The last few months seem to have gone by in a whirl: the summer holidays are now over, the rain has come and gone in Arequipa and ‘term-time’ routines have resumed.
In February, the Peru Latin Link team (see header photo) all headed to Chosica, a few hours outside of Lima for our annual national team conference. Thank you to all those that prayed, it was a good time of fellowship and seeking God’s voice in who we are and what we do.
During the conference I helped along with our Striders to run a worship and prayer evening, and I also helped co-run two workshops. On the final night we gave thanks to God for the ministry of two couples who will be retiring this year after 30-40 years of service. Their stories were incredible and inspiring. To help celebrate we did a traditional dance together. Before the conference, while in Arequipa, I had spent several hours learning the dance and then I had to teach it to the team! You can see the photos below of us dressed in traditional costumes.
The day after the conference I led a Stride retreat during which we looked at our identity in God. It was also a time for them to share their experiences with each other. I continue to pray that each of our Striders truly know and truly believe their identity in Christ. While preparing for the Stride retreat I was really struck by how, if we have a clear view and understanding of who we are in Christ, how transformative it is. I encourage you to read 1 Peter 2:1-9.
Straight after the conference and retreat I had an intensive ‘Arequipa English’ weekend. Participants immersed themselves in English for the weekend; we had games, classes on phrasal verbs and grammar, daily sessions on practical life skills with Bible teaching and plenty of conversation. ‘Arequipa English’ also celebrated its 5th birthday! It was good fun and friendships were made. We are now back into our term routine, meeting on Monday nights for 2 hours of conversation, games and Bible study. Please pray as we seek to build friendships and discern who to come alongside outside of classes.
Photos: The Latin Link Peru dancing, Arequipa English celebrating their 5th birthday and my class during one of the sessions during the Arequipa English weekend
In March I was able to visit a stride family in Huaraz. It was lovely to met up with them in person and hear about what they have been learning and their plans for the future.
I have also been to Cusco, with Sarah my co-worker, to meet people interested in mission and serving with Latin Link. It is always a privilege to meet such people and hear their stories of how God is working in them and what he has planned for them.
Photos: a photo with Sarah who I work with in sending Peruvians (she did give me permission to publish this photo), the Latin Link Peru leadership team (plus secretary and treasurer) and beautiful Huaraz where we have a stride family serving.
During the Latin Link Peru conference a new leadership team was elected and I continue to be a part of the team for this year. Please do pray for us as we seek God’s will and make decisions for Latin Link Peru. It does feel that we are going through a time of challenge at the moment, though we trust in our faithful God that He is at work in all things.
Easter celebrations here are very different to what I have experienced in the UK. Peru is traditionally a catholic country and there are many parades and events during Holy Week which involve the carrying of effigies of Jesus and Mary on large wooden frames around the streets. While within the evangelical church in Peru the celebrations are much more low-key than they are in the UK.
May you know the joy of God’s eternal love from the fact that death has been defeated and new life given!
A belated Happy Easter!
After some language training to improve my Spanish I will be taking up the role of Short Term Coordiantor (STC) for Peru. The STC coordinates the Latin Link Step (teams) and Stride (people) programmes, placing them in projects lasting from a few weeks to two years. Based in Arequipa, I will be getting involved in a local church and my local community.