I have recently returned from a trip up into the mountains in the Castilla district, near Arequipa with others from different churches. We were based in a village called Chachas, 12 hours distance from Arequipa. It was a privilege to work alongside Peruvian Christians from Arequipa and Chachas to run Christmas events and share the news of the greatest gift, Jesus. We held a local Christmas event and went to three other villages where we played games, shared God’s good news, and drank hot chocolate and ate paneton (a traditional Christmas food in Peru). It was an adventure and one that will stay with me for a long time.
Photos: Playing games and serving hot chocolate in Chachas and Huaracopalca.
As I reflect on this past year I can see God’s faithfulness. I may not always understand why things happen when they do but I can trust that He is at work, even when I struggle to see it. It has been encouraging as I have mentored one of our Striders (short term volunteer), to see God at work in her life and how He has been using her and her gifts. I do enjoy meeting up with her regularly and walking with her as we discover and learn more about our loving heavenly Father and seek to better understand the culture in Peru. Please do pray for wisdom as I support her during her time in Peru.
Over the past few months I have helped a Strider settle into a new placement, seen a Strider’s passion grow for an area of work, a Strider discover a new talent, a Strider step out and try something they didn’t think they could do, and I met Latin Link’s newest member, as a family of Striders had their third child. It is incredible to see God at work in and through each of our Striders. I feel honoured to be able to be witness all of this.
It is good to have my flatmate, Ruth, back in Arequipa after six months. We are starting to decorate our flat for Christmas and make mince pies! I think I will always find it odd celebrating Christmas in Peru, with the different traditions and the 20° C plus heat with sunshine, though the central reason to celebrate doesn’t change! May you know and feel the wonder and joy this Christmas. Rejoicing when the mighty, all-knowing, all-powerful God wrote His name on the heart of humanity, stunning us with the generosity of forgiveness and the joy of unconditional love.
Photos: Meeting Johannes, In Colca Cayon with Jenna
In January, Latin Link has their International Conference which takes place every 4 years. This year it is being held in Guatemala and I will be going up there at the end of January. I am especially looking forward to meeting up with the other Short-Term Coordinators, we have a day together with all the Team Leaders before the conference begins. I will then return to Peru for Latin Link Peru’s National Team Conference in February.
I am grateful for a great holiday with Jenna, a friend from Scotland who came out to visit for 2 weeks in November. It was a chance to be refreshed and to explore more of Peru as a tourist. It is such a beautiful country!
May I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Christmas as we celebrate God’s greatest gift to us, Jesus Christ.
Thank you so much for all your support, shown in so many different ways.
Growing friendships in Peru
A great holiday with Jenna
All your support, shown in many different ways
Safe travel to and from Guatemala
Wisdom as I support our Striders in and from Peru
The conferences to be places of growth and fellowship
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.