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Peru 35-Day

What a beautiful day of rest and fun it has been in Trujillo! Our hearts are so full because of how the Lord provided much encouragement, but ultimately how He provided it through Jesus ministry.

After we arrived at our hotel this morning from traveling in from Otuzco, we rested and then had a delicious lunch of spaghetti. Tito had us all over to his house. His family is so welcoming and we feel as though we are family. And let us tell you, his wife is one of the best cooks!

With full stomachs, we headed to Huanchaco beach. Spending the afternoon looking out over the ocean (Pacifically speaking), our team stood in awe of the beauty of God’s vast creation. Not only was there an awesome ocean, but mountains as well! We bonded through laughter and sweet fellowship under the warm sun.

As we rested on the beach, the Lord opened many doors. One of our students was able to meet a woman from Sweden. Her name is Mary and she is here in Peru teaching English. Mary asked the student what she was doing here. The student began sharing the gospel boldly. Mary said she didn’t believe in God and that you get to heaven by any way you desire. She moved on quickly so our student thanked her for her time. Will you join us in prayer for Mary? We know the Lord put her in our path for a divine purpose. Another group walked up to a group who did not look Peruvian. After some time of conversation, we soon found out they were a group of interns working with an organization building an orphanage. When they asked what we were doing here, we told them we were sharing the gospel. They said, “us too!” We talked with them for quite a while. One of the interns was from Canada, and the others were from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky. They help lead teams that come in weekly to help at the orphanage. They have been here for one month and they have one month to go. We shared with them Awe Star’s mission but that it ultimately comes down to Jesus ministry. We shared with them BJ Higgins’ story. They were touched! As our time with them came to a close, we all joined hands. One of the interns prayed and a member from our team prayed. Will you join us in prayer for this group of interns making an impact on the orphans in Trujillo? It was so encouraging to meet other missionaries! Oh the body of Christ!

Tonight we went to the mall. We all were a little shocked by the modernization. We have been so immersed in rural Peruvian culture that we almost forgot what we have come from. We take so much for granted. We are so thankful for the new perspective God has been giving us! As we met up to leave, we met a family who spoke English. Soon our whole team was conversing with them. This family is a family of missionaries! They have six children all under the age of 16. They have been serving in Trujillo since 2011. Our students loved talking to their children and exchanging stories of God’s work and just pouring out encouragement. Will you join us in prayer for the Davenport family?

Tomorrow we begin drama ministry in Trujillo. We are so excited for all the Lord has in store! Please be praying for divine encounters, breaking the language barrier, continued team health, and that we’d show unified and unconditional love to this nation and to one another, that they may know Him. Your prayers are so beneficial! Thank you! Keep them coming!

By His Grace,

Tyler & Meridith

Team Directors

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Yesterday was our last full day of drama ministry in the wonderful city of Otuzco, Peru. God worked in mighty ways! We started off the day early with our first drama at eight o’ clock in the morning at a small elementary school. Before the drama, the school had us wait in a room. We took that waiting time to grow in strength by worshiping. It was such a unifying and energetic way to begin our day. We started the drama and all of the students were listening intently and did not take their eyes off of what was happening in front of them. When the drama ended the crowd of students started shouting “Otra vez! Otra vez!” They wanted us to do it again! After that the Lord used one of our students to proclaim the Gospel through an invitation. She asked all the kids that wanted to have a personal relationship to come forward. It was so humbling to see an abundant response. We were all reminded to have faith of a child. Before we left, our missionary contact Santos introduced us to the two head masters, Edwin and Walter (They are the men in the red shirts). They repeatedly asked if we would come back and continue to share this good news. They were so enthusiastic and welcoming! We asked how we could pray for them. They asked for prayer for their school, their faith and their families. Our whole team prayed over them at once. Prayer is so powerful!

We then went to another school. As the gate opened and we walked in, children ran towards our team. Many hugs were encountered. Again the Lord blessed us with a large crowd of young, attentive students. After the drama, our students went out with their ministry teams to share on a more personal level.  Many of the students from the school received salvation and many more seeds were planted. The students were so loving and adoring of our team. Our students came back with the biggest smiles on their faces.  There were even some students who came back with stories of receiving little kisses on their cheeks from the sweet children. Again, we were humbled by the reminder to have faith like a child. Once again, Santos brought over the principal of the school and we were able to pray over him.

Yesterday afternoon our men took journey of manhood. They were poured into and they answered the call to rise up to be the man that God has called each of them to be. They were all amazed by the beauty of God’s creation. The ladies dug into deep discussions over modesty and relationships. Questions were answered and truth was brought through scripture. Testimonies were shared, hearts were opened, and even more unity blossomed.

Today, we made it to Trujillo. Please be in prayer for more opportunities to share the Gospel, continued health, and for our team’s individual surrender bringing a furthered unified transformation. We appreciate all of you prayer warriors! We send our love and cannot wait to tell you more about the great things God is doing.

By His Grace,

Meridith & Tyler

Team Directors

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Hello friends and family!

Today, the Lord brought our team closer than ever. Unity is growing and flowing from the overflow of every person’s heart. This morning, we began our trek up many steep hills and found ourselves in what seemed to be a vacant neighborhood. The students went out and started to invite people, when our mission contact, Sylvia, came to us with great news. She told us the school from up the road invited us to come and perform our drama. As we waited to enter the school, we worshiped! It was incredible to see the students pour into one another, not out of obligation but because of Christ’s compelling love. Strengthened by that encouragement, the team walked with power into the school! As we set up to perform the drama, high school students surrounded us. During the drama, every eye and ear was attentive to the gospel presentation. As soon as the drama ended, the team went out into their ministry teams and every student present was reached by our ministry groups. It was amazing to see the masses reached. As we all gathered back together, we moved to a different location upon a hill where a white cross resided. One of the students spoke up saying how she had never felt more led by the spirit when sharing the gospel. The Lord was able to use her to lead seven girls to the Lord. Another student spoke up telling how the Lord opened up a time for her to share her testimony with a large group even when she was not intending on sharing her story. The other members in her ministry group told of the impact her story had on this group of students. We prayed over that school, this nation, and for the other teams spreading His name across the world!

This afternoon, we dug into the word and had an awesome time of intimate small group discussions. We prayer walked in the plaza right outside our hotel. We then made our way to a school on the outskirts of Otuzco. When we first arrived, there were few people around. As we made our way onto the volleyball court, school kids started to come out of the classrooms. We began to play a game of volleyball, which soon became a fun and innocent competition. This brought sweet fellowship. We performed the drama and the kids sat right in front with open hearts. After the drama, one of the ministry groups went to a lady who was sitting far off. She was able to open up and tell the group that she did love Jesus very much. Encouragement and prayer overwhelmed this group! Another ministry team was able to truly minister together. One member of the team shared the gospel. The next member shared the cost of the gospel. The third member poured out encouragement to those receiving Jesus. They came back to the whole team filled with a sense of AWE!

Tonight, we ate a delicious dinner of chicken and rice! We came back together and dug into the word. We dug into Matthew 5: 13-16, where Jesus teaches about the salt and light of the world. We were asked what our basket or baskets are covering our light. So we challenge you to examine yourself, what is hindering your light? What is your basket?

Thank you so much for your persistent prayers. Please continue to lift up our team as tomorrow is our last day in the beautiful mountain city of Otuzco. Please pray that the Lord would continue to bind our hearts together in unity because he is moving mightily. We are praising Jesus for the harvest that is being reaped and the discipleship that is taking place. Please pray for Sylvia and Santos (the missionary contacts who live here in Otuzco) as they continue reaching out to the people and following up with those who made decisions.

Tanner, Cherish, Tyler, and Meridith

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This morning our prayer was to allow God to speak through us as we share the Good News! God heard our prayer and He in fact has been speaking through our team. As the stories were shared this afternoon, the team was refreshed and rejuvenated because they knew the power of God was over us. We sang songs of praise and gave God all the glory.

                We were given the opportunity to do the drama for a group of young school kids and were able to share the gospel! After the gospel was shared we asked for the children who wanted to know more about Jesus to come forward and talk to us. Many ran to us with willing and trusting spirits. This gave the team a true glimpse of when Jesus was blessing the children for their faith and trust in Him. In Matthew 10: 13-16 Jesus recognized how trusting young children are and He desires the same from us. This lesson is important for us to understand because we often over think our faith rather than simply trusting in Him.

                Another lesson we have been learning is how precious each moment is. We have realized that we are not guaranteed another day, and thus we much live each moment for the glory of God. This has allowed us to serve Him even more and to tell as many people as we can about the good news. Because of this, our team has decided to make each day our best day yet. We are seeing what it means to deny ourselves and live wholly surrendered to an Almighty God!

                Please be in prayer for the city of Otuzco. We will be doing ministry here for two more days, and there is so much more to do. We definitely need the Lord’s strength and power as we continue to serve Him. Pray that the Spirit will work in us and through us to soften hearts and open the eyes of the people we speak with.

 

-Tanner and Cherish

We have arrived safely in the beautiful city of Otuzco! This morning we had a wonderful breakfast and leisure time. We were able to study the Word in small groups, which really brought wonderful conversations among the team as a whole. We were also able to enjoy a time of worship through song which strengthened us to continue doing Jesus ministry. After lunch, we set out to begin ministering on the streets.

We have already built a close bond with our missionary contacts here in this city. They are very happy to have us here because they know our purpose is to see people coming to follow Christ. Our team can see their love for the people of Otuzco and it is lifting our spirits. Their zeal is incredible and it pushes us to live like Jesus did.

This evening we went out to do the drama and also to speak with the people. Many of us have had more boldness in sharing the Gospel and can sense the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are seeking to get out of the way and allow the Spirit to work through us.  For example, one of our students was drawn to a lady who was knitting while watching the drama. After hearing the Gospel, this woman rushed back inside her house and brought her son back out so he could experience the freedom she had just experienced.  Our team members claim that this woman was so sincere in listening and really wanted to follow the ways of Jesus and have a personal relationship with God. This brought encouragement to the whole team, because God wants to see his people sincerely wanting to be in relationship with Him and take what He says seriously. Can I get an amen?!

Tonight our hearts our so full because the Word of God has been filling us up. This is often hard for us because we get so distracted from the world we live in, but the joy that it gives us has been a great reminder just how much it is needed. Thank you for continuing to pray for our team because hearts are being transformed and people are hearing the good news of Christ. Our team has decided to be content with the blessings that often go unnoticed like running water and food to eat. We are learning to be grateful for what we do have and to trust in Christ to take care of our needs. This is a wonderful lesson for us to learn because it is teaching us how blessed we really are. We are looking forward to doing more ministry in Otuzco. Please continue praying that God would open up doors and soften hearts.

–Tanner and Cherish

[Not a valid template] Being on the mission field on July Fourth is always very interesting. Not only are we celebrating our country’s freedom, but we are also celebrating the freedom the Lord is bringing to the Peruvian people. Today we have been able to spend a good amount of time engaging with them. This morning the Lord opened the door for us to present the drama to the elementary boys’ school here in Ayabaca. They surrounded us on all sides, and you could feel their enthusiasm! They were young, but we know the Lord did plant seeds. As we were presenting to this school, the principal from the girls’ side asked if we could come and present to them. As we walked into the girls’ side, we were overwhelmed by the welcoming spirit. After the drama, the team went out and ministered. One of the groups felt led to talk to the cooks. They knew these special servants don’t get much recognition and wanted to pour out Christ’s love to them. Three of the cooks came to know the Lord! The joy from the newness of salvation filled every heart.

Our students were able to love on the girls from this school for an extended amount of time: they played volleyball, sang, danced, played games, and they loved! This afternoon we celebrated by hosting a team talent show. This was very refreshing because it was filled with laughter and true fellowship. This was important for our team to bond in a way that expresses our individuality and character. Tomorrow we will begin our journey to Otuzco, which consists of a few bus rides over the next two days. During this time we will stop for rest in Trujillo and will be blessed with the opportunity to worship with Pastor Tito’s Church. Because of the travel, we will be arriving in Otuzco Sunday night and will post an update the following day. Pray for the team as we travel and meet new people because the Lord has a plan in every step of this journey. Our team has built much unity and this will be evident in the way we love others. We hope for this to carry on in their lives as we are transforming and renewing our hearts each day.   ~Tanner and Cherish

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Today has been filled with divine encounters. We know that God’s plan is perfect, and it is amazing to get to be a part of it. As we approached a large concrete slab to do our first drama, we noticed no one was around. However, as we began playing music, many people appeared, eager to see what we were up to. After the drama, a group of students was able to talk with a woman who needed to know that she was loved. After hearing the Gospel and the love of Christ, she wanted to begin a relationship with Him. It is a blessing to be able to see God work in mighty ways.

Our next drama was in a marketplace where we have done ministry before. The beauty of going to this spot is that there are always new people there with whom we are able to share the Gospel. A gentleman walked up after the drama and began telling us that he was the pastor of a small church. Come to find out, we had met his wife yesterday, and she told us that they hosted a radio station that airs throughout the city and to the surrounding mountain villages. Both she and her husband wanted us to come and do an interview on the radio station. This was an amazing opportunity, and we were honored to be invited. Not only were we able to be interviewed on the radio and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we were able to go to their church and perform the drama for some of the children and parents who were there. This was a fun experience for all of us, and we know that the Lord moved in mighty ways. We know that it was no accident we ended up there, and so we are expecting the Lord to use that experience to further His kingdom. Please pray that people’s lives were impacted through listening to that radio station.

This evening, Tyler Smith brought the Word during our team time. He taught us what true humility looks like by pointing us to Philippians 2:1-11. It is astonishing that Jesus “made himself nothing” and “put on the nature of a servant.” He showed us that true humility causes us to lay down our desires for the glory of God. We are called to be servants just as Christ was a servant. This challenged us to deny ourselves and allow God to work through us. We must continually become less and allow Him to become greater in our lives (John 3:30).

Through our experience here, all we can do is stand in AWE of the Lord and worship Him for who He is. Thank you so much for your prayers! As we have continued to say, He hears our prayers and answers them according to His will. Please continue to seek His throne on our behalf. May He be forever praised!

 

-Tanner and Cherish

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Yesterday was another great day of dramas where Glory was brought to His name. We started off our first drama in the plaza where it seems to be that each time we perform there, there are new people thirsting for truth. Because it was the start of the morning our audience was full of adults. The product of that was amazing. One of the groups of students engaged a woman who was yearning to know. The woman grabbed the Gospel card and fervently read it. When she came to the question, “Quieres recibir a Cristo como tu Salvador?” (Do you want to receive Christ as your personal Savior?) , she urgently pointed and said, “Si!!!” We rejoice in her desire to accept and pursue a personal relationship with God!

Next, we presented the gospel to an all-girls high school. Oh how the Lord stirred hearts! They were so attentive and eager to hear the message from us. The girls on our team stepped up and shared the good news with such enthusiasm. Three of the girls felt led to speak the truth of identity in Christ, beauty from within, and not seeking the approval of men to those who had given their hearts to the Lord just moments earlier. It was incredible to watch the encouragement flow and discipleship begin.  Another group headed up the hill to where the teachers and administrators were. The Lord granted confidence and boldness which broke through the language barrier and brought multiple salvations! As we left, many of the school girls followed us pleading that we stay longer. We rejoice in the fact that even though we leave, Christ remains!

After our delicious lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, manzanitas(bananas), and oranges we trekked to the outskirts of Ayabaca. As we approached our destination, we stopped in awe of the gorgeous landscape that surrounded us. Mountains on all sides, clear blue skies; we were all extremely humbled by the Lord’s creation. He is the creator, we are the creation. We set up on a soccer court and immediately began to engage with the people. There was much laughter and even some pretty smooth dance moves! As we presented the drama, we noticed that there were people up on their roofs, on high edges of cliffs, and a remote bridge observing from a far. We were reminded of Matthew 17:20, which motivated us because we serve a God who can move mountains! One of the ministry teams encountered a woman who they had seen trembling during the crucifixion scene. She was so broken over her sin, but overjoyed to accept His unconditional, unrelenting love, forgiveness, and grace. Another ministry team poured out to a woman who has a distant relationship with Christ. She laid out her struggles and burdens. Those students were able to sit with her for a long time discussing with and encouraging her. She decided to come back to Jesus despite her failures. She decided to pick up her cross and follow Him. Another ministry team walked over to a few older ladies knitting. At first, the ladies were not interested, but as that team began sharing, they all stopped what they were doing and focused in on the Truth being revealed. One of our girls shared her testimony and the women related. It was so powerful seeing the Lord use her story to impact these women.

We ended the afternoon by proclaiming and praising our Creator. We were so humbled looking out at the vastness of the beauty that lay in front of us. We worshipped because we serve a great God. “How Great is Our God” began to resonate from our team’s voice and the awe increased.

Tonight, pastor Tito (our Peruvian missionary contact and dear brother in Christ) brought the word. He preached from Exodus 14, the story of Moses. He challenged us to remember three things: to not be afraid, to be still, and to look forward to what God has in store. It was such a sweet time to share in the Scripture with our Peruvian family.

As we dismissed for the night, one of leaders met a man in the hotel staircase. God was moving mightily and he came to know Christ! This leader had him pray to ask Jesus in his heart. The man got down on his knees and prayed a prayer that this leader had never heard before. The Lord never stops working! He moves mountains!

We are sincerely humbled, grateful, and blessed to be redeemed, serving in this nation, and a part of this team. We cannot express our thankfulness for your consistent support, encouragement, and prayers! Please keep them coming! We ask that you’d join us in prayer for the strength to continue to lay the groundwork here in Ayabaca. Please pray for continued open doors, unity, and health. The Lord is so faithful! Know that we are lifting you all up as well. May He encourage your hearts greatly by all He is doing here. We have such hope for all that He has planned for this journey! This is just the beginning!

By His Grace,

Tyler & Meridith

Team Directors

It is such a joy to see how the Lord works in different ways. This summer we have been focusing on our different gifts and how God has brought us together for a purpose. We know that He specifically put each person on this team for a reason and, when we work together, we are stronger than when we are apart. As we have spent time together, we have realized that some have the gift of prayer, some have been blessed with spiritual wisdom, some have been blessed with encouragement, and some have been blessed with discernment. It has been amazing to see how God has used each of these gifts to build our team up and give us unity. Because of this, we are walking in the authority and power of Christ.

Today we began doing the drama for a small group of children and, before we knew it, many adults showed up as well. One of our team members was especially excited because of her love for children and was expecting to share the gospel with them. However, during the drama, God laid an older woman on her heart and she was obedient to go and talk to her. This woman along with her friend came to know the Lord today! How amazing is it that God can turn our disappointments into His divine appointments.

In the evening, we were able to do some worship outside in the plaza. After a couple of songs, we were surrounded by people and we saw an opportunity to share the good news so we began teaching them about the gospel. This turned into an awesome time where God truly moved and many people’s hearts were opened to the truth.

Thank you so much for all of the prayers because it is evident that God is hearing them. We  spent time tonight praying for our friends and families back home, so be encouraged that you are on our minds. We desire for the gospel to be spread in our hometowns, and we hope our friends and families are working toward this goal. Rest in His peace and strength.  We ask that you would continue to pray for us on our journey. Pray for strength and endurance as we continue to do the work the Lord has set before us.

We are having trouble uploading the most recent pictures, but we will get them on here as soon as possible.

 

-Tanner and Cherish

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Yesterday was our first full day of drama ministry. What an incredible day it was! We began the morning by proclaiming the Gospel on the streets. What started out as a small crowd eventually grew into one that surrounded us on all sides. Many people responded to the Gospel. And our team rejoiced as one of our youngest team members led her first person to the Lord! But more importantly, we all were humbled because we were reminded that it is never we who bring people to salvation, but always the Lord.

Today, our team was amazed by one of team mates who truly brought the Word to Ayabaca. The Lord used him in many ways today, and his passion is spilling over to the whole team. One of the many things our team is learning from his proclamation is the sharing of the cost of the Gospel. The Lord is moving mightily among us, as we know we are working for eternity.

This afternoon the floodgates were opened.  Not only was the harvest reaped, but the rain came. We had just begun our afternoon drama ministry when the drops fell. But praise God for the gazebo that was only a few feet away in the plaza where we were performing. The rain poured throughout the duration of the drama, which kept and brought an abundantly attentive audience. Our students stepped up and shared the Gospel with every person under that small roof. And we even met a group of missionaries who are starting to work in this city. We prayed for them, and they prayed for us. Oh, the body of Christ! We then came back to our hotel because the rain continued. But what a door the Lord opened because of the rain! We soon found ourselves in the conference room of our hotel, presenting to the hotel staff. It was a small group, but that intimacy brought a clearer description of the Gospel, which led to salvation and the beginning of a divine transformation. One of the employees welled up with joy as she asked Christ into her heart. It was so powerful to see her so overwhelmed by the grace of God.

As we were on our way to dinner, some of the students began to converse with a woman who was pleading for help. She shared her heart and burdens, the first, the loss of a child and the second, the severity of sickness for another of her children. Our team gathered and prayed over her and her sick daughter. We shared of the Gospel and the unconditional love of our Father. She is a believer but very discouraged because of the situation. Her daughter, Ruby, suffers from epilepsy and is in dire need of a physician’s care. We poured truth and encouragement into her. Will you join us in prayer for her? We are asking that the Lord, if it be His will, would bring healing to Ruby that would increase their whole family’s faith to the point where they would not be able to contain their story and would speak of God’s great healing, power, and kindness.

Thank you so much for your consistent prayers, support, and encouragement. Oh, how the Lord is moving! Please continue to lift us up as we strive to further His Kingdom in this thirsty land. Please pray for courage, boldness, strength to continue to proclaim His Gospel,  continued health, and unity. We have such grateful, hopeful, and expectant hearts!

By His Grace,

Tyler & Meridith

Team Directors