In 1999, we started the Christmas trips to remote mountain villages. Chuck and Juan began going to Juan’s village, high in the Andes Mountains above the tree line, where Juan and Amelia (our ministry helpers) grew up and still have family. The trips are made on quads because the road ends before arriving to their village; from there it is an hour by a mountain trail to reach the final destination––a small community where life is hard and the people are precious.
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 NIV
Bread is always welcomed in the mountains. The highest regions don’t have firewood, but a little further down the mountain where there is firewood, flour is scarce. When the kids see bread their eyes light up, just like they do when they see toys. But, just as they readily accept the bread, they also accept the Bread of Life. They are hungry for both––bread to satisfy the stomach, and Bread to satisfy the soul. Every year we share the Christmas story in places where many hear it for the first time.
“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved…” Matthew 16:15-16 NIV
Above all, we take the Good News to those who still haven’t heard the Gospel message. Each year, God provides to do more ministry at Christmas. Many have been blessed and now know the Lord.