Peru on Spare Change

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 One of our members, Mark Henderson, will be traveling on a missions trip to Peru from November 8th through November 16th. The following is a post from Mark about why he is going and what he will be doing.

Today, myself along with Bryan, Jon, and Clay from Mercy Hill Church in Greensboro, NC will be flying to Peru on a missions trip.  It's a unique trip that will lead us into the high jungle of central Peru to a small community of indigenous people called the Yanesha.

The Yanesha numbering only perhaps 7,000 are considered an unreached people group which means less than 2% of the population are considered Christians. A trip to Peru was completed last year by Bryan Miller and Andrew Hopper, both Pastors at Mercy Hill, to discover where these people actually live and understand if there could be a chance to reach out to the Yanesha. We have made contact with a few pastors in the surrounding areas who have a heart to reach these people. This trip will be the very beginning of an effort to really understand who the Yanesha are and to start to form some relationships. 

In some ways it has already been an exciting journey. Recently, I was talking with a co-worker about my trip to Peru. He was very interested to hear about the trip and our desire to first listen to the Yanesha, learn their culture, and really understand their needs in the hopes of sharing the most important person in our lives.  The next day he placed an old gatorade bottle full of spare change on my desk as a small donation for the trip.  It turns out that he had been filling the bottle for over 10 years by picking up change he found on the roadside during his bike ride to work.  He always hoped it would be used for a "good cause."  I don't think there can be a better "good cause" (excuse the grammar) than for people to know, experience, and share in the love of Christ. 

There are a lot of unknowns in this trip and it feels strange to go without programs, agendas, or action steps.  Our hope is that a church would one day be planted among the Yanesha; not our church or a building, but their church based solely on Christ and who they are as a people in him. 

Please be praying for us during our trip as we leave today. Please pray first that we would listen, learn, and love the Yanesha.  Pray second that we could identify future tangible ways to reach out to these people not in any imperialistic way but as servants.  Third, pray that we could develop strong relationships with local pastors and churches to partner alongside in reaching the Yanesha.  Please also pray for our health and saftey during the journey.

Mark Henderson