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Mission: Peru 2011

Dispatches

This Evangelic Expedition was carried out from May 9 to 20, 2011.

 

By Gary Fallesen

President, Climbing For Christ

 

Friday, May 20

 

The U.S. members of Mission: Peru returned to their homes and families late this afternoon. Tired but feeling blessed to be a blessing during this 12-day Evangelic Expedition.

 

“Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” — Psalm 115:1

 

Thursday, May 19

 

We are homeward bound, having made the eight-hour drive from Huaraz to Lima to catch our overnight flight back to North America. Four airports and this part of Mission: Peru is complete. But the groundwork for Climbing For Christ ministry in the Cordillera Blanca has only just been put in place.

 

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” — Psalm 89:14

 

Wednesday, May 18

 

As we hiked toward Huandoy Este’s magnificent 3,300-foot (1,000-meter) face on Tuesday, Edwin was walking ahead of me. Edwin climbed that face just like his father before him. But it wasn’t the face of the mountain I was seeing. I was seeing the face of a C4C-sponsored mountaineer.

 

This notion — delivered, I believe, from the throne room of God — was discussed during our C4C Peru planning meeting today. Edwin, Jaime, Jordan and I were looking at the many opportunities  God has laid out before us these past eight days.

 

 

Jaime Servat, left, and Edwin Milla — C4C Peru’s newly appointed co-leaders.

Tonight, when 15 people — including seven current and three prospective members — met at the C4C Peru “home office” in Edwin's house, we introduced C4C’s new missionary to Peru (Jaime) and our sponsored climber (Edwin). They will team up to co-direct C4C Peru.

 

The missionary and the mountaineer; it is a partnership in climbing that was made in heaven.

 

Among the many things discussed in our planning meeting was a visit to a village that it is another two hours of driving and three hours of trekking past Yanama. It will be the first survey of many to remote mountain villages to find unevangelized or undiscipled people in the Cordillera Blanca.

 

Our goal is to index the spiritual and physical needs in these places — with Peruvian members going on the survey trips — and then come up with a game plan for serving the lost and the suffering. This will lead to Mission: Peru 2012, which will be held sometime between May and September 2012.

 

There are many other opportunities under prayerful consideration. We just know that God has blessed our hiking socks off on this trip.

 

After a two-hour C4C Peru gathering, we had a sumptuous feast — prepared by Joseph Milla, a mountain cook and Edwin’s younger brother. It was a fitting last supper as this Evangelic Expedition nears its end.

 

Tuesday, May 17

 

On our way out of the Yanama District we stopped in Chalhua and delivered two boxes of food the team did not use during its visits to mountain villages in the Cordillera Blanca. We gave one to 9-year-old Alison and her grandparents and the other to Pastor Isabel and her family of 10. Then it was “adios” and we continued down the road.

 

 

The team treks toward Huandoy (20,955 feet/6,350 meters). In photo (from back toward front of line) are team members Jordan, Jesse and Edwin. Edwin, a mountain guide, counts among his ascents the 3,300-foot (1,000-meter) face of Huandoy Este. 

 

We stopped at about 15,000 feet (4,545 meters) after going through the Portachuelo Pass and started a four-hour trek between the 5,000-meter peak Yanapaqcha (18,018 feet) and the 6,000-meter Chacraraju (20,170 feet). It was a mostly clear, sunny day with blue skies highlighting the white snow on the majestic peaks surrounding us. We walked in awe of the God Who created this indescribable beauty.

 

We descended out at 13,000 feet and continued our dusty, bumpy ride for another three hours back to Huaraz, where we will spend the next two nights..

 

Much has happened in a short time (seven days) in Peru. It is rare for a survey trip to produce such bountiful results. We give all thanks and praise to God, who prepared the way.

 

We have a great deal to pray about, consider, and plan. The C4C Peru members, especially those from Huaraz who have been major players in this Evangelic Expedition, are a great blessing to the work that has been and will be done.

 

We will be meeting, praying and planning on Wednesday for what the Lord will have us do next. It is an exciting time in Peru and just the beginning of Climbing For Christ’s ministry in South America.

 

“For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” — Ephesians 2:10

Monday, May 16

Only God knows the hearts of those with whom we have shared. But at least seven people prayed for salvation and another recommitted his life to Jesus in the remote, dirt-poor mountain village of Chalhua (11,900 feet/3,625 meters).

 

The soul saved by the Spirit that moved us the most was 9-year-old Alison Moreno. Alison’s mother is in the hospital in Lima suffering from epilepsy and her father deserted her. Alison is living with her maternal grandmother and grandfather. The grandfather, a drunkard, claimed to want Jesus in his life and we prayed for him.

 

 

The child who stole the team's heart.

 

Alison spent much of the day with us, singing to us with the voice of an angel and eating a lunch of pan-fried fish and potatoes by our side. She took Jesse and Jaime with her to do chores with the family’s sheep. We will try to get her to Lima (about a 14-hour drive away) to see her mother, Taina, when Jaime goes to see and pray for Taina.

 

We were guests of Pastor Isabel Obregon, who has had a house church here for two years. There is a small, but growing (especially after today - praise the Lord!) body of believers. We walked around the village of more than 1,000 handing out all our New Testaments and scores of tracts. We shared Jesus with many and some responded. It was an answer to our morning prayer to “give ’em heaven” in Chalhua.

 

Pastor Isabel and Pastor Santos Florentino Ortego, who oversees the Assembly of God churches in the district and traveled with us to Yanama, requested assistance in building a church. We told them before evangelizing the village that it was our prayer that they would need a large church by the end of the day.

 

 

The land where a proposed church (the first) for the village of Chalhua would be built with C4C's help. Contrahierbas, a 19,918-foot (6,036-meter) peak, stands in the background.

 

We were shown the land for sale next to Isabel’s home. It would cost about US$1,800 to purchase. Pastor Florentino estimated the cost of building a church at US$6,000. We told them we would take this request to the Lord.

 

Normally, 22 people worship in the church at Chalhua, but tonight we outgrew the house-church setting and worshiped with more than 60 under a full moon at the “church in the field.” Several of those who accepted Jesus earlier in the day attended, which warmed us on a cold night.

Sunday, May 15

The road to Portachuelo Pass.

 

We left Musho and made a seven-hour drive up and down a curvy mountainous dirt road to more remote and poorer villages on the other side of the Cordillero Blanca. The drive took us through the Portachuelo Pass at 15,700 feet (4,767 meters) with jaw-dropping views of His creation. We were surrounded by 6,000-meter (20,000-foot) peaks Huascaran, Chopicalqui and Huandoy as well as numerous 5,000-meter (16,500-foot) peaks, and looking down on turqoise-colored high-altitude lagoons.

 

 

A precious child we gave a ride to on the way to Yanama. Her mother and brother were with her. Turns out they are one of the two Christian families in Chalhau, a village of more than 1,000.

 

The drive brought us to the town of Yanama (11,200 feet/3,400 meters), which is located near one of the villages we will evangelize — Chalhua (11,800 feet/3,575 meters).

 

Saturday, May 14

 

The Evangelic Expedition began in earnest when Jordan shared with and prayed for the salvation of two boys in Cajapampa, a village sitting a few kilometers from and a little higher than Musho. Juan then convicted a “grandma” with a self-proclaimed hardened heart and led her in prayer to Jesus.

 

 

Juan, right, prays for a man with Jordan.

 

Juan next led an older man to the Lord. At the same time, Jesse was leading a woman to Jesus. Numerous children were prayed for and finally a man prayed for salvation with Jaime and the rest of the group near the end of a day-long trek through Cajapampa, a village of more than 1,800 people situated beneath the breathtaking Nevado Huascaran.

 

 

Huascaran.

 

Along the way we were invited into a house church that requested our assistance. We prayed about their desire to find land and build a church, knowing if it is God's dream for them it will happen in His perfect time.

 

Our fears that we’d been invited to a dinner of guinea pig were confirmed on our way to another evening gathering of the local church. We sang praises with more than three dozen members this time. We had much to give thanks for again this day as God blessed us with the honor of serving as His hands and feet to deliver the Gospel.

 

We left the church with the message: “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” They have work to do. Based on what we found, the soil here is fertile. We encouraged them to get out and bring in the harvest for the Lord. The work continues — for us and the rest of the body of Christ.

 

Friday, May 13

 

 

 

Huascaran, Peru's tallest mountain, in the sunshine behind the steeple of a Catholic church being built in Musho.

 

We set out from Huaraz to deliver the Gospel to mountain villages the next five days, stopping first in Mancos. Jaime was given land there to build on and asked us to dedicate it. He would like to make it a mission house or a church for Climbing For Christ. There is no Christian church in this village of about 3,100.

 

As Jaime said, “I'm crazy for His business.” He is C4C (Crazy For Christ).

 

We prayed (and will continue to pray) for God’s blessing on and direction for the use of this land.

 

After Mancos we continued on to Musho at about 10,200 feet (3,091 meters), where we are camping for two nights and spending Saturday evangelizing in the foothills beneath Huascaran — Peru’s tallest mountain at 22,344 feet (6,768 meters).

 

In the evening we worshiped with a local church. About two dozen brothers and sisters gathered to sing His praises.

 

Thursday, May 12

 

Nevado Churup (18,134 feet/5,495 meters) looms above our trail to Laguna Churup (14,685 feet/4,450 meters).

 

Our acclimatization hike turned into an acclimatization scramble up the rocks beside a waterfall at an elevation higher than any summit in the contiguous U.S.

 

After sleeping one night at the Blessed Relief Lodging, a Christian-owned guest house in Huaraz (10,200 feet/3,091 meters), we headed for Pitec and a hike up to Laguna Churup at 14,685 feet (4,450 meters). The last 500 feet (150 meters) was a scramble using hands and feet on slick rock and in thin air in the rain. The reward was time to soak in God’s awesome creation – both the high-altitude lagoon and Nevado Churup (18,134 feet/5,495 meters).

 

Our team of six (four Americans and two Peruvians) was joined by our newest C4C member Juan Mautino, 26,who is studying to be a mountain guide and will serve as our team’s cook. Together, we read Psalms 121 and 127, and prayed thanks to our heavenly Father.

 

This six-hour hike was to prepare us for climbs into mountain villages in the Cordillera Blanca over the next week. For Jordan and Justin, it marked personal highs. No one on the team had any serious problems with altitude, so we are ready.

 

On our way back to Huaraz, we stopped in the village of Llupa (around 12,000 feet/3,636 meters) to visit Pastor Andres Milla and the three leaders of the Iglesia Evangelica Peruana church. The pastor invited us to eat and requested assistance for his church. We prayed for him and told him we will be praying for how God desires us to work with churches in the mountains of Peru.

 

Wednesday, May 11

 

 

Jaime Servat welcoming the team to Peru.

 

Peru members Jaime Servat and Edwin Milla were waiting in the airport, welcome sign in hand, to greet us after our eight-hour overnight flight from Los Angeles to Lima. Jaime was overjoyed to be able to meet a C4C team from the United States. During the seven-hour drive from Lima to Huaraz he recalled learning about the ministry five years ago.

 

“I want to remember today specially to tell how God linked us through His Holy Spirit using a Belgian trekker when I was outreaching His name to the farmers and climbers in the Llamac village (on the) way to Cordillera Huayhuash to the southeast of Huaraz,” Jaime read from a letter of welcome as another C4C member (Franklin Chavez) and his brother (Victor) drove our rented van.

 

The Belgian asked Jaime if he was a Christian climber. “I said no, I am not. I am a Christian missionary trekker.” But, Jaime said, “this meeting and conversation guided me to pray and (search online for) ministries related to climbers.”

 

“So great was my awesome God when He showed me www.climbingforchrist.org. Then reading the HIStory, I was moved by His Spirit to apply my membership and after another day I was crying, blessed, excited to be the first member in my country and to be recognized as a missionary, too.”

 

Now there are a dozen members here, most of them in the mountainous Huaraz area. Huaraz (population 48,000, elevation 10,200 feet/3,091 meters) stands in the shadow of the stupendous Cordillera Blanca, the highest mountain range outside the Himalayas. This is where our team is now.

 

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” — 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

Tuesday, May 10

 

Our Mission: Peru and Mission: Possible 6 teams met in Los Angeles on Monday for a day of training today in preparation for these two Evangelic Expeditions. After enjoying dinner and fellowship Monday night, seven team members from three time zones in North America dug into the Word and teachings that will be applied to respective trips.

 

We opened with the first of two weeks of daily devotionals and prayer. We then watched Louie Giglio’s study “God’s Passion for God’s Glorification” before an extended C4C teaching on one of the world’s religions about to be encountered by the MP6 team. There was more sharing, prayer, singing (Tommy Walker’s “He Knows My Name” accompanied by the backpacker guitar), and In-N-Out Burger lunch.

 

Both teams have overnight flights out of the country and are eager to go and glorify His name. We have C4C members waiting in the respective destinations to help us deliver the Good News.

 

“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” — Romans 11:36

Introduction

Jaime Jesus Servat of Huaraz, Peru has been a member of Climbing For Christ since 2006. He has waited patiently for C4C to send a short-term team to his country for an Evangelic Expedition. But he has not waited idly.

Jaime is an evangelist. On our Mission: Peru 2011 team bios page, he lists his occupation as “Missionary to South America.” No small order, but Jaime is up for the challenge. He’s already taken the Gospel into mountain villages in Peru and crossed the border into Colombia and Ecuador. [CLICK HERE to read “The cost of a soul? Priceless”]

He’ll be leading our group — which includes the “J-Team” (Jesse Fallesen, Jordan Rowley and Justin Rowley, all from Rochester, N.Y. USA) as well as Edwin Milla of Huaraz, Peru — into the Cordillera Blanca.

“God will move us to His people, who will have ears (to hear) and accept His call,” Jaime said about the mountain Quechua people we will encounter. Fewer than 2 percent of a population of about 379,000 are considered Christian, according to the Joshua Project.

“They will be blessed to receive a great spiritual and physical blessing with our team, which in His time will (occur),” Jaime added.

Jaime knows about God’s timing. “His time is running to favor our first Evangelic Expedition in South America,” he said last month.

His time has come for Jaime and C4C to deliver the Good News in Peru together.

The Word

“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.”
—Isaiah 60:1

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
— John 3:16

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”
— Ephesians 5:8

“Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.”
— Acts 28:31

The Team

Franklin Chavez, Huaraz, Peru; Gary Fallesen, Hilton, N.Y., USA; Jesse Fallesen, Rochester, N.Y., USA; Juan Mautino, Huaraz, Peru; Edwin Milla, Huaraz, Peru; Jordan Rowley, Rochester, N.Y., USA; Justin Rowley, Rochester, N.Y., USA; Jaime Servat, Huaraz, Peru.

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