OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/24/13) - Picture this. You’re in the middle of the Amazon drowning in trees with only a $20 pop-up tent for protection from exotic animals and to hibernate in for 15 days. For most Americans, this might sound like a nightmare, but for one Owensboro ministry team, it‘s not. It’s a dream come true.
The group is made up of six people: deacons, pastors, family, friends, short and long-time travelers. One of these worldly exhibitioners is Barry Bivens, who has been to the Peruvian Amazon 21 times and on Oct. 4 he – along with his team – will begin his twenty-second trip.
Bivens, a Deacon at Good Shepherd Church, will lead his team building a church in Nauta, Peru, a village at the beginning of the Amazon River with a population of approximately 30,000. His team, experts in construction and bricklaying, will build in the mornings and on weekends, and minister remote, neighboring villages at night. They arrive early in the morning to build trust and minimize intimidation, and by the nighttime, almost 100 percent of the village is in attendance in the ministry service.
"It’s very exhausting, but very rewarding," Bivens said.
Traveling down the coast of the Amazon in 15 days to minister, one would think that you would need many things to survive. It’s not so for this team. Armed with only a backpack that holds a fold-up, 92 in screen and projector, the team shows a film on Jesus to the village. Sometimes, this is the only film the village has seen or will ever see, said Bivens.
The last time Bivens made the trip to Peru, he traveled 800 miles along the coast of the Amazon River and brought 200 people to Christ.
"It’s all about the ministry," Bivens said. "The Lord put it in my heart to do this."
The travelers aren’t only minister to the villagers, but they also give them proper shoes, clothes, and medicine needed for survival. Team members supply their own way to Peru, as well as food and housing. The trip is funded individually, but the troupe’s trip is helped financially through fundraisers and donations given after speeches at local churches.
To donate to the group’s trip, call Bivens at 270-316-3318.
Photos provided by Barry Bivens
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