying and fasting for the Lord to provide a church building for his congregation to meet. He told no one about this, but committed to seek the Lord every day with this God-sized task. One day, as he was reading Zechariah 6:15, he sensed the Holy Spirit assuring him that God was preparing someone to help him:
Pastor Vasquez kept praying and kept obeying. And not long after, God answered by allowing our paths to cross . . . paving the way for the new church building he had been praying for. Now Pastor Vasquez is leading 55 people in worship and the study of God’s Word, running with the faith that has taught him to always expect great things from God.
But that’s not all. The spiritual transformation taking place in Shushuna is just one of the many ways God’s love is being proclaimed day in and day out.
Today, the people here are also gaining access to clean water for the very first time as a result of last year’s Third Annual causelife Golf Tournament in Forest, Virginia, hosted by my friend Kevin Foster and his wife, Pam. Inspired by the vision of the tournament, golfer Derek Cha committed to funding this well in Shushuna, breaking the grip of poverty and providing renewed health and opportunity for years to come.
This is just another incredible example of the level of dedication we have from our supporters. They don’t just stand on the sidelines and applaud what we do—they get involved! Lives are being changed forever because of their decision to join us in what God is doing here and around the world.
I hope you’ll see over the next few days just how easy is to be a part of changing the world. All it takes is a willing heart . . . and the boldness to step out with your time, talent, and resources to invest in the lives of hurting people.
Stay tuned for more from our team as we seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus on the ground here in Peru. There’s nothing more exciting than going where God is already working . . . and seeing what can be accomplished if we choose to join Him.