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Living the Gospel

Megumi Aoki, team leader on this year’s Envision Team, reports on their time in Peru.


In April this year, a team of four of us had the opportunity to go to Peru for nine weeks: Fiona, Rachel, Elizabeth and me. We visited missionaries Anthony and Roxy Green and Ronnie and Rocio Tipismana in Arequipa, as well as Megan Addison. We then flew up to Lima to work with Daniel Caballero, before taking the bus through the mountains to see Sarah Clay in Huaraz.


Arequipa

Anthony and Roxy work alongside a lady in the church, Lucresia, to reach the people in a shantytown, Villa Magisterial. They have a women’s service on a Sunday and children’s clubs during the week. Fiona is an experienced seamstress so we had a series of eight sewing classes, where Fiona showed the women how to makes skirts and trousers, and we also shared testimony and scripture with them.

The group were able to learn a skill that perhaps can help them in the future to provide for their families. It was an amazing opportunity, and Lucresia shared encouraging stories, saying that by the end of our time the women were asking more questions about how to get to know the Lord better.


Ronnie, the co-pastor and his wife Rocio do a similar work in other shanty towns. We travelled with them to San Pedro, high on a hill outside the city, and help with a children’s outreach. We discovered near the end of the trip that Ronnie would not only do this work every week but wake up at 4 a.m. that day to travel to another shantytown four hours away to run a similar work with children and an adult service. He would often visit people from the church on the way back into town. Their burden to reach the lost in places where they don’t have the gospel is such a drive for this couple and a challenge as they use all that they have.


Easter week was an eye-opener to the country’s spiritual state, with their processions and ‘celebrations’. They would focus on the suffering of Christ, and parade huge statues of Mary round the city and pay homage to their local saints.

Arequipa is primarily Catholic and most people are held in it like a vice that stops them from hearing the gospel of grace. We saw this as we handed out tracts around the church and invited people to special Easter services in Simon Bolivar.


Lima

Lima was so different in landscape and spiritual life, with a European feel, as well as contrasts: the centre with its growing wealth; the giant shantytowns, some built on landfill. In Lima, Daniel Cabellero took us round many different mission works in the capital, from church planting to children’s outreach, Christian orphanages, women and children support centres. We used the Bible to teach English to students and Peruvian missionaries.


Huaraz

Huaraz is a beautiful mountain town, the most stunning place I’ve seen. We met Sarah Clay and the Rainbow Association she works with there, and it was great seeing the work she does with street boys, as well as the outreach done in the remote mountain villages. A mountain church we attended was the picture of traditional Peru, from the way they dressed to the Quechua language, and the sheep that a lady brought with her to the service!


It was a rich experience for the whole team. We met so many people who were such a blessing and challenge to us as we saw mission work in so many different contexts.  It was a privilege to see people living the gospel so clearly and practically.


Read more of what the team did.


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