Sunday, April 4, 2010

Good Friday in Chincha, Peru

While the blog has focused on Crisis Response in Haiti lately, there are other Crisis Response locations throughout the world -- such as Chincha, Peru (the location of two back-to-back earthquakes in August 2007). To help understand the continued need for Christ-centered ministry in Chincha, read the following Good Friday experience of a Crisis Response missionary living in Peru. On this Easter Sunday, please pray for the people of Chincha, that they would find the truth and answers they seek in Jesus Christ.

[My wife] and I went to see the activities at the Plaza de Armas in Chincha last night. The plaza was packed! I'll bet there were ten thousand people there. They had a huge crucifix in front of the church, and parents were handing babies and small children up to a couple of men who would press the baby's face to the larger-than-life body of Jesus on the cross. They were also handing out some kind of greenery (olive branches?) that they'd touch to the crucifix to "bless" it.

Most people were on the somber side... Even though there were a lot of vendors, food, Easter bread, and other things going on, it really wasn't much of a party atmosphere. There was a procession with a glass-encased image of Jesus (I think it was supposed to represent Jesus in the tomb), again larger-than-life, followed by a big image of Mary, with a marching band playing a dirge.

We had a front row view for part of it... [Then, as we] headed home through the crowd, a bunch of men picked up the platform with the crucifix on it (probably took 30 men carrying it) and marched it over in front of the Chincha public offices for a prayer for the mayor, Chincha employees, etc., blocking the way just before we got by. I think it was something the Lord wanted us to see...

As people returned from having a baby kiss the image or [from] receiving a leafy branch, most of the expressions on faces communicated a sense of desperation. In their hearts, I think most know they're not right with God, but they are ignorant and deceived about the significance of the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the way of salvation.

It was with very heavy hearts that we made our way home. Of the ten thousand plus people in the plaza last night, there's a strong probability that we were the only two with a personal relationship with the LIVING Jesus, and any true hope for eternity.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

God at Work

There is no doubt that God is working in Haiti, but He is also using the earthquake and its aftermath to reach people around the globe.

Visit the EFCA website to read an account of how the blog, Facebook, and Twitter updates from a Crisis Response team member stirred the heart of a woman back home whom he's never met.

Glory to God!