We had an another amazing day of Peruvian culture in Lima. We were able to visit the Joining Hands Against Huger headquarters office. We heard from Kyle, the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) serving this year there about his work with the local artisan groups and their fair trade products. Fair Trade allows for the artisans to ask for fair wages and work treatment and allows them to make money, unlike some of the other markets. We were able to shop there and many llamas, scarves, and bracelets are coming home with us. It was meaningful to think about how our shopping directly impacts the artisans living around Peru. You can check out their projects at fairtradeperu.com!!
In the afternoon, we went to Brisas de Titicaca for lunch and a local Peruvian dance show. This was amazing, and we even got to see the national champions for one dance. In between, we got to try out Peruvian dance moves and hit the floor. We aren’t modest, which made it an fun afternoon of laughter. We were filled and inspired by the beauty of this country and its people.
Today, one of us is headed back stateside to get back to work, while 11 of us traveled to Cusco at 11,000 feet to see Machu Picchu tomorrow, and 2 of us went with mission co-workers Jenny and Jed to Moyobamba to learn more about the mission work happening in the jungle region. Splitting up wasn’t easy, because after one short week, we are already a family!
The work is hard, the laughs are harder, and our time together experiencing God’s diverse world is filling the team with joy and hope.
Until next time, love for your Peru team!
On our last night at the shelter, the staff and girls hosted a farewell party for us. After three days of sharing and laughter at lunch time with the girls, the fiesta was the perfect way to celebrate our time together and the connection we have throughout faith in God.
The night was filled with dancing, songs and lots of smiles and laughter. Similar to a talent show, the girls performed, taught us songs and dances, and gave us handmade cards – all of which expressed the friendship we developed during the week. To cap off the joy filled night we each had the opportunity to pray individually with a small group of girls. All the girls expressed how grateful they were for our hard work and presence at the shelter, but little do they know we are also the grateful ones. Every connection this week has brought each one of us closer to God and this special experiences has opened our eyes to so much. After a quick dance party that included a song from Grease, we said our thank you’s and goodbyes with full hearts. Eternally thankful for such a special week, in such a sacred place.
Rebecca Howson & Lizzy (“Lucy”) Chester on behalf of the Peru team
Arrived safely back in Lima. Some reflections and updates from our time at the shelter in Huanuco…
In short – we had FULL days of work balanced in near perfect harmony with community building, fellowship and love.
It all began with the unloading trucks of sand and rocks. We dug holes, placed boards, carried buckets of concrete in our now lovingly named “bucket brigade.” We secured a chain link fence to reinforce a vulnerable side of the property. And the painting crew tackled nearly three rooms!
Now onto the soon to be volleyball/basketball/soccer court – the rocks, oh the rocks! With the highly anticipated arrival of the tractor we were able to clear the area and begin laying the rock foundation. Quickly forming an efficient assembly line methodology – the teamwork was unmatched.
Every day closed with cold showers, warm meals, meaningful reflection and hearty laughter.
We had the loveliest of hosts at the farmhouse. The staff, girls and women of the shelter were as gracious and welcoming as ever. Last nights party with the girls (and 2 young boys) was just what the doctor ordered as we were blessed with the opportunity to celebrate our time together and the bounty of Gods grace and love for us all. Many tears were shared this morning as we said our farewells.
More reflections to come…
Kim & Kate Wilson
The Peru Team
After our full day of travel and a night to recover Sunday morning started with a long drive into Comas (outlying city district of Lima) where we were immediately welcomed as family into the Kilometro 13 church. Service was both meaningful and impressive. As we were formally introduced to the congregation, the true meaning of being a part of God’s family came to reality.
We often use phrases like brother/sister in Christ and now … we were living it – in its purest form.
Our time in Comas closed with a time of conversation and fellowship with youth and church leaders. This evolved into a powerful discussion about the recent tragedy in Charleston, SC where we found ourselves in awe of this church’s intentional inquiry and outpouring of support. The notion that we were coming to be a new part of their support system was flipped on its head as Pastor Efraín shared his sense of sincere solidarity. The profoundness of ministry of presence at its finest.
Throughout our day we saw the stark contrasts of socioeconomic, cultural and geographic differences that this city of 11 million had to offer – all the while catching the Peru national soccer team on the big screen in the Plaza de Armas!
Flat Jesus and Flat Owen (who couldn’t make the trip) relaxing with a cup of coffee
We closed our day with dinner, reflection and laughter. Team holding strong – healthy, happy, building community and being witness to God’s love.
Onwards to Huanuco tomorrow…
-Sean Delaney & Megan Creasap on behalf of your Peru Team
Today our hearts are in Charleston, South Carolina with the congregation of Emanuel AME Church. As President Obama reminded us yesterday, this is the 14th time during his presidency when he has made a statement after a mass shooting. This time, the shooting took place in a church, during a prayer meeting, a time deliberately set aside to communicate with God, the act of violence committed by a man who had been welcomed into that circle of prayer.
Words fail me.
I cannot move past the vulnerability of that prayer circle. Prayer makes us physically vulnerable – eyes closed, bodies relaxed. Prayer makes us spiritually vulnerable as we let go of those things that separate us from God and open ourselves up to the healing power of the Spirit. To shoot folks at such a time…
Words fail me.
I don’t know what to do, what to say, how to respond other than to join in that circle of prayer, join in that circle of vulnerability, to lift up to God the names of those who died, and the name of the young man who did the killing.
O Lord, hear our prayers and make us instruments of your peace.