First up, thanks to those who've shared our excitement on the removal of Clarissa's medication, it's great to hear from you. She has gone fine without her medicine and so we're continuing to trust that all is fine.
Thanks too for those who prayed for our mobilisation conference (mentioned in our newsletter), the team related well despite only meeting 'in person' a couple of times a year - we are all committed to one purpose and that becomes clear whenever we meet. We also enjoy enjoying one another and God, and especially appreciated the opportunity we had one afternoon together to get out and see some of Sydney on a beautiful sunny day.
This Sunday we'd appreciate your prayers as Sean is speaking at our church here (Ashfield Baptist) on 2 Corinthians 4:3-7, followed by the chance for church attendees to come along to an open day at a local Mosque, where Muslims literally open their doors for anyone to come in. We'd love for it to be an opportunity for people of our church to interact on a deeper level with Muslims - pray for this.
Thanks very much, we appreciate you all!
Latin America is an exciting place to be with so many opportunities to serve.
Students at a youth conference in Arequipa
We look forward to serving in a University, discipling and empowering students to follow Jesus. Students are the future leaders of the nation and are an incredibly strategic group of people to work along side. Our vision is that many students will be inspired to serve God and will go proclaiming and living out the message of Jesus. Arequipa, the city we work in, has several major universities. Some students come to Arequipa to study from different parts of southern Peru. If we can reach these students, they are able to take the gospel back to their communities in their own language. We met two students who did exactly this. In their holidays they went back to their incredibly remote village high in the Andes and they taught the Bible in their native language Quechua. Read the amazing story of how this remote village turned to Jesus.
Our prayer is that Peru will not only send missionaries within the country but also beyond. This is already starting to happen. SIM has spent many years preparing the church in Peru for this. A couple of months ago SIM Peru sent its first missionary to Asia. Latin American missionaries are able to go into countries in Asia and the Middle East that may not be open to western missionaries. They are also able to blend in more easily in these countries with their darker complexion. There is a SIM team that is working hard to put together documentation and training that will help to mobilise the Latin American church for missions. A lot of work is still to be done and a lot of prayer is needed. We look forward to seeing what God will do.
'Anj what did you do whilst in the petrol queue for so many hours' someone on FB asked me?
In the last two days I have spent 8 hours and 40 minutes in two fuel queues. The answer to the question is that I cant be sure. It is entirely likely I slipped into another dimension.
Take this morning for example. We jockeyed for position in the queue from 7:15 to about 9:30 or ten. This involved nudging forward and chatting to other drivers about what order we go in and how we block people from pushing in. I tried to read my kindle but there were people coming and going to the shop at the servo. I ate a banana and drank some water then decided I should find where the bathroom is. Reconnaissance mission done I settled back to my car to listen to the BBC world service. I tried reading a chichewa newspaper without much luck.
The truck carrying the diesel arrived just after I saw my fellow team members rushing off to church around 9:15. They were rushing as church starts at 9.
Did you know fuel tanks are in sections like the titanic? Fuel tankers are virtually unsinkable!!!
Around 10:30 was time for a snack/breakfast. I scoured the shelves of the shop at the servo for likely food items:maize flour..no,sugar..no, chewing gum..no. I settled on yoghurt and caramel milk from South Africa. I know the milk will upset my stomach but that is tomorrows problem. I got to the counter to discover they had no spoons for the yoghurt. No problem. Having had African yoghurt before I know it is the pouring variety..not a solid but a liquid.
In between I carefully observed the unloading of the tank. I looked for any safety breaches.. because I could and it would have made a great photo. Alas they even wore harnesses atop the truck.
I grabbed a coke. I thought it might give me something to do for 5mins rather than watching the tanker impatiently.
I chatted sporadically with an American teacher who was keen to go to South Sudan to work. I gave him the name of my mechanic...the sage (from a previous post). The truck departed at around 11am and they started pumping the fuel.
There was more jockeying for space. A few guys just pushed in by driving to the front of the queue and stopping. One man was trying his level best to push in in front of me so I got out of my car and said to him 'I hope you werent planning on pushing in infront of me as I was here before you and it would be wrong to push in'. He muttered embarrassed about others pushing in but agreed he would not try to push in before me.
Finally it was my turn to get fuel.. AHHH the jubilation. I felt like I had won and a prize in a gameshow. The pushing in man came up to me to try and explain and I commented that he was a bit unethical in his approach as he just pushed in front of the next car. He was actually driving and filling two cars at the same time so technically he pushed in twice.
When I got home I did a happy dance and shouted woohoo. the victory was mine
So that is the answer of how you fill 4 hours and 40 minutes in a queue.
now yesterday was different. There was the where to put the the temporary tattoo that came with the World Cup bubble gum.
Unfortunately last weekend Sean got sick with the family flu and so couldn't go to either event. However, we were still able to have a 'virtual presence' at the Saturday event & others went to the Sunday event where over a dozen Muslims gained access to the Word of God in written, visual & oral form.
Everyone in the family is now well on the road to recovery, and looking forward to a short break this weekend at a friend's wedding.
We did have some exciting news we wanted to share. Just days after we asked you to pray in our newsletter that we would have news from Clarissa's doctors, the cardiologist rang.
He has given the ok for her to stop medicine in the next week, as her previous test showed no signs of abnormality. Praise The Lord!
She still has 2 more tests to go (the first on 13th Oct), but if they all go smoothly - as we believe they will - then she is free of the medicine forever.
Thanks for your prayers, we love them.
Its hard to believe but my mechanic is a sage. One time I dropped my car off to him he asked me about culture shock. Yes the fuel queues were bothersome, yes riots were freaking me out, yes I found it difficult to get some foodstuffs and medicines but no I was quite pleased to be here and had no sign of culture shock.
He said that at 6 months when it all sinks in and becomes a reality of life that then I would experience culture shock.
His words rang true at 5 months, though I prefer to call it culture frustration, culture annoyance, culture disappointment. This was really brought to the fore when people smashed my gate lights the other night. I am still unsure of their intentions.
Good news is after much processing over lunch with Jacky and pots of marmalade with Helen I have made a few steps through this latest transition.
Today I told my sage (the mechanic) that he was right and that the honeymoon was over. He said that was good as now I can start finding all the good things about Malawi like coffee.
Tomorrow I am going on Safari to Nyala Park. I am so excited and grateful to be given an opportunity to go and view animals. Incidentally I am taking a thermos of good coffee.
There are many good things about being here like sharing about Gods love with orphans and HIV sufferers. I am learning Chichewa and I have learnt a chorus and actions. I have lots of great new friends who are becoming like family.
I am in a beautiful country and I feel truly blessed. Each night I still put on the full armour of God and I do sleep like a log
Before we talk about this weekend, will you please pray for Jan & Georgi who haven't been well this week - some sort of flu type thing has slowed especially Jan down. Thanks!
From Fri-Sun a teammate is running a 'Missionary For a Weekend' here in Sydney. Participants will take part in all sorts of activities that missionaries do all round the world, including prayer walking, Bible storying, hearing from people of other cultures & religions, and eating some great food! We'll be a part of a couple of things they're doing. Pray for participants to really impact those they meet and be impacted as they think about what their experience then means for them.
On Saturday, Sean's been invited to display at a men's conference here in Sydney, pray for good interactions with participants as they think about what it means to be a Christian man and where missions fits in.
On Sunday, Sean will be part of a team displaying something quite different to that on Saturday - he'll be at a major Muslim festival, offering people the opportunity to buy a New Testament, Psalms or Torah - all of which are books that Muslims respect, though often contending that they have been changed. Please pray for people who are truly seeking God to interact with the team, and for wisdom as we share with them.
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.
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!”
- 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
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).
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
- 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
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.