First Person: Groomed for the Gospel in Peru

By Chris Cato
Buckner Missions Coordinator

On a recent mission trip to Peru, God used a few college students from Hardin Simmons University to expand His Kingdom.

As the Bible story was being taught one morning, Natalie, Kay and Lauren noticed a little 9-year-old girl who kept scratching her head due to the lice crawling in her hair.

She and her family were staying at the boys’ orphanage while completing the paperwork to reunite her older brother with the family. Not only did she have lice, but so did her 3-year-old sister and 1-year-old brother. They all suffered from sores on their scalps from the frequent scratching. Upon seeing that, Natalie, Kay and Lauren were moved to action.

The next day the girls spent about three hours cleaning the children’s hair.

“It was a tedious and emotionally difficult process, but God really opened our eyes,” they said. “After treating the kids for lice we had to do more - we had to make sure the family understood our purpose for coming to Peru.”

The last day before the team left, the girls met with the family in the orphanage director’s office and after a warm welcome Natalie spoke to the family, “Do you know why we came to Peru?”

“To play with the children, because you love them,” the father responded.

“Yes, that is part of it, but there is a greater reason. I have one purpose in life and that purpose is to share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone. I had the chance to share that love with your precious children, but I want to take the opportunity to share that love with you, too.”

Natalie went on to share the gospel message of salvation with the family and on that day, Mom, Dad and their two oldest children accepted Jesus. We all prayed together, and with tears in their eyes the parents hugged and thanked those girls for coming to Peru. Their hugs were genuine and long lasting.

It was amazing to see how God used those college students and a few lice to expand his Kingdom to include that Peruvian family. Natalie explained, “We will never forget this experience or these people we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. Our lives are forever changed, all because the Lord gave us joy and love through innocent and precious children. We are so blessed!”

Isn’t is funny when we serve the Lord, thinking we are carrying blessings to His people, that somehow we come away being blessed, and in this case “forever changed,” as Natalie put it?

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