"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being ROOTED and grounded in LOVE, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the LOVE of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

~Ephesians 3:14-21

Friday, January 27, 2012

Visting a New Church in the Mountains 01.24.12

Tonight our friend, Celso, from Villa Milagro, asked us if we would like to visit a new church up in the mountains. We did not realize it at the time, but after talking to him more about this new church we found out that he is also the Pastor of the church. Celso told us that when it rains, it makes it difficult to drive to this church because of the dirt roads curving up steep mountain ledges. So when rain began to fall late in the afternoon, I was not sure I wanted to venture out. Sean and I waited to hear from him and Selso told us "no problem" and off we went driving through the city to get to the mountain road. I was so thankful for the extra body heat in the van which made the windows quickly fog up. This made it very difficult to see (which was a blessing) because I can only imagine as Selso drove around each curve how steep the drop off must have been. At one point the road was so steep that the van couldn't continue, so several of us jumped out, walked up the steep hill and jumped back in when the van could continue. For the kids, they thought that was so cool (for a mom...lots of prayer).

When we made it to the top we had climbed nearly 4000 vertical feet in 9 kilometers. We stepped out to an amazing view overlooking the city of Cajamarca. So many beautiful lights lit up the sky. We stepped into the small church which consisted of four walls, one light, no heat and air, and a dirt floor. There were probably about 18 people all together counting our family (normally we were told there would be more...but the rain makes it very difficult for many to walk and attend).

As the service began, Sean and I were amazed at the overall expression of worship and praise. It was so beautiful...such a small room but all together singing as loud as possible, hands lifted praising our Lord Jesus Christ. Many times in prayer, the families did not care about the dirty floor or getting their clothes messed up, they just knelt down in prayer thanking God for all their many blessings. So much joy and love, fellowshipping together, and so thankful for this small room to come and worship their Lord. I think being there touched our hearts far more than they will ever know. Selso preached out of John 10:7-21 (Jesus the Good Shepherd). My favorite part of this passage was is verse 14 and 15 which says, "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep". For the Peruvian people, they remember their history and being ruled by Incan rulers. They have never met a King that was willing to lay down His life for them... until now. Standing there in that room, nothing else in the world mattered but fellowshipping with other believers and giving Glory and Honor to our Lord Jesus...nothing in this world is more important than knowing and serving Him.

As many of you know, Sean and I have spent most of our lives pursuing the American Dream. In fact, many times we would look for churches over the years to attend or visit based off of what all they had to offer to us. How entertained would our kids be or how comfortable would this or that church make us as we attended the services two times a week. Being here tonight, and seeing many with so little and the danger and sacrifices they made to walk miles to this church, continues to humble us. Thank you God for reminding our family that worshipping You can happen anywhere, even in a cold, wet, poorly lit room with just a few believers. Praise God!

"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." - Acts 2:42-47

Inside the New Church

Beautiful Family

Little Girl in Church


Celso and Sean

Our Family with Celso's Family!

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