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Recuay Volunteer Outreach, Peru

Eliazar Bojorquez

We just finished an incredible month of outreach and ministering to thousands here in Recuay, Peru. Several months ago we were excited to receive a sponsorship offer from Activated Ministries for free materials as the need is so great here. Recuay is nestled high (approximately 3,500 meters) up in the heart of the Andes in central Peru and is part of the “White Mountains”, the poorest region of Peru. Although it is only 25 kilometers from Hauraz, a tourist city, Recuay is not part of the tourist industry. The people here are farmers – the mountains are laid out like patchwork quilts of fields as far as the eye can see.

Over 16,000 people live throughout the mountains in small communities ranging in size from a couple of families to 1,500 people. Most communities are without electricity and running water. The older children walk, some very long distances, to the larger elementary and high schools here in town, while the younger ones attend smaller primary schools which are scattered by the dozens throughout the region. Here at the schools they do have electricity so the audio/visual materials are ideal for reaching their hearts as well as teaching English. English is a mandatory course in all of the schools but very few government schools (none here in Recuay) have even one English speaking teacher. For most of them our materials are the only bi-lingual teaching tools they have. Even at the elementary schools, most of the text books are donated by western countries and are often level inappropriate (first year students using fourth year books). One of our services to the mountain communities is an after-school tutoring program where our teens assist groups of students in learning English.

Nearby is Hauraz. Although a tourist town, it is also home to over 3,000 street children. Although government and some private institutions have been set up, they also sorely lack teaching materials. Due to the high stress lives and lack of recreational facilities, alcoholism and drugs are also major problems. We pray that the Lord’s words through the materials will help give them strength and hope to overcome obstacles in their lives.

At first upon hearing of Activated Ministries’ sponsorship program, we struggled with trying to decide who needed help the most. But when we prayed for direction, the Lord led us to ask for enough materials for all the schools, centers and mountain communities we work with. This was a step of faith for us, as at the time of the sponsorship offer most of the mountain communities were still without electricity. But God is always a step ahead of us and prepares the way! By the time the materials arrived, the government had finished connecting all the schools and main communities to electricity and had supplied the major schools with audio/visual equipment. For the ones who don’t have DVD or CD players we have been requesting help from friends and local businesses.

So with great excitement, we received 189 DVD’s, 350 CD’s and 450 children’s books from Activated Ministries. Most of these materials were distributed to three community centers and nine schools – Praga de Nino Jesus Primary, Huancapampa Primary, Santo Nino Preschool, San Martin Porres, Pocruc Primary, Llullucuchi Primary, Ayacayana Primary, St. Francis Preschool for poor and street children, Ticapampa Elementary, Javier Prada Primary and Elementary and Brena Preschool. We also gave materials to two Alcoholics Anonymous Associations, Mission Santa de Rosa Family Counseling Center, Recuay Public Library and the local Police station. In all, over 4,000 people now have access to the materials and over 200 personally prayed with us to receive Jesus as their personal Savior during this endeavor. Many of the people we contacted had already prayed with us to receive Jesus during one of our previous missions and are very thankful for these materials to help them and their families grow in faith as well as benefit from their educational value. It was an incredibly rewarding experience and all of our volunteers are so inspired to have had the opportunity to do more for these people.