The Vineyard Cambellsville in Kentucky had already helped form a “Peru Partnership” when I started attending church there in 2003. They were visiting Peru two or three times a year to encourage and support an indigenous Vineyard movement there, and the pastor at the time, Ray Hollenbach, invited me to come along. Honestly, I had never been very interested in missions and I turned down repeated invitations until 2005, when I gave up and went.
Jesus ambushed me there.
I came back, consulted with Pastor Ray and others in leadership, sold everything, and was sent out as a missionary by the Vineyard Campbellsville in Jan of 2006. I was blessed and honored to be received by the Vineyard Arequipa in the city of Arequipa in southern Peru, by pastor Rolando Romero and his wife, Apsara Aguilar, who put up with my ridiculous Spanish and taught me so much about their native land.
After two years in Arequipa, the Lord called me down to Lima, to the Vineyard Laderas de Chillón, to work alongside pastor Guillermo Sifuentes and his wife, Lisset Silva. We have formed a strong partnership and have seen Jesus do miracles of healing and deliverance here.
The Vineyard Campbellsville continued to love and support both me and their Peruvian friends, even as the Peru Partnership gradually dissolved. By 2011 or so, Campbellsville was the only member left, but Joshua Stump and Brian Bann, founding pastors of the Anchor Mission in Nashville, had come down for a visit by then, and they became good friends with Pastor Guillermo–friendships that endure to this day.
During this time, Ryan Adams, director of the Anchor’s School of Missions brought several teams to Laderas, and when he went on to co-pastor the City Beautiful church in Orlando, he created an international missions outreach and a partnership with the Vineyard Laderas. We’ve been encouraged and challenged by their consistency in caring about us, staying in touch, and actively seeking ways to help.
I’ve been living and working in Peru for ten years now. I am so grateful to you, my friends who have supported me and prayed for me over these years. I keep asking the Lord to multiply everything you’ve given me and return it to you “pressed down, shaken together, running over.”
And thank You, Jesus, for growing me up here, for always providing, for teaching us how to tag along as You demonstrate Your kingdom amoung us, just like You always have done. You stood up in your hometown synagogue, read Isaiah 51 to them, claimed it, then went out and did it. And You have never stopped. ¡Santificado sea Tu nombre!