Monday, February 09, 2009

For Such a Time as This

Last night at church we had a wonderful time. We had a young man who came to fill us in on a new project our denomination has begun - called Extreme Peru. There are many aspects involved, but the bottom line is that there will be new church plants in 7 major cities in Peru in the next few years.

Our denomination has been in Peru for many years - the northwest part of Peru has been growing Christians for these many years. The rest of Peru has not been infiltrated with our missions very much. That is about to change.

I was the missions president in our local church for 30 years, just retiring this past May. I was also on the district missions council, so have been deeply involved in missions most of my adult life. I at one time felt a call to be a missionary myself, and that is a long story which I may relate someday.

While I was the missions president, Work and Witness projects began to come to life - laymen and pastors would get together on a project somewhere in the world. The local church raised funds for the building project, the team members paid their own way, took vacation time, and went somewhere to minister - coming back never to be the same again.

I always wanted our church to be able to participate, but we were small and the amount of money seemed overwhelming in those years. Finally the day came when several folks from our church went with a district team. This was a way of getting our feet wet. As a matter of fact, it was a trip to Kenya, working on the college campus where Kevin eventually ended up, and where he met Sema. Then there was a trip to Venezuela. The bug had bit our church in a bit way - we would never be able to go back.

As I sat in church last night, I began "connecting the dots," and was amazed to realize all that God had put together that I can now see. A new pastor came - his son graduated with his master's degree in Spanish after spending time in Costa Rica. Trying to decide God's will for his next move, he went to Peru as a short term volunteer.

Our church went to northern Peru to build a church - DC and Kev were part of that team. Pastor's son was there to be part of the team. It wasn't long before pastor's son fell in love with a wonderful Peruvian young woman. She became a part of our church family, mostly from a distance, when they were married. Before long, they became commissioned career missionaries, and have since been sent to Argentina.

While they were still in Peru, our church took another trip down there - this time to Arequipa, way down in the south, close to the mountaintop Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.




DC went on this trip as well, and their project was the beginning of a district center building. The team members fell in love with this place and decided to go back two years later, this past summer, to continue work on the project. Nothing had been done in the interim.

The group came back from that trip determined that this building would be completed sooner rather than later, and that we were the ones who should do it, since we had so much invested already. They presented the vision and passion to our congregation, and our pledges for mission giving this year were double the norm - more than half to go to Arequipa. The money was to go down there to buy supplies and pay locals to do the work - they can do it much more economically.

Enter Extreme Peru. A dynamic young man was scheduled to speak at our church last night. We were anxious to hear what was happening. Little did we know that Arequipa was scheduled as one of the projects for this new aggressive, assertive project. When the young man came to speak to us, he spent time with our new missions president, who was also the person who had arranged the two previous trips to Arequipa. She was able to fill in the blanks with this wonderful young guy as to our piece of this amazing puzzle.

Rewind to last July - the sad time in our church when Dan died - he was the son of our current president. Dan had been to Arequipa on the first trip and was scheduled to go the next month - instead he went to heaven. The building, when it is completed, will be named in his honor and is scheduled to be dedicated in August. Quite a few of our folks are planning to be there.

At Dan's funeral, a young woman from our church was irrevocably changed. She shared with us last night in the service that the affect Dan's legacy had on her has led her to a purpose in her life. She will be one of the young folks heading to Peru with Extreme Peru.

Do you see what I see? The hand of God has been on this entire project. There were times as missions president that I wondered why we kept concentrating on Peru. Why couldn't we go somewhere else where there were big needs? I see it all clearly now - God had a definite plan, and His will is being accomplished - in such an amazing way. If you're interested in more specifics, check it out here.

13 comments:

Diane@Diane's Place said...

It's amazing to look back and see God's hand at work in our lives. Even when we can't see it, He's in control and working out His plan.

Hope you have a great week, my friend.

Love and hugs,

Diane

Mary said...

Dawn,

God's hands can work in mighty ways even when we don't realize it's happening. What a great mission for your church.

I love the photograph. It makes me want to visit Peru.

Hope you have a week filled with abundant blessings.

Mary

Susie said...

This sounds like a wonderful mission for your church and a touching tribute to Dan.
xo

Sammy said...

Dawn,
Thank you so much for the little note you left me on my blog a few days ago. It truly brightened my day! :-)

Have a wonderful week and thanks for checking in on me!

Susan said...

It is always amazing how God words in and through our lives.
Susan

Needled Mom said...

Isn't it amazing when we can sit back and look at God at work in our lives? Thiw was an amazing read, Dawn. I really enjoyed hearing about how active and involved everyone became.

Linda said...

What a beautiful story Dawn. It reminds me of that visual of a piece of embroidery where we are looking from the back at all the knots and threads going in all directions, while all the while the Lord is creating a beautiful picture. I love it when He allows us a glimpse of the whole picture.
Praying all is well.

nancygrayce said...

This sounds so familiar as our church does a similar work in Uganda. It is indeed amazing to look backwards and see God's mighty plan unfold. It reaffirms His sovereignty!

We have a group in Uganda right now and our pastor baptized a muslim convert! So exciting!!!

PEA said...

This is all so wonderful, dear Dawn, and how blessed you must feel to finally realize that God has been working alongside all of you with this project from the very start!! I love the decision to name the new building after Dan, so very fitting. Hope you're having a great week my friend. xoxo

Sherry said...

The same speaker was at our church last weekend...and he's coming back this weekend. Such a small world huh? So neat to hear about Michelle and her adventure.

Christa said...

What a great post!
God Bless

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

HOw exciting! This is a huge accomplishment and I am so glad things are working out.

I apologize I haven't been around for awhile. I hope to be catching up soon. Have a wonderful week!

Robin said...

And even more dots . . . .

Whoever would have guessed that the Peru mission project that your church has been so havily involved in would be the very same one that will be completed by another team - a team that will include my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson.

When we connected as blogger friends - we had no idea that our lives would be so intertwined, did we?