Another month in Cusco! At this point in the work in Cusco, eight years in, discipleship is an especially big push now more than ever. The first wave of the mission team will be leaving the field within the next 2 years, and the members at Ayllu will naturally need to take over leadership roles in the church. Therefore, we must help them learn and practice so they will be equipped and ready to take on these roles in the future.
How this plays into my children’s ministry focus is that I am working toward turning the minds of willing and talented individuals in this area to not only teach classes here and there, but to be able to create and prepare for classes (which includes studying and understanding the Bible passage/topic themselves), lead, and understand the spiritual needs of children. At the same time, the children’s ministry, Brilla, needs to be much more than just a 45-minute class once a week. Here are three goals of needs I want to help Peruvians realize and work toward: a ministry that is dynamic, evangelistic, and service-oriented.
Every week I meet with a Peruvian member who I amdiscipling in this process. I have already seen some good progress with these sisters, and I am so proud of them! There are two girls about my age who I have been working with in this – Angela and Mayan. Eventually, there will be a chain of disciples in which the discipled become the disciplers of new workers in this area! This has already started happening a bit with Angela helping Mayan prepare before she taught the children’s class a couple weeks ago!
I am loving my kiddos in the Brilla ministry! I have been here long enough now to have learned all of the kids’ names and gotten to know just a little bit more of their personalities, and I am so excited about that! This month we have been studying about the most important events that have ever happened in the world – the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and hs Great Commission to us! It has been exciting this month to ask questions about Jesus and get spirited responses of the right answers! Last week, our kids wrote cards to friends they have inviting them to come to Bible class with them and telling them that Jesus loves them. 🙂
We also started a new component of the Brilla ministry this month in hopes of creating a well-rounded ministry that reaches beyond Sunday mornings. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week we are having a free tutoring program at the church building! Children bring their homework to work on here, and if they do not have any, we print activities and worksheets for their grade level. Many parents have been bringing their children just to practice English with us since we are native speakers, and there are lots of fun ways to practice a new language! So far, we have had students from ages 5-20.
This activity was created with three purposes. The first is as a service to the community around us. We are always looking for new ways to become integrated into the community more, and of course to serve in practical ways that are really helpful to our neighbors! We love them and want them to know it.
The second outcome is that we are making new contacts with brand new families that live nearby who have never been to our building before. Sometimes it can be scary to go to a new place, so perhaps bringing your child to tutoring is a comfortable place to start. Possibly in the future we will be seeing more of these families at other activities, studies, or services.
The third goal of the Tutoria is to advertise our Brilla ministry and invite new people to be a part of it. We are planning more events later in the year and hope that these same families will come back over and over again so we can really get to know them and their children, build a relationship, and grow the church.
In July when the tutoring is over and there is a break from school, we will be having a field trip fun day somewhere near Cusco, and we will be inviting these parents to lend their children to us for the day just to have fun! I think they will appreciate the day off! In August after all of that, we will start a new small group for children centered around teaching values and moral lessons, which is attractive for both religious and non-religious people in Cusco. I hope that this month is the beginning of some long relationships with new families in the city!
IN OTHER NEWS
We had a baptism at the church last week! Ricardo decided to obey the Word and give his life to the One who created it. I have been so happy to see him at our church services the last several weeks, and now I am even more happy because he is my brother! We also had a brother who was restored to health (spiritual and physical) after falling back into his past addiction to alcohol. After he was released from the hospital, he made a public confession to his brothers and sisters in the church, and this transparency and his obvious desire to be cleansed of this struggle and to lean on his Christian family made a huge impact on both the members and visitors at the church that morning!
Another exciting thing that’s happened recently is we have two new sweet babies to love in our family here! I am so happy to know that they will be raised in Christian homes because of the work God has done on their parents!
This month I was also presented with an interesting opportunity to teach some English classes for two weeks after a professor suddenly quit her job at a local English Institute. I had four different classes five days a week. While this was a really tiring two weeks on top of everything else, I enjoyed it and met some new people, which is a key to mission work anywhere.
We also enjoyed a Harry Potter-themed young adults event and talked about being “chosen.” There were about 40 people in attendance, many of
which were visitors!
This month I have really felt a lot of improvement in my communication and understanding in Spanish! Learning past and future tenses and pronouns has really helped! This week, I started with the Intermediate II book in my classes. The pictures on the left are of a free day I took to visit Rainbow Mountain with a couple of friends. The elevation there is 16,500 feet! That makes for a difficult, but very gorgeous, hike. A favorite part of every week are the two small groups I am a part of – the “jovenes,” or young people, and another small group of women that meets on Thursdays. These are always great times to receive spiritual nourishment myself as well as spending some time in fellowship with my brothers and sisters here!
Here are some specific prayer requests I would love for you to keep in mind this month! 1) Our 2 new babies, new brother, and restored brother 2) Evangelistic growth of the small groups 3) Family contacts we are making from the Tutoria 4) Growth of leaders in the different ministries of the church