Vol. 32 Num. 27
“Greetings from Peru: Short Term Missions”
First Published: August 5, 1999
Editorial Note: The Summer 2010 trip by FPC members to Peru is June 26 - July 4. For more information contact Dr. D. Story: DStory2@comcast.net
Duncan Rankin and I arrived in Lima last Tuesday morning (July 27) well before dawn. After a little rest, we began our work that afternoon. We made our way to Los Olivos Church in the slums of Lima. I was staggered by the pervasive poverty. In comparison to Lima, we have no poverty in Mississippi. Yet these people are industrious and happy. Always working to improve their situation. Five years ago, this area was a shanty town. Now, through sheer grit and determination, the people have built row after row of brick dwellings. They are simple and unfinished, but represent the tremendous energy of this impoverished people to better the conditions for their families.
Unemployment is above 40% in Lima. Taxis are driven by doctors, lawyers, businessmen and other professionals who are out of work. But as difficult as are the economic circumstances of this people, its spiritual condition is worse.
The Roman Catholicism of Peru is syncretistic and nominal. The percentage of the population that is evangelical is relatively small. There is little sound theological literature available in Spanish. Tens of thousands have never heard the gospel. Our teams are thus here ministering for very good reason.
Our team in Lima led a VBS, taught evangelism, taught English, and improved the facilities at Los Olivos.
I cannot adequately express my gratitude to God for the work of the members of our team there. I felt a father's pride as I watched the sons and daughters of our congregation serve the Lord. What an encouragement they were to Pastor William Castro and his little flock and school.
Meanwhile, Alonzo made sure that we worked at least fourteen hours a day! Duncan Rankin, Terry Johnson (who is a good friend and the pastor of Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, Georgia) and I, delivered numerous messages. We addressed the subjects of covenant theology, biblical worship, the Lord’s Supper, the atonement, Christian ethics, and the Christian world view. We also preached in both Lima and Cajamarca.
We arrived here in Cajamarca on Friday. The Presbyterian church here was founded by Scottish missionary John Calvin Mackay. The building of First Presbyterian Church here reminds me of the small and simple rural churches of Scotland. The Second Presbyterian Church meets in Alonzo Ramirez’ home. It is also called “Los Rosales” - for the section of town in which it is located.
The journey has been life-changing and I cannot wait to share more with you upon my return. So, Lord willing I will see you this Sunday. May God build his church in Peru, and Jackson!