Our campaigns have a very humble beginning. Usually, our team of missionaries sits around in the meeting discussing goals and ideas and one says: “Let’s have a campaign next year!” From there, we decide goals, set a date, talk to campaigners and hash out the details. The whole process takes about four to six months.
By the end of the campaign week we have made a big presence in the city. When you take into account those who not only receive attention from the church, but others who hear the announcement through word of mouth or mass media, the number reaches into the thousands. There has been more than one occasion when a missionary meets someone and the response is: “Oh, you are from that church that helps people.” The response speaks volumes of the reputation that is made. In the land of evangelical churches known for taking, it is gratifying to be a part of a group that is giving.
During the first week of March, we hosted 34 campaigners from different congregations, representing different states from the U.S. Most of who arrived are members of churches that support the Cusco work. Doctors, optometrists, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, and additional helpers arrived and served the Cusco region for four days. We spent the first two days in our building and the last two in the nearby province of Anta. Patients received consultations from professionals, eye glasses were handed out, medicines were prescribed and then received by the patients during the same consultation, and Bible studies were conducted. Everything was free and was given from the hands of Christians.
At the end of the Medical Campaign 2014, the same thing happened that always happens: all the campaigners gave hugs to the missionaries, boarded their flights, and then disappeared. As a missionary, it is a surreal experience to have good friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, to jump into your life and then abruptly leave. However, it doesn’t feel like abandonment but rather encouragement. In fact, there is no time to mourn the loss because the city of Cusco is genuinely different following a campaign. There are more Bible studies. New faces appear during the worship services. Old friends and members who left, return because of their new-found enthusiasm. The community takes note that they recently encountered the love of Christ through his church, and there is suddenly a buzz in the city. The church grows, and the city becomes more like Christ.
This is all due to some missionary exclaiming during the normal, weekly meeting: “Let’s have a campaign!” The missionary could never rightly take or receive the credit. May God always be glorified. However, my point is that it is incredible that a simple idea can have such transforming power. Of course, this does not surprise the Christian who has experienced God and his church. In his kingdom, God has always used the small and humble to transform the world.