Tuesday, July 29th we came back early from the orphanage and decided to have a prayer walk through the small village of Cachora. Small as in two cement paved streets, and one cobblestone-street with the rest being dirt roads. With a team of 15 including Sam Soap who was most fluent in Spanish, Savannah Mora, Matt Moore, and Matt Haak being able to communicate somewhat in Spanish we split into teams of three or four to walk the 8 streets, handout tracts, and pray as we walked.
When I wasn’t praying I was reading my Bible out loud (psalms) and walking with Terry and Savannah. The first couple we came upon was sitting at a little shop near the town square. They were young, maybe 27-30 when I handed them a tract and Savannah spoke to them. They both took a tract and thanked us so we walked on. Every adult we came to we gave a tract to and blatantly stated we were Christian’s from America and we were trying to share the gospel of Jesus with everyone. After walking a square mile or so we came back around to the town square and the 1st young lady we had given the tract to was standing on the corner waiting to talk to us. Savannah talked to her briefly, and all I could make out was that the young lady tearfully asked for another tract to give to someone else stating that the message on the tract was so “necessita” (necessary) in her life at this time. We walked away thanking God for using us and for those Billy Graham tracts someone provided.
Over the next 5 days every time we went to town, just 5 min. from the hostel, Dave and I handed out candy to children and tracts to adults and tried to speak to everyone that would listen. I was amazed at how the people took the tracts and immediately began to read them intently. It was obvious that God was at work because some read them thoroughly and were very grateful for the gift. One shop keeper was very touched by the message and thanked us sincerely. Another shop keeper named Gizelle saw my bible and asked if I was a Christian. I was shocked she spoke English, but it was a wonderful moment of encouragement as she testified of her faith in Christ Jesus. I took the opportunity to ask about the town’s people and their faith. She indicated there were not many she considered Christian, but indicated there were many Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and some Penetcostal’s (who were not well received). She thanked me for stopping in her shop and talking to her. God was at work even in the small efforts.
On Saturday afternoon Savannah, Terry, and I had some free time before dinner and took the opportunity to speak to Jovannah, the inn-keeper’s wife, about her faith. We had been visiting a few minutes when Savannah just candidly asked Jovannah if she was Christian. It was a wonderfully encouraging conversation. Like many Peruvians Jovannah was given to another family to raise due to poverty and the family who raised her were active Catholics. She became a believer at age 9, but by age 13 she had witnessed to much hypocrisy and stopped being active. She assured us that she has never stopped trusting in Jesus and she considers herself a believer. As for her husband Jan he has a reputation of not being a believer due to the poverty and cruelty he saw in India and other parts of the world when he was a young man in his twenty’s. However he joined the team in prayer on more than one occasion, grasping hands, and bowing his head. That little bit gave me hope that God is still working on him.
One final testimony about our witnessing that occurred in Lima on the way to the coast. I had been praying for Madeline and Sara that morning and as God would have it they rode in the same cab as Terry and I. God had just placed them on my heart that morning with no specific concerns, just praying God’s grace in their lives. Anyway I got into the same cab with the three girls, Terry, Sara, and Madeline sat in the back while I rode up front. The cabby’s name was Bladamiere (like Vladimir) Ramirez, if memory serves me. He was from Spain not Peru, and his English was as poor as my Spanish. 5 minutes into the ride I decided I was going to see if I could put a tract on his dashboard for him to read later. However he began to read it immediately, which put us in no more danger than we already were; South American driving is consistently like herding cats…lanes, lights, and courtesy seem to have no real significance; speed, horn blowing, and depth perception rule the road. Anyway the tract began a conversation between Bladamiere and me that lasted the entire drive. At one point he was trying to say that we were similar believers in the same Christ as a Catholic and a Christian who believe in the same Jesus. He seemed so encouraged and interested in my Christian faith he never put the tract down and kept referring back to it the entire 25 minute trip. I’m not sure what he understood, but I got from him that he is a believer, he is from Spain and is going back there in September to see his three daughters and niece. When the trip ended he wanted to hug me and said thank you several times. God is so good to use a mono-linguistic willing servant like me, and I was so grateful to God to have those three girls in the back seat witnessing the whole conversation and reaction. There were others I spoke to in the market place who were proud to say they were Christian brothers, and I had no reason to doubt. It was simply an amazing trip that brought out the evangelist/encourager in me that seldom is seen in San Antonio and I praise God for those brief moments in my life which have eternal consequences.
In the Name of Jesus,