Thursday, January 17, 2008

Peru: Day 7

Saludos Todos!
We pray you all are doing well. Today was a light day intended as a chance to rest a little before we trek south to Ica to help with earthquake relief work. This morning we returned to Fr. Misael and Claudia's Church Cristo Redentor which was the area we visited on Day 2 (the day Michael played a drumkit).
(Each morning begins with a bus ride to the Cathedral to pick-up whoever is translating for us, and then a bus ride to the parishes/missions we'll be visiting. Buses and taxis here have all kinds of interesting and colorful signage. This bus says "Read the Bible".)

Today at Cristo Redentor we worked with the young children. We started by giving a couple brief testimonies and then singing with the children.(Mark giving his testimony while Eli translates.)

(Some of the ninas dancing.)(Joe and I singing and clapping with the kids to what has become our favorite song here, "Si Tuvieras Fe" {If You Have Faith}.)

Afterward the kids broke up into groups to go to class where the small kids (4-6 years old) did crafts, making maracas by decorating condiment bottles and filling them with rice; while the older kids got cooking lessons.(Making maracas...)
(Aren't these some of the best smiles you've ever seen?)

Before we left, Fr. Misael and Claudia spoke to us briefly on this bus. This couple are pretty incredible. Fr. Misael has a quiet, peacefulness and confidence about him and Claudia has passion, zeal and committment to Jesus that is exemplary. An interesting side note, we learned that Fr. Misael was in the Peruvian military's special forces as a paratrooper during the "Shining Path" era when terrorism was rampant here. It was quite startling to hear this as he is so peaceful and soft-spoken. Joe took pictures of Claudia speaking to us as he hoped to catch her earnestness whenever she speaks about the Lord.

(Claudia speaking to us as we prepare to leave. It's as though you can see strait into her heart through her eyes, no?)

Some of you may be familiar with Compassion International, a Christian organization which sponsors children to provide for their physical needs as well as nuture them in the Faith. Cristo Redentor and San Pedro are a part of Compassion. If you're not familiar I encourage you to click on the link/name and learn more.

So upon returning to the apartment, some of us were feeling saucy and decided we should all cram into the elevator. And between the 9th and 10th floors it stopped...kaput! (We're on the 15th floor). Now, common sense would say that an elevator that comfortably fits four people shouldn't have seven people, two guitar cases and seven backpacks crammed in....but I guess the sun has made us all a little punchy. Thank God Sven was on there with us to yell to the elevator repair man in Spanish and follow his instructions. We were stuck on the elevator for about a half an hour only so that's not too bad. It was an... um... uh... interesting time of fellowship seeing as we were packed like sardines.

(Ellora, me, Mark, Sven, Michael and half of Micah; Joe took the picture. And yes, the space we're crammed into is the size of a closet.)

Since this was our rest day some of decided to walk over to the beach to grab dinner. We had a great meal but even more wonderful was the conversation. We talked at length about what this trip means to us and how we should respond to all we've seen. We talked about what we see as the strengths of the Church here and how we hope to build a strong relationship between Nashotah House and the Anglican Diocese of Peru. We also talked about ways we can support the ministry they're doing here and how we can share their gifts and strengths with the U.S. (Bill, Sven, Micah, me and Joe; Ellora took the photo.)

(The view from along the coast in Lima, note the huge cross lit on the hill.)

Tomorrow we head about 5 hours south to Ica which is near the epicenter of August's earthquake. We'll be there through Sunday helping with relief work. The conditions were described by our Peruvian friends as "very rustic" so we would covet you're prayers that we would be able to serve 110% in these conditions and be a blessing and a witness for Our Lord to those affected by the earthquake.

I will not post any blogs while we're away but will post upon our return which should be Sunday night. Please don't worry if you don't see a post. Schedules are flexible here and plans can change. So until our next update may Our Lord Jesus Christ bless each of you richly. Please pray for us and pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ here in Peru. Gloria Dios!

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