Some of us spend our summers working outside, others while away the hours in the air-conditioned climate of an office building. The kids play summer sports, or enjoy a dip in the local city pool. But Amelia and Madyson Holder spent a recent portion of their summer on a mission trip to Peru.
The mother and daughter team of Marceline residents did all of this as a part of the Tom Cox World Ministries (TCWM). From the TCWM website: "Tom Cox World Ministries (TCWM) is committed to leading today's church to reach today's world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since 1971, TCWM has been utilizing creative means to communicate the biblical message of God's holiness, love, and grace to people worldwide, and leading God's people to do the same.
To date, the organization has worked in 114 countries and among thousands of followers. TCWM assists churches in reaching their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and ends of the earth. This is accomplished through working with the church to design and conduct evangelism events, church revitalization and motivation events, traditional revivals, and mission conferences."
"Madyson and I have been approved as short-term missionaries and our mission trip to Trujillo, Peru was from July 30- August 13 this year," said Amelia. "We flew out of St. Louis on the 30th, but didn't arrive in Lima until the 31st. Since TCWM is well known in the area and they bring in missionaries, like ourselves, at least twice a year, everything runs like a well-oiled machine."
The Holders worked as a part of a team that was providing care—specifically optometry—to the people of the town they were working in. While helping with their visual needs, the group also shared their missionary teachings as well.
"During our 10 days in Trujillo, Madyson and I worked at medical and eye clinics with a team of about 30 others, seeing around 300 people a day," said Amelia. "People would be lined up for city blocks as we arrived each morning at the small churches that were hosting our clinic. Neither Madyson or I have had any medical or optometry training, but it was more about helping people pick out their glasses or aiding the doctors and nurses however we could."
Sadly, the demand outweighed the supply on a nearly daily basis. "Each day''s clinics ended at 3 p.m. and some days we would have to turn people away, that broke my heart," said Amelia.
After the clinic closed, the Holders helped with the Bible study and Christian teaching of the local population.
"From 3-5 p.m. in the afternoons we would host a children's Bible club for any of the kids from that neighborhood," said Amelia. "This was my specific assignment for this trip: to organize a Bible story time, games, a craft and coloring pages each day for anywhere from 15-100 kids of all ages."
Page 2 of 2 - Amelia continued: "Each day as the clinic would end and it was time to start the clubs, I wasn't sure where my energy was going to come from, but God would carry me through. We had translators to help tell the stories and give direction on the games, but it was sometimes difficult to give each child attention and not be able to clearly communicate with them. Lots can be communicated with a hug and a smile, though."
From Madyson's perspective, the kids she dealt with were not that different from the kids here in America. "From my perspective, the children and teenagers of Peru were a lot like the children and teenagers here, aside from their language of course," said Madyson. "The teenagers there were just like us. They have Facebook, they are all in school, and they text 24/7, just like us! I got along with them really well."
For a family as involved in the community of faith as the Holders, it was bringing their message to the Peruvians that meant so much.
"The best and most rewarding part of the trip for me was the last day of Bible club when God provided two translators for me as it gave me the opportunity to split the group up a bit and really talk with them," said Amelia. "The church pastor's wife, a translator and myself took 25 kids above the age of eight to a 'Sunday School' room. This room was stone walls, tin roof, dirt floor and some wooden benches, but that's what served as their Sunday School room."