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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

PERU NOVEMBER 2010 - DETAILED REPORT



Where do I begin? This trip—my 6th one to Peru—was so full of love and so full of service. We were 12 missionaries on a mission to leave a trail of love and service in Peru. We  lavished this on orphans at Hope House—a home full of precious orphaned girls in need of many basic things like more than one pair of shoes and milk on a regular basis; on orphan boys at Centro Shama—a home full of rambunctious boys who originally came from the streets, sniffing bags filled with glue to stop their hunger, bathing in trash filled rivers, living in caves and fighting at every turn to stay alive; and on orphans at Pat's Place—a home for abused women and children, who've all grabbed the core of my heart.

GUEST SPEAKER IN PERU!
One week before leaving for Peru on Nov 13, 2010, the end of a 21-day fast, I received an invitation to speak in Peru! God had already shown me in dreams years before that He wanted to use me this way. I was very excited about the opportunity and accepted immediately. The very next day, God gave me the title of my message: “Acceptate a ti Mismo, Porque Dios ya te Accepta.“ In English, that is, “Accept Yourself Because God Already Has.” He also gave me the three points from which I was to speak: (a) know that you are unique; (b) be truthful with yourself, with God and with others; and (c) live truly submitted.

New Life Church, Lima
At an early Sunday morning service I spoke at New Life Church, located in the capital city of Lima. After my message, 11 people accepted Jesus as Savior! We also did an altar call for anyone who needed prayer. I was honored to pray for the pastor’s wife, who was sobbing in my arms as we prayed. Then, after service, a woman came up to me crying with tears of joy. She explained that she had been at church since 7 a.m. praying for a word from God. She stated that everything I said in my message was exactly what she needed to hear! God never ceases to amaze! Please pray that the people of CMC Gardens Church would continue to grow with God.

El Renuevo Church
I also spoke at the first night of our Daughter’s of the King women’s conference at La Eglesia El Renuevo in San Juan de Lurigancho, where Pastor Jonatan Chavez is Senior Pastor. This church was on fire for God! The two-man praise and worship team had so much anointing and sounded amazing. The Holy Spirit spoke through me with power, and I was able to deliver the message with even more conviction. Afterwards, there were salvations for Christ, and we prayed individually for the people, a blessing as always to see countenance after countenance change through prayer.

After service one of the leaders of the church approached me and thanked me for the message. He said that he thought the message uplifted the church and that it was what they needed! I was very humbled and happy to be used by God. Pastor Jonatan also said to me, “Thank you for that word,” more than once. A heartfelt blessing happened the very next night of the conference when a gentleman came up to give a testimony about the first night when I spoke. He said he was well known in Lima; that he had been on drugs and alcohol and was into so many bad things; and that after he heard the Word, he was able to submit his heart to God. He said, “I was able to leave all of that behind …God may not have healed my physical eyes (he had a vision problem), but He healed my spiritual eyes!” My heart leapt for joy! Wow, God. I remembered that this same guy was literally balled up in a corner of the room, wailing and crying out to God fervently. Praise you Jesus. I wish I had gotten his name. Will you please pray that God continues to build his faith and that he stays away from his former life and grows in Christ daily?

THE CHILDREN!
Ah, it is the children that keep me going to Peru over and over again. They will steal your heart! Some of them are in such need, and their stories are so sad that you just want to pack them up and bring them home! Alas, that is much easier said than done, so I try to do all I can do to encourage them while I am there.

La Casa de Esperanza (Hope House)
I’ve visited Hope House for many years, but there was something very special about this trip. I connected with the girls even more. About 17 girls reside there, ages 5 – 17. They are in need of food, clothing, shoes, toiletries, school supplies, hot water heaters, etc. We were able to bless them with clothing, milk (which they had not had in quite a while due to a lack of funds) and toiletries. We also cleared a large hill of dirt on their volley ball court and painted pictures and encouraging words on one of their outside walls.

Earlier that morning, the Holy Spirit prompted me to bring some nail polish with me. After I got there, I realized it was for the little ladies, so I set up a “nail shop” on the steps and attracted several customers! Later, one of the girls named Carina, together with Lajuana, helped me paint flowers on the walls. Carina was very sad, as she had only been there one week and had not yet adjusted to being in an orphanage home. She only had one pair of shoes, period. I encouraged her to pray to God daily about all of her feelings, her needs and her desires. I told her that things would get better day by day. As she worked with me and had fun painting, her countenance changed to a bright smile, which warmed my heart.

When I returned home and saw the many choices I had for shoes in my closet, I thought of Carina. As a result of our visit, a few other like-minded missionaries and I have begun a campaign called “Soles for Souls.” We will collect funds to provide a “welcome gift” to each new girl, as well as a replacement kit for those who are already there, consisting of a pair of tennis shoes, flip flops and socks. Please pray that God would touch many hearts to give to this worthy cause, and that the girls of Hope House would continue to receive the supplies, clothing, shoes, funds and most of all the love of God that they need.

La Casa de Pat (Pat’s Place)
We sat in a circle on the 2nd floor fellowship room of Pat's Place, a home for abused women and children. The director, Laura, calmly told each family's story, as Erick interpreted, about how they came to Pat's place. Just hearing the stories kept our eyes moist. Abigail was brought to them because her parents literally used her as a child slave, making her sell items on the street from about 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at night! She was not in school. Her face was covered with scars, no doubt from fighting she had to endure to protect herself. However, beneath the scars lay a sweet, quiet disposition. Abi sat very quietly listening to Laura, and slowly her tears begin to fall. At that point, I could wait no longer to go and hold her. Abi had run away twice from Pat’s Place, but a policeman and a neighbor brought her back. I whispered to her that everything would be OK. I have to trust God that it will.

We were able to give all of the kids and the women of Pat’s Place much-needed toiletries and clothes. We set them up as a store and had each one select the outfits they wanted. We were also able to give each child a small toy and gift. Will you please pray that the tremendous amount of child abuse would significantly decrease and that less and less kids like Abi would have to suffer such neglect in Peru? Will you pray that all the children of Pat’s Place would grow in Christ?

Centro Shama Boys Home
It’s always a pleasure to see the boys at Centro Shama! These precious boys were homeless, having been abandoned. They lived in horrible street conditions, bathed in filthy, germ-infested waters and sniffed glue to keep the hunger pains away. Thank God for Centro Shama, a place that rescues the boys and offers them a home, education and love.

It was so heartwarming to see the boys now in school with plans of being an architect or a physical therapist. We were able to play with the boys and give them gifts. They are asking for a Play Station! Maybe we can bless them with that next time. Please they would receive all their needs and God’s love.

Villa La Paz
We generally visit Villa La Paz, a medical clinic for children with very serious medical conditions. An American doctor, Dr. Lazarra, runs the clinic, free for all the children, whose parents cannot afford the expensive care required. About 50 children stay there in the clinic/home until they are better, sometimes for years. Many walk only with crutches or in wheelchairs, and some have really bad burns that have disfigured them. We brought them supplies, spent time with them, prayed with them and took them to the park to play. In the baby ward, I held, played with and fed a little baby boy, Rolando. He cried when I put him back in his crib, which made it difficult to leave him! Please pray that Dr. Lazarra would receive all the supply and monetary help he needs to maintain this precious clinic.

CMC Gardens Church Youth Conference
The two-night youth conference at CMC Gardens Church in Lima was awesome! The house was packed, and not only were we treated to lots of praise and worship, but there were numerous skits as well. CMC Gardens showcased the talent of their youth through song, dance and acting. The missionaries ministered also through acting, as well as through testimonies, words of encouragement, prayer, and of course, the Word of God. At the end of the night, so many young people either accepted Jesus in their hearts for the first time or rededicated their lives to Him. I met a young man, Irvin, whom I prayed for at the altar. We talked afterwards, and by the end of the night, I had adopted yet another ‘little brother,’ and we discovered that we have the same birthdays! Will you pray that CMC Gardens church and its youth would develop an ongoing passion for God’s presence and destiny in their lives?


Laura’s Garden
One of the ladies at Pat’s Place, Laura, has been able to move out, get a job and a home of her own. This quaint, four-room shed sits high in one of the many hills/mountains of Peru, and the only way to get to it is by walking up a very steep, rocky and dirt covered hill. She has to walk a great distance to the market to get vegetables and food daily. We decided to bless her with a garden! God had already provided what we needed: one of the missionaries, Eddie, was a farmer! We were blessed to get loads of planting dirt and seeds. And we had 12 missionaries who were willing to carry the heavy supplies up the rocky hill, clear away dirt and rocks for the garden, lay down the planting dirt, and plant and water cucumbers, carrot and other vegetable seeds. While the men were digging, I thought, “We need a cross for the garden.” Again, God had already supplied what we needed: the very daughter of the farmer, Ellyn, was an art student! She artfully found two sticks somewhere on the mountain and bound them together and painted them—and presto, we had a beautiful cross to mount at the head of the garden, a reminder of God’s provision.

Having descended from Laura’s garden, at the foot of the hill was a beautiful sight: one of the missionaries, Alison, was reading the Bible to a bunch of kids. I quickly said to her, “Read Romans 10:9!” (the salvation scripture). Then I remembered that we had a wonderful Spanish translator sitting on the bus. I wanted to make sure they understood very clearly, so I yelled for Erick to come quickly and interpret. Together we led 5 kids to accept Christ! Please pray that Laura’s garden flourishes and that the kids who accepted Christ that day will find a church home, grow in Christ and remain steadfast in Him.

You, too, can be a part of such an amazing experience. Just ask me how: vanessaburke@clear.net

PERU BOUND -- AGAIN!

Every time I go on a missions trip to Peru, my heart oozes love, appreciation, wonder and awe at our heavenly Father God. He is amazing. Read more details about it in the letter I've sent to supporters below. If you would like more information about this amazing experience, or if you want to be a part of what God is doing upfront and center towards the goal of saving souls, read on ...


JONATHAN AND I ARE GOING ON OUR FIRST MISSIONS TRIP TOGETHER!

Hello Family and Friends,

As you may know, I’ve been travelling to Peru as a short-term missionary since 2005. This last trip—my 6th one there—was so full of love and service and has me looking forward to going yet again. And this time, I’m taking my son, Jonathan, with me! Yes, this will be his first experience as a missionary at nine years old. He is very excited, and I cannot wait to see God work in him on the mission field. We travel in June 2011.

What will we be doing? Visiting orphanages like the Hope House home for girls; Centro Shama, a boys home; and Pat’s Place, a shelter for abused women and children. We will also visit the 50 kids with serious medical conditions at Villa La Paz medical clinic. Jonathan will get to see some of the same people and places to which his clothing donations have been going to for years! This past year, he befriended twins on his lacrosse team, and being from a family of five boys, they were able to give Jonathan a total of 16 hats for the boys at Centro Shama. Now he can visit those same boys. We will also host a women’s conference and a youth conference. At these conferences, we minister with skits, testimonies, sometimes songs, prayer and of course, the word of God.

We mainly work in the area of San Juan de Lurigancho, an area of Lima that’s home to the poorest of the poor, where on average many eat only one meal a day. And some of their living conditions make America’s poorest neighborhoods look like vacation homes. They are squatter homes, which are actually huts made from bamboo, cardboard, tin, even rubber from tires—whatever the people can find—and most are without electricity or running water. About 49% of the people live below the poverty level, creating great need for so many, and we hope to meet not only some of their natural needs but their spiritual needs as well. We plan to give them hope, healing, love and the good news of Jesus Christ.

Would you like an opportunity to help sow a seed in God’s Kingdom? You can do that by helping me go again and helping Jonathan go for the first time. The cost to cover airfare, food, lodging, local transportation and materials is $1600 for each of us. And I have a praise report already: Jonathan has received $860 of his money, and I’ve received $500! Will you pray about helping us raise the rest? No amount is too small. Both of us have another $500 payment due March 2, with any balance due by May 4. God has used me mightily in Peruon this last trip I was a guest speaker at the women’s conference and another local church and helped change lives with what God gave me to speak. Your seed will help to bless so many. If you are able to help, please let us know so that we will know how much more we need to raise. When you help, you are also credited by God for the work we accomplish there!

Checks should be made payable to “Crosspoint Ministries” (www.crosspointmissions.org), and you may mail it to me at the address below so that I may record and manage incoming support. Do not put my name on the check, so that you may use your donation as a valid IRS tax deduction. We thank you for your prayerful consideration! Feel free to contact me with any questions and to share with others you think may want to help. If you send me your donation plans and your address, I will be glad to send you a self addressed, stamped envelope! I do have a detailed presentation with many photos available; just send me your email address for your copy—then you can see for yourself how God moves in us to help change the lives of the people in Peru. Hope to hear from you soon!

Charged to uplift, encourage & inspire,

 Vanessa Burke
 vanessaburke@clear.net