What a great first day in our ministry areas. I had the privilege to be with the same few groups the entire day, along with Bryant and Anne as we tried to reach people with our mix of greatly talented students. In the morning, we went to a local market to evangelize with shop owners and customers alike. It's always so fun to see the students so fearless... willing to do anything (such as the "Cha Cha Slide" in the middle of a crowd) to grab people's attention so that hopefully they'll be willing to hear something of greater significance a little later on. In addition to fun dances, they presented a powerful drama that shows the person of Christ taking away various ailments and struggles from other members of the drama, ending with them symbolically nailing him to the cross to show that He's powerful enough to take the weight of our sin and problems to the cross and rise again victoriously. It's always a well-received drama among viewers. After the drama, students shared their testimonies then were given a chance to go talk people in the crowd one-on-one to get to know them and share with them personally about the hope inside us. We had a lot of people who recognized their deep need for Christ who wanted to become followers, and we were thrilled that God allowed us to speak that into their lives.
After lunch, we were scheduled to go to a school to put on a very similar presentation to students that we did in the markets. We were told not to expect much. Apparently the Peruvian government is cracking down on schools letting churches come and speak in public schools... very similar to changes we see at home all the time. Initially we were told we could come but only during the students' recess so they wouldn't be required to attend. We also weren't given a clear time to show up. So what did we do? We all prayed and asked the Lord, if he was willing, to allow us the chance to reach these students for Him. And sure enough, a few minutes later, we get a call to go ahead and go to the school. We were welcomed with open arms and even allowed to go into the classrooms to invite the students up to the courtyard to attend. If I had to estimate, we had around 100 or so students attend! It was phenomenal! They thoroughly enjoyed our goofy stunts and games, the dramas and sharing, and Bryant even led in preaching the gospel message. In asking who responded to Christ, there were many kids who raised their hands, including one of the teachers. We were so thrilled that God answered our prayers and allowed us once again the opportunity to lead people into a relationship with him.
This evening, it was nice to have Thomas join us with a message for our students, simply challenging them in their walk with Christ into maturity from Hebrews 6. In all, it was an incredible first day in our mission sites for the week. With three more days on the ground, we're so excited to see what the Lord has in store. One again, there's more photos on the Johnson Ferry Students Facebook page, so make sure to check that out, along with following @johnsonferrystudents on Instagram!