“Homonym: ˈhäməˌnim (noun) one of two or more words spelled and pronounced alike but different in meaning.” At least, that is what Webster says. I was definitely grappling for the definition for a few minutes, and regrettably, I cannot say I was much better in high school. Spelling and grammar in general were not necessarily ever my strong suits; however, I do believe the hardest homonym I have ever come across is a homonym here in Peru. That homonym is Jesus and Jesus. No, you did not misread that, but allow me to explain. Most Peruvians believe in Jesus. They have heard of Jesus for their entire lives. They even worship Jesus. Here is the great difference though. They worship a baby Jesus because He is the Son of Mary. They worship a dead, crucified Jesus, but the resurrection, let alone its significance, is rarely, if ever, mentioned. We are saying the same name, but the meaning of that name is, oh, so different!
Because of this hard homonym, a common story here in Peru is for people to go from “saved” to unsaved to saved. Last month, we requested prayer for a young man named Gerardo, his mother Jacqueline, and his grandmother Vicki. We met Gerardo during the English classes we offered at our church, and I slowly began to build a friendship with him. Week after week, Gerardo showed up to the Saturday English classes and then to the church services the following day. When asked, Gerardo would say he was saved, that he, in fact, “had always been saved.” Then, we began “discipleship.” As we started studying the Bible together weekly, the differences in the homonym, the differences of the Jesus he had heard of versus the Jesus of the Bible became starker and starker. At last, one day during our Bible study he told me, “I need this! I need to accept Christ as my Saviour.” You know those moments in life where you just feel like jumping up and shouting with joy, but you know you probably should not? The day Gerardo accepted Christ as his personal Saviour was definitely one of those life moments for me. Thank you, church family, for praying for this young man. Please continue to pray with us for Gerardo’s family to accept Christ as well.
As a result of several of the outreach events we have had recently at our church, we have been able to start several new Bible studies during the week, and as these people have heard the truth and have understood the difference between the hardest homonym, they have invited us to share the truth with their family and friends. All of this together has led to a rather good problem to have, I suppose. Our church is located is one of the poorest districts in our city, meaning many people do not have running water, electricity, or access to public transportation. Consequently, as our Bible study network continues to expand, our church is becoming farther and farther away from the people we are reaching, yet because this area is so unreached, we are still the closest church to these new believers. Since we are currently the only members of the church with a car, we are using our five-passenger vehicle to make multiple pick-ups and drop-offs for every service and event. Please pray with us for wisdom in making decisions for our church’s new-found transportation needs so that we can effectively get people to and from church each week to learn who Jesus really is.
Your Missionaries to Peru,
Mitch, Jacqulyn, Landon, and Ryan McCormack
- We are praising God that Gerardo made a profession of faith!
- We are praising God for the over fifteen visitors we have had this past month at our church, and that we have been able to start a Bible study with many of them.
- Please be praying be praying for our upcoming outreach event on October 30.
- Please also be praying for our church’s transportation needs, as we seek to help more people be able to come to church.