I wrote some time ago about the launch of CeDeTe (Center for Theological Development). The first class is now in its second trimester, which focuses on the New Testament story, self-awareness, contextualization, and the disciplines of meditation and fasting. I very much enjoy teaching, but the true satisfaction comes with the students' assimilation of the material. While on furlough, Paty and Alfredo decided to begin teaching the church from the first semester content. I was joyfully surprised. They are excited about sharing what they have learned and convinced that the church needs to understand the whole biblical narrative as the story of God's purposes.
I pray that a second class will form soon, that the program will grow and evolve, and that more and more doors will open to teach substantial biblical theology in appropriate ways in Arequipa.
Another interesting opportunity has arisen through our new community development initiative. Those of you who contributed to flood relief will be glad to hear that a few of our contacts in the area we helped have come on board for a long-term development project. After working hard to communicate the need to transition from a relief relationship to a development relationship, most relief recipients moved on. This is the norm and the reason we do not usually invest in relief. But the upside is that three motivated young mothers are now committed to collaborating with CUDA for the good of their community.
I'll leave the details of the program for another article. The new opportunity arose when I asked one of the three women, Lila, about studying the Bible. She had expressed cautious interest before I left for furlough, so I was following up to see if there was a time she would like to meet. One of the others, Irma, piped up to say that all three of them wanted to study and asked if we could just do so when we come for the development meeting. So, Alfredo and I will start the book of Mark with Lila, Irma, and Delfina this Saturday. Thank God for the opportunity. Now we sow the seeds of the kingdom and pray for growth.