Last week we spent three days on a ranch in La Joya. La Joya is a district about an hour and a half west of Arequipa. We are the counselors/chaplains of MMI (Medical Ministries International) and they invited us to be a part of their yearly planning conference. Mariesa and I spoke in 5 sessions and encouraged the members in their personal relationship with the Lord. We did some private counseling sessions also. It was our privilege to lead one member of the MMI team to the Lord. It was so exciting to see someone we have known and worked with for about two years commit their life to the Lord for the first time. We also got a lot of time to actually rest during the three days in Sambambaia. Believe me, it was desperately needed because we have been so busy and a bit stressed.
The ride to Sambambaia is quite a trip across the mountains. Actually, the ride is not only across the Andes but at places through the mountains.
There are some areas where is seems like you are on some strange planet in outer space. I can’t imagine the moon or Mars being more desolate than what we passed through on the trip.
Then you arrive in La Joya and the terrain is totally different. You can see the mountains and the desert in the background but La Joya is a fertile high plain in the Andes. It is a big farming area. The main products produced on these farms are cows, cactus, cochinella, tuna and Peruvian Paso horses.
The agricultural industry of La Joya also produces a large harvest of grapes as well as choclo (corn). Potatoes, onions, carrots and various other vegetables are also grown in abundance.
The cactus produces a fruit called tuna which can be eaten as well as the leaves of the cactus. But the main value of the cactus lies in the insects called cochinella. This insect is mentioned in the Bible. It has great value as a dye which is used to produce a deep red color in material as well as makeup for women.
I enjoyed some great walks in the countryside, It was so relaxing to be out of the city for three days. It was also very refreshing to be with our friends from MMI. They had some great planning and learning sessions.
Please pray for MMI. They are a great mission organization and it is a privilege to work with them on medical missions. If you are interested in being on a medical team or in bringing a medical team, please let us know and we will be glad to coordinate it for you.
God is sooooooo good and He is doing some exciting things here this year. We would love for you to be a part of it. Contact us or go to our website to find out how you can help.
May God’s love enfold you today,