Liliana is someone we came to know through Alfredo, a friend in the church. She is someone we have gotten to know over the past 10 months or so. As a lonely person, she has found a refuge in the church here. She has a complicated and difficult past. God has used some of my fellow missionary coworkers and me to reach out to her even though it has not always been very easy to do so.
Arequipa’s parks fill up on weekends. A busy work week gives way to a day or two of rest in which parents and grandparents take their kids to the park to enjoy Arequipa’s beautiful, springy climate. On Sundays in Arequipa, the park is one of the places where life happens. Naturally that’s where we want the church—God’s presence as reconciled family—to be.
I went to the store today to buy bread. I was in a hurry. I had a lot of other things to be doing and to be preparing. I wanted to run in, ask if they had bread, buy the bread, and then hurry back home so I could get on with what I needed to do. However, I arrived at the store, asked if she had any bread left, only to be answered with, “Buenos Días!” This was my reminder that I had forgotten to greet her. My mindset changed immediately. I then returned the greeting, asked her how her family was, she asked how Jeremy was and what I had done that morning. THEN, I asked if she had any bread.
Great Cities Missions is an organization that equips and sends mission teams all over central and South America. They host a missionary conference called “Connections” every two years for men and on alternate years for women serving in this part of the world. Even though we aren’t associated with Great Cities, they graciously invited us to participate in this conference. Chase, Justin, and I were able to go to Sao Paulo, Brazil in early October and were greatly blessed by our time there.