We are now entering Holy week. Palm Sunday – Passion Sunday is a day of contrasts – the raucous welcome morphs into cries of “Crucify Him.” We then spend the week, day by day remembering what and how Jesus has redeemed, saved and rescued us. We remember the huge cost. At the end of the week Light will invade the darkness.
Meanwhile the life of the Church goes on. Relentlessly God calls us to stop for nothing in the proclamation of the Gospel and in shaping us into a gospel people. Day by day he challenges us here in Peru to grow his Church, to make new disciples.
This weekend we held an extraordinary Synod. We had expected to elect three assistant, missionary bishops. In fact we elected only one, subject to Provincial confirmation. He is Mike Chapman, a dear brother and colleague with whom I have done prayer ministry here in Lima – he prays and I await God’s leading as to how to pray. Heady stuff and God is so present!
Anyway, Mike is the opposite of the kind of Bishop we are used to in the Anglican world. He is an evangelist pure and simple. His passion is for the lost. I pray that his election will be confirmed and once in country and consecrated, he will tour the south central part of Peru and begin to plant and grow churches. God seemed to show us that no more gringo bishops were needed or wanted. Our job, and my task, is to develop a crew of trained and dedicated, deeply converted and committed Peruvian leaders. Out of these will come the next Peruvian bishops.
Meanwhile Bishop Bill Godfrey publicly celebrated our ministry in Peru and made me a Canon of the Diocese. Polly is working on the development of a unified curriculum and resources for children’s ministry.
Bishop Bill described me as a sort of “floating” Canon for the diocese. My task is to help develop clergy and evangelists deeply committed to Jesus, who are equipped and ready to serve as Anglican Christians in this wonderful land. I am very passionate about this ministry and the task given me. PLEASE PRAY.
The Synod is the gathering of all the clergy, lay ministers and lay representatives of the diocese. In my past experience elsewhere these gatherings are more political than spiritual. This synod was a spiritual time of discovering God’s leading and of personal encouragement. Polly was led to establish a prayer room for intercessors. She was accompanied by several godly women who prayed up a storm. What a difference! As a synod we prayed, sought the will of God, made votes and celebrated and worshiped. We laughed and we cried. God held us in his hand, and we knew it. I believe that God showed us a better way forward.
Present at our synod was Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia. What a great and godly man! I have known of +Frank’s ministry through SAMS and mutual friends. We worked together on the vote counting as he was the provincial observer.
We look forward to seeing what God is doing in Peru – JOIN US!