Larry Cochran led a unique team to Lima, Peru in March - the team was comprised of families. Team member Caitlin Gonzalez said it was special to see families serving alongside each other. “Towards the end of our trip, it definitely felt like our team had merged into one big family. It was great to see how God used the strengths of each person and how each person on our team found their niche at some point during the week, whether it was in the dental clinic, working the pharmacy, working with kids, or doing construction,” she said. “Tears were shed on the last day!”
The team served with Wilma Grandez, did medical and dental work, and hosted a VBS at Leslie’s school.
Meeting Lesli was one of Gonzalez’s favorite memories. “Lesli's family lives in San Juan de Lurigancho, on the mountainside in the city of Lima. She and her family saw a need for the children in their area to have a safe place to meet and to learn about Jesus. With the help of Phil Bertram, whom she met on a former GO InterNational Trip, her family was able to construct a place for kids to come on the weekends to learn Bible verses, worship, and learn about God,” Gonzalez said.
A specific event stood out from the trip. “Lesli's family welcomed us as their own. I knew we were going to see a presentation that the kids had prepared, but I had no idea what to expect,” Gonzalez said. “Lesli informed us that she was going to remind the students of the special event for the day, so she brought out a loud speaker and microphone and set it up outside her house, halfway up the mountain. She turned on the microphone and began projecting to the whole town about the upcoming event, called out each student by name, and then played Christian music to the mountainside. The whole town could hear. It was a powerful thing to see and hear someone broadcasting their faith boldly to the entire town.”
This reminded Gonzalez of Isaiah 52:7, which says:
"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”
Gonzalez was blessed that her ability to speak Spanish allowed her to get to know Lesli well. “Her faith astounded me and gave me boldness as well,” she said. “I still communicate with her and hope to go back soon to visit her. She is someone who God clearly put in my path to bless me, and I am so thankful.”
Thank you to Team 182 for serving in Peru and encouraging our partners in their work! We are grateful for the connections that were made and the new opportunities for future ministry.