My church has multi-sites. One is in Lima, Peru. Brittany's just returned from her second summer missionary trip to the Peru campus where she noticed how the church had grown. Brittany is the girl on the right in the blue shirt. She has no financial backing; she's a twelfth grade student who paid for her plane fare, living expenses, food, and spending money by working two part-time jobs. She went to Peru with a group of sixteen teens and three adults Thursday, July 17th through Thursday, July 24th. Read Garland's blog for an adult perspective and Craig's blog for a look through a teen's eyes.
The missionary group visited a girls' orphanage that partners with my church. They delivered the handmade blankets they had brought with them. The blankets were made with one side of felt and the other side of fabric. They were tied with a fringe. Each girl got a bottle of nail polish. Boys from another orphanage got toy cars. All children received 200 goody bags containing candy, trinkets, and crayons for school.
They spent time with the children. They played. They danced. They held a worship service. Here is a picture of Brittany singing while others played musical instruments.
On another day the group visited a private school. Brit expressed surprise that the walls were made of thin cardboard-like material. "People PAY to go there!"she exclaimed.
On two occasions, they visited an English speaking college. Key chains printed with the Peruvian church campus address were handed out. "How much do they cost?" one boy questioned. Another asked if it cost to "go to that church?"
Brittany said, "God totally used that time." Some of the college students have already visited the Lima church. Others are expected this weekend--just because of a visit and key chains!
When I asked Brittany what stands out from the trip, she told me about Pachacutec, a shanty town. It is a huge area along the beautiful coastline of the Pacific Ocean; however, it is pretty much desert, and nothing grows there. The Peruvians live there in cardboard houses without electricity, proper water, or sanitary arrangements. The mission group with the pastor and friends at Pachacutec are pictured here.
Our church leaves clothing whenever they make a trip. The temperature is opposite us; this is a cold time for them.
The group took a meal of roasted chicken, french fries, and drinks to the Pachacutec people.
The local pastor preached, and the group sang songs. Afterward, the pastor thrilled Brittany when he told her, "I saw Christ in you."
What a way for a teen to spend a summer! By the way, Brittany is my granddaughter!