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True calling for Milley in Peru


The following is a report from Rev. James Guskjolen on his recent ministry trip to Lima, Peru and his visit with Rev. Dean Milley submitted to The Pilot for publication in the Letters to the Editor section of The Pilot. Rev. Guskjolen is the regional director for all of Latin America and the Caribbean with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.

Letter to the editor - The following is a report from Rev. James Guskjolen on his recent ministry trip to Lima, Peru and his visit with Rev. Dean Milley submitted to The Pilot for publication in the Letters to the Editor section of The Pilot.

Rev. Guskjolen is the regional director for all of Latin America and the Caribbean with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.

For further information Rev. Milley or Dean Milley Ministries International contact the ministry at his office at (709) 261-2346 and ask for Deborah or e-mail contact@deanmilleyministries.org:

It was the 20th of June 2008 when I arrived in Lima Peru. I was unsure of what to expect and what exactly it was that I was going to being engaged in while spending 10 days there.

I knew only a couple of things for sure. The first was that I was going to be met at the airport by Dean Milley, a person I had met only once while passing through Toronto. The second was that I was going to be preaching several times.

Let me digress for a few moments.

Prior to traveling to Peru I had heard much about it. Most of it relating to tourism. For instance: I had learned Peru is a nation full of history and culture. From the heights of the Andes to the jungles of the Amazon Basin to the desert scenes along the coast of the Pacific and the architecture of 500 year old Lima. Peru delights the senses. There was no doubting these truths. Though I had never been there to attest to their veracity through first hand experience.

Flying into Peru from the nation of Panama I was enthralled by the natural beauty of the country as seen from the air. As Arial views are my favorite I was soaking it all in as we settled at an altitude of about 39,000 feet.

Then Lima came into view. It looked dusty, dirty and more than a little run down. It certainly did not encourage me to want to stay. I was to learn, however, that impressions from the air can differ significantly from the reality of what one experiences at ground level.

Apart from being impressed with the attitude of those in the country and noticing a sense of entrepreneurialism. And apart form thoroughly enjoying the local cuisine and the distinctiveness of the Latin culture. There was one thing impacted me more than any other during my 10 days in Peru.

I refer to Dean Milley. Dean is a sharp looking young Newfoundlander with a Spanish accent, a quick wit and an unflagging source of energy. I had only one question at the end of my stay in Peru: does Dean ever stop? He is a whirlwind of activity. And full of insight into the local culture.

It became abundantly clear to me that somehow Dean has been able to see past the dirt and the smog and the grittiness that is Peru and see the essential quality of Peru. Its people.

From the moment Dean met me at the airport it became self-evident that Dean Likes Peru but is in love with the people. The Peruvian people are etched upon his heart. He is part of them and they are part of him.

I waited to hear from Dean, himself, if his love for the people was real or simply that which every tourist feels upon a pleasant visit to country. It didn't take long to understand his love for the people was authentic and had been deepened through having lived among them for over six years.

I simply asked questions and Dean politely responded. Without any degree of boastfulness he began to tell me what it is that he has felt led to do in Peru. I heard of his desire for the young people and how he is helping them feel valued and giving them hope for the future. A future they might not have if Dean was not among them. I heard of his endeavors to help the youth with clothing, medical and dental care. I heard of Dean's desire to help young people develop a vision for higher learning; helping them see the potential impact they could have on the nation. I heard of Dean helping develop youth into budding musicians. He trains these musicians, forms them into bands and travels with them into the various provinces of Peru to take his message of value and hope to those who feel little value and even less hope. What youth isn't into that!

Dean does all this without fanfare. He is not interested in accolades or applause. He is only interested in the people, youth in particular. Nor is he interested in gaining all the attention. He is quick to involve others. And to let people know it is not about him but about all those involved in making a difference in some young person's life.

And he does all this with joy! Nothing excites Dean more than engaging people. Late nights. Early mornings. I don't know how he does it. Without concern about his own comfort his home is open to those who need a place to stay, to those who need to talk a little longer than is customary.

Dean believes his life is to be lived for others. He actually practices this! Everything Dean does is done from his core conviction: passion for people and compassion to those in need. Nothing else seemed to matter to Dean. He left me thinking that this might be a good way to live.

I left with one impression of Peru. Dean is absolutely committed to Peru. The result is that the nation is better off with Dean. And he is better off with Peru. They need each other.

The next time I fly over Peru and Lima, in particular, my vision will not be obscured by dust and smog. I'm going to see right trough that and see a man. An ordinary man, doing an extraordinary work among the youth of Peru. I will be able to envision a man walking through the streets and flagging taxi's (it's cheaper and, he thinks, a better use of ministry funds. And he's probably right), engaging people in conversation, looking for ways to minister hope to the young people he serves and lives for.

Rev. James Guskjolen

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