chiclayo, children, childrens missions, cindy nickell, hunger, kids, lima, ministry, missions, peru, pucallpa, south america, stephanie mclaughlin, Trinitys Angels
While in Pucallpa last month with Ray and Martha Skaggs working on programs for kids in outlying pueblos, Ray reconnected with a man who had gone through Tres Dias a year ago in Lima. Elias invited Ray to church and to meet his pastor. Unfortunately, Pastor Javier was not there the particular Sunday when Ray went. So…they all decided to meet up the day before we headed to Chiclayo. Cindy and I were not going to the meeting but instead we were going to take care of some last minute things. The meeting ended up being canceled, rescheduled, canceled, rescheduled, and at the last minute, due to scheduling conflicts, it was just canceled.
Cindy, Ray, Martha and I went to dinner and halfway through, Elias showed up followed a few minutes later by Pastor Javier! Cindy and I finished eating and were about to leave when all of a sudden my ears picked up a story about a food program at their church, El Salvador – The Savior. What? That’s the direction we had planned to take once we arrived here in Pucallpa, we just didn’t know where to begin.
So, I started asking questions and he filled in the details all the while never telling him about Trinity’s Angels and the programs we were praying about implementing. Every Sunday, EL Salvador provides breakfast to children before church. The minimal funding comes from their church – the members – but the majority live in the poorest section of Pucallpa and it has become a strain. I asked, “How many kids do you feed?” His response – 80. I turned to Cindy not believing that number and said I think we have found the place to start – this was exactly in line with the food outreach program we had been planning – to feed 100 people, 1 to 2 times per week. “Where do they get their other meals?” we asked already knowing the answer. He said the Sunday meal was the one the children knew they could count on and the rest came from their homes if there is any food, on the street or wherever they can find it.
My heart was pounding and the Holy Spirit was reaffirming this project in a huge way. It’s one of those times when you know that you know that you know! Prior to this meeting we had been researching local prices, calculating costs per meal to determine what Trinity’s Angels could commit to for a yearlong program based on contributions from supporters. It simply lined up perfectly and we knew God was saying… I brought you here for these people. They are who you are here to help. It is a feeling you simply cannot describe.
Pastor Javier continued answering our questions, explaining the many needs of the church. When he was done I said, “Now, let me tell you about Trinity’s Angels and why we are here.” As we explained to both he and Elias about the path that led us to Pucallpa, the food outreach program that had recently been heavily laid upon our hearts and the additional programs Trinity’s Angels will be developing in the near future, there was a look on his face that we understood completely. He turned and said, “We have been praying for a couple of years for help; for missionaries to come to our church. And those prayers have not been answered until now.” Quickly we said – we don’t think of ourselves as missionaries, yikes – no way, but we ARE here to help and we believe right now that we are here to help your church. The connection formed at that exact moment is nothing short of miraculous and humbling to the core.
After the meal we all went to look at an apartment which ended up being perfect for us. It turns out to be just 3-1/2 blocks from El Salvador church! Who knew!!! We are living in the heart of the neighborhood, blocks from the church that we have been called to help in the poorest section of the city. And you know what??? We would have it no other way. It is absolutely, without a doubt, exactly where God led us. We have landed, boots on the ground, poised to show this area that there is a GOD WHO LOVES THEM IMMENSELY and HE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN THEM.
There are absolutely no words to describe all the things that had to line up in order for this to work out. To look back at the journey here, how we ended up meeting Elias and Pastor Javier – all the events, people and circumstances that were put in motion for this meeting to happen is almost unbelievable, except for the fact that we experienced it. Love the way the Lord works and how He brings together the paths that must intersect to get to the end result.
Crossing Paths within His Mighty Grip,