Article submitted by Gary Wadding, MVUSA Staff
My wife Vicky and I recently led MVI pastors’ conferences in three different areas of Peru: Lima, Ica and Cajamarca. This was not the average short-term mission trip in that we only brought ourselves and a pastor friend, Richard Lord; however, the trip was so amazing, and so representative of the heart of MVI that it deserves to be mentioned.
Through our MVI representative in Peru, Alex Cotrina, conferences were arranged for pastors who ordinarily would not have the opportunity to receive pastoral training. They were dedicated men, but most had no formal training in theology or pastoral care. Nevertheless, many had planted numerous churches, and oversaw great ministries. One man had started approximately 50 churches in his region. They were humble men and women who were open to learn more about how to serve their Lord. Because these people were underprivileged, we wanted to provide all training at no cost, as well as meals and housing. What a blessing to see people donate to help cover most of these costs. The leaders still had to get to the events, and some walked as much as 8 hours to attend; but they were smiling and joyful as they arrived on foot.
The teaching was interdenominational, nothing deep or technical, but simple and foundational in nature. Vicky’s women’s sessions were the first ever provided for most of these ladies. What a response! Tears were shed and lives were changed as we addressed such topics as forgiveness, hope, the authority of the Bible, etc. Materials were received as gifts from God, which they really were. We were received as fellow ministers of the gospel, and hearts were knit together by mutual love and respect.
Our plans were for small conferences of about 30 pastors and their wives at each one, in order to provide more opportunity for personal interaction. But God had other plans. The first location had 50 attend, the next region saw 220 arrive, and the last one had 120. Praise the Lord! We are now in the process of arranging follow-up training for each of these leaders, materials that will help them continue on the path to grow in their ministry efforts. Printed supplies and video training will be provided, along with visits and personal attention from MVI associates in their areas.
Although this was not the kind of trip that most groups will encounter, I thought you might like to know the solid foundation that MVI tries to provide for those with whom we work around the world. They supply the faith and hard work. We help them with training and materials. This is the heart of MVI’s philosophy, and underlies what each short-term trip contributes in their own special way, whether it involves construction, VBS, evangelism, medical, gift bags or youth ministry. We all join with local churches and leaders to build up the kingdom of God, and the people of God.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support to be able to do these things. Please contact us to discuss how you might come along on a trip to see similar miracles happen, or help make them possible through your donations.