Blog Title with Boarder

Blog Updates as the Smiths minister the Gospel in Peru

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our new PERU MISSION logo

We are excited to share with you our new Peru Mission logo! As Bill Bradford puts it "This is the culmination of various months of thinking through images that would represent who we are and what we are seeking to do in Peru. This logo’s geometrical shapes and colors reflect consistent patterns in Peruvian art, thus capturing our desire to present an authentic witness within Peruvian culture. The cross, set off by white and occupying center-stage within the other shapes, expresses our conviction that the Gospel be central to all we do and say and our conviction that only the Gospel can truly transform culture."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What We Discovered at Inca Wasi

A few months ago while I was praying for God to expand His kingdom in Peru, I was convicted of how little I knew of the language groups, especially among the unreached. So I went to the Joshua Project website and found out that the two largest unreached people groups were just to the north and south of us in Trujillo. Since the Quechuas from Inca Wasi were closer to Trujillo, several Peruvians and I decided to investigate there first. The only information I could find on the internet was that (1) there are 22,000 in this language group, (2) only portions of the Scriptures had been translated, and (3) as of several years ago there is one evangelical church. So off we went! We were a perfect number of 7, venturing on a perfect mission to investigate the status of the Quechuas of Lambayeque.

Upon arriving to Inca Wasi, we encountered a group of men sloshy drunk at 10:00 am. We went into the Bus Station, and one of the first things I saw was a calender with Matthew 25:35 in Quechua: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." My heart leaped for joy! Shortly after I quickly learned that two missionary families had lived in Inca Wasi for 15 years and translated the New Testament. I had no idea! Praise the Lord for their labor! What a privilege to observe a community who had just received the NT three years ago!

Pastor Jaime had been given the contact of a local Peruvian missionary, Trinidad de los Ángeles, or Trino for short. So our first priority was to find Trino. We found him leading a workshop for the four local evangelical churches. Afterward, he took us to his home, which was the former house of Wycliffe translators. There he showed us the brand new New Testament in Quechua of Lambayeque. Trino had come from the coast 25 years ago and worked along the Wycliffe missionaries. He had sacrificed a married life in order to reach the Quechuas. My immediate impression of Trino was a Peruvian version of Paul; celibate, godly, knowledgeable, joyful apostle to the Quechuas.

He also shared with us about the culture of the people from Inca Wasi and their unique challenges for the gospel. For one, 100% of the men are polygamous, often marrying sisters of the same family. This includes men in the church. It is not uncommon for one husband to have four to five wives. Thus, Trino really stands out in the community. The other challenge is that most men are alcoholics, explaining why so many men were wasted upon our arrival.

For Sandi and I, we feel as if we are coming full circle. Almost 10 years ago, while I was in seminary, we prayed about being translators with Wycliffe. Through a series of conversations with the Wycliffe staff, we realized that my giftedness and talents resided in other areas of cross-culture ministry. However, we came away from our year of investigation with a great desire to follow up a translation one day and began to pray towards that end. And now here we are, three years after the completion of the New Testament in Inca Wasi!

I still have much to process and pray about concerning our responsibility concerning the people of Inca Wasi. Two important lessons stand out from our trip:

  • The Power of the Scriptures. It was incredible to observe the effect the new Scriptures were having on people that had not ever had the Bible in their mother tongue. This is an ancient people with very old customs. This is a very poor people with few resources, with few pastors, and yet the church is growing! We had heard of only one Christian witness, but we confirm that there are now four Christian churches. The Roman Catholic church is basically shut down because there are not priests who speak the language. For sure the churches need help, nevertheless it was amazing to witness the raw power of God's Word unleashed on a culture! Click here to see pictures from the dedication service in 2005.
  • The Providence of God in Child Rearing. One of the Bible translators, Dwight Shaver, had grown up in Peru as a missionary kid of Wycliffe translators. God had been preparing Dwight since his infancy as he learned a variant form of Quechua. I have not yet had the privilege to talk with Dwight yet, but I hope to get his full story soon. God does not waste one aspect of our child rearing!
Praise God for His great love for those of Inca Wasi!

meet Cristian God's promise to bring grace, not judgment to Inka Wasi There are about 1% Christians among the Quechuas de Lambayeque . . .his sister, Anastasia


Friday, October 10, 2008

Our trip to Inka Wasi

We had an incredible trip to Inka Wasi, a peruvian pueblo sitting at 13,000 ft. in the very rugged Andes. For me (Sandi), this was probably the most impacting trip I have had on the foreign mission field. Allen is going to do another blog explaining our trip and what happened, but until he does, I thought I would go ahead and share some pictures of our trip. If you drag your curser over the bottom of the picture, it will give a commentary of some the pictures.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Caught in a Spanish Web!

Last night we had our 3rd Annual Peru Mission Mystery Dinner. Allen Bradford (see Chinese Juggler below) has coordinated this fun event the past three years and it has become one of the most anticipated events of the year for our team here in Trujillo. It is a great way to get together as a team, have fun and laugh (a lot!). Much of the fun comes the month before the party when we are given a description of the character we are to play and dress suggestions. It can be humorous and challenging to go around town looking for costumes and props. This year the theme was "Caught in a Spanish Web" and took place at a 4 3/4 star Spanish hotel. Along with the Spanish hotel workers, there were many exotic hotel guests from all over the world, including a traveling circus act. It is always amazing to see how well everyone puts together their costumes and gets into character.
Chris Bolton as Pascal, the passionate French chef:

Sandi and her friend, the Chinese juggler (Allen Bradford)

The missionary wives:
The missionary men:

The award winners and the one found guilty:And here we are:Marilda (Spanish Actress) and Rudy Bellows (American Circus Ringmaster)

Free Hit Counter