A week in the jungle

Photo Courtesy of The Mission Society

(Photo courtesy of The Mission Society)

Peru (MIS) — Daniel Goshorn is a 20-year-old missionary that serves with his parents in Peru with The Mission Society. Goshorn wrote a letter, telling of his one-week experience in the Peruvian Jungle.

My mother and I joined a medical and dental team who traveled into the jungles of Peru to treat those who have no access to medical care. I knew the experience would be difficult, but I wasn’t prepared for what happened.

I wasn’t ready for our first patient to be a little girl with a leg infection so serious that she would die if she didn’t have the leg amputated–a procedure her family could most likely not afford.

I wasn’t ready for a 37-year-old mother of five to be carried in on a blanket by four men because her breast cancer was so far advanced that she was too weak to walk.

I wasn’t ready for dozens of abused women to come in needing help, but we were not able to do anything for them to help them out of their situations.

I wasn’t ready for a woman who was being beaten and abused to come in and break down in front of us. Then, the very next patient was her husband who was responsible for most of the abuse. Only God’s grace allowed me to be able to translate for the man.

I definitely wasn’t ready for 6- and 7-year-old girls to come in with sexually transmitted diseases, many of which came from their own fathers.

Did I expect these things? Yes. Was I ready for these things? Certainly not.

Many people do not understand why we live in Peru and do what we do. The simple answer is that God has called us here. God has called us to love one another, just as Christ has loved us.

There are lots of passages in the Bible that teach us that we are to love and serve one another. One such passage I read recently is Romans 12:6-21 (NIV):

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

We went into the jungle; we helped as much as we could; we prayed hard, and now we leave it all in God’s hands. Hundreds of people were exposed to the gospel that week, which is the primary reason we went. Those few days in the village have allowed discipleship to grow in that area.

The week we spent ministering in the medical campaign was tough, both physically and emotionally, but that’s what God calls us to do. God hasn’t called us to do what is easy.

He calls us to serve others, to encourage and teach them, to help those who are in need, and above all, to love. That’s what we try to do every day.

Pray for people in hard-to-reach places of Peru and for the Goshorn family to continue helping and serving others.