Church Plant Project
Jan 2009 - Apr 2011
Puerto Maldonado is a city in Southeastern Peru in the Amazon forest 55 kilometres (34 mi) west of the Bolivian border; located at the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios rivers, the latter which joins the Madeira River as a tributary of the Amazon. It is the capital of the Madre de Dios Region.
Nearby are the Manú National Park, Tambopata National Reserve, and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, which have been established to protect natural resources. These are some of the most pristine primary rain forests in the world. They include several oxbow lakes and clay licks, where hundreds of birds, including macaws, feed on clay.
The US 40/40s for Puerto Maldonado arrived in Peru in February 2009. They were the first 40/40s, and were the "cuy" or guinea pigs. They spent the first 3 months in language school in Arequipa, Peru. They lived with Peruvian families, and began to get a feel for the Peruvian culture.
In May 2009, they set off for Iquitos, Peru to meet their Peruvian partners and begin Bible training. Iquitos is in the Amazon jungle, so this was a very different culture for them. Once they arrived, they met Ana, Elisa, Carmen, and Daniel, their partners for the next two years. It was a time of major adjustment for everyone as they learned to live and work together in a different culture and a different language.
At the end of October 2009, the group made it to Puerto, and were greeted by the Puerto 2 Construction team, who was finishing up on their future home. This construction team included family and friends of the US 40/40s, and so it was a great time of encouragement. By the first part of November, they were in their new home, and were beginning their planning and strategizing how to conquer this new city for Christ.
This team faced their share of challenges, including personal issues, loss of team members, and constant flooding. It was a very eye opening time for the team, as they saw and felt the enemies’ attacks. But, they also saw and felt God’s faithfulness, leading them continually into battle.
During the first 6 months, Andrew and Daniel spent most of their time away from the rest of the team. They were planting a church in Iberia, a community close to the border of Brazil. It was such a distance from Puerto that they stayed in Iberia 5-6 days of the week, and traveled back to Puerto for 1-2 days. Even after the initial church was planted and handed over to local leadership, they continued to visit at least once a month to check up on this group of new believers. Iberia, at the time of writing this report, has a congregation with about 20 growing adults plus numerous children. They also were able to rent a building in the center of town, which should help this new group to continue to grow and thrive. Andrew and Daniel also were also involved in the communities of Circumbalacion and La Joya.
Carmen and Callie worked in Castaños and Enace. Over the last eighteen months, God has not only taught Carmen and Callie that they need to have a heart for Him, but has also put that passion into the heart´s of the people of Los Castaños. They have had the privilege to watch God transform the lives in Puerto Maldonado for the better; giving them a desire to continue God´s work and reach more people for Christ. Los Castaños is a light in the dark jungle!Starting eight teen months ago with absolutely nothing, you can now hear every Tuesday and Saturday the praise of His people in the streets. The church plant in Los Castaños has an attendance of about 15-30 adults and 10-25 kids each week!
Ana and Elisa, two Peruvian ladies, didn’t start out working together, but God was able to use them in a powerful way in their work in 7 de Junio, Crosby, and El Triunfo. When work started in El Triunfo, they had very little results, but since the Love Extreme event, the work here has exploded. At the time of writing this report, they have 19 baptized, 16 members, and more than 60 people in attendance, and the area continues to grow. This location received the first foam chapel in July 2011.
Tyson and Tracy Smith (along with their son Kai) were the cluster support family for this group of 40/40s. Tyson and Tracy provided organization, emotional, and spiritual growth among other things. Tyson and Tracy also saw their family grow, with the birth of their son Grady in December 2010.
This group of 40/40s had an amazing impact on the city of Puerto, and we look forward to seeing their continued impact even after they are gone. Thank you so much for your impact on the kingdom!