Dear Ones –
Thank you so much for sharing in the Peru
ministry last month. It was a good and fruitful time, though at times difficult.
The original plan was to celebrate Bishop Bill’s retirement and the consecration of two more Peruvian bishops. Neither happened as the plan to become a Province of the Anglican Communion was derailed. Bishop Bill has been asked to stay until the end of April and no bishops are scheduled to be consecrated. Quite how the future will unfold is unclear. My hunch is that there will be a bishop elected to become diocesan and then, after Bishop Bill returns to England, the development of Peru will continue.
There was much disappointment, indeed some fears for the future. I joined John and Susan Park – veteran SAMS missionaries and a team of three from the Diocese of Worcester, England, – including the Rt. Rev. Graham Usher, Bishop of Dudley. We met and planned how we could help after the transition. While there, we all sought to exercise a ministry of encouragement and hope. Susan Park went to Arequipa, I went to Huancayo and Bishop Usher met with the new bishops.
I also spent time in San Mateo, Lima, where we sought solutions to their water problems – intermittent delivery and hugely polluted. Thanks be to God there are some solutions in sight thanks to a companion parish and “Living Waters for the World.” The school has huge needs – does anyone have a 16 camera security system the state is now mandating?
In Huancayo there are four clergy –all tent making so as to serve as priests and missionaries. There is one new candidate for ordination. They are under the leadership of Vicario Carlos Quispe. There are four missions and all are in rented property. The clergy there were despondent having just had two of their community depart for another denomination. They are dedicated and know how to reach into the communities across the valley from Jauja to Huancayo.
I am returning in March with a small team. Louie Midura is coming from my own parish and three or four will come from Grace Anglican in Florida. The goal is to introduce them to what God is doing at San Mateo in Lima and to give them a first look at Huancayo. Grace Anglican is sending a team in late July. This trip will give them a vision for Huancayo.
I want to give thanks for the success of the January trip. I had no altitude problems, my Spanish became fluent if imperfect and all travel was easy. Please pray for the same in March.
In late February I head to Florida to be with Grace Anglican and then on to a SOMA board meeting. In April I shall be at the New Wineskins conference in North Carolina, preceded by the SAMS missionary retreat where I am to lead worship.
Thanks for your continued support. As ever, we need financial support as well as lots of prayers. We are a team – senders and sent. Bless you all,
The pass over the mountains is over 13,500 feet.
These water tanks need to be placed up on the fifth floor so as to feed the bathrooms. San Mateo needs a pump and plumbing to raise the water to that level.
The tanks seen from above –the area with the three small toilets will possibly be where we can house the purification equipment.
The new tiled floor in the chapel of San Mateo – the altar area is now roofed.
The new bathrooms – thanks be to Grace Anglican Church, Fleming Island, Florida.
Fr. Dimas is the parish priest and Rusty Edmunson is a Presbyterian missionary and works with Living Waters for the World. Behind is the square in San Juan de Lurigancho.
This woman is carving gourds
In one of the outlying farming communities – where Fr. Ricardo has family– we found an ongoing New Year set of festivities.
These masks represent the old men and young men of the Inca era. They dance and shuffle accordingly, snap their whips and entrance the crowd.
One of Fr. Ricardo’s uncles
A village view from a shrine – they are a very traditional Roman Catholic area.
This view is from a huge statue of the Virgin Mary at the village of Concepción
One of our store front missions – this one is in Huancayo and led by Fr. Pancho and his wife Elida.
Fr. Ricardo introduced me to his Tia Abuela – grand uncle. He was dancing though not in costume.
The BVM is about 75 feet tall and dominates the valley.
I loved this bridge as we headed up into the mountains.
Fr. James and his wife and children – he is at Justo Juez in Jauja at the other end of the long valley leading to Huancay. Jauja has the local airport.
From the main road – there were snow capped mountains to the north. This is mid summer!
The square in San Jeronimo, where we have our newest parish and mission center for the Huancayo area.
At San Jeronimo we renewed our Baptismal vows – Fr. Ricardo is passing out the candles.
Celebrating the baptism of Jesus
Vicario Carlos and the music leader at Justo Juez
With Carlos at San Jeronimo
The whole valley was one huge lake eons ago. This remains.