Lima is officially now a city of nine million people. There are probably many more as the slums and shanty towns are growing ever bigger as the “invaders” come in from the country and settle on a scrap of land. There they build their house out of whatever they can, usually matting, plywood scraps and poles. Later these houses will be better built using more wood or eventually bricks and concrete. They are in areas above any existing water tanks, have only dirt streets and their source of electricity is questionable. Here they live and eke out a living, raise families. The men are mostly absent, certainly working hard at whatever they can (see my earlier post) so the women run the home and raise the children. They are refugees, both economically and socially. To these folk a major part of our Anglican ministry is directed. We seek to combine social and spiritual transformation. Our clergy are dedicated and often travel long distances to bring care and ministry to the many different “pueblos jovenes.”
I am including pictures with this post from the mount of San Cristobal. You can see how huge is the city. You can see its economic growth. The Pacific ocean is on one side and the hills surround the city. Up these hillsides grow the shanty towns. The labor required to build on these hillsides is huge and it is done by the women. They make terraces using either stones of car tires. Thus they can have a flat surface. Water is generally purchased by the community and strategic water barrels are filled from which the people draw water by the bucket and carry it to their homes – to be used sparingly. Later on as the area becomes more settled the city will give title deeds, a road, electricity and eventually, possibly, a water tank that the people must pay to get filled. Water is not unavailable, just expensive.
Over the next few weeks I will be taking trips to the various mission stations. I visited many last year but was unable to communicate without an interpreter. Polly and I hope that with two month’s worth of classes we will better be able to communicate. This will be Polly’s first trip to these places. For me these places are holy because of the dedicated work done there by the faithful men and women, clergy and lay, of the Anglican Church here in Peru.
Click on the pictures to enlarge them