Hello from Dallas, TX!
We are so excited to be back in the United States! Not too much has happened since the last time we posted, but at the same time, so much has changed!
Around 12:00 a.m. last night (or this morning) we left our hotel in Lima to head to the airport. After a sad goodbye with Marco and a trip through the security checkpoint, our students boarded the plane to El Salvador. We took off around 3:40 a.m. and most of the team went straight back to sleep. We landed in El Salvador around 6:00 a.m. their time and had a short layover before boarding our flight home. The students began to get antsy at the thought of being so close to returning to American soil. Finally, we were able to board the plane! The team enjoyed riding on the trolley and climbing the stairs to our plane rather than walking across the typical bridge. Many of them said they felt “fancy” walking up the steps to board. On the plane, they were able to spend time sleeping, watching movies, playing games, and looking out over the ocean and land of Central and North America. Around 1:00 p.m., we finally landed in Dallas, grabbed our bags, and loaded Awe Star vans to return to ASU. The team was reunited with our brothers and sisters from the Suriname team and served a delicious late lunch of one of their most-requested American meals – pizza! Afterwards, they were given a few hours before dinner to rest and shower.
At dinner they exchanged stories and enjoyed catching up with their friends from the Suriname team. Once they had eaten their fair share of burritos and nachos served by the amazing cafeteria crew here at Dallas Christian College, we gathered together for team time where we began a time of affirmation. Affirmations are a big part of debriefing for all Awe Star teams because it gives the students a chance to encourage their teammates in a way that they may not have been able to without the time set aside specifically for that reason. Each person on the team was affirmed and all walked away feeling loved and encouraged.
Before bed, we let the students have more time to shower and share stories with their friends on the Suriname team. Tonight, we are making sure they get lots of rest to make up for what they have missed and to prepare them for debriefing which actually begins tomorrow afternoon.
Please be praying for focus among the team – it is sometimes hard to be home but not at YOUR home during these important days of debriefing, however the teams know that this is a very valuable time and that God is not done working in their lives. Also, please pray for the Panama team as they are traveling back tonight and tomorrow morning. They will arrive here at ASU after lunch. The team is extremely excited to be reunited and begin to debrief alongside the other teams.
We are praising God for safe travels and all that He has done in the country of Peru, among our team, and in our hearts. We know His will is above all others and He will be glorified in it!
Jordan and Hannah
Good evening everyone!
We apologize for not being able to post last night as we traveled overnight by bus to get to Lima.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to attend Pastor Tito’s church for their 16th anniversary celebration! There was a service followed by a wonderful meal complete with cake and a mariachi band! The students enjoyed spending time with the members of the church fellowshipping and playing some bible trivia. Afterwards, we returned to the hotel and had time to pack.
Before we left Trujillo, we had a special time where the girls and guys got together to present capsules and keys to each other. The capsules were given to the girls from the boys. In them contained attributes of God the boys see in the girls. Each girl received a capsule of their own to keep and be reminded of how God is working in their lives. The keys, which have a crown and heart on them, were given to the guys from the girls as a symbol that the men are sons of God – princes and heirs to the throne. However, the heart is a reminder that in all things, they are to walk out in love. God is the most powerful being in all the universe but even still, He is the most loving as well. Once this time was complete, we headed out to the bus station to get to Lima.
After arriving in Lima, the students had a full day of souvenir shopping. Don’t be surprised if your child comes home with multicolored shoes or Peru soccer jerseys!
Tonight we leave for the airport at 12:00 midnight. Our flight lifts off at 3:40am so please be praying for multiplied rest, safe travels, and that God would continue to remind the team of His goodness. Even now that the trip is coming to an end, Satan will always want to pull our focus away from the amazing things God has done. We want to always remember His faithfulness and grace as we have seen and experienced in our own lives while on this trip.
We are so ready to see you all!
Jordan and Hannah
This morning we prayed and asked God to work in mighty ways on our last day of drama ministry, and boy, did He answer our prayers! We started off the morning with breakfast and then headed out to our first park of the day. When we arrived, there were some men playing a very intense game of soccer, but other than that, the park was deserted. We began to set up anyway and performed the drama as usual. As the drama went on, people began to show up. In the end, we had a small group of onlookers with whom the students were able to speak. One group spoke with a woman who admitted that she had never accepted Christ and that she did believe in Him; however, she also believes that accepting Him is a decision to be made in private and asked that she not have to say the prayer with our students. The students understood that the decision to follow Christ is a very personal one and were able to simply pray over her and her future with the Lord. We are praying that she went home and spoke with Christ because of the way He was speaking to her today through our students.
At the next site, we interrupted yet another intense game of futbol and performed for the small crowd that was gathered in this particular park. Once we had finished, a group was able to speak with a young mother and her sister who had watched the drama. Today, the young mother found salvation in Christ and asked that the group pray over her baby and her sister, who cannot have children. The team gathered around her and prayed that the baby would be brought up in a God-loving home and for health for the sister. As believers, we have this opportunity to come alongside each other and make requests to God on our brother’s/sister’s behalf. This was an immediate picture of that truth as this lady had just come to know the Lord and was then surrounded by the team as fellow followers of Christ.
After a wonderful lunch prepared by Pastor Tito’s wife, Edith, we came back to the hotel until it was time to leave for our next drama. The students rested for a while and then came back together for a time of worship. We love to worship before going back out into ministry because it fills us up and prepares our hearts for the task ahead. Today, worship prepared us for our final drama of the summer. This performance was very special because we were able to travel to an orphanage where I (Hannah) stayed with my family the summer of my sophomore year in high school. We performed the drama for the children and then spent time playing soccer, volleyball, and drawing with chalk before it was time to go. This experience was extremely humbling and eye- opening for the students. Because of this, we ended this summer’s drama ministry in a way that we believe is right–in awe of God’s love and so thankful for His grace. The students didn’t want to leave; however, it was time for the children to have dinner, and Edith was waiting on us with a surprise as well.
In Peru, there is a certain delicacy which is often difficult for us Americans to wrap our minds around; guinea pig. Edith managed to get the team two guinea pigs to try, and the students absolutely loved trying something so different and new. They tell us it tastes exactly like chicken. We chose to take their word for it. To offset the strangeness of the guinea pig, we were given delicious, American-style hamburgers. The team enjoyed dinner so much tonight that we are pretty sure they thought they were in heaven.
Finally, we have very good news! God has heard your prayers so that Tito was able to return home today! He is still feeling weak, but much better than he was feeling before. Thank you so much for joining us in praying for his health and praise God for always loving and taking care of His children. He is so gracious to us!
Tonight, please be praying for the team as this is our last full night of sleep in beds until we arrive back in the USA. Tomorrow night, we will take an overnight bus ride, and the next night, we will have to leave for the airport around 12:00 a.m. The students will be given some time to rest while we are in Lima, but we are asking that God multiply the rest we do get and that we will keep good attitudes through the long travel days. The students are getting so excited to see you all in just a few days and tell you what great things God has done here in Peru!
Jordan and Hannah
We started off today a little differently than usual. . . Promotion Day! It’s a day where we promote two students to the role of TDs (Team Directors). These are people whom we believe have stepped up and led this team with a servant heart on a daily basis. Although we had many to choose from, we finally decided who would take the title of TDs for the day: Johnson and Faith!
After a great breakfast made by Pastor Tito’s lovely wife, we headed out to do ministry!
In the morning, we went out to two marketplaces. Even though not very people came to watch, the Lord still did a mighty work in the lives of those who were there. One man was even kind enough to buy the entire team crackers and Inca Cola. Yum!
We then went back to Tito’s house for yet another amazing meal. So after two dramas, full bellies, and a little bit of rest, the students were ready to go back out. We went to some parks where there were people skateboarding, walking their dogs, playing soccer, and just enjoying the beautiful day. After the drama was presented, the students went out and shared the good news of Jesus. What a blessing it was to have students come to us afterwards and hand us the response cards with the names of our new brothers and sisters in Christ! One lady was so impressed with the way the students shared the gospel with her she asked if she could have one our step-by-step, English to Spanish ministry cards.
Tomorrow is our last full day of drama ministry, so please be in prayer for us that we don’t look at it as something to just go ahead and get over. We want to end stronger. We want to end giving it our all. And we want to end it as an act of worship.
Thank you for all your prayers!
P. S. Sorry the update is not as long and fancy as it usually is. We’re new at this.
Your TDs (who were actually CCs today),
Razi and Haley
After a nice rest day yesterday, we were more than ready to get back to ministry today! We started off the day with a wonderful breakfast at Pastor Tito’s house and then headed out to our first site. We arrived at a school this morning and began to set up. The students of the school lined up around all three levels of the building to watch us perform. Afterwards, one of the groups spoke to a group of kids on the second level. Our students said that the kids were extremely attentive (which is rare for children) and once they were done, many of the students decided that they wanted to become followers of Christ.
We then traveled to another school where we were to perform again. The students at this school were very enthusiastic, asking our kids for autographs and pictures. We performed, and the kids went out into their groups. One MTL spoke with a group of older kids who when asked if they understood the drama, admitted that they did not. He was able to explain the gospel more fully to them. When asked if anyone wanted to accept, one girl stepped up and raised her hand before the others were willing to answer. We are so thankful for conviction that allows us to be bold and step out even when others are too afraid. In Christ, we are no longer slaves to our own fear.
Next, we went back to Tito’s house for lunch. We are so blessed that his wife, Edith, is so willing to serve us in this way. With our stomachs full, we ventured to a plaza to perform once again. When we arrived, there was barely anyone present to watch. However, after some worship, people began to show up. By the time the drama was finished, many people had gathered around, and as a result, many were saved! God has never failed to provide an audience so that more people can hear His gospel.
For our final drama of the day, we traveled to a church whose pastor we had met at our first school of the day. We were able to perform for his congregation and their families. We also were able to spend some time encouraging them to continue on with their walk with Christ and receive encouragement as well. We love the fellowship we can get when speaking with a believer while on the field. God is constantly using fellow brothers and sisters to fill us up when we need filling.
Also, today was special because our TDs were able to have a much-needed free day. They do so much for our team and deserved some time to relax and be free of their duties. Jordan and I enjoyed doing the TD duties, as that role is one of our favorites. We loved the extra time with the team and getting to change up our roles a little bit for the day. At the same time, we were also extremely relieved when they returned home this evening.
We do have a very serious prayer request today. This morning we found out that Pastor Tito was admitted to the hospital due to gastric hemorrhaging. He is doing a little better now and is adamant that he will return to Piura, as he is supposed to be leading another team there right now. Please join us in praying for his health as well as for his family during this time. His wife was so kind to ask friends to cook for us and to allow us to use their home while they were away. Tito loves the Lord and will do whatever he can to get back out with teams; however, he needs rest for now.
You can also pray for one of our translators, Davicho, who left today to take Tito’s place with the Piura team. It was very last-minute, but we know he will do a great job leading the team.
Also, please pray for the team as we only have two full days of ministry left on the trip. We are praying that God would continually remind us of the miracles we have seen and that we would not so easily forget His goodness. Your students are getting ready to be home to you, but their work here is not done yet. We appreciate your love and support always.
Jordan and Hannah
Hello friends and family!
We hope that your day was as wonderful as ours has been! We arrived in Trujillo bright and early this morning, kicking off our free day in our new city. After our overnight bus ride, the students had some time to rest and shower this morning before going to lunch. Once everyone was fully rested, we got on a bus and headed to Pastor Tito’s house. His wife, Edith, has offered to fix our meals for us while we are here in Trujillo, and the team could not be more thankful! She is an amazing cook and the kids are not even remotely sad about going three days without having PB & J.
After they had had their share of Edith’s cooking, we surprised the students by taking them to Huanchaco Beach. This was the first time many of our students had ever been to a beach! They put their feet in the water (it was way too cold to swim), ate ice cream, played soccer, and bought snacks. They truly enjoyed their time as it was a beautiful day and the rest was much needed.
When it was time for dinner, the team loaded back onto the bus and ventured back to Trujillo’s Plaza de Armas. From here we began our Guy’s Night Out/Girl’s Night Out. This is a time when we celebrate the end of our ManUp/ReignOn lessons by letting each group spend some time together. All of the girls went together and all of the boys went together from the Plaza in order to explore and find a place they could all eat together. The girls discovered a little pizza place where they ordered their food to go so that they could eat and shop. They also set aside time to restock snacks and grab a slice of cake. The guys managed to find a McDonald’s right on the corner of the plaza. They were in heaven as they ate their burgers and nuggets and topped their American meals off with classic Micky D’s ice cream. They then found a store that sold Dr. Pepper. This is a very rare find and they were more than excited to celebrate it! Once everyone had finished, we met back together as a group and loaded back onto the bus for our final stop of the night.
After the students changed into their costumes, we drove to Pastor Tito’s church to preform the drama. We were able to sit in on their Wednesday night service – singing, praying, and fellowshiping with the members. Afterwards, we went out into the courtyard and preformed for the church. The student who brought the Net encouraged the congregation that our team is not a group of missionaries just because we traveled across the world, but because God ordained us to be on mission for Him wherever we go. The student reminded the members of the church that God has placed the same calling on their lives; that they are to go out and preach wherever they are. Praise God that we serve a living King who deserves for His name to be proclaimed!
Please be praying that the team would finish out strong on these last three days of drama ministry, that the hearts of the people of Trujillo would be opened and softened to the Word, and that God would be glorified here.
Jordan and Hannah
Hello from Peru to the USA!
Today marked our last day of drama ministry here in Bagua, and God worked in great ways!. We started the morning in a new location performing in between two streets. Once the drama was over, students went out in their groups to share the gospel. One group spoke to a man who had watched the drama from inside his taxi. He chose not to accept God’s free gift and so we pray that the seed which was planted would continue to be watered.
At our second site, we got to mix things up a little bit. Two students allowed Jordan and me to take their spots in their drama just for one site. We enjoyed participating as neither of us has been in the drama since 2013! Afterwards, the students went out and gathered crowds of people around them. Here we met two Americans who are living here in Bagua while working with the Peace Corps. They are from New York and Colorado and have each been here close to a year. They were more than excited to speak with people who also spoke English in the small town of Bagua. They had great hearts for serving the people in this city. We are praying that they heard the gospel and understood the greatest servant of all time wants to love them and teach them how to better love others.
After eating lunch, the students had MOM and POP time where they worked on something special that Awe Star is doing this year. In just a couple of days, the guys are going to give little capsules for the girls to keep. Today the guys sat down together and went over what godly attributes they see in each girl. They then wrote down those things and put them inside of the capsules they are going to give away. Similarly, the girls will give the guys keys that have a crown on the top and a heart on the bottom. It signifies that they are mighty sons of the King and should act as such. The heart and the key show that in everything, love (God is love) is the key. The girls also discussed the attributes they see in the men and prepared to give them their gifts.
In a few days, the guys and girls will present these gifts to each other, speaking into the other how they see God at work in their life and encouraging them to continue on in their walk. This is the first year Awe Star has done this specific activity although we have done similar exercises in the past. It is always an extremely uplifting time for the students as they don’t always get to hear another person call out the ways they see God living in them. It also fosters a stronger sense of respect between the girls and the guys to be able to speak into one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. After they had finished this MOM/POP time, the students rested before coming back down into a time of worship.
With renewed hearts from worship, the team ventured back out for our last drama in Bagua. The students allowed TDs Razi and Haley to do the drama this time, and they took on the roles of Jesus and the Knightmare. As the students went out in groups, one MTL spoke with a man who was mute. He nodded and shook his head as the students shared and when it came time to pray, he nodded along as he listened. We pray that God’s word fell on good soil and that he was able to understand and truly accept Christ as the ruler of his life. Another group spoke with a girl who had been sitting by herself. She listened intently to the gospel and when the students were done presenting, chose to follow Jesus!
Tomorrow evening, we will board an overnight bus to our final city, Trujillo. Our day will be filled with packing and preparing to finish our ministry strong here in Peru. The team only has three more days of drama ministry. We can’t believe that we are so close to the end, but we are rejoicing at the works we have seen while we have been here. That being said, since we are traveling in the evening, there is a good chance we will not be able to post an update tomorrow night. Please bear with us! We will resume posts as soon as we can!
We are specifically praising God for all He has done in this city and asking that He continue to work even after we leave. Please join us in praying that the Truth would reign in the city of Bagua and that God would be glorified constantly in this town.
Jordan and Hannah
Good evening, everyone!
We hope this update finds you well! The team is doing great and feeling energized after a day full of salvation in Bagua!
We started our Sunday by heading to church to perform for the congregation. Our students filled the front of the small building, and the church allowed us to use their sound system. We were able to perform as an act of encouragement for the congregation. The pastor expressed his thanks for the reminder of God’s love for them. We can always rest knowing that performing for a group of believers is not in vain, but is useful for the edification of our brothers and sisters. We are always so encouraged during these times as well! God calls the church to lift each other up, and that is exactly what we get to do when we bring the drama to churches.
After church, we trekked through the marketplace to our next site. People began to crowd around in curiosity as the students set up. Soon, the streets were lined with spectators so that the drama was performed to a small crowd. Once they were done, the students went out into their teams and proclaimed the gospel to the people. One of our students described his experience like this: “A big group of people listened to me share Christ, and a big group of people also decided to follow Him!”
We ate lunch and began our daily Bagua rest time. The students were able to call home and read all of the comments you have left for them on the blog! Don’t worry. If you didn’t catch your student’s phone call, they will call back very soon! They so enjoyed hearing from home and it made them all the more excited to see you all in just about a week. They then had time to rest and prepare for our evening dramas.
Before having dinner, we performed in a park where we had never been before. Many children and teenagers were playing soccer, skateboarding, and hanging out. All of them were able to see the gospel presented! The students went to their groups and spoke with people who started the conversation dead in sin, but ended it alive in Christ. Gloria a Dios for bringing His children to Him!
We then ate dinner and afterwards, the rest of the students hung out in their rooms while the leadership spent some time with the MOMs and POPs. This is always such a valuable time as leadership because we get to check in with these leaders in training to see how we can better serve them, how their students are connecting, and how God is working in their lives. We can even just relax with a Coke and hang out together.
Finally, it was time for our last drama. Again, we performed in the Plaza De Armas. We timed the beginning of our drama just right so that it began at the same time as the mass ended at the Catholic church. The multitude of people pouring out of the church walked right into our evangelical bubble and were presented the true gospel – that Jesus Christ is our one and only way to salvation. The crowd was even larger than last night and the students came back with joy overflowing because of the great things they saw God do in the hearts of those they ministered to. One of our students was able to share with and lead our hotel owner, and she is now a sister in Christ. Masses of people heard the gospel from our MTLs, and masses of people filled out response cards saying they had made the decision to walk from death to life. Our biggest prayer is that, because we cannot stay to disciple, the pastor here would diligently come along behind us in order to encourage and lift up those who accepted Christ while we are in Bagua.
Please join us in praying the Lord would continue to work on the hearts of those here in Bagua, especially those who are new believers. Also, please pray for our friend Diego, who has been with us these past few days. Today was his last day to be able to hang out with us, and he was heartbroken to leave. He again shared his testimony of an Awe Star team just like ours coming and sharing Christ with him, and he asked us not to forget him because he will never forget us. This really impacted the students to see the difference that the gospel is making in the hearts of the people with whom we come in contact. We are asking God to continue to grow Diego that he may be a light here in Bagua once we are gone.
Jordan and Hannah
Good evening, friends and family!
Tonight we are celebrating yet another day of wonderful Jesus ministry. God has been so faithful to show us His glory daily through the salvation of our many new brothers and sisters. After breakfast, we started out to our first drama. We performed in the street where we have done the drama many times before. It is a place that is very central to town so every time we perform, different people gather around to hear the gospel. The students spoke to large groups of people, and many are now members of the body of Christ.
Our second drama was located in the Plaza De Armas where many people gather to have ice cream, visit with friends, and relax throughout the day. Here, a man with a camera clapped and smiled through the entire drama. One of our groups had the opportunity to talk with him, and he is now a brother in Christ. Another group spoke with a man and discovered that he was a member of one of the churches we had worked with in Cajamarca. It is amazing to see how God is working all over the country of Peru! He was able to encourage the team and even sing a few worship songs with them (in Spanish, of course).
After eating lunch, the students had a time of rest. Then, they went into MOM and POP time where they had the next ManUp and ReignOn lesson. Our students love learning about how God has called them to walk with Him in their own personal ways. Finally, we had worship before going back out to do ministry.
We were able to do one drama before dinner, so the team stopped in the middle of a huge market place. The place was saturated with the smell of cooking food and the sound of vendors working to sell their merchandise. The students preformed while managing to stay out of the way of the ever-present mototaxis. As people shopped, they also stopped to see what the crazy Americans were doing. After the drama, a crowd had formed, and the students went out to minister. One group spoke to a man who was so moved by the message that he gave oranges to every person in the group and then cracked open two coconuts for the students to share. They enjoyed sipping on the sweet juice while the group and the man each encouraged the other to continue on in their faith.
Finally, after dinner, we returned to the Plaza de Armas, which is even busier in the evenings. Nearly 300 people were present for our last drama of the day. The students were so energized by the crowd and the presence of the Holy Spirit that they performed one of their best dramas to date. When they went out into their teams, each group had a huge crowd gathered around them, fighting to hear the true gospel proclaimed over the sound of the Catholic church bells ringing. As the teams finished up their ministry, each came back with stories to tell about the goodness and faithfulness of God. Many people came to know Him today, and we are rejoicing in the additions to His kingdom!
We have a special prayer request tonight. There have been multiple times we have encountered a group of Mormons who are also working to share their message with the people of Bagua. There have been times where we know they have come along behind us and spoken to people who have just accepted Christ and shared a message completely contrary to the one that we preach and know to be true. We are praying that their eyes could be opened and that they might even receive true salvation, which is not based on works or imperfect humans but in the only Way, Truth, and Life. Also, we are praying for clarity for those to whom they speak, that the gospel would always speak louder that any other message that is preached.
Please join us in praising Him who deserves all praise, in praying that the team might have the same spirit as they did in that last drama throughout all ministry, and that the Truth would continue to triumph over darkness here in Bagua.
Jordan and Hannah
Hola a todos!
Today was a very eventful day full of many adventures! We started the day very early, eating breakfast at 7:00 a.m. and leaving shortly thereafter. The entire team piled into two vans and began the trek deeper into the jungle without knowing the great experiences ahead of them.
Our first stop of the day was at a school. This is where the students learned what it truly means to do ministry in the Amazon rainforest. Soon after we arrived, it began pouring rain. At first we didn’t think we would be able to do the drama, but because of how hard and fast it had started raining, the kids were already soaking wet. We decided it couldn’t hurt to go ahead and perform since their costumes were already dripping. The students performed an amazing drama in front of a very large group of kids and teachers. The rain especially set the scene for the crucifixion, reminding us all that Jesus’ sacrifice is beautiful, but that the day of His death was gloomy and dark. We are so thankful for the sun that comes behind the rain. We do not serve a dead god but THE Living God! Many children prayed to receive Christ and we are praying that God would send someone behind us to water the seeds that were planted today.
After this site, we stopped at a local church to eat lunch alongside the turkeys and chickens before hitting the road again to our next destination. Once we arrived, the students discovered their big surprise for the day. Our transportation to and from the villages we would be ministering to was by a cage suspended over the Marañon River. Only a few of us could ride at a time, so it was a slow process; however, the students had a blast getting to look out over the forest from a different perspective. In the Pakun village, the people spoke the Awajun language. Because of this, we had a student speak, then our translator Marco speak, and then a native pastor who spoke both Spanish and Awajun speak. This way the gospel was proclaimed to them in their own heart-language! Since we only had one Awajun translator and no materials in that language, we gave an invitation at the end of the drama instead of sending out teams. We are praying that God would search each of their hearts and that they would find truth in the gospel message they heard today.
Our next site was located only a brief drive away through some rice fields. Again, we used a cage to cross back over the river and perform in the Tsuntsunsa village. Here, students were able to see the field where the villagers work, their homes, and their church building. Again, they performed the drama and gave an invitation, and again we are pleading that God would draw His children unto Himself.
Finally, we got back on the bus to make it back for dinner where the students filled their stomachs. Since we had such a long day in the heat, they were given the chance to shower and go to bed once they were finished eating. Today was another great example of what it means to be tired for Christ!
Please pray for those who heard the gospel today, that the seeds would be watered and their relationships would grow. Also, please continue to pray for the team as a whole – that they would remain unified, energized, and focused on the task before them. We are already over halfway through our trip, and we want to glorify God as best as we can in the time we have left.
Jordan and Hannah