East Texas mission team to take bicycle trip through Andes mountains

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Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 5:35 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2022 at 8:51 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Summer is peak travel time, and East Texans are taking trips at home and abroad, but one East Texas group is taking an extreme trip, to cycle the Andes in South America, but with a purpose.

The Stitchin’ Heaven volunteers are on their way to a ministry in remote villages of Peru, to ride bicycles 300 miles over the Andes mountains, with a mission.

“Dr. Larry Garman, 85 years old, has served as a missionary down in the Peruvian jungle for about 50 years. There’s just no running water there. Interesting, there is solar but no electricity,” says team member Rob Appell.

They’ll ride from the Peruvian coast, over the Andes mountains into the jungle to serve the Aguaruna tribes.

“Chiclayo, Peru to the mission station in Nuevo Horizonte in the Amazon,” Rob says.

They’ll deliver clothing and sewing items and perform church services at each location, and continue down the river by canoe to visit remote villages where they’ll begin water sampling and mapping in an effort to bring desperately needed clean drinking water to the villages.

“Previously they were only boiling water for the missionaries, not for themselves. Their life expectancy wasn’t very long, maybe 30-35 years,” Appell says.

The goal is to build gravity filtration systems in the villages over the next few years, to provide clean drinking water to yet another remote part of the planet.

“I’m no scientist, just a believer that wants to help. Just really hope when I get back I’ll have more information, get more people involved and we can bring some great clean water down to these folks,” says Rob.

The group leaves on July 10 and will spend three weeks in Peru.

This mission is being supported by ‘Stitchin Heaven quilt shop’ in Quitman, and a YouTube channel has been established to provide live updates of the trip.

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