Letter From the Front

Here I sit in my hotel room in Cusco, Peru thinking over the past couple of days and their events. I’ve seen so much, and heard so many amazing things. Stories that will make you scratch your head and wonder if God is watching, and in the same breath hear stories that make you know that God is an amazingly powerful and creative God. We’ve been visiting mostly one town named Urcos. It’s about a 45 minute drive through the Andes Mountains. To get there you drive past the ancient Inca gate that used to be used to double as a place to sacrifice to their gods, and as an entrance in to the ancient city called Cusco, which means the navel of the earth.

As we drive on, our missionary guide tells us that the village/town on our left is a witch village. The only people that live there are witches and spiritualists. You can go there and purchase an incantation or amulet, or engage in some ritualistic activity that will summon up your own [demonic] spirit guide. You then pass to villages that were completely destroyed by the recent floods, nothing remaining except piles of mud that used to represent adobe homes that once housed moms, dads, boys, girls, and brothers and sisters. The devastation is amazing. Sobering. So much pain, and so much loss, but even with all that sorrow, the most grievous thing is that these people are so steeped in Indianism that they have no hope. They have no one to tell them about a risen savior to loves them right were they are.

We drove on and finally arrived at the small Quetuan town of Urcos. Approximately 6,000 people call it home, and less than 400 people in this town call Jesus lord. The harvest is so ripe it is astonishing. I was blessed to meet with an amazing pastor who just planted a church in this town in January. His name is Angelnina, and he is a humble man that loves God and will do anything to see his neighbors go to Heaven. He has 12 other church plants in surrounding villages and walks to them to share the Gospel with them. He gets to each village about every three weeks or so. During the rainy season he hikes two hours in the pouring down rain, and then as the sunsets and the fridged mountain air rolls in he stands before the people in his soaking wet clothes and preaches a message of hope. You might wonder why he doesn’t change clothes before he preaches or why he doesn’t put one pair of clothes in a backpack and then put on dry clothes later. Yea I asked him. He only speaks Quetchuan, but through two translators he simply said, “because these are the only clothes I have.”

I thought of my closet full of clothes. I thought of how I freak out and change socks if they get wet…..I hate wet socks. But here was a man that sacrificed so much so that his people would no longer have to bow down to the false gods of the Incas, but recognize the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Recognize that the one true God brings hope for a lost soul. That this internal gold has more value than clean clothes, dry clothes, or the myriad of comforts that we all think we must have.

I was humbled. I want to help. Not just this awesome pastor, but I want to help show these people the true light of Jesus Christ. How about you? I’m coming back in July. It’s three months away, and if you want to come to one of the richest harvest fields I have ever seen then get a passport and let’s go on an adventure together to see lives transformed, souls saved, the Kingdom of God advanced, and dry clothes put on hard working saints. I know you read this and you are like everyone else. We have a million reasons why we can’t go. We know why it won’t work and why it is just impossible. I know you even counter that with, “But Craig my situation is unique, you just don’t understand. I just can’t make it.” Hmmmm. You and I both know that’s not the truth. The truth is actually that you just don’t want to. It’s a choice. Let’s do something a little different. Let’s take a chance. Get a passport and come be a blessing, and get blessed.

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Peruvian Fun

The bags are packed and the flight leaves at 6 AM in the morning!  Who booked that thing?  🙂  I will be traveling with OC my associate to Cusco Peru.  Of course there is no such thing as a drerect flight so we will leave Memphis and fly to Chicago, then Newark, then Lima, Peru.  Spend the night and then fly to 11,000 feet…..that is not our cruising altitude but our landing altitude high in the Andes mountains.  We will be linking up with two missionaries there that will help connect us with a Quetchuan group of people.  Its going to be a fast pace week with tons of fun, and amazing ministry.  I’m so looking forward to being able to take a group in July.  If you want to be a part of that group just shoot me an email.

Stay tuned over the next couple of days as I will post pictures and updates as regularly as possible.  Blessings!

Cusco, Peru

Lately, just outside Cusco, Peru there has been torrential rain, mudslides, and substantial human loss. Currently over 80,000 people are homeless and needing assistance. Most of the global assistance is being averted to Haiti and leaving these 80,000 people helpless. I was in Cusco, Peru 10 months ago and have partnered with a local Christian organization to plant a church and do local assistance in another village called Ccorkka. But let me quickly tell you about another village that I was just informed of.

There is a village in the Andes mountains that has no Christian influence. In fact there is no church, neither evangelical or Catholic. This village has been violent against Christianity not allowing any of it in their village. They have violently refused Jesus Christ in any and every form. However, since the recent devastation, this village has been hit hard leaving many of the people questioning life. A church group from the city of Cusco ( about an hour away) started bringing this hostile group of people food and supplies to help them through their devastation. Through the humanitarian effort, these indigenous Ketchua Tribe people are now asking questions about Jesus. They are cracking the door to the Gospel message.

The Christians from Cusco have been ministering to them in a limited capacity and have asked them if they would be willing for an American church group from the United States to come and minister to them and help them rebuild their village. This Ketchua Tribe miraculously said yes! They said that they would be willing for us to come and help them rebuild and reestablish their community. They would also be willing to hear more about this man named Jesus. That makes me smile.

O.C. (my associate pastor), and I are leaving for this village on April 19th to meet these people and establish a relationship with them. Then in the end of July we will be taking a group from our church to go and fix, help, and minister to this amazing group of people.

So why am I telling you this? Number one so that you can pray for us as we go to this group of people that God’s favor would be all over us and everything that happens. Secondly, I need your financial help to make it happen. The cost of my trip (and O.C.’s) is $1800 each, and I just don’t have $1800 laying around the house. I’m sure you don’t either, but together we do. Together we can make this amount of money seem like a minuscule amount. So how much are you willing to help us this week? I’ve made it as easy as possible. Simply click on the Pay Pal link on the left side of this blog and send your donation today. Every penny you give will go 100% to the trip. 100% will be directly applied to bring the Gospel message to a group of people that have never heard the greatest story ever. If you don’t trust the mighty PayPal then mail it to SouthPoint Church PO Box 1043, Southaven, MS. 38671. Thanks.