How far can you get in 22 hours? Our first Peru short-term missions trip traveled more than 4,000 miles in 22 hours to arrive in Lima at 1am on Friday morning! Coming from Minneapolis and Nashville, our team of 12 arrived exhausted but excited to see what the Lord has in store for us for the next 9 days. Here are a few things we knew before our trip:

  1. The line at immigration was going to be crazy - at least an hour and a half of waiting with the hundreds of other travelers arriving in Lima
  2. Our hosts, Danny and Stephanie, are awesome (and so are their two little girls, Madeline and Macy)
  3. Due to the location of Lima, fresh fruit and fresh seafood are some of the best here
  4. Lima is known as the foodie capital of the Americas
  5. Within the city limits, there is a huge financial disparity among the 9 million city-dwellers

It was definitely difficult to retain any information when we arrived (we were in a daze from being up for so long), but we were picked up by Danny and two others who brought us back to Danny and Stephanie's house in the neighborhood of La Molina. Danny's two pieces of advice: watch out for geckos, but don't kill them... watch out for scorpions, and definitely kill them. With those thoughts dancing around in our heads, we went right to sleep in our guest house on the hill.

Friday was a whirlwind. We did some cleaning up around the guest house (which will be used to house short-term missionaries from Substance and other organizations in the future), which included sledgehammering and swinging an ax. Sanding chairs were involved, chairs that will brought to Krochet Kids on Monday when we start our work helping them build a mentoring space.

We met as a team in the morning, to get more information about our week and to get to know our hosts a little better. Danny and Stephanie moved to Peru two years ago as missionaries, with their two girls. They are both pastors at Vida en Surco, a portable church in the Surco neighborhood. Their passion for missions and their love for God was infectious and got us excited to serve in whatever way we could for the time we are here.


What do you expect when you hear about or go on a missions trip? This was the question that we were asked. Are you expecting incredibly crazy miracles where limbs grow back and water comes bubbling out of a dry well? Are you expecting hundreds of people to hear the gospel preached and for many of those to make public declarations of faith?...

God does amazing things, there is no doubt. But Danny reminded us that miracles aren't necessarily in the spectacular, but sometimes the miraculous happens in little ways. It can be in the few hours that are spent with children at the orphanage, loving on them and playing with them. It can be in the roof that is built so that the kids at Krochet Kids can play outside in the summer. It can be in the short, but sweet conversations that we have with the women who work at Krochet Kids.

It is easy to miss these moments, if you are only looking for the spectacular. But we are excited to share with you over the next week and a half some of the miraculous that happens in the little ways.


Peru - Day 1

(left to right)

1. arriving at the airport at 1:30am 2. breakfast included 3 different avocados 3. our hosts, Danny and Steph 4. chatting at the breakfast table 5. getting ready to do some work 6. alicia is doing some sanding 7. trying Inca Cola for the first time 8. tasting fresh fruit from the market

- phyllis

A Sunday in Lima


It's Sunday in Lima! Another gorgeous sunny day! This morning we headed to the Cultural Center in Surco (a district of 450,000 people within 17 square miles) where the community Vida en Surco ('Life in Surco') meet on Sunday mornings.



Last weekend, Vida en Surco celebrated their 1 year anniversary! It was so fun spending the morning with them and meeting so many in the community. I cannot wait to come back in 6 weeks to spend more time with them!

Mother's Day is a HUGE deal in Peru! It's literally one of the biggest day celebrations in the country. Restaurants are packed out, and there are flowers, balloons and presents everywhere! We opted to stay in for lunch and had a fabulous meal at home with Danny's family.


Don't worry, my mom didn't miss out by me being here on Mother's Day. Since we're proud of our Scottish heritage, we celebrated Mother's Day last weekend by going to the Scottish Fair and out to dinner with my dad. :)


After spending the afternoon getting schooled by a 9-year-old in Dutch Blitz, Danny and I went to the last service at Camino de Vida. This church was started by Robert and Karyn Barriger.


Like many churches and church plants, they are currently going through a building transition as the building they've been meeting in for years was recently bought. So they're now having to meet in different spaces and locations. Such a common story among churches in urban areas.

So excited to check out Krochet Kids tomorrow!

Introducing Lima


Today was such a fabulous intro to life in Lima (city of 9 million, or 7 depending on who you talk to). This morning, we hit the fresh fruit market to grab fruit for breakfast. There were definitely fruits I had never seen, like tuna (the prickly pear) and chirimoya (which looked like a cross between a pear and an artichoke heart, and was silky and delicious)! 003

After breakfast, we toured the guesthouse project 'upstairs'. By June, it'll have all new plumbing, furnished bedrooms and sitting areas.


This 3-bedroom guesthouse will be a project that teams will not only get to stay in but also help develop. I'm excited that our Substance team this summer will be the first group to stay in it! LOVE all the future plans for it-it has so much potential!

Then it was off to Es Condito del Gordo (the fat man's hideout) for some of the most amazing seafood! Cerviche is from Peru, so of course we had to have some of that, not too mention a whole slew of other deliciousness! Have I said how much I love seafood?! I love seafood!



Macy and I had a good laugh when we tried to hold up our oysters and the juice came running down our arms!

Once we were all very satisfied we went to the Casa Hogar Padre Martinho, a privately run orphanage for children with special needs. In Peru, there are a number of government run orphanages, but they will not take kids who are orphaned with special needs. So this privately run orphanage is a huge blessing to so many children who too were created in the image of God and have the basic needs that we all have: to be loved, to be fed and to be clothed. Right now there are 25 orphans living there with needs from autism, to HIV, to multiple physical and metal needs, to needing hospice care. There are typically about 3 staff on hand to take care of all the needs of every child. Needless to say, more helping hands are in high demand!

Recently, an artist with an understanding of child psychology visited the orphanage, talked with some of the kids and came up with room designs for each room so that they are much less institutional-like. About half of the kids lay on their backs most of their days, so having something more than a bare white ceiling to stare at all day will be a huge improvement! I'm excited to be able to not only come back in June to spend more time with the kids, but also to help make the orphanage a much more kid-friendly home.



After spending time at the orphanage, we visited a large Inca market and then hit the shore to take in the ocean at sunset with some ice cream.


An amazing first day in Lima!

GoLife Church Launch


On Sunday, September 2, 2012, GoLife Church was launched in Gothenburg, Sweden! With nearly 100 people showing up to the Bio Capitol Theatre for the launch, it was a huge success!

Thomas and Ann-Margreth Jonsson have been dreaming about reaching Gothenburg City through a new vibrant and relevant Local church for a couple of years. After 10 months of vision nights, prayer meetings and putting together a committed launch team, that has now come into reality!

Gothenburg City will forever be changed by the tidal wave that has begun in and through this church that was launched in a strategic location in Scandinavia. The possibilities of the far-reaching impact of GoLife Church are beyond what any of us can hope for or imagine!

Please keep Thomas and Ann-Margreth, their core team and GoLife Church in your prayers! The Kingdom of Heaven is advancing across Europe!