25 Apr 2012

April 2012 Prayer Letter

Just a quick message to let you know that our April 2012 prayer letter is now available and can be seen by clicking here.

As ever thanks for all your prayers and support.

8 Apr 2012

¡Feliz Pascua!

A very happy Easter from Peru. We hope that you've all had an incredible and blessed day and have been able to celebrate the remarkable significance of Jesus' death and resurrection for the whole world.

Peru still has a very strong Catholic heritage so Holy Week and Easter are very significant times in the calendar, marked by a number of events. Thursday and Friday were public holidays, and the streets were filled with people buying and selling special Easter biscuits, crosses made from grasses and onions, and 'espinos' - cacti which vaguely resemble crosses and which serve as a reminder of the crown of thorns. Many people will hang these over their doorways as a sign of good luck and to drive evil spirits away.

On Good Friday evening the road surface in the main square was decorated with some incredible street art (which appeared to use a mixture of dyed sand and leaves). After a mass in the Catholic church in the square, the corpse of Christ was then carried through the streets in a glass coffin, stopping occasionally to pray for the town and bless different aspects of local life.

On Holy Saturday many of the Catholic churches remain completely closed for the whole day, and in some places the corpse of Christ is displayed with black cloth as a symbol of mourning. The churches then re-opened this morning for masses of celebration and more parades and festivities.

Because of it's significance in the Catholic calendar, many of the evangelical churches here do nothing to celebrate Easter (or Christmas). At the church we attended this morning there was a brief passing reference, but nothing more. However we are very much looking forward to going up to Cusco this afternoon where there will be a special Easter service at the church our friends Scott and Anjanette Williamson have planted there.

It's at times like this that we feel a long way from home, and miss the customs and traditions that we're used to. However today also serves as a reminder of why we're here. We believe that the death and resurrection of Jesus offers hope and life in all it's fullness to the whole world, and this is the message that we hope to embody, to share and to see become a reality here in Peru.

Happy Easter, and every blessing on this special day.