We are Vann and Vanessa Brock, and we have lived as missionaries in Pucallpa, Peru for sixteen years. The Lord has given us three beautiful children; Corynn (17), Ethan (16), and Clara (13). Corynn and Ethan were raised here from infancy and Clara was born here, so this is home.
Our ministry is two-fold; A missionary housing and support base, and a Christian Camp.
Firstly, we are building a housing base for church-planting, tribal working missionaries. We provide housing for missionaries and help enable their work by way of technical support and supply buying. God has gifted Vann with an engineering mind, capable hands, and a servant’s heart. It is his joy to get to help missionaries with a difficult project or fix something that is essential or simply troubling them. Solar power systems, latrines, water collection, and satellite internet are just a few examples of ways that he helps our tribal missionaries.
We also enjoy serving our local missionary community – which has grown substantially in the last decade. They have technical needs that we can meet at times, but we also love to host them and give them a place of refuge and refreshment. Our hosting ministry is Vanessa’s joy. The hospitality industry was a significant part of her formative years, and she has a deep appreciation for its necessity in Kingdom work.
Secondly, we are building the first-ever Christian camp for local churches in our region of Peru. Evangelistic youth camps have been temporarily hosted in many locations over the years, but a place does not exist that is solely dedicated to the service of Christian youth camps. It is our hope that this base can serve not only youth camps, but other church retreats as well, and not only local churches, but possibly American/foreign, visiting church camps too.
We remember watching Scalpel at the Cross’ Jungle Bunks being built and thinking that it was the most wonderful idea for doctors from the US to come and serve our local community on a more permanent basis – certainly not something you see often! When we were introduced to Peter and Nancy Cole by our mutual friends and neighbors, Craig and Heather Gahagen, we had no idea the tremendous ways that their friendship would bless us. In 2005 Vann broke his collarbone into five pieces in a motorcycle accident. Peter not only did the repair surgery, but he and Nancy flew us up from Georgia and hosted us in their home. We were blown away by that extraordinary act of service. Years later they literally put a roof over our heads when the guesthouse we were living in was no longer available to us, and our house wasn’t ready to live in yet, so they let us live in the Jungle Bunks for a couple of months. These huge blessings were an incredible way to start a friendship, but the friendship itself has been the real treasure.
Our ministry looks a bit different in these Covid-19 days. We are in a national state of emergency, quarantined under martial law. Our borders have been shut down since March fifteenth – air, land, and sea. There is no transportation allowed between regions, and there is a curfew from 6 pm-5 am. We have to have special permits to leave our homes within those hours to get supplies. Only food stores are open – little else is considered essential. The medical system has completely collapsed from nearly the beginning, so the situation here is quite desperate. Other than those who are sick, things are particularly difficult for the working poor – those who work every day for that day’s food, living “hand to mouth” so to speak. Those who are in this bracket that is close to us are the ones that we are helping financially to try to survive this crisis.
Our normal ministry – the trips out to the tribes for missionary support, construction on the base, the visiting mission teams, and most of the hosting have come to a complete halt for now. The base still needs maintenance and the projects that don’t require materials from the town still keep us busy.
Our lifestyle doesn’t have many breaks scheduled in – we’re either working or traveling, so we are almost always tired. This has – in a selfish way – been a rather needed time of rest, and I am grateful for that.
One random fact about us is that we are both from Georgia, but we met in Russia, of all places!
We are so very grateful for Scalpel At The Cross and the way that they faithfully and uniquely serve us and our precious community here in Peru!