Yesterday afternoon Polly and I went to celebrate and speak in Collique. This shantytown mission has been the work of Edith Varillas and her husband Jerry Acosta. Polly is working on her own blog about this so check hers out.
Both are seminarians and Jerry was a Pentecostal minister. Together they have built up this ministry in an area on the northwestern fringes of Lima. They meet in the downstairs of a borrowed home. They educate, feed and nurture a wonderful group of adults and children. I have only been able to visit a few times as it has been so difficult to get there, even by taxi (which could get expensive!) Lo and behold, as of a month ago, Collique is accessible by public transport. It takes the best part of two hours. First you take a microbus to the Metropolitano – ten minutes. The Metropolitano is the newest of Lima’s public transport projects. Its new gas powered (green) long buses whisk you past miles of churning, often stalled, traffic. We go to the end of the line and there – after fifty minutes travel – there is a bus awaiting in their feeder system that works at either end of the main route. There is a bus to Collique that takes another twenty minutes. From there a microbus takes us the last few blocks uphill and we are there.
Enough raving about the transport! However it does mean that I shall be more regular out there as it is so easy to travel there.
It was such a joy to worship there with these youthful and vibrant folk. Polly was able to spend time talking with folk after the service. As we walked downhill to catch the bus home she chatted with Marisol and Ruby They are in the plaid and the yellow blouses in the picture on the left. Ruby was sharing how she committed her life to Jesus Christ just a very few years ago through Edith and Jerry’s ministry. She is mother to a teenager. Marisol is a volunteer who now lives in Collique so as to be near her ministry – she works in town.
Before we gathered for worship Edith showed Polly where they hope to acquire some land so that they can build their own “Capilla.” It will take a lot of hard work, but that is what Peruvians are good at and this congregation is devoted to the Lord and they will clear and build with their own if the opportunity comes to them. This is also the type of project that is great for a mission trip or more.
I am thanking God for this wonderful congregation and the dedicated work of Edith and Jerry, AND that it is accessible thanks to the Metropolitano!
More pictures below: –