I recently did a brief interview for some friends, and thought others might be interested in the answers as well!
Please tell us
-About the area you are in:
o What is the weather/climate like where you live?
Here we have two seasons: hot and hotter! We actually have rain regularly for about half the year. It is very different from the SoCal desert.
o What’s the population like (farmland, cities, rural tribes, etc.)?
We live on the edge of a small city (around 80,000) There are lots of tribal villages and farmland in our state, as well as many smaller cities and towns.
o What do people enjoy doing for fun that may be different than the US?
We don’t have as many entertainment options as you do in the US. There are no go-karts, or putt-putt, or bowling allies. Here many people love to go to the river when the water is lower (specifically during dry season).
o Is there any odd food that is eaten where you live?
One of the locals favorite foods is Suri – this is a large grub that grows in certain local trees. They eat them raw or grilled. We also eat all sorts of animals here that you might not recognize.
o What are some unique animals of the region? Any fun stories of how you interacted with some of the animals?
Here we have sachavaca – tapirs, añujes – daytime jungle rodents, picuro – nighttime jungle rodents, Taricaya – river turtles, all sorts of monkeys, and lots of other animals. – all of these are eaten here locally.
o Any fun stories of how you interacted with some of the animals?
One time we were with some native people searching for turtle eggs to eat. My son picked up some smaller eggs on the beach, and the bird dive-bombed us for the next few minutes.
o Can you tell us about your family (spouse, kids, ages, etc.)?
My wife, Loren, and I have been married for 17 years.
Our kids are:
Isaiah – almost 11
Abigail – 9
o How long have you been in the region you are now?
We have been here for 12 years.
o Where are you from originally?
I am from Greenville, SC
Loren is from Long Island, NY
o How did God call you to the area you are in or to mission work in general?
That is a rather big question. The short answer is through: God´s Word, Church leadership, talents he gave us, and circumstances.
-About your ministry and the spiritual atmosphere of the area
o What is the spiritual atmosphere of where you live? Is it primarily open to God’s word or opposed (or maybe a little of both)?
Most of the people in our city are not from this region. Many of them came for the gold-mining or related businesses. That means that a lot of them are somewhat hard, and not as interested in the gospel.
Many of the tribal villages that we visit (anywhere from an hour up to 3 days to get there by river) seem to be very open to the Gospel. They are very confused about what it means to be a Christian.
o What is the primary focus of your ministry? (church planting, seminary, bible translation, etc.)
We are here for church planting. We are helping a national translator, and teach a couple of Bible-college block courses every year.
o Were there any unexpected changes that you had to make when you reached the mission field?
We planned to move into the remote jungle areas as quickly as possible, but we had a newborn and planned to have more babies soon (thankfully God answered that prayer). Multiple other factors lead to us planting a church in the city, where we still live.
o Are there any events over the summer that we could be praying for here at Trailhead (Jr. Camp at Wolf Mountain)? VBS or other evangelistic events?
Please pray for our end-of-June evangelistic training conference, about our VBS mid-July, and about our trip to the States at the end of July.
o What are you praying for right now in your life and ministry that we could be praying for as well?
Please pray for a national pastor, for strong church leadership, for our building to be finished, and for the opportunity to take the Gospel to the unreached tribes in Peru.
Thank you so much!
Grace and peace, Buddy and Loren Fitzgerald