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Asbury team travels to Montevideo, Peru

Four women from Asbury United Methodist Church traveled to Peru to encourage mission partners aligned with the Madison church.

The Asbury team poses with Peruvian villagers.

“Terry and Karla Smith are our mission partners,” Peru team leader Heather Baumbach said. “They are Wycliff Bible translators and have led a team of Quechua people from the Panao region in Peru to translate the New Testament into Quechua, their native tongue.”

The Asbury team included Heather and her nine-year-old daughter Sydney and Heather’s mother Kathleen Flemish, along with Mary Williams who works as a secretary for operations at Asbury. “Three generations were represented in my family,” Heather said.

To reach the village of Montevideo in Peru, the Madison women had to hike on a narrow steep trail, which included a switchback, or a trailway that connects with a hairpin turn. They spent three hours on a corduroy trail with timbers and other material allowing them to cross wet areas. They had to rely on burrows to carry their packs.

“In the village, we spent time reading the New Testament, worshipping with the people and breaking bread with them at their tables,” Baumbach said. “There was even a little pick-up soccer game that my nine-year-old got to drop in on.”

“The hardest part of the trip was leaving the village, because we fell in love with the wonderful people who hosted us and loved us and fed us and shared with us,” Baumbach said.

Terry and Karla Smith wrote about the Madison visitors in the October issue of their local newsletter, “Panao Quechua Update”:

“Anxious to prove that God’s grace could indeed get them over high mountains, and whatever else they faced, the Asbury Church sent a missions team to join us for a Scripture reading workshop,” the Smiths said. “We hiked three hours to reach the Panao Quechua community. Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday we sang, read Scripture and Bible stories, colored and watched the ‘Jesus’ Ministry’ video.”

The Smiths quoted the Madison team’s final words, “We have never done anything like this before. We must set time aside to do it every year.”

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