What an awesome God we know and love! Our team of 16 individuals from Harvest Oakville left Pearson Airport at 7:30am on Saturday for Lima, Peru—24 hours later we’re here. Prayer has been our theme, praying in Toronto prior to takeoff, we prayed in Houston during a five-hour layover, and we prayed again in the hallway on the way to customs after landing at 12:30am. After one other group prayer on the bus to our hotel we finally went to bed just after 2:30am.
Sunday breakfast hit the spot after 3–4 hours of sleep and we boarded our bus for a 60-minute drive to church with 1,500 believers in a building with a cement slab floor, a steel flat roof, and white plastic patio chairs. Fifteen of the 16 of us have never been to Peru, so a service in Spanish was an incredible blessing.
The traffic here on the roads is a little challenging. Some of the districts we drove through were eye-openers, poverty on one corner and the Sony Store on another. Did you know 10 million people live in the Lima area?
We hopped off the bus, running a little late and turned the corner down an alleyway to be greeted by the sweetest children who welcomed us, a touching moment as we gazed at their smiling faces. As we walked up the alley we passed a notice board filled with notes from children sponsored by Compassion Canada saying thanks for on going generosity and support. If you sponsor a child or ever wondered if your letters or financial support make a difference, we can tell you without doubt that God is at work here and lives are being changed for his glory! Did you know that Compassion International sponsors over 65,000 children in Peru?
One of the most touching moments of the three-hour long church service was when our group was invited up to the front and the pastor and those in attendance raised their hands to pray over us.
During the service a group of 16 youngsters between the ages of 11 and 13 were called to the front of the church and given certificates and medals for completing a three-year biblical training program. We sang Peru’s national anthem and it was such a privilege to see the next generation of young Christian leaders being raised up. The church is in the midst of a building campaign to raise funds for a new church building and the pastor hoped the next time a group of Canadians come to visit there will be a brand new building in place!
Overall a great first day in the city of Lima. We are so excited to see a number of Compassion Canada’s partner churches and work they do for the gospel in the surrounding area of Lima this week.