This year marked 11 years of Christ United Methodist, my home church from Jackson, Mississippi, working with Gamaliel Church in Pachacutec, Peru. After already personally seeing 6 years of partnership between the two churches, it was such a privilege to spend my 7th and potentially final year in Peru as an intern working with both churches. While my time at Gamaliel may have come to an end, it seemed to be a year of new beginnings for Christ United and Gamaliel. With a new youth minister leading the team from Jackson and many new and younger students joining in the partnership, this year's trip promised great things for the future.
One of the most incredible parts of working with the Jackson team this year was helping lead prayer walks and home visits. Watching high school students help lead people to Christ and invest time in new relationships was refreshing and inspiring. In one instance, we met a girl at the very end of a walk after almost deciding not to go due to lack of time. But the students on the walk were able to relate with the girl about family problems, encouraging her and sharing scripture. This experience was so rewarding not only for the girl, but for the students as well, who continue to keep up with the girl through Facebook. In another instance, a home visit in which we planned to share our faith ended in a very different fashion. A woman named Nanci, who was born blind, shared her incredible story of faith with us, teaching and inspiring us much more than we could have done for her.
While it was great seeing so many new faces, it was also great to see continued growth in the relationships between CUMC students and kids from Gamaliel. For some students, this was their third or fourth year coming back to Peru, and seeing them continue to serve year after year gives me much confidence in the future of the partnership between Christ United Methodist and Gamaliel. Pastor Sergio from Gamaliel Church shared his future plans with us to build more classrooms on multiple floors and to build a soccer field. I know that even though I may not be returning next year, that the relationships there, as well as the construction projects, will continue to grow and shine light on both the community of Pachacutec and the students of the church from Jackson.
- H.F., intern
We have had the privilege of serving in Peru since 2003. We partner with four different ministries throughout Peru: two in the Lima area, one in the Andes mountains, and one in the Amazon jungle.