- Written by Kimberly Pepmiller Kimberly Pepmiller
- Created: 14 January 2016 14 January 2016
The Heseders of Saint John’s would like to invite you to join us as we travel to Nueva Palestina in Peru to serve during the summer of 2016. This mission trip offers a unique opportunity for our congregation to return to the same Peruvian village where five members of Saint John’s served in the summer of 2014. During the first trip, the team built a training center where local villagers have been learning how to spread God’s word and gospel through the oral culture.
The Shipibo are an indigenous people who live along the Ucayali River in Peru. The Shipibo have a native language, but they prefer not to speak it in front of outsiders, so many learn Spanish as a second language. The Shipibo have an oral culture; as a result, many of the people do not know how to read or write. Instead, important information is passed down from generation to generation through spoken stories. For those who cannot read, studying the Bible is not an option. Even for those who can read, only parts of the Bible have been translated into their native language.
A Peruvian missionary named Ricardo has been serving the Shipibo people for over a decade. Ricardo and his team have created a program called Oralidad. This is a Spanish-based spoken-word method of sharing the stories of the Bible, designed to be similar to how the Shipibo people share their stories throughout the generations. Through Oralidad, the Shipibo people have been hearing and understanding the gospel. And as they learn, they begin to desire to have a place for worship.
This is where Lifetree Adventures, part of Group Publishing in Loveland, comes into play. Lifetree partnered with Ricardo to send teams to Peru to help construct church buildings in these Shipibo villages. It was a neat way to share the gospel and help other believers of Christ!
These new believers are seeking ways to continue to spread the Gospel through Oralidad and by serving their neighboring villages. During our time of service in 2014 we worked alongside the Shipibos to help construct a community and training building in Nueva Palestina. Since our departure, Ricardo and his family have used the building multiple times to successfully educate villagers so that the good message of God can be shared.
We were also able to tour a medical building that the village had built to provide medical care for their neighbors. For all the people who live along the Ucayali River there is a single doctor who travels up the river once each year. This means each villager only has the chance to see the doctor one time. Any life-threatening problems require transport via boat to Pucallpa, the nearest large town, several hours away. Or medical issues are addressed in the villages with traditional treatments. The people of Nueva Palestina built their medical clinic to serve this town and all of the surrounding villages. This was the first step toward attracting a medical doctor from a larger city to come stay in the town and operate the clinic. However, it has now been two years at least since the medical clinic was constructed, and it is still not being used regularly. Peruvian doctors and medical professionals are unwilling to come work and serve unless there is housing with a septic system. Last summer, Lifetree sent a team who began constructing these living quarters right next to the medical clinic, and the team was able to use the clinic to provide medical care to villagers while the construction was occurring.
Come with us in July as we travel to Nueva Palestina to finish the construction of the medical living quarters and simultaneously run a medical clinic and provide medical care with our American team. Are you ready??
- When: July 16–22, 2016.
- What: A combined construction and medical trip.
- Where: Nueva Palestina, Peru.
- How: Trip is sponsored and organized through Lifetree Adventures.
- Who: Anyone with a willing heart, the ability to be directed in construction work, skills in construction, and/or medical professionals.
- Action: Sign up and express your interest to Tom in the church office by Sunday, January 31, or let Kimberly Pepmiller know.
“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness”, “mercy”, “loyalty”, “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?