Monday, 26 October 2009

Polladas & Picantadas

Hi, so much has happened since last week, and the last post, that I’ll probably divide it into two posts.

Firstly I seem to have recovered fully from the tummy upset, but it did give me a bit of ‘time out’ to think and get perspective on things. It’s interesting how God sometimes allows things like this to happen, putting you out of action, to give you time to rest, recuperate but also contemplate. Being unable to leave the apartment (and the vicinity of the toilet to be precise and perhaps too detailed) gave me time to study and prepare for the activities this week.

Apart from the normal weekly routine this weekend we had the conference with Dr Tito Paredes (Friday night and Saturday morning). It was very useful and interesting.
Above is Dr Paredes signing some of his books purchased at the conference.

On Saturday night I had been invited to bring a ‘talk’ or short message at the ‘Luz de Vida’ church young people’s group again. I was there a few weeks ago. Upon request and discussion with the Pastor and current leader of the youth group I have agreed to offer my support as much as possible. I have committed myself to taking the Bible study every other week and then support with other activities as able. Please pray that the topics I share would be beneficial, but also that God would use me as a good role model for these impressionable young people/adults.
To share a little more about them, they are mostly in between 16-25years old and are very enthusiastic. At present they are planning to get involved in evangelism to children in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Puppet shows are one of the methods they plan to use. They put on a puppet show yesterday morning as part of the Sunday School. We thank God for their abilities and enthusiasm, but please pray for their Pastor and leaders as they guide the young people in this endeavour.

Yesterday, Sunday, I had a lunch at a local church ‘Casa de Oración’ in a district called Natividad which was hosting a ‘Pollada’ to raise funds for musical instruments. These are some of the young people who organized the event.
This is a popular activity in Peru to raise funds for almost anything. Essentially what happens is that for weeks before, the hosts (in this case the young people from this church) sell tickets which represent a meal (in this case chicken- Pollo is Spanish for Chicken). Then on the allocated day, usually Saturday or Sunday, people come and claim the meal with their ticket. People do this sometimes to raise funds for relatives who are in hospital or parents will do it to raise money for school funds etc.
It has become so popular in recent weeks that I had a ticket last weekend for a ‘Picantada’, (same principal but just a different dish- this time a chilli dish). I wasn’t however, able to redeem said voucher as I was ill (that didn’t stop other individuals across the street from redeeming it though). This weekend I attended this one, and next Saturday I have yet another ticket for the ‘Luz de Vida’ church who are also doing a ‘Pollada’ to raise money to buy a speaker/amplifier for these evangelistic outreach activities. A friend here joked that he was going to need to host a ‘Pollada’ himself to raise money to pay for all these other ‘Polladas’ that are being hosted. I would agree with the sentiment.

That said, I find it a very enjoyable way to come into contact or meet up with new people or people I rarely get a chance to see. Yesterday was a case in point. I was able to visit a church, all be it after the official church service, speak with the various church members and have an interesting chat with the Pastor there. His name is Timoteo (the gentleman on the left waving his hand) and many of you may know of him or know him personally. He was on a team that visited Ireland a few years ago.
His youngest son was extremely ill and he wasn’t given much hope by the doctors. The last time I spoke with him was last May and June when I was visiting the churches promoting ‘Misión Rescate.’ At that time things were uncertain but I hadn’t understood the gravity of the situation. Since then it got worse but God has been good and the son, Daniel, has made a miraculous recovery which doctors here cannot seem to explain. In fact Daniel was running around the church with a friend trying to soak each other (and anyone else) with water. It was hard to believe that just months ago he was in kidney failure etc. I thank God for these opportunities to just listen to people’s concerns even if there’s not much I can say or do personally.

I was also able to meet a man called Venancio with his two sons Miguel and Pablo. He worked in the bookshop my parents ran and then pastured the church I attended as a child. Essentially he was my childhood Pastor.
It was good to unexpectedly meet him and hopefully will have the opportunity to speak with him again in more detail in the oncoming weeks.

Please continue to pray for me as I serve the Lord here. Pray for me as I study and prepare; be it for classes, youth meetings or church services. Also pray that God would guide me as I interact with such a variety of people in different situations, people I have known since childhood and others I am just meeting. Pray that my personal spiritual life would remain strong as I am used by God here. I thank God for providing the different members of the missionary family here to whom I can look for counsel and support, and look forward to the imminent return of Trevor Morrow and the Williamson family who have all been missed. Please pray for us as a team working here in South Peru.


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