The crew and me on the way to a village to share Christ.
These are the people that stayed for the midday meal during the addiction seminar.
Driving on the Edge!
The long and winding road.
Milk for the breakfast meal.
My dear brother and sister, Freddie and Berta with their three kids. The first time I went to Peru in 2007 Freddie was under church discipline. I remember him telling me he hoped and prayed God would transform him and allow him to continue in the church. He has been restored and has turned into the key leader among the brothers in Coatahusi. What a blessing!
Newly renovated roads will be a big improvement to Cotahausi once completed.
We made it! Yes we all returned safe and sound. I (Tim) and the 4 guys in the program left on April 8 headed for Cotahuasi Peru. I was invited by Brad Shaw the missionary there to come and teach a seminar on addiction. I thought it would be a good idea to expose the men in the program to another culture and for them to see people all over the world struggle with the sin of addiction. We left Atlanta Monday afternoon and arrived in Lima, Peru around 10:30 PM, hung out at the airport until 6:00 AM and then flew to Arequipa, Peru. We pretty much slept until noon then went into town and had a Peruvian lunch and did some sightseeing.
We left Arequipa Wednesday morning at 5:30 AM and started the 11 hour drive across the high plains reaching altitudes of 16,000 feet at one point. We finally arrived in Cotahuasi late Wednesday afternoon. Shortly after getting settled in it was off to church for Wednesday night service; I had the pleasure of preaching Proverbs 1 that evening. We were very busy from that night on. We were truly blessed and had 100 people attend the seminar! I taught 8 sessions between Friday and Saturday and was truly worn out, but blessed to see how these dear people hung in there and were so attentive to our teaching. Three of the men also taught a session. I was thrilled to see how God had prepared them to teach about what He has been doing in their own lives personally.
After the seminar we spent several days visiting various villages scattered throughout the canyon, which is the deepest canyon in the world. We would gather in small one room adobe mud buildings and sing praises to our Lord and then share from the Scriptures. In one village a woman found out I am a counselor and asked if I could meet with her and her drunkard husband and rebellious 15 year old son. What a joy to be able to share in this manner. I was amazed how God brought this woman to the meeting and how her problems fit right into the area of my training! Another night we were in a village in the deepest part of the canyon and a young lady 22 years old came in to the meeting very excited talking up a storm. I asked what this was all about and was told that she is a shepherd up on the high plains and hardly ever has contact with other people. She has one of the solar powered radios the missionary gives out that picks up his Christian station only. The day before they gave a shout out to her on the air to let her know we were coming to that village. She ran 3 hours to get there. She said it was a 5 hour walk and she knew she would be late if she walked so she ran the whole way and made it in time. What a reminder of how easy we have it here!
As the second week continued we were able to do several work projects around the ministry center as well as joining in the daily devotional and prayer time with the missionary family and the brothers and sisters that work in the ministry there.
Sunday afternoon after church one of the brothers Faustino, whom I met in 2007, told me that since my original visit God had changed his life dramatically. During that visit I was asked to speak in one of the villages on the topic of alcohol abuse. The way the system works there is everyone pitches in and helps each other with their farms. These are sustenance farmers, whatever they grow is what they have to sustain their families. Without the help of neighbors they cannot get their work done, so they all help each other. The problem is you are required to serve the workers an alcoholic beverage, "chicha", when it’s your day to have the help. The drinking starts around 10:30 AM. If you don’t serve it, you don’t get any help. Faustino and his wife had just become Christians when I spoke to them about the sin of drunkenness. Brad had been working with them for months. He told me Sunday afternoon that God deeply convicted he and his wife. They both repented of their sin of drunkenness and serving “chicha” to the other people and have had no dealings with “chicha” since then. God has blessed them with other believers coming to help them with their farm so they don’t have to be involved with “chicha”.
Since returning two of the men that went on the trip have graduated from the program and moved on. Another leaves in two weeks. Growing close to these men and then seeing them leave is one of the sad parts of my job, but also a blessing to see them enter the next phase of life our Lord has carved out for them. Please pray for them as they return home and put into practice all they have learned.
Our goodbye picture with Brad and Gina Shaw.
Be sure and visit our new website at www.hissteps.org
Please praise the Lord with us for the work He did while we were in Peru.
Please pray for Faustino, Freddy, Santiago, Charlie, and Alberto. These are the men that are leading the way in the Cotahuasi Canyon.
Please pray for our Lord to send new men into the program. It’s always exciting to see Him direct new people to us.