What is it about Ester and I that we ALWAYS have cell groups in the strangest places?
One of the most popular markets in Arequipa.
A tienda where people interrupt discipleship class to buy toilet paper.
And now, a "chicha bar" and a corn field!
Not even exaggerating, because, we have already started a cell group in Lamay with three adults. This family sells chicha de jora, which is the liquor of the Incas, and the first class took place in the room where they sell the chicha. This is the equivalent of having church in a bar. And that is just what we are doing!
Then this past Saturday, we went and no one was there; Felipa was out in one of her friend's fields watering it. Now without sprinklers, this means she has to watch to make sure the water flows where it is supposed to, and if it breaks or something, to fix it so that all of the crops get water.
So we ended up walking with the other woman from the group, Eufemia, to the corn field to find Felipa. I'm pretty sure that Eufemia did not think we would actually go to the field. But about ten minutes down the road, we found Felipa, and decided to chat a little bit.
So we went out to the middle of the field which hadn't been watered yet, which involved jumping over a ditch and walking through rows and rows of corn.
Then, we didn't exactly have your typical discipleship lesson, but we read the Bible and talked about the person of Jesus, and at the end, Eufemia and Felipa both gave their lives to Christ!
Another interesting fact about this cell group is that Felipa asked us to teach her how to read and write. So we made a notebook for her with the letters and pictures, so she is learning. At our very first cell group, we handed her the paper and a Bible, and she told us she couldn't read, but would like us to teach her. We then visited someone in a completely different district who was an elementary school teacher. She told us how to go about teaching a mother of three to read. I think Felipa has not just a hunger to learn, but a hunger for God's word.
But in these two towns in the Sacred Valley, the people truly do have a hunger for God's Word, and a hunger for truth. There is not a single church (apart from the one Catholic church, which is central to every town but usually not central to life) in either Lamay or Coya.
No baptist church,
no Morman church,
no Jehovah's Witness temple,
no Methodist church,
We will have the very first! And that gets me excited!
And you know what else gets me excited? The fact that we've had fifteen new people come to Christ in these two places! They are ready to receive his Word!