Delron’s mission to Peru was to take part in the regional conference of the Latin America national directors for Every Home for Christ. The top leadership from all of the nations from Mexico to Argentina and Spanish-speaking Caribbean countries nations gathered in Lima, Peru, for administrative and instructional updates. Delron’s contribution to the conference was two days of instruction on the use of the Be Fruitful and Multiply discipleship approach that he helped develop for EHC’s worldwide ministry. This discipleship material was specifically designed as a cost-effective, easy-to-use Bible study method and curriculum for the groups of new believers that EHC is establishing at a current rate of sixty-three new groups per day. BFAM (as Be Fruitful and Multiply is commonly referred to) was especially designed to address translation, production, and copyright issues that had hindered the use of previously available programs.
Although the new approach is already in use in Asia and Africa, it had been introduced in only a couple of countries in Latin America. After the presentation at the conference, all the directors were eager to implement it. It was especially rewarding when one national director testified that he did not see any need for BFAM in his country when he was first introduced to it at a conference in the US last year. After the presentation in Lima, he said that he was going back to his country to inaugurate it immediately.
Following the conference, Delron fulfilled a lifelong dream, visiting the ruins of the ancient Inca city, Machu Picchu. The visit necessitated a three-day stay over in Peru—one day to travel to Cusco, one day to see Machu Picchu, and one day to travel back to Lima to catch the flight home. After arriving in Cusco in mid afternoon, Delron’s adventurous spirit took him into the city for a little free-lance exploration. He began by catching local transportation into the city center—a minivan that was already packed with twenty-five passengers when he boarded but took on more and more customers at each stop. Even though Delron was totally at a loss in trying to discern what the conductor was saying at each stop, he kept riding until the van entered an area of town with cobblestone streets and a few touristy-looking shops. Assuming that this was where he wanted to go, he paid the seventeen-cent fare and jumped off the bus. One funny little incident that occurred while shopping was that the clerk in one store was looking through a big stack of plastic bags for one that was the right size for the small gift Delron had picked out. In the middle of her frantic quest, her small baby stuck her hand into the pile and grasped one bag. When she pulled it out, the bag was exactly the size that the mother needed. Soon it was time to eat, so Delron ducked into a little hole-in-the-wall diner and ordered “pollo,” the only Spanish food name he knew. When the waitress, began to make a lengthy explanation in Spanish, he knew that he had a problem. As he was trying to communicate with sign language, a young man stepped up and asked in perfect English—even with a bit of a British, rather than a Latin, accent–if he needed help. He then explained that the restaurant was out of chicken but suggested their fried trout that was on special for the equivalent of $2.40. By the time he had finished talking with the helpful stranger and turned around to take his table, another gentleman had taken his seat. With no other empty tables in the place, the stranger motioned that he sit with him. Thankful that Peggy wasn’t there to stop him from breaking all the cardinal rules of foreign travel (eating in a local dive, ordering fish in a foreign country, and eating fried food), he enjoyed one of the most delicious meals of fried lake trout with a mug of complementary tea made from the leaves of the cocoa plant (the source of cocaine). Now it was dark time to head back to the hotel, so Delron tried to catch a cab. Unfortunately, every taxi had passengers, and there didn’t seem to any hope of finding an available one. After walking to the corner and breathing a quick prayer, Delron looked up to see that the car that had stopped at the red light right in front of him was a vacant taxi.
The following day was a full day of adventure with a 6 AM departure by car to the train station a two-hour drive away. The road wound its way past the majestic white-capped Andes Mountains, through quaint villages and along side the vast fields of the local substance crop, potatoes. The scenery was graced with the traditional Andean women dressed in top hats, flared skits, and braided pigtails. In one particular area, the local form of transportation was the three-wheeled taxi—motorbikes adapted by adding a cab with two passenger seats—a common sight in India and Nepal. At the train station, Delron boarded the passenger coach for the hour-and-a-half trip through the gorge to the Machu Picchu bus station where he them transferred to the bus for the half-hour dive up the serpentine mountainous trail to the eight-thousand-foot elevation of archeological site.
This fifteenth-century Inca city was not discovered by the Spanish and, therefore, escaped the invasion and destruction that all the rest of the Indian civilization experienced. Abandoned at about the same time as the Spanish conquest of the New Word, the city was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Perhaps the most familiar icons of antiquity, Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll in 2007. Following a thorough tour of the expansive site, Delron headed back to Cusco via the bus, train, and automobile trip in reverse. One added blessing of the day was that he was assigned the seat next to the bishop of the South East Diocese of the Methodist Church on the train trip. The two had a lengthy discussion about what God is doing around the world since the bishop had just been in Lima for the Methodist world convention on evangelism. The finally came to a close when the car eventually reached the hotel at 9 PM.
Delron’s one last adventure before heading home the following morning was a surprise syrup that the hotel served with his French toast—coffee flavored. Well, after all, it is South America.
Jeremy was our mission representative to Peru when he joined with a team of young people from our church in Indiana under the leadership of Dr. and Mrs. Romney Ashton. The team traveled along the Amazon River to minister in various churches, schools, orphanages, and other outreach locations. The highlight of the trip was the night that Jeremy prayed for a deaf man who instantly regained his hearing as Jeremy prayed for him.