As we prepare for the another summer camp in Trujillo, Peru we wanted to let you see pictures from last years camp and let you know the impact that was made. We would love for more people to join us in Peru for this short term trip to help bring Christian Camping to the children of Peru. If you are interested in joining us January 2-10, 2009 email us at Nasekos@perumission.org.
Some details about our last camp:
From 100-800 AD the Moche empire spread across much of Peru. In the capital of this empire are the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon: the center for Moche worship and human sacrifice. It was at the feet of these two massive temples, which lay in ruin and decay, that the mission team from First Presbyterian Church brought the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Responding to a call from Peru Mission and the Reformed congregations of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Peru in Trujillo, FPC Jackson sent 27 people to help start the Reformed Christian Camp of Peru. The team was a mix of believers from age 7 to 61 from FPC, several Mississippi churches and out of state churches (Louisiana, Tennessee and Virginia). We went to help the churches in Trujillo learn another way (summer camp) to minister to children. Each church is surrounded by neighborhoods full of children and many of these kids attend church without their parents. These churches have heard of the impact of the Twin Lakes ministry in Mississippi and wanted to see what kind of impact a ministry like Twin Lakes could have in Peru. We were blown away and humbled as we witnessed God’s mighty hand at work. Children (145 of them with 15 from the local orphanage) had a blast at camp with people that showed them Christ’s love, doing activities that many of them had never done (horseback riding, swimming, archery, playing on a huge inflatable slide and more), memorizing Bible verses, singing songs, learning from God’s word (Jesus is the Good Shepherd, Jesus is the Bread of Life, Jesus is the Resurrection and Jesus is the Light of the World), eating good food and snacks – the Peruvians got a taste of Twin Lakes. The children loved camp, talked about it constantly with their families at home and arrived earlier and earlier each day ready to start.
God used the camp to do more than we ever imagined. Not only were kids impacted but the congregations and neighborhoods were changed: 1) Members of each congregation worked together in a way that the missionaries had never seen (30 Peruvians joined our team of 27 making a group of 57 camp staff!). The people were united and joyfully worked side by side. 2) Many fathers in the neighborhoods do not want their children to attend church because they think Christians are ignorant. After their children returned from camp each day talking about what they learned, saw and did, the fathers committed to sending their kids to church every Sunday. 3) Many adults let us know how encouraged, built up and strengthened in their faith they had become through the camp. The people involved in camp were so thankful that they flooded us with gifts, notes, posters, hugs, many big thank you’s and begged us to return next year. Not only did God use this mission trip to impact children and encourage and build up the churches in Peru but those who went on the trip were changed. Here are some comments from team members: “The fact that we saw Kingdom fruit - beyond anything we ever dreamed of - was such a gift from the Lord ... to let us SEE some fruit before we left - that was incredible!” “…she then lit up and said, "Mom, I really want to go with you next year!" Cute thing... I immediately said that we need to start praying now about that and see how God leads! How cool is that? A fruit of this trip is that my children get to see the need for us (1st) to obey God when He calls, and (2nd) that there is need to go somewhere else in the world - (3rd) to be more aware of the needs right in front of us.”
“I was so awed by the entire group and the work we accomplished.... that our feeble (in the grand scheme of things) efforts were used by God for so many Kingdom issues - incredible!... that the Church was strengthened - way cool!”
“It was an absolute blessing and joy to work with everyone from Twin Lakes… I feel as if I got more out of it than the kids…it was a trip I will never forget. It makes me want to live everyday for my God.”
“I loved the mission trip…thank you letting me go…I want to know what I need to do for next years trip to Peru.”
One team member even stayed behind to immediately start helping teach in Peru Mission’s language school for the month of January!
I wish all of you could have seen the context of the camp. Some of the camp days were held in the former capital of the Moche Empire near the feet of the Temple of the Moon where the Moche worshipped their false gods and enslaved and sacrificed humans. The ruins of this temple are currently being excavated and the skeletons of the sacrificed are being found. Descendants of the Moche were campers at our camp – no longer a people enslaved by fear and Satan – but running and playing freely amidst the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the summer of 2006, the theme at Twin Lakes was the Exodus and campers were taught how God delivered his people. The left over t-shirts from that summer were taken with us and given to the Peruvian campers who wore them at the feet of the decaying temple. On the back of those shirts is part of Exodus 6:6-7: “…I will deliver you…I will redeem you…I will take you to be my people and I will be your God.”
The God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, does make a difference in the lives of people. He makes all the difference in the world. Thank you for answering the call from Christian brothers and sisters in Peru and helping us begin a powerful ministry that they want to continue deep into the future.
By God's grace we desire to live our life to serve and glorify Jesus. He is our treasure. He is the one we trust. He is the one we love.
We are a family of eight praying that God will use us to minister to orphans around the world and encourage Christians to reach out in mercy to orphans. At home we serve with Palmer Home for Children. Palmer Home is a ministry to children who are growing up as social orphans without the nurture and support of a loving family. Palmer provides a stable, Christ-centered home for these children. Internationally we serve with Share the Hope. Share the Hope ministers to orphans around the world. Both at home and around the world we proclaim good news of Jesus Christ and reach out in mercy to these precious children. We hope that this blog is a testimony to you of God's mighty hand and that you are encouraged to serve Jesus with all your heart and to reach out to orphans.
Matthew, Sheila, Karina, Harrison, Isaac, Noah, Storey Grace and James!