ast year the church proposed three simple goals: read the Bible, serve the community, and meet together more often. This year, we added a goal: be more evangelistic. This fits with our overall mission to be servants, students, and messengers. The church expressed wishes to first of all be equipped to share the gospel, as it can be a daunting task. We’re in the process of equipping ourselves and will eventually launch out into the unknown to share the good news with family, friends, and even strangers. We ask for your continued prayers. And we would ask that all of the readership join us in this process of learning, praying, and sharing faith.
The year is off to a great start! The new Living Library at an elementary school in the district of Miraflores has been inaugurated and is under way, and we continue working with three other schools. This year we’re working with 38 teachers and 694 kids and their families in four under-resourced schools across the city. Last year, our health team saw 1,000 patients, more than 100 of which were diabetics and 300+ who had a high risk of diabetes. We’re focusing this year on serving those who have joined our care and education for diabetics program—ProCED—as we continue to partner with the Hunter health center. We’re excited to share more developments throughout the year as together we plant kingdom seeds of justice, wellbeing, and joy in the city.
What picture pops into your head when you hear the word “evangelism”? Someone shouting through a bullhorn downtown? Door knocking and handing out religious tracts? Arguments about evolution and radiocarbon dating with non-believers? For those of you who also may cringe at the aforementioned methods, you’ll be happy, like I was, to hear that this is not the only way to evangelize.
As a part of the Living Libraries program, the teachers are required to attend continuing education training sessions each month. Lucia and Nancy lead these, teaching reading strategies to the teachers. Past years, these training sessions have focused solely on reading strategies, but they decided that this year, since CUDA’s mission is to promote holistic wellbeing, they would try to do just that. Lucia has asked Jeremy to lead a few sessions on ethics and the PuraVida team to teach on health.
Working with teens in the urban context of downtown Little Rock for many years now, I have seen various paths that young people take, specifically in going from not following Christ, to following Christ. Just as Jesus taught in the parable of the sower, the gospel (seed) has varying success rates in terms of yielding fruit. The task seems to be, from the parable, cultivating soil.
We’ve lived in Arequipa for two years.
I was nominated to write about our Arequipa-versary. The golden date in missions is two years. After two years culture shock becomes easier and you will be comfortable in the language…or so they say. But I’ve learned a few things in these two years. 1) Culture shock will never truly go away because I will never truly be Peruvian. 2) Language depends on the person.
Since moving here two years ago I have begun to understand a piece of the culture that I had no idea existed. Trust and mistrust are two sides of a coin that are very significant here in Arequipa. Getting to know people and building a level of trust with them is no easy task. Once you do build trust with a Peruvian you have made a real friend and it’s a beautiful thing