Monday, 14 September 2015

John Wesley is alive and well and living in Peru

Methodist School in Piura
One of the most surprising, and inspiring, aspects of my visit to the Methodist Church in Peru was to discover how John Wesley is continuing to win souls for Christ!  In the new mission churches, they know all about John Wesley’s experience of God’s saving love, when his heart was ‘strangely warmed’.  A passion for Jesus, the Bible, and social holiness is at the heart of these new Christians as they strive to be true to John Wesley's teaching.

  • ‘The church doesn’t teach a religion but a relationship with the living God.’
  • ‘We teach Wesley’s sermons … that every Christian who really desires to follow Jesus should love God above all things and love their neighbour as themselves. We cannot say we love God but turn our backs on the needs of the people, our neighbours, those that we see each day.’
  • ‘Learning God’s word is the most important thing for us and our world.’
  • ‘The challenge is training and equipping leaders in the local church from childhood. Leaders who know deeply the word of God, have spiritual discernment, and who have a personal relationship with Christ.’

It was quite a shock to find John Wesley looking down at me from the wall of the school hall in Callao High School. On the wall to the left you can see a board giving his story.

The school vision statement begins (roughly!), 'In our community we practice the teaching of John Wesley, transformative and healing....' 

Alongside it is Wesley's admonition to parents and teachers not to punish children, but to use persuasion tactics instead.

Colegio Americano

'Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.' Revd John Wesley.

In Colegio Maria Alvrado, Lima, there is a plaque in gratitude to God for the 250th anniversary of the first Methodist School, founded by John Wesley in Kingswood,  in 1748.

At Colegio America La Victoria, in Lima, the students gave me a wonderful presentation, in English, about the history of their school. It began with the story of John Wesley (you can just see him on the screen behind).
I couldn't help but feel that we in the Methodist Church in Britain have missed something crucial which we need to rediscover at the heart of our faith.



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