Fundraising concert planned
Nine members of Kost Evangelical Church in North Branch will be performing an array of charitable work while spreading the message of God during a mission trip to Peru March 8-19.
The group is headed up by Chaplain Ministries International founder Mark Allen and his wife, Chris. The Allens have been organizing and participating in mission trips for decades.
“It was a mission trip to Poland in 1995 that was the impetus for me to become a full-time missionary,” Allen said. “My wife and I have been in missions for 20 years now; it seemed to just fly by. Chris and I are leading this mission team because everyone should at least once in their life travel to another country on a mission to see and experience how the other 95 percent of the world lives. We have been working and ministering in the country of Peru for the last eight years. We’ve been working in several areas: Chincha, southern Peru; Lima, central Peru; and Iquitos, northern Peru. Iquitos is unique as it is the only city in the world that can only be reached by airplane or an Amazon River boat. Iquitos is in the middle of the Amazon jungle.”
While in Iquitos and Delfines, the missionaries will be constructing a wall that was blown down in a wind storm, pouring concrete at a church, teaching basic English, performing child evangelism and crafts at the church in the Puchana district, and helping firefighters train in CPR.
Reflections from missionaries
Some of the church members going to Peru have been on mission trips out of the country before, but for others this will be their first international experience.
Phil DeMunck, a member of Gideon’s International, has been on two Bible distributions — Tanzania in 2006 and Chile in 2015.
“Just as Jesus’ words and his life on Earth has affected my life, I was encouraged to see how men, women and children were eager to receive the Bibles we placed in hotels, hospitals, jails, prisons and schools and to individuals from every walk of life,” he said. “These experiences have increased my faith and my personal relationship with him.”
Lowell Nelson went to Venezuela in 1982 and said the experience helped him learn how people live in other places and how to pray for the missionaries across the world.
Sue Humble said she felt called to do a mission trip of this sort, and she’s looking forward to being able to positively impact the lives of people in Peru. She continued that she’s inspired by the Allens.
“I think their ministry is just amazing,” she said. “They don’t think they are an example, but they really are.”
Paul Steward said prior to Peru, he hadn’t felt called to go on a mission trip. He’ll be going with his wife, Jenny, and their son, Ben.
“I have known that someday I would go on a mission trip if I ever felt called,” Paul said. “I have also been a firm believer in actively sharing the love of Jesus and message of salvation through Jesus as I live out my life on a daily basis. I have worked with CMI for a few years and when I heard about this opportunity to go with Mark and Chris Allen, I felt an immediate desire to go; there was no doubt that this is the right time for me to go and help where I can.”
Jenny expressed similar sentiments.
“When the opportunity for this trip came about, it seemed to be perfect timing, then I returned to teaching after 23 years,” she said. “The timing doesn’t seem perfect anymore, but it’s not about my timing, it’s about God’s. I am excited to see what God will do in Peru and how he will use the team.”
Ben said he thinks the trip will add perspective to his life.
“This is a great opportunity to serve God and help the people in Peru,” he said. “This trip will help me to appreciate all that we do have more than I do now.”
The missionaries have one more big fundraising event before the trip: a concert.
Currently, they’ve raised about $19,000, and the cost of the trip will run about $28,000.
The Johnson Brothers will be performing a combination of gospel, country gospel and hymns 6:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 28 at Kost Evangelical Free Church, 37405 Kost Trail, North Branch. Attendees can donate toward the cost of the mission trip at this event. Refreshments will be served after the concert.