Mission: Peru 2011
Showing up and watching Him work
Story and photos by Gary Fallesen
President, Climbing For Christ
Justin Rowley spoke to his church family after returning from our inaugural Mission: Peru in May. He thanked them for their prayers. “There was no opposition and every step was ordained due largely to prayers from the home front,” he said.
We had been covered in a commissioning prayer by my pastor, Larry Stojkovic, who shared these words from Acts 28:31: “Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Justin Rowley offers the Word of God to a man in the village of Cajapampa.
We went from village to village in the Cordillera Blanca mountains of central Peru preaching and teaching. With no obstacles, answering divine appointments set for us by the One who did the sending.
“I kept finding myself being broken over and over for each individual we had the privilege of ministering to,” recalled Jordan Rowley, Climbing For Christ’s spiritual coordinator. “My heart was touched by God in a new way.”
Two brothers (Justin and Jordan Rowley) along with a son and his father (Jesse Fallesen and me) traveled from Rochester, NY, USA to Huaraz, Peru to connect with the rest of our team. They included the men who would be named co-coordinators of Climbing For Christ Peru at the end of this trip, evangelist Jaime Servat and mountain guide Edwin Milla.
Blood relations were brought together with brothers in Christ; all of us washed by the blood of the Savior, Jesus Christ, Whom we desire to share.
“Everything went real well,” Jesse Fallesen said. “It was a special team; special because it was more like a family. It allowed us to be comfortable with each other and made it easier to cope with the unknown of every day.”
Mission: Peru was a survey mission, which is always an entry way into new territory. Surveys — like most missions into the mountains — usually are met with great spiritual opposition. The mountains are the enemy’s stronghold because, often times, there is only darkness in the mountains. Few go there in the name of Jesus Christ.
But in Peru our team was greeted with pleasant surprises. We realized there is much work to be done in these villages (and beyond), but the harvest is ripe. The church is alive and growing in the Cordillera Blanca. The light of Jesus is shining.
Seeing this taught Jordan “mainly to show up and watch Him, allow Him to work.”
Our team showed up in Chalhua, a dirt-poor village located at 11,900 feet (3,625 meters), during the second week of the mission. We were introduced to a pastor whose church is outgrowing her house. She showed us a field next door. It had been plowed as if waiting to be planted. But there were no plans to grow vegetables — only the opportunity to build a church.
We set out from this place to evangelize the village. To see what God would do.
We divided into two groups and set out in opposite directions. Jesse recalls what happened next:
“When we were evangelizing in one of the villages we were walking through, we stumbled across someone’s house. We were walking with some kids and they stopped for a minute. We met a girl named Allison. Right away we knew we had a special connection with this girl.
“Her grandmother came out (of their house) and gave us some beans and was feeding us. We were sharing with her. We ended up giving (Allison) a New Testament in Spanish and some tracts.
“After we left her house we felt like we should introduce the rest of the team, so we brought Jordan and Justin back over. Jaime was translating for us. We were able to communicate some more and learn about who she was and about her family. It really touched our hearts. We definitely broke down for that little girl. She hasn’t seen her mother in a few years — we’re trying to get them reunited. It was real special meeting her.
“God definitely put her in our path. I don’t know when the last time I cried was, but this was definitely a good sob for me.”
Jesse Fallesen with Allison, a 9-year-old girl from the village of Chalhua who befriended our mission team.
Allison was a 9-year-old in the care of her maternal grandparents, a Christian grandmother and an alcoholic grandfather. Her mother, Taina, had been hospitalized for epilepsy treatment three years earlier in the distant capital of Lima. Allison had not seen her since.
After Taina was hospitalized, Allison was deserted by her father.
Shortly after our short-term team returned to the States, Jaime went to Lima to locate Allison’s mother. We discovered that she was no longer in the hospital, but working on a farm about one hour north of Lima near Huaral City. Allison’s mother was supposed to be on an outpatient treatment for her epilepsy. However, we learned, she could not afford to continue treatments.
Jaime began to work on making arrangements to reunite this family. We then learned that Allison’s father had died, possibly from alcoholism, in a suburb of Lima.
This news was shared with Jaime when he went back to Chalua in July. Allison’s grandmother had just been told.
“I went out of the house to pray and Allison appeared (some distance) away from me,” Jaime said. “I called to her and she came running, so happy. She told me, ‘Brother Jaime, you are my daddy,’ and she invited me to lunch with her family.
“I was teaching her about Jesus the Lord. It was a special time to see Allison with much hunger for Him.”
We continue to pray that God will use us to feed that hunger — in young Allison and in many others living in the mountain villages of Peru’s Cordillera Blanca. We ask that we would be able to do so without hindrance. We have seen this prayer answered before. As Justin Rowley told his church family, “Everything (about Mission: Peru) came together seamlessly and I had a peace about it.”
This story originally appeared in The Climbing Way (Volume 22, Autumn 2011). CLICK HERE to view a video about Mission: Peru and Alison.
Posted Jan. 12, 2012