Monday, January 21, 2008

Peru: Day 9

Good Morning from Lima everyone,
OK, Saturday; Day 10. We were told in the morning that a new Deanery or Vicaria (district for you non-Anglican types) was being established for all the Churches in Ica and the Vicario General (Canon to the Ordinary, a.k.a. Asst. to the Bishop), Fr. Julio would be coming down to Ica from Lima for a special Eucharist to celebrate the new Deanery.(This sign reads: "the Anglican Church of Peru - Deanery of the Resurrection - District of St. John the Baptist and Ica - Welcome".)
(the Canon to the Ordinary, Fr. Julio.) (Now that it's daylight you can see better the Church building and the "Dublin Inn".)
(My nemesis...this rooster began crowing at about 3:00a.m. and didn't stop...EVER! I actually was asking myself in the middle of the night how much I would have to pay the family who owned it if I...uh...silenced him. Ha ha.)

Our agenda for the day was to tour the various missions and parishes around Ica. As a quick aside, it sounds strange that on some days our "mission" is simply to visit the missions and parishes and we're often given a royal welcome with gifts, food, etc. "How the heck is that mission?" one might ask. But we were told that a bunch of their American brothers and sisters travelling halfway around the world to visit them was tremendously encouraging and affirming to them.
Fr. Jaime, one of the Deans (head of a district) in the Diocese, guided the tour. The earthquake happened on August 15 and the Diocese sent people down two days later to begin relief work immediately. From the time of the earthquake through December the Diocese provided 2,500 meals each day. Another important ministry Fr. Jaime described was comforting people who were afraid to go back into there homes, for days, as they were terrified of another earthquake. He told us how many of the seminarians had travelled down to Ica to help with the relief work. While driving he told us that many come down to Ica for weeks or a month at a time to do relief work, including John (more on him in a minute) who came down prepared to stay three days then went home for his belongings, returned and has been home since. Fr. Jaime said the relief work in Ica was truly their "seminary". That was a tremendously humbling comment.
(Fr. Jaime)

On our tour we also saw the destruction from the earthquake.
(The Roman Catholic Church in Ica which was devastated by the earthquake. You can see some damage on the bell tower on the right. So why did I say it's devastated? Because the only thing left of this Church is the front...the entire backside is gone.)(A family's home reduced to a pile of rubble.)

(Directly across from the rubble is their makeshift, temporary housing of reed mats and tarps.)
(This is a typical Peruvian Cross which you'll find everywhere here. Each symbol on it represents something.) (Dcn. Ruben , Sven, Micah and Marco make a side trip into the desert. Can't you just hear the soundtrack from "the Good, the Bad and the Ugly" playing to this?)
(This is one of the typical methods of hauling things in Peru, even in Lima. It's the first clear picture I could get. As you can see it's a motorcycle chopped with a cart added to the front. People also do this with bicycles.)

(And the more common method of hauling things in rural areas.)

While my comrades went to check out the above-ground cemetary I sat and befriend this older gentleman named Roberto. He said he had a stroke 23 years ago and was in the hospital at the same time as six other stroke victims and was the only one to survive and each day he would walk five or six times around the town square for exercise then sit down to read the paper.(Roberto and I.)


In the photos from yesterday you saw a picture of Orlando, Juan Carlos' brother. Well, he has an incredible story. Six years ago he went to Colombia to attend a seminary there but was kidnapped by geurillas who held him hostage as a laborer cooking, chopping wood, etc. After a year he asked if he could do ministry with the children and they agreed. So one of the kids tells him how to trek to a bus stop secretly and Orlando takes off for it and within a day is on his way back to Peru. Orlando has a huge heart and does great stuff with the kids here in Ica.

(Orlando.)

After touring the missions and parishes we had a Eucharist to celebrate the inauguration of the new Deanery. It was celebrated outside on a peice of pressboard on two saw horses but the "reredos" (decorative back wall) was the foothills of the Andes!

(Who needs a beautiful building when you've got this, eh?)

(The altar party: Fr. Jaime, Fr. Julio and Dcn. Ruben.) (The Peruvian-American worship team: Joe, me, Sven Julio {seated}, Juan Carlos, ? maroon shirt and Jhonny.)

(Our "Sanctuary".)

(The faithful coming forward to receive the precious Body and Blood of Our Lord.)

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