BY CRAIG HUSSEY - It has been an awesome first week here in Lima, Peru, for our team of Gideons and ministry partners. Since arriving a week ago, we have distributed about 18,000 Scriptures and have had well over 5,000 one-on-one decisions for Christ, plus several thousand group decisions. We have spoken in 28 church services, with over 60 churches and over 200 pastors involved.
Hearts are extremely open to Christ's message in this city. Just today, for example, one of our teams visited a orphanage with about 20 kids and presented Scriptures to each of them. We had many saved today in the market places—it was unbelievable. We would begin talking to one or two and in a couple of minutes there would be 20 to 30. We would present the gospel in the simplest of terms and most times all would accept Christ as Saviour! Then we would give them one of the Spanish/English New Testaments we printed for this trip, and encourage them further. This took place time and time again.
Over the course of this week we have presented the gospel in police stations, on many street corners, in parks, in open market places, in schools, in prisons, in orphanages, in recreation areas and on dirt streets with homes all around. The people have been rich, poor, old, young, male, female—it doesn't matter. They are ready to accept the gospel, and do so when invited.
Many of the churches here that we have worked with have been blown away by the response and some have never witnessed this method of evangelism before. Last night I spoke at a church in a area where we had been on the streets during the day. The church normally seats about 80—and we had about 110 to 120 in the service. I gave the call for salvation after speaking and 25 came forward for salvation.
I could go on and on and on. The results have been staggering. We could walk outside of the hotel here right now with ten Testaments and win ten people to Christ!
Tomorrow morning we leave at 8 a.m. and travel to Huancayo, an 8-hour drive by bus up the Andes mountains. The Scriptures are waiting for us there. High in the mountains, this city is the cultural and commercial center of the whole central Peruvian Andes area. The drive to Huancayo is breathtaking, with the treacherous road rising to more than 4,700 meters (15,416 feet) before sliding down to the valley's 3,272-meter (10,731-foot) elevation.
Pray that the people of Huancayo will have open and receptive hearts like the people here in Lima.
I will say this to close. God is using the Canadian Gideons to touch a nation. Churches are being energized to reach their community, thousands are being born again through the power of the Word, God's Word is reaching the hands of those who do not have it, and the Canadian team members are having their own lives transformed by what they are a part of.
We are each one amazed, humbled and honoured to be a part of what God is doing here in Peru. However, without all the Gideons and donors across Canada this would have never taken place. This is God's perfect time for what has transpired here.
By the way, September is the "Month of the Bible" here in Peru. Coincidence? I think not.