This afternoon I went off on a bushwhacking trip to the far north of Lima. One of the challenges in Lima is getting places. The roads are congested, noisy and driving is for the very bold. I wrote a year or so ago about getting to Collique, also in the north. Today I went to Puente Piedra. A month ago they added a supplementary bus from the northern terminal to PP. We have a great mission out there called San Andres. Today I traveled with Fr. Benjamin their priest who had never taken the Metropolitano. For him it was a voyage of discovery. He too was amazed – safe, fast and cheap. What more can a priest and missionary want?
We left after English class – I teach a small group through conversation and Bible Study twice a week. We went to one of the stations and lo in 45 minutes we were in Naranjal, the northern terminus. There I led him into the market for “Chifa.” Peruvian Chinese food. It was rough basic and unsophisticated. Amidst the noise of people, horns and traffic we enjoyed tortilla (veggie omelette) on chaufa (fried rice). Probably not the cleanest place I have been in and I am hoping my tummy is OK – so far so good seven hours later.
Then onto the “Bus Alimentador” to Puente Piedra. We hustled along in our splendid yellow dedicated charabanc and in half an hour we were there. A quick walk through twisty roads full of vendors selling out of shops and onto the streets and we came to a Mototaxi rank. These are three wheeled taxis based on motocycles. Very tippy, not safe but such fun. They have a fully enclosed windshield and then a sort of framed tent type of structure enclosing a double seat. We were there in a trice.
The photo above is of the new mission property that is easily accessible without learning to ape a goat. This is where they have Sunday morning services and where I hope we can build a mission and clergy apartment. It will be called Holy Cross Mission, I think. Now we have a cross, shrine and tent. All we need is people, a Bible, bread and wine and we have church. I also went up to the older church on the hillside (now used as a classroom), where we met with some of the kids who I have seen grow up over four years now. They enthusiastically showed off what they had been learning about Samuel, Hannah and Eli. They know their stuff!
Following time with the children Benjamin and I went house calling. What a privilege it is to visit in these homes. In most cases the homes are headed by redoubtable women from other parts of the country. They are amazing in the way they bring dignity to poverty, good values to their children. Again I knew these women from four years of visiting their church. Now to visit their homes is joy that is incomparable. I should add that Fr. Benjamin is an amazing priest – he knows his people and they know him. In each home I was able to pray and bless the family and the home. I look forward to seeing this mission grow with a new building and in relationships and discipleship.