meanwhile, back at the well (Peru, continued)

So, as it turns out, the cost of the trip to Villa Rica, Peru will be higher than I expected.  Airfare will be $1,200, plus $600 for other expenses, which adds to more than the $1,300 I mentioned previously. (I’m an accountant, you don’t have to do the math, just trust me.)

If you want to read my previous post on the topic, just for old time’s sake, click here.

So, here I am, back at the well (that’s you, and it’s a fantastic metaphor, I think).

Katie and I, which I’m now grouping together as one effort (since, apparently, Christ Community has lovingly lumped us together as one account in support-raising efforts, and called it “Pratts”) have a combined total of $1,145, so far.  That’s been plenty to meet our deposit requirements and get us neck-deep into this commitment.

Giant, super-sized, sincerest, and humblest of thanks to each of you who have sent in a donation.  Slightly less giant, but just as sincere and even humblerest (yes, humblerest) thanks to those who have thought longingly about making a donation.  All kidding aside, it’s overwhelming to be on the receiving end of such generosity.

I know, with all my heart, that this stuff is a giant pain in the patooty, and that it’s beautiful all the same.

I need you, and I’m not just saying that to get a few bucks for a trip to Peru.  I need you like liver cells need leg cells, and vice versa.  (For more on that topic from a previous post, click here.)

So, thanks, and thanks, and thanks.  Really.  Thanks.

Now, I’m going to throw in a few words I wrote to a friend in response to some questions they had about this trip, but before I do, let me just say:  If God makes you send in a donation, make it to Christ Community Church, with just “Peru Mission” in the memo, then send it to me.  When I give it to them, I’ll tell them it’s for the “Pratts” account.  If God doesn’t make you send in a donation, for crying out loud, don’t send in a donation.

So, for years, Christ Community Church has had on-going missions efforts in Peru in a variety of places and by a variety of means:  medical teams, sports teams, church-planting, serving, key support for an orphanage in Lima, and most all of those efforts are integrated with a large conglomeration of pastors and local churches.  The main focus of those efforts have been development, church-planting, and evangelism.  This is good.

So, a friend wanted to know how this crazy trip to a coffee-farm village in the remote mountainous regions of Peru would line up with those types of efforts and follow in that evangelical pattern.  Here’s my response:

We will be travelling with a Peruvian couple who are pastors who have worked with CCC previously. They are related to the coffee farmers we will be visiting, and that’s how the connection has been made.

The business building aspect of the trip is actually secondary to the evangelism, although the method of evangelism will not be as direct as some other mission events in Peru.  Zoe’s doesn’t necessarily need coffee from Peru, and because the business is not motivated by profit, the financial aspects of the arrangement and/or the quality aspects are really a minor factor.  The ultimate value and motive for us (to my view, at least) is the potential to establish a long-term relationship with a community of people in a previously unvisited area of Peru so that over the long-term we’ll be able to continually serve and teach Jesus in the area via the opportunities presented by the arrangement to have ongoing interaction.

This first trip to the area is certainly an opportunity to teach the gospel, but we hope it is a stepping stone for longer-term opportunities in the area.  I’ve been told the pastors who will be our guides are considering moving back to the area in order to help facilitate the future of the ministry there.

In addition to our experience there in Peru, the opportunity of bringing their coffee to Greeley will serve to establish here in Greeley a tangible representation of dear people and their community in Peru.  I hope that will promote conversations and interest in serving for the folks here in Greeley, increasing interest in missions opportunities in Peru, and providing the conversational setting for sharing the gospel more here in Greeley.

Of course, this is a new, unexplored potential for CCC and Peruvian missions up to this point, so it may be premature to set so much expectation/hope on this adventure at this point.

Therefore, I’m just trying to focus on the excitement of the immediate opportunity – to serve and share Jesus with a family of impoverished coffee farmers and their community.

Thanks for your support – even if that means you’re not led to give at this time.  I trust your hearts are turned toward the people of Peru and sharing the gospel with the world, and your questions are focused on that point.  I’m grateful for that.


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