“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 NKJV)
Quite a number of you are asking questions: How? When? Where? Why? What? Are you crazy?
I’ll try to answer some of those questions.
Steph and I have had service in a foreign country on our hearts since we first knew each other and before. We’ve talked and dreamed about it for years. More recently in the past two years we’ve been praying more intentionally about the opportunity.
Our vision for our family is to raise children who live out the first and greatest commandment: To love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. And we want them to be others-focused: To love their neighbors as themselves. We want them to be have a love for God and loyalty to His kingdom. A move to a foreign country, away from Western influence somewhat, with the express purpose of taking Jesus to the people there helps meet our goals.
We learned of the opportunity in Peru through the Levi Martin family, who lived in Peru for about seven years. They’ve been back in the States about four years now.
Lat/Long: 13° 30″ S, 72° 12″ W
Lord willing, we will be living just outside Cusco, Peru in a town called Inquilpata, where Levi’s had lived. Under Great Commission Ministries, we will be one of two families planting a church there. Planting, watering, tending, growing–all those things.
The elevation is between 9,000-10,000 feet in that region of the Andes, so it’s a cooler climate with thin atmosphere. There will be much to learn in that respect. Due to the climate, agriculture is not huge. Fresh fruit and vegetables come to the local market from the Amazon jungle off the mountain to the east.
Due to the high elevation, there isn’t much firewood to be had. Folks there don’t heat their houses. In the winter it gets below freezing during the night, but will climb into the upper 50’s during the day. Summers don’t get much warmer than upper 70’s.
The people are descendents of the Inca Indians and/or the Spanish Conquistadors who conquered them. Spanish is the national language, but many speak an Indian language fluently: Quetchua is the language of the Inca people. Perhaps I’ll be able to share more about the people in the future.
We are hoping to move down sometime late summer, which will be toward the end of winter in Peru. The timing is quite tentative and hinges on many details, most of which we are still ignorant of.
Are we crazy? Hmm… You know, Jesus and His followers were often considered crazy. If we can be that kind of crazy, I’ll be content. We know, theoretically, the huge difficulty this opportunity brings, but we know, confidently, that “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (I Thes. 5:24 NKJV).
Our family is looking forward to the adventure, the journey God is calling us to. Please pray for us; we need wisdom and endurance as we take the next step(s).
If you have any questions about the work in Peru, feel free to ask. I’ll try to find an answer if I don’t know one.