by Pastor Tim Burt
In every thank you note we send for the contributions you give, we try to give a more concise update. On this page, we tell more of the story. This update was written by Renee regarding her latest missions trip. Thanks for reading and thank you so very much for making the resources available that made this trip and the supplies given, possible. You will never lose your reward! ~ Pastor Tim Photos included at the end of this update. Or Click Here:
2019 Peru Missions Trip – Tim and Renee Burt
A few weeks ago, I (Renee) led a group of seven women on mission to Lima, Peru, for 9 days. It’s hard to put in just a few words all that happened, but I’ll do my best! Before we even left, I asked the women to try to pack all their clothing and personal items in just a small suitcase that would fit in the overhead bin on the plane. If you’ve ever tried to pack like that for a nine-day trip, then you know I was asking a lot! But they did it, and so I had 14 large suitcases to pack with the outpouring of donations given by Girls of Grace women’s bible study, Substance Church, My Pillow, Maranatha Christian Academy, and Tim & Renee Burt Ministries (which YOU are a part of). All said and done, we had 650 pounds of pillows, clothing, food, toys, blankets, and gifts to give away…in every place we went!
Once we arrived in Lima, we hit the ground running. On our first day, we made blankets to give away the following day at a church in a very poor area of Lima, where families had been invited to not only receive the blankets and toys we brought along with us…but more importantly to hear about the love of God.
Personally, I was so blessed that our daughter, Stephanie, came along with our team that day. She and her husband, Daniel, who are missionary pastors in Lima are fluent in Spanish. So she shared a Bible story and told the story of our granddaughter, who was never expected to survive childbirth…and how she not only survived, but is now 16 years old! Madeline was also with us that day, and you could see how much her story impacted the mothers there. One mother came up in tears later to share that she had always been told that her child had special needs, because it was a punishment from God. She now understood that God loves her, and it was already changing her world.
We also sang and danced with the children (even though most of us have zero rhythm, so I’m sure some of the smiles were because of that)! Then we prayed a prayer of salvation with them, and finished by giving them bibles, toys, blankets, and backpacks. It was barely noon on our second day, and already we felt beyond blessed to be there.
But there was more to happen on that day! In the mission house where we stayed, we had crammed ourselves into two small rooms to make space for a group of a dozen Argentinian pastors to come attend a conference at Camino de Vida (our host church). That evening, they and about 70 other pastors/leaders from all over South America came to the house for dinner after the conference. We helped serve these beautiful people and watch them make connections that were already having a huge impact on their lives and ministries.
Some other highlights of the trip were attending church services at Camino de Vida, where approximately 8,500 people attend 6 campuses, with 24 live services each weekend. We didn’t need to understand Spanish to be so moved in our hearts by the worship and hunger for God that was so evident in the people. I wish every one of you could experience what we did in these services. Maybe you should come on the next mission trip :)!
We also went back this year to the children’s home for seriously disabled children, Casa Hogar Padre Martinho. It still puts tears in my eyes every time I remember how excited the kids were to see us again, even if they couldn’t express it in words. I’ll never forget the smiles and laughter. This year, we had downloaded The Bible App for Kids on our phones. It has Bible stories to listen to and interact with…in all different languages, including Spanish!! What a godsend for us to be able to expose the kids to Bible stories in such a fun way. We also got to help feed the kids (which is no small task with their disabilities), play with them, and give each one a t-shirt. I was so proud of our team and the sincere love they poured out on these kids.
Another highlight was being able to carry wheelchairs that we had built up hundreds of stairs on a hill, where the houses and living conditions are poorer than anything most of us will ever see. Both of the boys we brought the wheelchairs to have cerebral palsy. One boy is 4 and the other is 8. Neither one has ever had a wheelchair, which has made it very difficult for their parents. Even though both boys cannot speak, they had the biggest smiles when we put them into their wheelchairs. And their mothers’ tears moved us all to tears. It was an unforgettable day.
Another day was spent at San Camilo, which has a clinic, programs for mothers with HIV and their children, classes on nutrition, and more. We played with the children while their mothers were in classes, cleaned floors and helped with meal prep. At the end of our time there, one of the women who regularly volunteers there asked if she could pray for us… and she prayed the most beautiful, heartfelt prayer. We had a hard time saying goodbye that day.
We also spent a day again this year at the Grace House, an outreach of Camino de Vida, that’s a safe house for young women who have been abused, struggle with eating disorders, and have other addictions. We brought journals for each girl to decorate themselves and cute bags filled with all kinds of makeup (I wish you could see how excited they get!).
I also shared my testimony of being emotionally abused by my father, how that led to a life away from God, and how God’s love eventually changed everything for me. It’s always a hard story for me to share, but I was so thankful I did…especially when I could see how much it impacted the girls. Later, I found out that several of the girls had a story very similar to mine…and it gave them so much hope that God could and would change their lives into something beautiful too.
There are so many other things I could share… places we went… people who touched our hearts… stories that we heard. I can’t say a big enough thanks to YOU… for making it possible for me to lead a missions trip and for helping to equip the team to give more! The Bible says in Proverbs 11:25 that,“The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” That’s our prayer for you!
With much love and gratitude,