August 10, 2022
PACS Families Carry Out the Great Commission in Peru
By Amy Frierson
During the busy summer months so often filled with family beach trips, days at the pool, summer camps, and lake days, a group of students, parents, grandparents, and faculty/staff from Prince Avenue Christian School embarked on a completely unique journey.
The PACS group joined a ten-day mission trip with Prince Avenue Baptist Church to Pitumarca, Peru and its surrounding villages. The team held daily Bible schools for the local children, participated in door-to-door evangelism, and supported the pastor and staff of Monte Olivar Baptist Church.
The entire team included 38 people, ages 12 to 77. Fourteen of that team had close PACS affiliations including three generations of the Murray family – Caleb (9th) and Nate (7th), their parents Tommy and Cheryl, and their grandparents, Charlie and Wyllis Nell.
An Unexpected Opportunity
“If you’d have told me a year ago that I’d be coming back into the school year having just returned from an international mission trip to Peru, I would have thought you were crazy,” explains Cheryl. “God took away every excuse I had, both real and imagined, and He opened the possibility for us to go as a family. It would have been easy to give it a quick ‘no’, but something kept tugging at my heart, and I am so thankful we took this step together.”
The younger Murrays had never been on an international mission trip, but the grandparents have instilled a sense of service and ministry as a legacy for their family. “Seeing my kids work alongside their grandparents on the mission field,” says Cheryl, “was just a beautiful example of how God works, using each generation in different but mighty ways.”
For his part, Tommy Murray was reminded that God’s grace is sufficient where he feels inadequate. “That is the beauty of serving the Lord. He let me go to Peru to see how He is working there for His glory and to join Him with all my weakness so that He could show me His power.”
Caleb describes his time in Peru as spiritually enlightening. “Since the trip, I have felt God telling me how to reach people for Him even at home.”
Students on Mission
Prince IT Specialist, Natalia Joaquin, was another one of the PACS participants on the trip. Joaquin is a native of Peru and had the opportunity to help with this mission trip for the second year in a row. She explains that despite the challenges, such as the high altitude and language barrier (the people of Pitumarca speak Quechua), the students rose to the challenge. “Our school has prepared students to be able to carry out the Great Commission. It was amazing to see how God gave them courage. They were excited to invite people to church, and the locals would stop and listen. During evangelism, we saw at least one person accept Christ each day that we were there.”
Also participating in the trip were Sam Moody (9th) and his father, Scott Moody; Linden Waye (10th), Lawson Waye (11th), and their mother, Sherry Waye; Matthew Smock (Production Director); and Lauren Dawn Humphrey (lower school paraprofessional). The group describes a close bond after having experienced the challenges and blessings of the trip together. Nate Murray says, “It was so obvious that God was working in our group’s lives and the Peruvians’ lives. I think more people should come next year.”
Cheryl explains that as a parent, this experience with her children is something she will never forget. “To see God work in and through them and to see them put their faith into action touched me deeply.”
The Murray Family: Cheryl, Tommy, Caleb, and Nate
Feature Photo ID: Left to right: Back – Natalia Joaquin, Cheryl Murray, Nate Murray, Sam Moody, Linden Waye, Lauren Dawn Humphrey, Matthew Smock, Lawson Waye, and Caleb Murray. Front – Pastor Joel Choque, his wife Veronica, and their youngest son Nathanael