I recently made a visit to our Childcare Worldwide office in Peru. What an amazing trip! I was blessed by the kids we serve in Lima. It was yet another great reminder of the wonderful work I get to do as president of this ministry.

MUSTARD SEED PROJECTS

Our work in Peru is unique in that we provide child sponsorship programs as well as socioeconomic opportunities for women. I was able to meet several ladies who benefit from a CCW provided sewing machine.

Childcare Worldwide Peru provides classes where women are taught how to sew clothes. The clothes they make can be sold at a profit which helps provide these women an economic benefit. The income from these micro businesses contribute toward self-sufficiency. I really enjoyed meeting these women, and seeing how proud they were that they have a skill that can bring in extra money and help their families.

In addition to the sewing program, CCW Peru conducts baking classes! The women are taught to create a variety of baked goods over a 3 month period. Once they finish the classes, they have the skills required to start a catering business or get hired as a baker somewhere in their community.

HOME SWEET HOME

A highlight of my trip was a home dedication. CCW Peru builds homes for families on the steep hills of Comas, a suburb of Lima.

When I first joined CCW, I was amazed that a home could be built in Peru for just $3,700. We’ve helped hundreds of families through the years move out of cardboard shacks and into homes with stable foundations, solid walls and electricity. I was proud to dedicate a home funded by David and Lynne Nelson of Bellingham.

The house has a couple of bedrooms and a kitchen. CCW supplies bedding and cooking utensils! The family was so grateful for the gift of this home, and we prayed that God would continue to bless them.

SPONSORSHIP WORKS! HOW? LIFE CENTERS!

Saturday’s are for Life Centers! Around the world, sponsored children gather in churches, homes, and sometimes even on rooftops to learn Bible lessons, memorize scripture, eat a meal and enjoy friendship with one another. I love seeing the joy in the kid’s faces when they come to their Life Center and praise God for all he has done for them.

During this visit, I saw the food prep for our Peru Life Centers. Volunteers arrive at our Peru office at four in the morning to cook! When I was there, it was rice with veggies and sausage, accompanied by fresh apple juice and bananas.

From the office, more volunteers transport the food to each Life Center all around the city. I was impressed by the coordination and planning it took to prepare all the food and get it to the kids!

A key part of the Life Center is Bible teaching. Our kids use our Christian Character Building curriculum to help them learn about the Bible, and learn how to gain biblical character traits to use in their daily lives. I love hearing the children recite scripture from memory.

The real stars of the show are the Life Center teachers! These volunteers do what they do because they love the kids, and they want them to know Jesus! Their enthusiasm was contagious. Whether they were leading songs or telling a Bible story they were giving 100% to the kids. I’m so grateful for them!

I just can’t say enough good things about the kids in our Life Centers. They were joyful and full of gratitude for what God’s provided through the work of CCW.

NOT FORGOTTEN

One of the most impactful moments for me on this whole trip was a conversation I had with one of the kids. A young girl told me that one of her fears is that she would be forgotten.

Hearing that, my heart went out to her! These kids live way up on the hillside in Comas – literally pushed to the margins of society. It’s easy for them to believe that no one really cares about where they live and how they battle extreme poverty every day.

Looking that young girl in the eye, I promised that as long as I am leading Childcare Worldwide, I will not forget her – or any of them! I will visit them often and more importantly, hold them up in prayer. Could you join me? You can pray for these children to have open minds to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can pray that they remain safe as they walk, sometimes miles, to get to school. You can pray that they stay healthy. You can pray that they get a great education which can help lift them from poverty.

I can’t wait to go back to Peru and see these kids again. They were the highlight of my visit.