My family and I have been in Arequipa for just over 5 months now. During that time, I have accompanied Alfredo and Greg to a nearby pueblo in Mirador to assist in a community develop project that has since fizzled out. Also, I tagged along with Paty and Greg to listen to a business ethics class that our borrowers are required to attend. I have not yet taken the opportunity to be at the school for the library program, but the photos of the excited children provide a good assessment.
For my part, I have been involved primarily with CeDeTe, the center for theological development, as a student. This class is a great foundation for any new Christian or not yet believer. It is also beneficial for our Peruvian church leaders to increase their knowledge and their ability to talk about God.Thus far we have studied the story of Israel within the Hebrew Bible. We are just over half-way through the first trimester. Greg has done a wonderful job instructing, and I am increasing my biblical Spanish vocabulary. Just this week we discussed the covenant God made with David, and Greg pointed out how integral this occasion was for the people of God. In 2 Sam. 7, the prophet Nathan outlines the covenant God is making with David. I only want to point out two important features within this covenant. First in v. 13, God tells David that his son will build a temple and that David’s reign over Israel will continue forever through his descendants. Second in v. 14, God says that He will be a father to Solomon and Solomon will be his son. This language is powerful covenantal language from God who longs to dwell with his people (temple) and have an intimate relationship with them, never removing his love! This type of relationship between God and humanity was was to set in motion Israel’s calling from the days of Abraham to a blessing to all nations! Even in spite of her stubbornness, God, through the monarchy of David, would once again reign over Israel. And what would this kingdom look like? In Psalm 72 David prays for his son’s kingdom and his theme, I think, captures the essence of what CUDA stands for. Here is an adapted portion and may this be our prayer too.

May we judge your people with righteousness,
    and your poor with justice!
May we defend the cause of the poor of the people,
    give deliverance to the children of the needy,
    and crush the oppressor!
May we fear you while the sun endures,
    and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
In our days may the righteous flourish,
    and peace abound, till the moon be no more!
For we deliver the needy when he calls,
    the poor and him who has no helper.
We have pity on the weak and the needy,
    and save the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence we redeem their life,
    and precious is their blood in our sight.
May there be abundance of grain in the land;
    on the tops of the mountains may it wave;
    may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may people blossom in the cities
    like the grass of the field!
May people be blessed in us,
    all nations call us blessed!
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
    may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!
— Psalm 72, adapted