Thursday, 20 August 2015

Breaking bread with Jésus

I didn’t think it was possible to sweat so much until I went to Tarapoto!  The Methodist church only started here in the Amazon region of Peru 5 years ago, through missionaries from Brazil.  The membership is still small, but I shared in the Saturday School when 17 children poured into the small room they use as a church, as well as some mums and babies.  

In the evening, we met with some of the leaders.  New Christians with no training and little Biblical knowledge, but with hearts on fire for spreading the good news of salvation.

After sharing their hopes and dreams - we gathered around a table and shared a simple meal, literally just bread, a cup of hot water and, for me, a camomile teabag.  There was a tremendous feeling of equality, sitting round the table, talking about issues of faith and life.  There was no pretence, or status, it was very ‘real’.  We even discussed the Falklands!  For me, this was a profoundly moving experience of what it must have been like to be part of the early church.  

Next to me was Jésus and his wife Rosa. Then there was Luis, a dentist, who had just operated on an HIV patient that no one else would treat.

Another Rosa was on my other side, with her big laugh, and great sense of humour, even if I couldn’t understand what she was saying.  At the other end was Victor, the pastor, and his lovely wife Angela, who are expecting a baby in four months. Their commitment to growing the church in this very poor area, among people who are mainly migrants with no regular income, and the way I witnessed them empowering women to speak, was heart-warming and humbling. 
Here is Pastor Victor with his motor bike, outside the church which is also his home - please pray for Victor and Angela, and the wonderful disciples of Christ I met in Tarapoto.


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