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Steve and Hannah Johnson
Steve traveled to Peru for the first time in 2005 with his mom and four younger siblings. After living in the Ayacucho region for three years, mostly working as an English teacher, he went back to the States where he worked as an over the road truck driver for six years. During that time, he earned his BA in theology/ministry. He then returned to Peru in late 2014 and began to work with his uncle, Keith Powlison, who has been a missionary with MTW for almost three decades.
Hannah grew up in Church and wanted to work in missions and particularly linguistics since her early 20's. She graduated from Grace College in 2008 with a BA in art and then began to study master’s level courses at the Summer Institute of Linguistics in ND. When Steve invited her to serve with him in Peru, however, she decided to join him as his wife and helper.
We have now been living in Usphabamba (Uspa-bamba means ash land in Quechua) for six months now. It's a small town of around 150 people and is about 40 minutes outside of Cusco, depending on the speed of the vehicle you're traveling in. We live in a building that was designed to be a church, but has been modified slightly for our needs.
The people here have a long and rather ugly history with "church." The Mennonites were here before the Presbyterians and so the concept is that everybody already knows the Bible. That's the word on the street anyway. So they don't feel like they have anything to learn. They also believe that Catholic and Evangelical theology are in black and white contrast to each other. While this is true in many regards, Steve enjoys pointing out their similarities as a starting point of conversation. He knows from past experience that to focus only on differences of belief is to kill any hope of relationship. So he asks them if they believe in God, if they believe in the Bible, if they pray, and if they sing songs of praise to God. To these questions, the people always say yes with conviction. Steve then invites them to do these things with him at his house, which is also the evangelical church of Usphabamba.
Our passion is to draw these people into a true and loving relationship with Jesus Christ. That is our work here in Peru.