Sunday, January 13, 2008

Peru: Day 3

Greetings from Peru family and friends!
Today was another eventful and wonderfully day. We began our day at the English-speaking service at the Cathedral. The congregation is a mixture of ex- patriot Brits, Americans and English-speaking (and learning) Peruvians.
(Catedral del Buen Pastor)

We were invited to serve at the English service today and every member of the team did so. I read the New Testament lesson, Mark read the Old Testament, Sandy and Micah were ushers, Ellora lead the Prayers of the People; Sven, Joe and Bill served in the altar party and Michael preached (a great message!). This was a fun chance for us, as Nashotah House seminarians, to do what we do best.

(Bill {hidden}, Sven and Joe showing what Nashotah does best...liturgy!)

We then attended the Spanish service which included the Baptism of a young girl named Vanessa. It was a privilege to witness the beginning of this young girl’s life in Christ and; even though we were halfway around the world, in a different culture and language; reaffirm our own Baptismal vows together with her and our Peruvian brothers and sisters in Christ in this congregation.
(Michael preaching)

We then were invited to the home of Dean of the Cathedral, Fr. John, and his wife Susan for a great time of fellowship and a wonderful lunch.

This afternoon we visited the Mision la Ascension, a very small, new church in the city which is the home Church of Mariela and Marco (who you can see in photos from Day 1). They have been our guides here everyday and are such a blessing. They have true servants’ hearts and have become great friends to us.
(Mision la Ascension, about the size of a typical American garage)

Their priest, Fr. Alberto lead the music and also gave an awesome message on the Baptism of Christ which Sven translated for us. (Sven translating for Fr. Alberto...and possibly the only evidence of him ever wearing a tie!)

The worship was Spirit-filled and lively with a true Peruvian flavor and the faith of the people in this tiny Church was so encouraging to see. We had a great time worshipping with them and fellowshipping after the service.
(Paola {in the purple floral shirt} and members of Ascension; Joe, Ellora, and Bill listeing to Fr. Alberto's sermon)
They are growing and therefore need a larger building so asked for our prayers, please do say a prayer for a new building for Fr. Alberto and Mision la Ascension. Thanks!
(the wonderful band, note the box the drummer is sitting on; its actually a traditional Peruvian drum played much like an African djembe...Cool "guitar mans" huh Booj?)

Tonight was our “free night” and Fr. John and Susan recommended we go to a buffet and show a couple blocks from our apartment. The food was traditional Peruvian food which consisted of rice, cold and hot potato dishes with a curry(ish) sauce; beef, poultry and pork in various sauces; lots of olives and all kinds of wonderful fresh fruit…oh and octopus ceviche (marinated in lime and spices), mmmm!

The show consisted of a live band playing traditional Peruvian music and about a dozen different “acts” of all kinds of traditional Peruvian dancers. One word for the quality of the music and dancing…fantastico!
(Traditional "Scissor Dancers" accompanied by a violinist and harpist {behind "Air Inca"}, these men hold two halves of scissors in one hand which they play like castanets while dancing and doing all kinds of amazing acrobatic feats...a little like American break-dancing. The harp and violin music was Peruvian but vaguely reminiscent of Irish/Celtic music believe it or not.)

The quality of the music, dancing, costumes, etc was really incredible. As one who absolutely loves indigenous / ethnic music this was a real treat for me. It was a fun night out and a blessing from the Lord.

Today was a great day. I must say the highlight for me was visiting Mision la Ascension. They are such an inspiration and encouragement to me as one who aspires to plant Churches after seminary. Then again, all the Christians I’ve met here in the missiones (missions) and parroquias (parishes) have the kind of faith which inspires me. Praise God for the faithfulness of His saints in Peru. Gloria Dios!
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