Today, right now, a group of 6 from Mid America Nazarene are heading back to the States after two busy, fun filled weeks of work with us here in Puno. This team came to help us strengthen our relationships with our contacts and show them the importance of community and fellowship in the body. So what did we do with this team? We planned events to get the body together, to have fun and fellowship, to show our contacts here in Puno how much we love them, how much God loves them, and how Christ formed the church and the body as a means of encouraging, teaching, supporting and loving on our brothers and sisters in Him.
So, like I said, we planned some events to get our contacts together and spend time with them. And let me tell you, Huascar showed up every time! I’m so proud of these ladies and men who are willing to set aside time to spend in the Body, to fellowship.
The first event was a field day and volleyball tournament. We had lots of ladies and kids and one man from Huascar come into the city center and play games with us all morning and then share a traditional Peruvian lunch, one of my favorite dishes, aji de gallina. We had a Huascar team play in the volleyball tournament and they lost in the first round. But, when the group of North Americans won, they gave their prizes to the Huascar team so they didn’t walk away empty handed.
The second event was a Mother’s Day celebration in the new church building that the last short term group constructed for us. This meant another trip to the center, another combi fare, another morning of putting off the daily chores until later. But, Huascar showed up again and the Mother’s were rewarded with a special gift of gratitude.
And the last big group event was the one year anniversary of the church in Salcedo that Garren and Geremias are planting. Contacts from Salcedo came to the inauguration service in Huascar a few months back and so I explained to our contacts in Huascar that it was now time for us to celebrate with them and support them. And, Huascar showed up. We filled up a combi with men, women and kids and went all the way to the other side of town to celebrate with our brothers and sisters.
God is working in Huascar! The way He is moving hearts and changing lives in this place is incredible! The physical effort these people are making to get together on Sunday afternoons or for special occasions like this is an indicator that they are beginning to put fellowship with God as a priority in their lives and that shines through in their fellowship as the Body. And that is real life change, that makes my heart leap for joy.