Friday, 31 July 2009

Youth Congress

Hi, this week I had the opportunity to attend a ‘Youth Congress’ at the Camp Centre in Ite. It’s a bit like a camp only more formal with more meetings and workshops. It was organised by 7 of the churches that work directly with the Mission: the four ‘de Vida’ churches from Tacna and the Ilo, Moquegua and Ite churches. The youth leaders from these churches, under the supervision of the pastors, formed an organisational committee who planned everything.

Despite the cold weather (it’s the middle of winter here- and you can feel it), there was an excellent turn out with approximately 120 or more young people (ages ranging from 13 to early 30’s) in attendance and the congress went very well.
The theme was ‘Sirves o no Sirves’ which is a play on words in Spanish and literally means are you serving or are you of no use.
They invited Santiago Quispe, the actor/physics teacher from Lima, who had been the speaker at this year’s youth camp (see previous posts). They could only afford to pay for him but in the end the rest of the team he works with, Proclaim Peru, came along at their own expense, including Pastor Rino Bareta who was the speaker at our family camp.
They ended up with 6 for the price of one. It was such an encouragement that they would sacrifice their time and money to travel what turned out to be 27 hour bus trip, (their bus broke down for 6 hours in Ica on the way), to minister to these young people. In the end Pastor Rino actually delivered the sermons and as a team they acted out dramas which were excellent and illustrated the points Rino was sharing from 1&2 Timothy.
On the last morning they presented a very evangelistic drama, Rino spoke and at the end 8 young people made professions to follow Christ.

Apart from the main meetings there were workshops arranged to help the young people learn, or encourage them to develop, skills which they could use serving in their churches. These included two singing workshops, another for drummers, one for guitarists, and then workshops related to drama like mime and choreography. Invited along were some professional Christian musicians from Tacna including a band called ‘3:16’. They sang at one of the evening sessions and then helped out in the respective workshops.
The congress was a great time to catch up with people I had made friends with during the camps and visits to churches with Misión Rescate, and also to get to know a whole new bunch of people I had never met. I’m now looking forward to camps in the summer as hopefully many of these young people will return.

The end of the month is here and I now have to start thinking of moving to Tacna. The seminary starts back at the end of August but I need to get settled into the flat at the seminary where I will be living for the rest of this year. I am planning to make a trip over in the next few days to take some of the stuff I don’t desperately need here in Ilo and to get some cleaning done in the flat before I move over for good. Please pray for me as I settle into a new routine in Tacna, continue preparing for the seminary courses in September and as I start visiting churches over there.

Please also pray for next year’s Misión Rescate team. The deadline for applications is today. We had arranged the date so that potential applicants could bring their applications with them to the congress and I had half hoped that we would have a number of candidates emerge at the congress but so far only one female applicant came forward. In one sense this worries me but on the other hand various youth leaders have told me that in Peruvian terms it’s still early days and there’s still time for people to come forward.

Thanks again for keeping an interest in the work here and remembering us in prayer.
God Bless,
Alistair

1 comment:

J-D lovell said...

good to see all this information.. i like to read about what is going on back in peru.. but with your work..

im back in NI a week now.. very hard to keep going.. with the same go.. as the surrounding and culture is so different. today is my first time on getting back on track.. ..
God bless i know that things are looking good out there.. God bless.. J-D