On September 24/25 a team from Medsend visited Lima and followed Dr. Townsend and Dawn Cooper (SAMS Missionaries) as they ministered in Pachacutec, Ventanilla/Callao and then showed them the mission areas of Chancheria and Villa el Salvador, also in Lima. They were able to spend time with Erica Montoya, one of our social workers and with Fr. Carlos Quispe, Director of our NGO – Communion Peru.
The Anglican Church has two missions – San Patricio and San Marcos. We have a Priest and deacon who minister there. We have our own building at San Patricio, though the title to the land is not yet ours. San Marcos is a house church in the home of Jenny, a parishioner.
Villa el Salvador is on the other end of Lima, to the south. It is one of the earliest pueblos jovenes (shantytowns) and is now both built up and well established. We have had a church and ministry center there for many years. It is a possible site for a medical ministry center.
We met there with a family whose two-year old daughter was thought to be autistic – and thus would be put into the shadows for the rest of her life. Dr. Townsend diagnosed her as deaf and therefore uncommunicative. Miraculously a new parishioner at the cathedral had spoken with Fr. Ian Montgomery. This visitor has a hearing aid business. Fr. Ian was able to put him in touch with Dr. Townsend. We now have hearing aids on the way and the improvement is dramatic – God is so good! There are no co-incidences.
Chancheria is an extension of an area in Pamplona Alta where the valley ends.
It is where pigs are farmed. It sits next to a huge graveyard where the graves are only about eighteen inches deep due to the rocky ground. There is no sewage, no water and toxic dust. It is again home to thousands.
The MedSend team were very taken by the seamless integration of Gospel and social outreach. We are not compartmentalized in our ministry as we are one Church seeking to minister to the whole person. We seek to bring Jesus to people and people to Jesus with that combination of St. James. Jesus is in our words as well as our actions.
St James reminds us:
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:22-27 ESV