"We'll take the baby."

By Amy Robinson, Jul 14, 2014
After years of ministry outside the urban sprawl of Cusco, Peru, MTW missionary Ruth Powlison was leading a women’s group and overheard conversation about an unwanted pregnancy. It became clear that this baby would have no second chances.

To the Quechua culture, adoption is understood as the acquisition of either a burden or an asset. Why would you bring an extra mouth into your home unless it could be useful? Why would you rob your own children?

So Ruth leapt to say, “We’ll take the baby.”

The other women in the group laughed. They could not believe she was serious, but she insisted. She went home that day to her husband Keith and said, “Well, we’re adopting a baby.”

The time came and the Powlisons brought Ellie home as a daughter. Nine months, countless feedings, bathings, and embraces later, the baby’s parents indicated that they would be taking her back. Keith and Ruth were devastated. Their heartbreak was evident to their Peruvian friends and caused confusion.

One such friend said, “Why do you weep over someone else’s baby?”

The Powlisons pressed on, struggling to understand what had happened, and to their great joy, the confusion ended with Ellie remaining at home with them. Years passed and a second baby was adopted. The full meaning of the girls’ adoptions became clear to the community, but slowly. Nationals saw the two dark-haired, dark-eyed children with their American parents and assumed that they were servants for the household. But when they came closer, they heard the girls speaking English. They learned that the children were treated as real family.

In addition to the Powlisons’ adoptions, five other couples who have served with MTW in Peru have adopted children of their own. As a growing need became evident, Ruth helped found an orphanage called the Josephine House. There, more than 35 children have been rescued from situations of abuse, neglect, and life-threatening harm.

Recently, national believers who work alongside the team have also begun to adopt children, raising them as sons and daughters. Yolanda, who is adopting a son, told us, “We know that God cares for the orphans in a special way, so the Josephine House is obeying God’s commands when we care for these little ones.”

The Powlisons did not go to Cusco to start an orphanage or with a mind to adopt as a testimony to the gospel. God started decades ago with a seed of longing in their hearts to adopt a child. He guided them to a peculiar place on the map through practical and ordinary means, and they obeyed. Through a long-awaited yearning, through faithful obedience and prayer, through the ministry of true religion to orphans in their distress, God moved.

To learn more about the Josephine House visit

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On Mission Leadership Summit | October 31–Nov 1
Youth Ministry Leaders
Member Care Coordinator: Americas

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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.


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