“The Lord’s work is one of great responsibility and being careful with the blessings that come,” says a church leader from a flooded region in Peru.
With 11 churches a region affected by extreme rains and flooding, the Conferencia Peruana Hermanos Menonitas (CPHM) responded with assistance from Mennonite Central Committee, MB Mission, Mennonite World Conference (MWC) and International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB).
“Far more than providing material aid, what sisters and brothers from abroad have done is to communicate that they care,” says MWC regional representative Pablo Stucky. A Deacons delegation from Mennonite World Conference visited the Piura province 8–15 October 2017 to walk with the church, listen to stories, pray and show that the global church family’s concern.
“We saw repairs at work and fields replanted. But we also saw the great symbolic importance of the sharing,” says Stucky. “As men expressed their gratitude, their eyes filled with tears and they became choked up.”
Faustina Valencia (blue shirt), a member of Iglesia Hermanos Menonitas Nuevo Paraíso (New Paradise Mennonite Brethren church) who was suffering with breast cancer, had her house washed away. Yet, the day the delegation met in her village with the local congregation, she offered food in her home.
“I wondered how in such poverty she was managing the expenses of her treatment and rebuilding of her house,” says Elisabeth Kunjam, member of MWC Deacons Commission. “In such scarcity she offered to cook for us. I remember struggling to hide my face to dry my watery eyes. To me that was true hospitality because hospitality involves sacrifice.”
“[The Lord’s work] calls for living a life which gives good testimony and it calls for sharing of what we have with those that have not,” says a church leader. At Iglesia Jesuchristo Es El Camino (Jesus Christ is the Way church) in Vachayal, member Karina Falla Chunga of had no resources to rebuild her home. The church is working to aid the widow and mother in rebuilding her house.
Reflecting on Psalm 13, Fany García García from Iglesia Jesus es el Camino la Verdad y la Vida (Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life church) in Sullana, wrote this personal psalm about finding strength in God:
Lord, hear my plea.
Señor, escucha mi clamor
My soul is afflicted.
Mi alma esta afligida
My God, have mercy on me.
Mi Dios, ten Misericordia de mi.
I have placed my hope in you;
En ti he puesto toda mi esperanza.
I will praise you,
—Mennonite World Conference release
Elisabeth Kunjam (Deacons Commission, India)
Pablo Stucky (Regional Repesentative, Colombia)
Antony Sanchez (MCC response project coordinator, Colombia)
Henk Stenvers (Deacons Commission secretary, The Netherlands)
Joanna Chapa (MB Mission, USA)
Rosalí Atarama (Iglesia Cristiana Hermanos Menonitas de Miraflores, Peru)