Compared with other developing countries, Peru is a relatively safe country for travellers, with few internal threats. Still, members on the GO Trip this fall were instructed to prepare by dressing in battle attire.
On the morning of September 24, GO Trip Participant, Les, issued the challenge to the 12 GO Team members using a familiar passage from Ephesians 6:
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle, you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armour of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The following morning at Head Office, our staff opened an email with a detailed Peru trip update. In it was a summary of Les’s message from Ephesians.
Only 20 minutes earlier, our staff had unwittingly studied that exact passage in our daily devotions. We had also been challenged to equip ourselves with the armour of God.
God providentially planned for both groups, in Peru and Canada, to hear this message from Ephesians because He wants ALL Christians to wear the armour. Being a follower of Christ means you are on mission at all times and in all places. Whether you are preaching on the streets of Peru or waiting for the subway in downtown Toronto, we are equipped to witness in His name when we clothe ourselves in our battle uniform.
Let these stories, from GO Team members who lived out this challenge in Peru, encourage you to answer the 'call to arms' in the verses of Ephesians 6.
“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.” (v. 14)
Amy: “I approached a serious man pushing an elderly lady in a wheelchair. I introduced myself to the two of them, and God soon steered the conversation to His gospel. I explained that Jesus had come to the earth because He loves us, and talked sincerely about how He is restoring all of creation. The man’s shoulders suddenly became less tense. His body language showed me he was feeling touched by my words—words that I know came directly from the Lord. The man quietly informed me that he had heard of Jesus, but I was the first person who had ever actually taken the time to explain the meaning of who He truly is.”
“For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.” (v. 15)
Susan: “We walked over to a group of young adults, and Les began conversing with them. I noticed one of the men had left the group and was sitting at his station in the marketplace. I suddenly felt God urge me to go talk to this young man. As I drew nearer to his booth, I saw he was wearing a shirt that said ‘sex, drugs, and alcohol’ and he seemed quite sad. We chatted for a short while, and as I prayed with him, the man began to sob. Between tears, he told me he wanted to come back to God but didn’t think that God would accept him. I gently placed my hand on his forearm and explained softly, ‘God has been pursuing you—He prompted me to talk with you.’ The man nodded and said, ‘I want Jesus to heal my broken life.’”
“In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.” (v. 16)
Les: “We timidly set off towards the north end of Lima to meet with the mayor of the city. We were worried because we had no idea how the mayor was going to respond. He was running very late for our appointment, so many of us were losing hope that this government representative was actually going to take the time to make our acquaintance.
“Much to our surprise, not only did the mayor arrive, but he actually began our conversation by humbly expressing a profound gratitude for the ministry. After a meaningful prayer time together, the mayor informed us that he was going to allow us to visit all of the local public schools, and preach the gospel to students! He even commissioned two security guards to work with us as we traveled between institutions.”
Larry: “Later, we found out the reason the mayor had arrived much later than we expected. He had been forced to deal with an episode involving his executive director, who was apparently very against our evangelism outreach. In disagreement with his protest against our ministry, he had fired the executive director immediately before meeting with our group.”
“Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (v. 17)
Ed: “Our translator, Ricardo, told us the story about how he came to know Jesus as His personal Saviour. About 40 years ago, Ricardo received a New Testament from a group of Gideon members who had visited his elementary school. Some of his classmates threw their Bible in the garbage, others rolled and smoked it… but Ricardo faithfully read it. As he studied the Scripture, the Lord worked in his young heart. Now, Ricardo delights in assisting because he deeply understands the transformational power of God’s holy Word."
Knowing the victory has already been won by Christ’s death and resurrection—how will you take a stand in the armour you’ve been equipped with?