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Six 'Australians' (from almost as many ethnicities!), with Delfin Ovalle in charge, took the long flight via Auckland and Chile to Lima, Peru for "Aventura Misionera". There they were joined by the GRN Peru team (Elda, Veronica and Simon) and Nissi, a young Chilean lady. After a few days cultural orientation the team headed north to begin their ministry.
For the next two and a half weeks the team focussed on sharing the good news of Jesus, through bible stories, with hundreds of people in dozens of villages and towns in the province of Corongo.
Seeds of Revival
The outreach started in the small village of La Pampa. The team divided into two smaller teams and went visiting house to house. After introducing themselves and checking which dialect the people spoke, they would play bible messages on the Saber players in the 'heart dialect' of the people. Usually a big smile would appear on the faces of those listening as they recognised their own language. They listened intently. Discussion followed and many were prayed for, some for healing or another problem and some to be saved and become followers of Jesus. A cassette or CD of the bible stories, was left in every house.
On Sunday the team shared in the local church. Nissi sang, a team member shared their testimony, Elda talked about what the team were doing and Delfin preached and invited people to come forward to receive Christ or to have prayer for sickness, broken relationships or some other need. Many came forward.
The young pastor of the church was so excited by what happened that he joined the team for the outreach in the surrounding villages. Others from the church also joined in. They went to the nearby village of Ninabamba and did it all again. Here everyone in the village came to the open air meeting that night and everyone came forward in response to the invitation. A church has now started in that village and revival is sweeping through the area.
Several other villages in the area were also visited and in every place the team saw God at work in the lives of many.
Guinea pigs and ministry!
Several days later the team moved on to Pacatqui and were billetted out in local homes. Nellie comments, "fleas in the bed, guinea pigs scratching around in the kitchen above (tomorrow's lunch!), termites munching in the woodwork and dogs and cats howling made for a very poor night's sleep!", but the ministry went on. Every home was visited and given a recording of one of GRN's bible story resources 'The Good News', and many responded.
In Pacatqui and Corongo city, the team found local pastors discouraged and lacking in motivation. The coming of the team was a great encouragement for them and by the time the team left the pastors had been renewed in their own ministries.
As the team left Pacatqui for Yanac they were told, "The people in Yanac are not friendly and they will not receive you!" So after a very rough ride up the mountain in the back of a truck, Elda and Veronica went first to the village elders and asked permission to visit the village. Permission was granted. In fact everyone stopped work (mainly farming) to gather and listen to the recordings. Many asked for prayer and each family received their own recording of audio bible stories.
On another day, some of the fitter members of the team walked an hour and a half up a mountain to another village. About a dozen people gathered in the open and the team members shared testimonies and played the bible stories on the Sabers. Again the response was very positive.
The team visited several schools. At St Pedro's High School in Corongo city, the Principal was at first suspicious of these 'non-Catholics'. After a while his suspicions were dispelled and he happily introduced the team to the different classes. Each teacher and older student was given one of GRN's audio, bible-story, recordings of "Look, Listen & Live Book 7" (Jesus-Lord and Saviour) along with the small size picture book that accompanies it. Younger children were given activity books.
In some of the villages the team was able to distribute clothing to those who were very poor. Wherever people gathered Delfin or one of the others would play the Sabers or share the good news in Spanish with anyone who would listen. Good News Bibles were given to some who could read.
After the mission in Peru was complete and most of the team had returned home, Delfin went on to Chile and continued ministering with friends there. They have since written to Delfin saying, "The time was too short... You need to come back so we can minister more... You have stirred us up and encouraged us and revival is starting to happen."
Some team members also experienced a special touch from the Lord and have been renewed in their own faith and their desire to serve God.