Shining Christ’s Light into the Darkest, Poorest Places
January 29, 2013
When the roads end for Lazaro Flores and his evangelistic team traveling the mountains of Peru, the native missionaries load their backs with supplies and begin the trek over the Andean footpaths to carry food, clothing and Bibles to poverty-stricken children and hundreds of Christian Quechua women left widowed after terrorist massacres. Ayacucho means “corner of the dead,” but indigenous missionaries with Churches of Ayacucho are giving the land a new name: Kausaqhucho, meaning, “Corner of the Living.”
About 150 full-time missionaries preach the gospel to these destitute Quechua Indians, who live in small villages above the timberline at nearly 14,000 feet, where the sun’s intensity dries out what little plant life covers the ground. Most of the natives have come to Christ through open-air evangelism. Over the years COA, helped by Christian Aid, has planted more than 150 churches, and now more than 50 percent of the people living in some areas where they have preached are Christians.
These tribal people are the poorest of the poor. To survive, they burn moss for fuel and cultivate potatoes for food, one of the few crops that will grow at that altitude. To keep from freezing on below-zero nights, they wrap in wool blankets and llamas skins.
They long for places to meet to worship the Lord.
“A place to meet is very important for the Quechua ethnic group,” Flores wrote in a recent ministry letter to Christian Aid. “We love to come to the house of the Lord for worship, fasting, prayer and Bible teaching.” Hundreds of members of the Quechua tribe have accepted Christ, yet many fellowships await funds to construct the simplest building in which to meet.
Yet, even if they lack four walls and a roof, they go in the power of the gospel and in the name of Jesus to bring healing and release from darkness to their own people, village after village.
One tribal couple languished in alcoholism and witchcraft and was headed to divorce. “Maximo and Margarita heard the gospel at the newly-planted church, and they accepted Jesus as personal Savior,” Flores related. “After they surrendered their lives to Jesus, the Lord restored their marriage and delivered them from evil spirits.”
Through God’s hand on this indigenous ministry, and through prayer and the faithful preaching of the gospel, many surrender their lives to Jesus. And many are healed.
“We prayed for a new woman believer who had a fractured bone in her foot. The physician told her that she may not be able to walk again. Her bones were not healing because she is 84 years old,” Flores testified. “After we prayed, the believer started walking without pain and without crutches. The Lord restored and healed her broken foot bones after we prayed in the name of Jesus.”
Join Christian Aid in helping these men and women of God reach the Quechua tribe of Peru.