I asked this question and was asked the same during several deputation visits at the beginning of this year. When you look at the pictures from last May that I am using there are very few men to be seen. This week I toured parts of Lima looking for the men. They are for the most part hard at work and seeking to earn a livelihood. Their jobs take them far from their homes each day. The men that I saw all over the older parts of Lima were working very hard at whatever they could do. Some were selling things on the corner or the side of the road. Some were stevedores; some were working to cut grass, clean yards. One man was riding his old bicycle with a push mower tied to the back. Another was cutting grass using hand shears. They are not idle, but they are absent from the homes in the shantytowns.
I need to add that in Peru people employ people to do jobs that might be beneath someone’s dignity back in the States. People are always looking for work and a bit more income. Peruvians, like most, are a proud people who expect to be treated with dignity whatever their lot in life. Appearances are important. If one has a maid – many do – then the maid is part of the family and often sits with the family for lunch. There are no old people’s homes; you hire a nurse or aid who will live in. People here are inveterately polite and caring. Oh yes, they can be self centered, and their driving habits are certainly “me first.” However, I have not yet met a Peruvian who was ugly in either behavior or mien. They are an attractive and gracious people.
Society here is much more stratified than in the U.S., and concepts of equality and equal opportunity are not so apparent. Having said that, it gives us a Gospel opportunity. Was not the Gospel originally crafted and lived in much the same sort of society? They could be “all one in Christ Jesus.”
So now we have found the men – how to reach them is the challenge.