In July of 2016, we were invited back to Seminario Teologico Nazareno (STN) in Chiclayo, Peru (STN Website).
Our incredibly gracious hosts were the Rectors of the Seminary, Evelio and Gladis Vasquez. We had a team at the seminary in Chiclayo in 2012, but the systems were in need of an upgrade. STN has an extension campus in Nuevo Horizonte in the Amazonas area of Peru (google map). That location needed wireless and some computers that could be used by administrators and translators who were translating training materials into the local language. So, we decided to tackle both projects at once.
The wifi upgrade in Chiclayo was very straightforward. We had to replace a few cables, switches and all the access points. We upgraded them to a Unifi based system so that it could all be centrally managed. We also installed the Unifi controller and a PFSense firewall.
The wifi installation in Nuevo Horizonte was a more adventurous experience. This Seminary was founded by the Garman family (this book talks about its founding). Because of the jungle environment, we had to make sure the equipment was properly protected from moisture and animals. We were also warned of the giant snake that regularly visits the campus.
God worked in and through our team to make a difference in Peru. Students, Faculty and Staff are able to use the equipment to disciple, mentor and train students and leaders.
Tom Renfrow, one of our team members, wrote this about his experience:
This past July I was given the opportunity to go on a 2 week, Work and Witness trip to Peru. When I first expressed interest I was just looking for a little adventure and to see God work. What I didn’t expect was one adventure after another beginning the day I first said, “I’d like to go someplace like THAT!”
I was sitting in a restaurant in Boise, Idaho talking with my wife about how I wanted to have a front row seat to see the Lord working and using my gifts and talents. At the time Peru was just a wild idea from a conversation a week prior. Sitting in the restaurant, as I finished the sentence, I received a text from Josh Williams saying everything was in place to go to Peru. Josh was our team lead for a trip that was intended to install and upgrade computer networks in two Nazarene seminaries. Within a few days the Lord provided all of my funding and my time off of work was approved the next day. That’s how the adventure began. I could see the Lord working but didn’t know how my skills as an engineer and construction background would be used. But I was all in.
June 30, we drove 12 hours to Las Vegas and met up with team members. Then we flew 8 hours to Panama City and met up with more team members. Our team was 6 members strong and everybody had more experience as a missionary than me. The adventures continued with one final flight to Chiclayo, Peru. We enjoyed Peru taxi cab rides that were more fun than a roller coaster. There were bodyguards that followed the tall Americans down the street. Did I mention they weren’t our bodyguards? There were suri worms for dinner (google it my friend). I have great memories of overnight bus trips, monkeys, fish on the sidewalk, missing toilet seats, and hundreds of gallstones. But through it all God used a bunch of ordinary people, willing to give our time and talents to accomplish far more than we could ever plan or imagine.
We went to deep into the Amazon jungle to install a computer network at Nuevo Horizonte, a Nazarene seminary, where the professors would use the new computer equipment to translate Spanish bible curriculum into Awajuna, which is the local aboriginal language. The Lord built relationships between the local seminary and their sister seminary of Chiclayo, Peru. The Lord provided computers to train new pastors for the Awajun people. God is working in ways none of us could have ever planned, and I thought I was only there to fix a few toilets and install electrical cabling.
Since arriving home God continues to teach me. We Americans don’t have it all figured out. God is alive, working, and willing to bless me tremendously by revealing Himself to me. The Lord is good.
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”