Friday, August 18, 2006

Our Call - The LACC connection

In 1988 Lena had a vision of a mother and child who were Latino. She knew that God was calling her to minister to women and children, so she applied to work with Latin America ChildCare. They wrote her back saying that they’d love to have her work with them, but that she first had to become a licensed Assembly of God minister. She didn’t feel called to pursue ministerial credentials, so she threw the letter away and put the vision in God’s hands. She believed the vision was from God and she knew that God would bring it about—but she didn’t know how.

In March of 2000 we took some Chi Alpha students on a missions trip to Mexico. While there, we drove through a barrio of what I call “economic orphans.” It was full of kids without parental presence. I asked where their parents were and the missionary we worked with said their parents were migrant farm workers harvesting crops in another state. Then I asked why the kids weren’t in school. The missionary said that the government requires them to pay $50 to buy a school uniform, which their parents couldn’t afford. She said that their parents never went to school, that these kids would never go to school and that their kids would never go to school. Their only hope was to walk around aimlessly until they were old enough to work the migrant fields themselves.

I broke into tears and prayed, “Lord, I beg of you, if you ever move me out of campus ministry, I pray that you will put me in a ministry where we can change the lives of kids like these!”

On Christmas Eve, 2003, we received gifts of alpaca sweaters from Peru (see “Our Call – the Sweaters”). Our friend who gave us the sweaters said, “There’s a message from God in those sweaters.” So, we started praying. Obviously, we wondered if God was calling us to Peru as missionaries, but we were trying to keep an opened mind, so that we didn’t make a presumptuous mistake. A month later, in January 2004, I went to a World Missions fly in (where execs meet with pastors). I asked the Latin America representative what was going on in Peru. He said that the Peruvian Assemblies of God had been begging for missionaries for years, but that no one was willing to go. He continued to say that there was a ministry there called Latin America ChildCare (LACC). They put schools in impoverished communities, buy the kids a school uniform, feed them a hot lunch, bring in medical teams, give them the Gospel and do ministry outreaches to the families and community. But in Peru, they were without a director. They weren’t feeding anyone anymore, they were letting teachers go and turning students away. I remembered my prayer in Mexico and felt God’s hand on our lives. I went home and asked Lena if she’d ever heard of Latin America Childcare. She said, “Don’t you remember? I applied to work with them when I got out of college.” We held that LACC brochure in our hands and could feel the hands of God around our lives. He knew what would be needed back in 1988! He used my prayer and Lena’s vision to confirm our call to Peru, and not just to Peru, but also to LACC. So, one of the things we’ll be doing in Peru is directing Latin America ChildCare.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bill, this is Katie G. from SICM II, Murray State. I have had so many big revelations on emotional intelligence ever since I have been back from SICM. And I suppose I just cannot wait to write a progress report of how my life is being revolutionized by what you have taught, and what the Lord has shown me.