Shifting to Real: Redemption in Cusco

By Corey Koon, Jan 8, 2013

There is something that happens at some point during a long stay in another country. The culture, people, and experiences become real.

I know that sounds a bit strange, but it is such an integral part of a crosscultural experience. There is a critical point at which one wakes up and realizes that everything happening in this new place is, after all, nothing new. It didn’t all start when you got off the plane. The small shops lining the busy streets, initially so foreign and exciting, become mere means for locals to acquire food. And these locals are different from you not because they aren’t real, but because they simply live in a different location and go about their days in a different manner. The scenery shifts, and an exotic experience returns to its elemental state: dirt, just like yours back home; food, just like yours back home; and people making their way in the world, just like your friends back home.

Desperation … and Redemption
Something that made Peru real to me, quickly, was hearing secondhand the stories of street boys at the different homes we’ve been visiting. What I failed to realize, at least initially, is that each boy’s presence at this home does not ensure that he is fully repaired, well-behaved, or triumphant over whatever problem rendered him so desperate that he had to be raised in one of these homes. When you hug one of these boys, you aren’t just hugging a cute kid. You are hugging an abused child, a fatherless son, an object used for sex, a lookout for crooks, a kid who formerly slept in drains and used old restaurant bones and sawdust to make soup for himself and his brother.

Each boy has a unique story. Most of us can’t begin to relate to them. They have problems that a cute wrestling match, soccer game, or an activities day can’t fix. It is a helpless feeling. No matter how big their smiles are after each flip I do out in the grass, they will still be haunted by their past when they pull the covers over their eyes at night. Our purpose is not to fix their problems. Our purpose is to point them to the One who can, Jesus. That is the meaning behind the name of the street child boys’ homes here. They are called Casa de Girasoles, which literally means “House of the Sunflowers.” The goal of these programs is to cause these boys, like sunflowers, to turn their heads toward the light and see redemption, forgiveness, healing, and most of all, salvation from this dark world, in which they have seen the darkest corners.

That is as real as it gets.

Please login to continue
Forgot your password?
Recover it here.
Don't have an account?
Create an Account
Sign Up for Free
Choose Password
Confirm Password


Youth Ministry Leaders
Member Care Coordinator: Americas
Next Generation Missionaries to the Muslim World
1–11 Months

Discovering a Hidden Quechua Church

A 1960s radio ministry became the catalyst for a 200-church denomination.


My Prayer Journey to Cusco

Last year MTW's Hispanic RADD team took a vision trip to Peru and emerged with a renewed focus on the importance of prayer in missions.


Contextual Generosity: An MTW Missionary Team Navigates Giving in Peru

Wherever possible we invite nationals to serve nationals through the structures and ministries of the local church.


Pray for the children and staff of The Josephine House in Cusco, Peru. The orphanage is currently home to 18 children, many with special needs. 

Pray for the culture of adoption among the Quechua to shift as the people witness believers adopting children. Pray for the children at the Josephine Home to know the love of a family.

Pray for the the Medical Campus Outreach team in Cusco, Peru, and for the medical and students at the clinic who are learning to practice medicine and hearing the gospel.

Pray for Radio Amauta and its efforts to help train leaders in the Quechua Church in the Andes Mountains of Peru.

Last year, a group of MTW RADD-Hispanic leaders went to Peru on a prayer journey vision trip. Pray for continued unity and mobilization efforts of our RADD Hispanic team!

Pray for the success of a new laser surgery business as missions ministry in Cusco, Peru, giving sight to those who need it most.

Pray for church planting efforts in Cusco, Peru, where many know about Christ, but few know Him personally.

Pray today for the Quechua in Peru, that God would draw them to Himself. Pray for the missionaries working with them and for relationships being built. 

Pray for our ministry in Cusco, Peru, as they put MTW values into action among the Quechua through the church, a medical clinic, discipling medical students, an orphanage, and community outreach.

Pray for the church plant and medical clinic in Cusco, Peru. Pray that believers would grow in Christ and catch a vision for reaching their city.


Good news in your inbox, once per week.