Over the past month, we have experienced the many blessings of relationship in mission, as family and friends have come alongside the work here in Peru to help us advance with some needed projects while deepening connections. Enjoy the pictures and highlights from this recent chapter of our storied lives together!
A team called Men in Missions (Chicago area) was our first team to arrive in 2016. They began the construction of the KAI Pucallpa team house last year, and this February they returned to continue the project. The same day this team left, Mark’s brother, Andrew and his family, arrived with a team from their church, Eureka Chapel, along with another family from another church in Montana. With the tireless work of these teams under the direction of our Peruvian maintenance staff, we made significant progress. We anticipate that the upcoming teams and the Peruvian staff will see the project through to completion. This facility will help us host teams and interns, and very importantly, it will free up additional classroom space (currently used for team housing) for our Homework Club, which serves 65 vulnerable children three days each week.
More than a construction project, we are anticipating the impact of the additional space for educational ministry and the dedicated space for ministry to teams and interns. Counting these two teams, we have now hosted six teams since our arrival nearly a year ago, not counting the multiple visitors that we have also hosted. These two teams came at a time when the lead team coordinator was out of the country, so Kristin carried extra responsibility to coordinate the many logistics that require constant attention with a team’s visit.
Beyond the doing, a team’s being here brings joy to our whole mission. One example of this is when we can facilitate team members connecting with children through child sponsorship. Another of the many moments of which we wish our partners could observe is the time of debriefing that we lead with each team. To hear the ways in which God’s Spirit connects people to His joy in the mission here, alongside of others, and the vision that develops for increased and intentional participation in His mission in the communities to which they will return…it’s hard to put it all into words. It is just awesome.
Our family continues to invest our lives into the family at the The Orchard Children’s
Home, where five completely abandoned children have been rescued and are learning to live in a redemptive family, with all of the joy, difficulty, responsibility and opportunity that it provides. The team from Eureka, Montana connected to The Orchard in several ways. They provided some back-to- school supplies for the children (Peru’s school year begins in March) as well as built a few recreational projects (a play structure, soccer goals, and a chalkboard). All of these projects were finalized on a Saturday afternoon after taking the kids to the zoo in the morning. In addition, some of the ladies in the group served at the home several times during the week. The morning after one of their cleaning efforts, there was an unannounced inspection from the local governing authority. The visitors were very impressed with the overall atmosphere and cleanliness of the home. All of these touches add to the positive reputation of the home, which helps maintain good standing with the government.
Beyond all that goes into hosting and leading teams when they are visiting, our work continues with regular opportunities to teach and encourage the Peruvian staff and the children. Last week, Kristin was part of launching a new ministry to teen moms in our community. This week Mark began leading the children’s home parents, director, and workers through his workshop on teaching the story of God to children. They are all so hungry and grateful for everything they receive that they can share with the children.
After the team from Montana left, Mark’s brother’s family and the Eash family remained for another week. Our time with them was a true gift and encouragement in so many ways. Relationally, we continued to invest in those that we serve with here at the care center and the children’s home. Along the way, our own relationships deepened as we enjoyed a lot of reflection and laughter around the play and purpose of family in God’s kingdom. Mark worked with Andrew and Marion to build a carport next to our house and a clubhouse for Caleb and Jacob. Kristin greatly enjoyed the friendship and help of Sara Cote and Sara Eash throughout the team’s time as well as during their visit. The three of them spent a lot of time connecting with and encouraging others on our team at the care center and children’s home, not to mention the tremendous effort of watching over all of our own children in their own jungle adventures. Our time together was a reward!
Together in His justice,
Mark, Kristin, Caleb, Jacob, and Rachel Coté
Missionaries of Discipleship and Development based in Pucallpa, Peru
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