Phone: (786) 845-9985

July 2017

What Does it Take


What does it take to bring the gospel of Jesus to the Inca descendants dwelling in the Andes Mountains? What does it take to change the futures of young boys living at the orphanage, and to support them through college to ensure that they have every chance at a better life? What does it take? This month, I want you to think about what it takes.
The work of the Home of Refuge continues to expand into regions we never dreamed were possible when we first started. Our most recent efforts have taken us to the Andes Mountains, where time has stopped. With no running water or electricity in their homes and no government services, the people of the Andes survive in primitive conditions, living a subsistent life without much hope for a better future. Yet God so loves them that He gave them Jesus; they just need for someone to bring the news of Jesus to them (Rom. 10:14). For Rosa and I, bringing the message of Jesus to them is our joy. We leave our home, children, and grandchildren and head out of Atlanta’s airport to take the 11-1/2-hour journey (including layover in Miami) to Peru. Once we arrive, an entire day has been consumed traveling. The next day we take another flight from Lima to Cusco and there we purchase food and supplies for the people before taking the three-hour taxi ride to Veronica Mountain. At that point, Tony hikes a mile or so to the village where he receives a warm welcome. The people of the village excitedly hike back to the taxi to help transport the supplies we have brought, and for the next several hours we feed them, clothe them, and share the good news of the gospel. It is in this place that God has given us a vision for constructing a chapel where we can regularly teach them about Jesus. IMG_501428
After leaving Cusco, we fly back into Lima to spend 2 days at the orphanage, encouraging the staff and visiting the children. It is then time to travel the 11-1/2-hour journey back to our home in the United States. I, Tony, will be 76 years old in August, and Rosa will turn 70 this December. We feel blessed that the Lord strengthens us to take these trips and to do this work, even though my knees often bother me with all that is involved. During our most recent trip, I was strongly reminded of what it takes to reach people with the gospel. The reminder came through José, the man who originally told me about the indigenous people living up on Veronica Mountain. You may recall that he works in the hotel in Cusco and when we took a group of missionaries to visit Machu Picchu (“MATCH-oo PEEK-choo”) a few months back, we met him. Having learned about our work, he told us that we should go up Veronica Mountain if we wanted to help people in real need, and we replied that we would return to do so. Since that conversation, we have returned three times to go up the mountain and to take food, clothes, and the gospel to the indigenous tribal people. Because José owns a family-operated tour guide and taxi business, we always pay his brother Julio to take us up the mountain in his taxi. Each trip, Julio (and whichever other family member accompanying him) helps us give out the supplies. They watch us and listen to us as we minister to the people. Here’s what José told me this past month.

IMG_0130“Tony, when I told you about the people up the mountain and you said you would return to visit them, I didn’t think you would really do it. I never expected that you would come back. But you were really serious; you’re doing it! You’re all in.” His sister (20 years old) came with Julio in the taxi to take us up the mountain this time. She was touched by Rosa’s preaching about Nicodemus. “If you were to die today, would you go to heaven or hell?” Rosa asked her. “I do not know,” she replied. “Then you need Jesus!” Rosa explained. Jose told us that during our next trip, he plans to invite us to a large dinner in his house so that we can speak to his entire family about the Word of God.
What does it take? Here’s what I think:IMG_0150IMG_0127
1. Love
2. Action
3. Perseverance
You may never pack a suitcase bound for Peru and hike in the high altitude of Veronica Mountain to tell others that Jesus loves them, but you can still be rewarded for making it happen. 1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” Your money given to this ministry IS what enables us to go. It is most assuredly “what it takes” to make each trip happen. You can help us purchase a solar-paneled water heater for our next trip ($1,000.00), to provide the indigenous people with hot water at their school, the only place where they have access to a water tank and pump. We praise God that last month we could purchase for them a transformer, and now they have lights in their three school rooms. Will you help us to provide them with hot water, too? It is very cold where they live, and the children would be able to take warm baths while at school. Additionally, the children at the orphanage need warmer clothing as they endure the winter season upon them. Your offerings will literally clothe JESUS, like Matthew 25 speaks about whenever we clothe the “least of these”.IMG_0146
Love. Action. Perseverance. That’s what it takes. It’s the model Jesus showed us. God so loved…that He gave…until He had accomplished the work and could declare, “It is finished!”
As I write these closing thoughts, there is one more thing I must add to the list: YOU.
Alone, we do not have what it takes. Rosa and I need your help. So, what does it take? Love. Action. Perseverance. You. Will you be a part this month?

Tony and Rosa Rivera
Home of Refuge International, Inc.


Tony and Rosa are very faithful, reliable, honest people.  They are the hardest workers we have ever seen; their leadership qualities have encouraged many people to help others.  Whatever Tony and Rosa decide to do, they do with excellence and perseverance. They are great people and we are privileged to know them.

Ed and Mona Shirley
Mountain High Christian Center
Conifer, Co.