St. Philip’s (Frisco, Tx) mission team works in Puente Piedra

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The last week of February, a seven-member mission team from St. Philip’s (Frisco, Texas) worked at Santisima Cruz church in the Puente Piedra district of northern Lima. Long-term SAMS missionary Kathy Decker joined her sending church to work alongside Padre Benjamin Salas and his lovely wife Livia.

Walking up the hill that leads to the church.

Walking up the hill that leads to the church.

Taking advantage of the children’s summer vacation from school, the team’s central mission was a children’s program. As a testament to the community’s love for Padre Benjamin and Livia and its fond memories of  last year’s St. Philip’s team, the program was filled to capacity!

Each morning at 9:00 a.m., up to 60 neighborhood children squeezed onto wooden benches on either side of outdoor tables.

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Padre Benjamin lives in this building, and church services are held outside in this cut-out space on the hill. Here, the children are arriving for one of the morning programs.

Latecomers sat on the ground and used tarps or planks of wood for both bench and table.

Team leader Ron Whetsell took his place on the plank chairs/tables as well.

Team leader Ron Whetsell took his place on this plank chair/table as well.

Father Clay Lein, Senior Pastor of St. Philip's, enjoying one-on-one coloring time.

Father Clay Lein, Senior Pastor of St. Philip’s, enjoyed one-on-one coloring time.

In one of the Bible-related crafts, the children drew self-portraits after learning that God made each one of them unique and beautiful.

This boy is wearing a St. Philip's T-shirt that the team brought last year. He's a secon

This boy is wearing a St. Philip’s T-shirt that the team brought last year. Isn’t it wonderful to see long-term relationships being built?

Time with the children also included outdoor recreation–thankfully on a nearby plot of FLAT land–using all kinds of fun equipment.

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Team translator Draggy Petrovic’s love of volley ball showed here.

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Getting ready for the ring toss.

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The classic jump rope was a huge hit with girls and boys alike.

This little boy brought his own toy!

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And what to do with extra chalk and a cement wall? Praise graffiti, of course! So many reasons to praise God!

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Jump rope was so popular that Padre Benjamin turned it into a contest back at the church.

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And given Padre Benjamin’s musical talent, it’s no surprise that music was a part of the week as well.

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The children also learned about brushing their teeth, and they really seemed to like their gift of toothbrushes.

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He’s practicing his newly learned brushing technique.

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This girl bundled her toothbrush with her midday cookie snack!

And throughout the week, a little work was done around the church grounds.

Rocks were chipped then hauled away from a small hill that needs to be cleared.

Rocks were chipped then hauled away from a small hill that needs to be cleared.

The men relax around stairs they replaced and the new, more secure path down the hill.

The men relax around stairs they replaced and the new, more secure path down the hill.

St. Philip’s is dedicated to partnering with Santisima Cruz in the years to come. It shares Padre Benjamin’s vision of a property made secure by necessary retaining walls, followed by a chapel. And it hopes to build lasting relationships–and to continue to share Jesus’ love–with  the children of Puente Piedra and all the community that surrounds Santisima Cruz.

Some of the mission team with their new friends.

Some of the mission team with their Peru friends.

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Even one of the town’s cats seems to have found the week peaceful.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “St. Philip’s (Frisco, Tx) mission team works in Puente Piedra

  1. Vicki Robertson

    A joyful blessing for all! Thx, for sharing, Kathy.

  2. Robert

    Awesome! It’s great to see the kiddos a year older!

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