Site Overlay

Lessons from Cusco

Cusco, Peru
Last week, six of us from Hollywood Community Church traveled to Cusco, Peru to visit and minister with Rudy and Lorraine Johnson.   Having spent ten years in Mexico City as a missionary and having traveled to more than 15 different countries on missions trips I have had many missionary experiences.  This past week, I flew out of Miami with the thought that this was going to be just another trip. Little did I know that God had some very special lessons that He wanted me to learn.

The purpose of this trip was to help the Johnsons with the preparation for the eighth anniversary celebration of Tambo de Gozo.  Eight years ago Rudy and Lorraine founded Tambo de Gozo which is a camp and retreat center an hour outside of Cusco.  Actually located in the small town of Pisac, Tambo de Gozo has been a rest haven for missionaries and pastors in the country of Peru.  In addition, to operating the camp, the Johnsons have a desire to reach the town of Pisac with the Gospel.  That has proven to be a challenge.  With the majority of the town being of Quechua Indian descent, that task has proven difficult even for experienced and successful missionaries like the Johnsons.

Spending five days in the high altitude environment of Pisac was therapeutic for me in a variety of ways.  Here are a few of the lessons that God taught me during my short stay.
1.  Ministry passion is not dependent upon ministry success –  After seven years of ministry in Pisac, the Johnsons have just a handful of believers that are meeting on a regular basis.  For many pastors and missionaries, including me, that just might be an enthusiasm buster and a passion popper.  But not for Rudy and Lorraine, their passion for the people of Pisac seems just as strong as when they arrived.  I will never forget setting across the table from Rudy and seeing him express his burden for the people of Pisac with a broken heart.  At eighty-years old he still has a God-given burden to reach his town with the Gospel.
2. The Gospel message must be planted and watered before there is any chance of a harvest.  After 40 years of success in city of Lima, the Johnsons are now ministering in an area where there has been very little evangelistic effort.  As a result, the spiritual fruit will not be reaped as quickly nor as abundantly as in other areas of Peru.  The present work of the Johnsons is one of planting, watering and cultivating the hearts of the residents of their small town.  That is a process that could take months or even years.  Yet, the harvest will never be reaped until the planting and watering work is done.
The apostle Paul made reference to that truth in I Corinthians 3:6 – I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.  I am determined to fervently pray that God blesses the preaching of the Gospel in Pisac and that soon there will be a stable and growing body of believers.
3.  God fulfills his promise to send laborers into the harvest.  Several years ago while in their late seventies, the Johnsons prayed Luke 10:2 asking God to send another missionary family to Pisac who could carry on the work that they had begun.  God did just that by sending the Duke family.  Daniel, his wife Laura and their three kids answered the call to Pisac four years ago.  In a short period of time they have adjusted to the culture, learned the language, jumped into the work and even started a growing church in the city of Cusco.  Our group was greatly impressed with the passion and dedication of Daniel and his family.  We are excited about the possibility of working for years to come with the Duke family.
There are so many lessons to be learned on the mission field.  Why don’t you travel with us?  I am confident that God will do a work in your heart as He did in mine!
Scroll Up