Enjoying Church in Arequipa

29 Aug 2011

Have you been tempted to buy a lucky charm or to make an offering to the “mother god”? The average person in Peru may face quite different temptations but we are all tempted at times to compromise our devotion to God. The Bible speaks to us where ever we are. Pastor Efrain, from our church, is currently preaching through the book of 2 Kings. This book has many practical applications for us today as we look at the people of Israel during the time of syncretism when Israel worshipped the Living God, as well as followed other gods. Even with my limited Spanish I've been enjoying these talks.

Efrain and our family
Pastor Efrain from Calvary Chapel Arequipa with us

We hope to record these talks and make them available on the Internet (thanks to a few tips from friends in Concord Baptist). We feel that this systematic Bible teaching will be a valuable resource for Latin America.

I meet with pastor Efrain once a week and we practice Spanish and talk about life in Peru. This church is very relevant to our future work in Arequipa because of the excellent work they are doing among University students. I've enjoyed learning about the challenges of sharing the gospel in Peru. It is also a great encouragement.

I don't feel so bad making blunders in Spanish after hearing a mistake that Efrain made in English. Efrain was born in Peru and had the opportunity to study at a Bible college in the UK. Here he said farewell to a fellow female student with the words “See you later. We will touch!”. She seemed surprised! He of course meant to “keep in touch!”

Please Pray

  • thank God for Calvary Chapel in Arequipa and their teaching of God's Word.
  • thank God for their growth – last week we almost ran out of room
  • pray for more leaders who will impact Arequipa and beyond

More Photos

Dried alpacas that can be purchased in the markets and buried in the ground as a sacrifice to the Pachamama (Mother god)

Lucky charms that some believe will bring wealth. The teaching in 2 Kings is very relevant.

"Hasta Luego" (see you later).

The Internet and Missions

27 Aug 2011

Can technology help to better connect Churches with missions? I couldn't help but ask the question, especially since I used to work with computers. So after chatting with missionaries, several mission agencies and with people who supported missions the concept of a website called MissionsHub.org has developed.

So now we have a platform where potentially hundreds of missionaries can quickly setup their own site (a “blog”) and share what God is doing. You can get updates from particular missionaries or you can choose to get updates based on a particular criteria (coming soon) eg., updates from missionaries in “Europe” involved in “Church Planting”.

I am really grateful to several people who helped to guide this project including Sean Boucher from WEC, Glenyss Barnham from SIM and Tim Silberman from SMBC. One surprise was a friend, James Henley, from my language school here who happened to be skilled in video production. See the video he created to introduce MissionsHub.org to mission reps at the ReachOut conference.

I also need to thank my team back in Australia (at a bank I worked at) that helped to get this project started. In a single day we built the prototype that is the basis of MissionsHub.org. Thanks to Kiran Kumar my team leader, Madhan Mohan, David Doyle, Chuong Vu and Daniel Jeffries. This team build some amazing websites and I couldn't have got this off the ground without their help. For example Madhan wrote code that pulls a map of the selected country from Wikipedia.

A website like this needs a team to develop and maintain it. It has been great to connect with developers here in Arequipa too to get their input. Last night we had two developers over for dinner and we looked at how we can make MissionsHub.org available on mobile phones (if you've got a smart-phone try it now - www.missionshub.org/jeyachandran-family). Pray that I learn Spanish quickly because I currently understand about 50% of the conversation. I have also connected with the person who heads the community of Peruvian developers (for this particular web technology). By God's providence he is a passionate Christian and has suggested ways that this could be made into a community project.

Fernando (who heads the Drupal web developers community in Peru) and his wife Nancy

Please pray:

  • that this will be a valuable resource for missions that will bring glory to God
  • that more web developers here in Peru will be involved
  • that I will be able to use computers to connect with students at the University

Welcome

25 Aug 2011

G'day. We hope we can help you get a 'feel' for what we do through this blog, keep you updated with prayer info, and help us share what's on our heart. Thanks for coming.

To get you started, here's something pretty cool. Today Sean went to have lunch with a pastor to hear about their church's involvement in missions and to see if we can add value to that. Turns out that pastor is thinking about being a missionary in Japan, and Sean could share some about what that might mean if he was to join a WEC team. It's a journey for everyone, and Sean hopes to keep walking that journey with this guy & others. Our passion - as you can see from our vision on the sidebar here - is to help people get where God wants them to be, and as we're 'out there', we meet people God is speaking to about things we can help them with.

Pray for us as we get out there - to find people we can help, based on our experiences and passion.

The Captain has Announced that your Airline has Been Cancelled

19 Aug 2011

Angry Passengers at the Peruvian Airlines counter

Thursday night, after 2 days of meetings in Lima, I was scheduled to fly back home to Arequipa. As we were about ready to take off, the stewardess announced that we would have to deplane for 'operational errors'. What's that? After we were off of the plane, we were told that the ministry of transportation had closed down the airline for undisclosed reasons. Passengers were speculating whether it was due to drug-trafficking/money laundering, poor maintenance records, or that the new president had started his quest to nationalize large companies. So 120 unhappy people were told to go to the Peruvian Airlines' counter where many bemoaned that they had no clothes, or place to stay, or money for another flight. Each month I go to Lima and buy a box of Dunkin donuts for my kids at the airport on my way home. Since donuts don't keep, and I didn't know when I was going to be home, I started handing them out to other stranded passengers. Within 5 minutes, one asked, "Where are you going to stay tonight? You can come stay at our house!" Next time you need to diffuse a crisis, offer donuts. While some passengers argued with airline personnel and more and more police surrounded us to keep things calm, I slipped off and bought a ticket with another airline for 6:30 Friday morning, went and slept for about 5 hours and arrived home Friday morning.

Pray for safety as I have to travel a fair amount as SIM Peru director.

Allen & Amy

Holiday in the Canyon

06 Aug 2011

Here's some photos from a three day break we had in the Colca Canyon. At a depth of over 4000m, the canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. It is also famous for it condors. 

Family on the Road The long road to the Canyon (we actually took the bus)

 

Amazing views of the distant mountains

 

The girls loved the baby alpacas - so cute and soft

 

We're ready for the cold

 

We visited a spot where the famous Condors love to hangout

 

Condor lookout perched on the edge of the Canyon

 

Condors - amazing birds!

 

 

Our new home in Peru

25 Jul 2011

It was amazing to fly into Arequipa. The city really is stunning! This place which will be our new home is nestled among in the Andes mountains. It is great to finally be here.

Flight our of ArequipaCopyright Leonardo Correa Luna all rights reserved

When we came out of the airport were were greeted by the cheering SIM (mission) team. We felt very welcome - it was almost like a home coming even though we'd never met most of these people.

Before getting to Arequipa we spent a week in the capital Lima where we also made welcome. We stayed in the guest house with a lovely American missionary family whom our girls absolutely loved. We got to meet lots of other missionary families and experienced their hospitality. So we haven't had the chance to feel culture shock. The mission has helped make this a really easy transition by getting us to meet many families who have already done what we're going to do. Even for the official matters, someone from the mission accompanied us to government offices so we could begin our residency process.

Twins in LimaMission Team in Lima

I'm looking forward to learning and practicing Spanish. I currently know enough Spanish to get myself into trouble. For example, on the flight I asked the stewardess in Spanish for a spoon for my baby - so I thought. She looked concerned and puzzled. I had actually asked for a knife for the baby.

The twins are enjoying all the attention and have had a lot of fun. The travelling has also been hard on them. Annabelle said she didn't want to go to the airport again. The most painful was in Santiago airport, where we spent more than two hours stuck on a plane, waiting for the fog to clear before we could take off. No more flights for awhile now. Our last flight into Arequipa was our best so far. It was good because of the views but also because we could enjoy them as the kids slept.

It's easy to have start conversations with people when the kids are with us. Peruvians love to chat about kids and especially babies. Annabelle and Amelia now can say "Hola" and "Chao". Amelia was teaching Samuel how to say "Hola" the other day.

Twins in LimaTwins in Lima

There was just one thing that got me down. I made a really frustrating mistake when I got off the plane in Arequipa and was collecting our luggage. I left my suit-bag in the luggage collection area. With a lot of luggage and kids to manage too I put the suit-bag down and just forgot to pick it up again. I only realised when I got to the Guest House. It was too late to go back to the airport so we'd have to return the following day. I prayed with Christine and we had a few others pray too like my mum in Australia and the missionaries here. I realised it would be a miracle to get it back. I told myself that it was nothing important - it's not like it contained anything irreplaceable or something I couldn't live without. I was still feeling down! Before coming to Peru I had given away most of my clothes and I found that pretty easy to do. I kept my favourite suit and my five favourite shirts that were in that bag and to lose those was... hard. I went to sleep knowing that it was really in God's hands.

Next day... We went to the airport with a missionary here called Siegfried. We asked several people if they had seen the bag and the answer was "no" but eventually someone walked out holding the suit-bag. We thanked God and celebrated! I smiled more than usual that morning.

David with the Suit-BagDavid with the suit-bag

This was a good reminder for me to trust God even in the small things. In Matthew 6:28 it specifically asks us not to worry about clothes. Whether my clothes were found or not I need to remember that God has things under control. There will be much bigger things to worry about but our God has things under control.

Hasta Luego (see you later) from the family.

Sometimes missionaries need to duck

09 Jul 2011

In Peru there seem to be a lot of low doors and I discovered one as I ran into it. I still remember the clang of the steel as I fell backwards from the impact to my head. There was a fair bit of blood. By God's grace I could not have done it at a better time. It was during a mission meeting and there were two doctors and two nurses at hand and they were able to quickly stitch up the wound. Allen and Amy stitched me up while Dorothee and Siegfried prepared the equipment needed.


If you're interested you can watch the video of me getting stitched up

Thank God for caring (and skilled) missionary family here in Arequipa.

Prayer Points

29 Jun 2011
  • Praise God that language learning with Grace is going ok.
  • Please pray that I will be able to make some Malawian friends.
  • Praise God that I managed to get a dog (Moya). She is a cross local dog and Rottweiler and a very loyal guard dog.
  • Please pray that I will have no problems getting hold of the medications I need. They do have some in stock in Malawi but please pray they will have a regular supply.
  • Please pray that the diesel shortage will be over so that HOPE for AIDS can continue to work in the villages.

Joy through Forgiveness

29 Jun 2011

Romans 5:6-8
"You see, just at the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us".

Recently I have been thinking a lot about the fact that Jesus died for the sins I commit every day and though I continue to sin, I am still forgiven. This amazes me and I am so thankful. There is reason for joy every day because my sins are not counted against me.

home based care

I was thinking about this passage as I went to visit one of the home based care programs for the distribution of goods. Each patient received soap, milk powder, sugar and Likuni Phala (vitamin fortified maize porridge). Though the patients are not well, they sang and praised God. It was a delight to see and hear. Many seemed to understand that they were forgiven and had a joy despite the sufferings they endure.

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