On November 5th we start our journey of epicness by leaving the United States and landing in the jungle city of Iquitos. Iquitos is a Peruvian gateway city to the tribal villages of the northern Amazon. Iquitos is the largest city in the world that is accessible only by plane or boat as it is surrounded by water and thick jungle.
To The Amazon
In addition to ministry in Belén, we are going to be visiting Monkey Island, taking overnight trips to camp in the Amazon rainforest, take boat rides, feed piranhas, see pink dolphins, and eat alligator meat cooked over a grill in a market by a Peruvian grandmother with dark, deeply creased, weathered skin.
Iquito's district of Belén is known for its poverty, prostitution, legendary street market, gangs, and rampant drug use. Belén floods every year, so the houses are on ramshackle stilts with sketchy "walkways" made of thin boards connecting the houses. These boards are laid across polluted water full of human waste and used drug needles. Children play on these bendy boards as addicts wade through the stagnant water below, hoping to find some change that will allow them to buy another hit. Even trying to access Belén without a ex-gang leader is extremely dangerous. In other words, Belén is beautiful.
Belén is where we want to bring the joy of Jesus. We will have locals with us that can get us safe access into Belén. We are expecting for God to move in huge ways through a free medical clinic, prayer ministry, and public worship.
To Cusco and Machu Picchu
To wrap up our trip we will be heading to Cusco, a city in the Peruvian Andes at 12,000 feet. Cusco was once capital of the Inca Empire, and is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. It is the nearest major city to Machu Picchu, a 600 year old Incan citadel, and sits at 8,000 feet. We are going to travel to Machu Picchu from Cusco, hike its heights and take in its beauty. This will be an epic experience.