While the busy summer months are often filled with family beach trips, days at the pool, summer camps, and lake days, a group of students, family and staff with Prince Avenue Christian School embarked on a unique learning experience on the missions field.
The group joined Prince Avenue Baptist Church, Bogart, Georgia, for a 10-day mission trip to Pitumarca, Peru and surrounding villages. The team held daily Bible schools for the local children, participated in door-to-door evangelism and supported the local pastor and staff of Monte Olivar Baptist Church.
The entire team included 38 people, ages 12 to 77. Fourteen of that team included three generations of the Murray family — Caleb (9th) and Nate (7th), their parents Tommy and Cheryl, and their grandparents, Charlie and Wyllis Nell.
“If you’d have told me a year ago that I’d be coming back into the school year having just returned from an international mission trip to Peru, I would have thought you were crazy,” Cheryl noted. “God took away every excuse I had, both real and imagined, and He opened the possibility for us to go as a family.
“It would have been easy to give it a quick ‘no’, but something kept tugging at my heart, and I am so thankful we took this step together.”
The younger Murrays had never been on an international mission trip, but the grandparents have instilled a sense of service and ministry as a legacy for their family.
“Seeing my kids work alongside their grandparents on the mission field,” Cheryl said, “was just a beautiful example of how God works, using each generation in different but mighty ways.”
For his part, Tommy Murray was reminded that God’s grace is sufficient where he feels inadequate.
“That is the beauty of serving the Lord,” he said. “He let me go to Peru to see how He is working there for His glory and to join Him with all my weakness so that He could show me His power.”
Caleb describes his time in Peru as spiritually enlightening.
“Since the trip, I have felt God telling me how to reach people for Him even at home.”
A decision for Christ each day
Prince IT Specialist, Natalia Joaquin, was another one of the the school’s participants on the trip. Joaquin is a native of Peru and had the opportunity to help with this missions trip for the second year in a row.
Despite the challenges, she noted — such as the high altitude and language barrier (the people of Pitumarca speak Quechua) — the students rose to the challenge.
“Our school has prepared students to be able to carry out the Great Commission,” she said. “It was amazing to see how God gave them courage.
“They were excited to invite people to church, and the locals would stop and listen. … We saw at least one person accept Christ each day that we were there.”
From a parent’s perspective, Cheryl explained, this experience with her children is something she will never forget.
“To see God work in and through them,” she said, “and to see them put their faith into action touched me deeply.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Amy Frierson, director of marketing and communications for Prince Avenue Christian School.