Ministry is a long-term game. Throughout one’s time in ministry, there will be good days, bad days, and unforgettable days. The visiting group from Colorado experienced one of these unforgettable days with Larry when they travelled up 14,000 feet in the Andes to work in some of the most beautiful, and poorest, villages in Peru. Up so high, it is very cold, but the children who live there do not own jackets. The children have the clothes on their backs, sandals made of tires on their feet, and little else. Many of the children suffer as parasites attack their bodies. The team brought the children fruit, candy, hygiene products, and gave them haircuts.
Larry asked the people what they want him to bring next time he comes with a group, and they answered they want the children’s feet to be cared for. These children walk miles every day in their tire shoes to attend school. When the next team comes, they will get to wash the children’s feet, clip their toenails, and bless them with socks and shoes.
As Easter draws near, it is important to remind ourselves of the sacrifices Jesus made and how he humbled himself to serve the poor. We are excited for our next team to do just this as they follow Jesus’ example of putting others above themselves as they wash the feet of the children. We hope that you will also take time this Easter to remind yourself of all that God has done for you and how he calls you to serve others. As you prayerfully reflect on this, please keep the Lost Children of Peru in mind, and, if you feel called, donate to help support our team as we follow God’s call for our lives in serving the poorest of the poor in Peru.
December was an incredible month for Larry and the team. He was able to hold a Christmas celebration for all 350 orphans, giving each child a gift, hot chocolate, and bread. The kids were able to play games and watch a movie as well. Once the celebration was over, the team packed and headed about 1,000 miles away from the coast to the Andes Mountains. Along with them, they brought over 1,000 gift bags with toothbrushes, toothpaste, lip balm, combs, toys, and candy. In the Andes, the team reached 17,000 feet above sea level, and the mountains still went 7,000 feet higher! After the Andes, they headed down to the Amazon where the team remained until close to New Years. In the Amazon, they stopped frequently to share the good news of Christ and the message of Christmas to some of the poorest children in the world. Seeing little children living at 16,000 feet without shoes and socks was difficult for Larry and his sons to see, but it was a Christmas that they will never forget. Getting to share God’s love to over 1,500 children was extraordinary. Thank you for making this possible for both Larry and his sons, and the children they were able to minister to.
The hardship that Larry’s team is immersed in is unimaginable to us. We cannot fathom what it would be like to go through a day with only one, small meal, or even no meals. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many of the families we help. The other day, the team traveled high up on the mountain in Comas. There they met with a mom and her three teen sons. The family had been living in the poor community among so many others. Even though life was hard, they were close to water and work; however, their home burned down, and they lost everything. They had no beds, no cooking utensils, and no blankets. The only thing left was the clothes they were wearing. They were sleeping on a rocky, dirty floor with no blankets. The mother walks down the mountain every day to sell candy on the streets to try to provide at least one meal a day for her family. The whole family must work to carry water up the steep mountain. Our team was able to bless this family with a new house and some necessities such as clothes and food. Even more, Larry’s son took his personal money and gave it to the family so that they would be able to buy Christmas gifts this year, another thing that is so easily taken for granted in our culture.
Gifts are something so simple that can really change someone’s life. This is why the team is traveling through the Andes and the jungle this Christmas season. They are bringing gifts to over 1,000 children, but even more importantly, they are sharing the story of Christmas and Jesus. They will continue their efforts until the end of December/early January. Please keep the team and the people they work alongside of in your thoughts and prayers this Christmas.
A few weeks ago, a team of dentists and other medical personnel visited from Colorado. They examined orphans and the poor and were able to provide some medical relief to them. One day in a particularly poor community, the team had people coming from miles away to receive their services. An 87 year old woman was one of these people, and she had walked three miles to receive their help. She has bad back pain because she is a widow, lives by herself, and must chop wood and carry it to her clay home. When asked by the doctor what she took for pain, she said water because that is all she can afford. At the end of the day, the President of the community approached Larry. He had a dirty, old blanket that he gave to Larry as a thank you. He said that there were no words to express their gratitude, and they had no money to give as a thank you, so he gave Larry the blanket as a thank you for coming to help the community. Receiving a gift like this, knowing that the man had nothing else to offer, is one of the most humbling and precious moments that one can experience.
Every person has a story, a story about his life and how he has become who he is today. Meeting someone with a similar story can cause an instant, intimate connection with that person. This happened to Pocho, Larry’s son. Walking close to his home, he came across a little boy selling candy. This boy appeared very poor and very hungry, so Pocho stopped to talk to him. The little boy said he was very hungry, so Pocho left to get a big place of chicken and rice to bring back to the boy. Although he was ravenous, the boy split the food in half and began eating only one half of it. Pocho asked him why he was only eating half of it, and the boy responded that his sister is hungry too so he wanted to give some food to her. He said he was going to save some for her so that she could eat too. What Pocho did next was motivated by his experience as a young boy. As a child, Pocho was homeless too. Eventually he moved into an orphanage where Larry would meet him and they would soon form the special bond of father and son. Motivated by his similar childhood experience of homelessness and knowing the pain of trying to find food for each day, Pocho decided to buy some of the boy’s candy so he could have money to buy food for his next meal. Pocho, however, did much more than buy some candy: he bought all of it. With each candy being sold for .10 soles (only about 3 cents), Pocho gave the little boy more money than he normally makes in an entire month. Bonded by their stories and understanding of each other’s situations, the two of them sat together and cried. Stories are so much more than something of our past; they provide the motivation for our actions and create bonds that will affect our lives moving forward.