Pastor Herb and Markie serving the Lord in Lima, Peru.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you… Genesis 12:1-2a.
Support Christ’s mission in Peru at www.lcms.org/burch
Send checks made out to “Lutheran Church Missouri Synod” with “Burch” written in the memo line to:
40718 Hwy E16, Mapleton, IA 50134-7105
Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod,
1333 S. Kirkwood Rd., St.Louis, MO 63122.
Dear friends at Grace,
Before we left for our trip to attend the CNH Pastors’ Fall Conference, I witnessed something that I think I want to share. I was on my way to class when I saw a blind man one my left at the bus stop on the busy street of Angamos. I assumed he was trying to find the right bus, and let me tell you, getting the right bus can sometimes be bewildering for a sighted person, so I can’t imagine the difficulty it poses for someone without sight. The man was using a white cane, but he had stepped off the curb, so this put him in grave danger with the traffic and buses whizzing close by him.
The streets of Lima can be colorful but they are also chaotic. The noise in the streets is deafening, filled with incessant honking taxis and bus “ayudantes” calling out the names and cross streets of their routes. When I saw the man, I hesitated about what to do, and was about to ask him if he needed help when a couple of young men approached him on both sides. Although I didn’t know their motives, and I couldn’t hear what they said, they seemed respectful, and tried to guide the man’s elbows in order to get him out of the street.
At first when I saw them I relaxed a little, glad that help had arrived, but instead of allowing the young men to help him, he must have felt threatened. He started thrashing around with his cane, obviously terrified. They tried to calm him, and one quietly spoke to a policeman who stood nearby, but the man was not easily calmed. The two young men finally stepped aside in resignation, and waited for their bus on the sidewalk. The policeman went to the blind man and with some gentle urging, was able to get him off of the street and onto the correct bus.
As I thought about the scene, I realized how much it was like life. The blind man was in danger; he really needed help, but who knows what had happened earlier in his life that made him so unwilling to accept the help that was freely available? When confronted with the choice to surrender control or continue to fight, in spite of obvious danger and confusion, his fear of letting go overtook him.
This morning in our devotion, Jesus calls to his people, “Come unto me all ye who travail and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” How we all yearn for that “peace which passes all human understanding,” something that gets us out of the noise and chaos. Through baptism, we carry the Holy Spirit within us, and know that nothing is more important. As Herb and I go about our daily routines through the pulsing streets of Lima, we encounter people who are harried, exhausted and sometimes frightened. However, when we engaged them in conversation, we also discover their warmth. We are so grateful to be here on the mission field with the good news that we can surrender our lives without fear in order to gain mercy and peace. The Creator of the Universe continues to call, offering hope and help to all creation. It is a real pleasure to have the opportunity to show people the saving grace of our Lord Jesus.
It seems impossible to believe that earlier this week I returned from a trip to California. We flew from Lima, and jumped on a cruise ship in Long Beach. The ship was the site of the CNH Fall Pastors’ Conference, and it was wonderful to have quality time with a great group of folks. I thought it was interesting that during our trip Herb told me several times that his favorite part of the cruise was having time with “the brothers.” It meant so much to him to be able to talk and share with other men of faith. Hearing him say this reminded me of Romans 14:19, “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” That building up of one another is such an important part of ministry—I think it is sometimes easy to lose sight of how important we are to each other as Christian brothers and sisters.
After the cruise, we went to San Francisco to see our darling daughter Dorothy. It was great to be with her and it was a treat to tour around San Francisco. Dorothy had planned several wonderful outings, and we had a fabulous time, and her boyfriend David was a great chauffeur.
Please pray for Herb who is still traveling. He is in Belize for meetings until Tuesday. His work as a missionary leader has grown beyond the border of Peru, so I ask that you pray for the health, strength, and wisdom to do the work that he has been called to.
Looking forward to Reformation from the mission field of Peru,