La Puerta Abierta AQP Reaches Out
God has been raising up the local leaders in the La Puerta Abierta Church in Arequipa. During this last short term project the church hosted a family event in the neighborhood park. Here is the Church in action. This event last week was a church-wide family event. We began focusing on this event a month ago by giving each church member a card with space for 5 names. We asked each of them to choose 5 friends or family members who needed to know about Christ, to write down their names, and to begin praying for them every day, and then invite them to the event. During this time, we missionaries and our church leaders partnered together to plan an event focused on Men, Women, and Children. We also had the extra help of our short-term team which really helped us in pulling off an event with so many different aspects to it.
We planned the event after our Sunday Morning church service. we all went to the park to relax and enjoy a wonderful meal prepared by church leaders and missionaries. We served over 150 plates of food and enjoyed a relaxing time in the park. It was really amazing to see leaders stepping up and those who had invited friends and family investing in their lives during this time of fellowship. After the lunch we split up for the various special events planned for the afternoon.
There were a bunch of kids both big and small. They spent the afternoon in the park playing games, competing in various competitions and learning several songs. The leaders had an excellent illustration of what it means to accept Christ and live for him and they saw 12 kids accept Christ that afternoon
The men competed in various competitions as well, such as 3 legged race, water balloon volleyball, gunny sack race, which I heard got pretty competitive, and a food eating completion. One of the guys got so into it that he didn't even bother peeling the egg before eating it and took that competition to a whole new level. There were 25 men and we saw 5 of them accepted Christ that day.
For the woman we planned a special spa day for all the moms, grandmas and young women who are stressed and tired. We taught them to make hand exfoliates, gave back/neck massages, did hand soaks and hand massages, painted nails, and even had a short-termer giving haircuts. At the end we had a friend and Christian psychologist come and share a special message specifically for woman. It was a really fun time. We had over 30 woman, not including church members and leaders who were helping with the event. In the end we saw 10 accepted Christ for the first time and another who wants to start a Casa Abierta in her home.
We finished the day by meeting up in the church, watching God multiply the cake we had and celebrating together. People just hung around for another 45 minutes talking and enjoying one another’s company. We finished that day exhausted, but encouraged by all that God did that day and the many new people who accepted Christ. We saw new relationships formed and our own church members taking the initiative, serving, and leading their friends into a relationship with Christ. Besides the salvation message in each of the events, we also saw more accept Christ during the morning service beforehand. What a blessed and exciting day for our church. We are continuing to follow up with the families that were there and encouraging them in their walk with Christ.
By Sheena Green
You can see more photos of the event here: Extreme Short Term Missions