Students on Mission

Peru: Let the fire burn bright

On a recent Sunday after church, the pastor brought out a small grill he bought and wanted to use. He had never grilled in his life, and I had never started a fire in my life. So, this was a new experience for both of us.

ruiz church400Members pray during a service at the church where Janet Ruiz is serving in Peru.We got the coal, wood and cardboard. We tried to start the fire by burning the cardboard and the wood. That material would burn fast, but the coal did not want to light. It was embarrassing how long it took us to get the coal to fire up, but once we got it burning, it continued to burn. It made me think about the church members.

I see members who come to church, sit in a pew and leave after every service, but it is always the same people. I see no growth, no true communion between the members, and no one wanting to step up to serve. It is a bit discouraging, but the thing that sparked a flame of hope in my life was the idea that maybe the members are like the coal.

What if they take a lot more time and energy to light? We must not give up and continue pouring into them, because they might just light up when we least expect it. We have the assurance that once they light up, they will not burn out.

The problem I see is that all the people here in the town think they know about God, but because of the actions of some church members, they decide to stay away from church. They respect the pastor and his family for what they do for the community, but they do not dare step into a church service.

God placed in my heart the desire to prayer-walk the town. Talking to people, I know they want more. We must pray like never before and trust God will open their eyes. It is my desire to see a church that burns bright for God. Only then will the town be willing to hear.

Janet Ruiz, a student at the University of Texas-Pan American, is serving with Go Now Missions in Peru.

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