I am writing from Peru where I have been for the last three weeks. This has been the year for Peru. This is my fourth trip and there will be one more – in November.
When I return to Vermont on August 8 I shall have nearly four weeks left as part- time interim in Cambridge, NY. In September I shall retire again to the back of the church where I shall enjoy the ministry of others.
This year I have visited Lima in January, March and June. Last month we had an amazing Bible School at San Mateo school. We simply inserted it into the daily curriculum from 10:00am – 1:00 pm. I led the opening and closing sessions in some very iffy Spanish. The teachers taught their own classes a bible lesson for which we had prepared them the month before. The team from Grace Anglican Church, Fleming Island, FL, led the activities and supplied all the resources. The results have been amazing as “God showed up!”
This month I am exploring the possibilities for rebuilding two of our largest schools. One in Lima and the other in Arequipa. I am accompanied by an energetic young architect – Kyle Murphy. He has established a small NGO to design and help build new community structures that serve the poor in countries such as Peru.
What has been happening in Peru?
A year ago Peru consecrated three more bishops. Bishop Godfrey announced his retirement and departed in April for England where he is happily in charge of a historic church in Yorkshire. Bishop Jorge Aguilar was elected and seated as Diocesan Bishop in April. The country is now divided into missionary areas – with assistant bishops and “vicarios” in charge. Each of these is different and looking to grow by planting churches.
My recent role has been to improve and develop the North American partnerships. These relationships have been most effective in developing shared ministry and creating church structures that have been beyond the resources of the Peruvians. The partner churches and Dioceses do not really know the new leadership and so new trust and confidence need to be developed.
In November I shall return to Peru, with Polly, to take the essentially British services for Remembrance Day. There is no English speaking priest at the Cathedral, so I am filling in. This service is probably the most important in the year in the mind of the British and International community.
Next year, I will join the non-profit “Amigos del Peru” in seeking to hold a US conference in May 2017 where the Peruvian leadership can meet their historic Episcopal/Anglican partners in ministry. Such a meeting will require a great deal of organization—think visas, finances, and venue. Please pray for this to happen and that the right people will be able to come. When I return to the USA, I shall begin in earnest to work to put this together coordinating with ex-missionaries, partner parishes and Dioceses.
Please pray on with me as these are exciting times. God is at work – bless you for sharing in this ministry through prayer and financial support. Together we make a strong team. Ian
Thank you so much for sharing in the Peru
ministry last month. It was a good and fruitful time, though at times difficult.
The original plan was to celebrate Bishop Bill’s retirement and the consecration of two more Peruvian bishops. Neither happened as the plan to become a Province of the Anglican Communion was derailed. Bishop Bill has been asked to stay until the end of April and no bishops are scheduled to be consecrated. Quite how the future will unfold is unclear. My hunch is that there will be a bishop elected to become diocesan and then, after Bishop Bill returns to England, the development of Peru will continue.
There was much disappointment, indeed some fears for the future. I joined John and Susan Park – veteran SAMS missionaries and a team of three from the Diocese of Worcester, England, – including the Rt. Rev. Graham Usher, Bishop of Dudley. We met and planned how we could help after the transition. While there, we all sought to exercise a ministry of encouragement and hope. Susan Park went to Arequipa, I went to Huancayo and Bishop Usher met with the new bishops.
I also spent time in San Mateo, Lima, where we sought solutions to their water problems – intermittent delivery and hugely polluted. Thanks be to God there are some solutions in sight thanks to a companion parish and “Living Waters for the World.” The school has huge needs – does anyone have a 16 camera security system the state is now mandating?
In Huancayo there are four clergy –all tent making so as to serve as priests and missionaries. There is one new candidate for ordination. They are under the leadership of Vicario Carlos Quispe. There are four missions and all are in rented property. The clergy there were despondent having just had two of their community depart for another denomination. They are dedicated and know how to reach into the communities across the valley from Jauja to Huancayo.
I am returning in March with a small team. Louie Midura is coming from my own parish and three or four will come from Grace Anglican in Florida. The goal is to introduce them to what God is doing at San Mateo in Lima and to give them a first look at Huancayo. Grace Anglican is sending a team in late July. This trip will give them a vision for Huancayo.
I want to give thanks for the success of the January trip. I had no altitude problems, my Spanish became fluent if imperfect and all travel was easy. Please pray for the same in March.
In late February I head to Florida to be with Grace Anglican and then on to a SOMA board meeting. In April I shall be at the New Wineskins conference in North Carolina, preceded by the SAMS missionary retreat where I am to lead worship.
Thanks for your continued support. As ever, we need financial support as well as lots of prayers. We are a team – senders and sent. Bless you all,
The pass over the mountains is over 13,500 feet.
These water tanks need to be placed up on the fifth floor so as to feed the bathrooms. San Mateo needs a pump and plumbing to raise the water to that level.
The tanks seen from above –the area with the three small toilets will possibly be where we can house the purification equipment.
The new tiled floor in the chapel of San Mateo – the altar area is now roofed.
The new bathrooms – thanks be to Grace Anglican Church, Fleming Island, Florida.
Fr. Dimas is the parish priest and Rusty Edmunson is a Presbyterian missionary and works with Living Waters for the World. Behind is the square in San Juan de Lurigancho.
This woman is carving gourds
In one of the outlying farming communities – where Fr. Ricardo has family– we found an ongoing New Year set of festivities.
These masks represent the old men and young men of the Inca era. They dance and shuffle accordingly, snap their whips and entrance the crowd.
One of Fr. Ricardo’s uncles
A village view from a shrine – they are a very traditional Roman Catholic area.
This view is from a huge statue of the Virgin Mary at the village of Concepción
One of our store front missions – this one is in Huancayo and led by Fr. Pancho and his wife Elida.
Fr. Ricardo introduced me to his Tia Abuela – grand uncle. He was dancing though not in costume.
The BVM is about 75 feet tall and dominates the valley.
I loved this bridge as we headed up into the mountains.
Fr. James and his wife and children – he is at Justo Juez in Jauja at the other end of the long valley leading to Huancay. Jauja has the local airport.
From the main road – there were snow capped mountains to the north. This is mid summer!
The square in San Jeronimo, where we have our newest parish and mission center for the Huancayo area.
At San Jeronimo we renewed our Baptismal vows – Fr. Ricardo is passing out the candles.
Celebrating the baptism of Jesus
Vicario Carlos and the music leader at Justo Juez
With Carlos at San Jeronimo
The whole valley was one huge lake eons ago. This remains.
This has been another year of fruit-bearing ministry, both at home and overseas. Thank you so much for your prayer and financial support.
This last year had a very busy beginning. I was in Peru twice working with a team from Grace Anglican Church, Fleming Island, FL. Over the last three years we have been developing relationships with Peruvian Anglicans and have built a new chapel adjacent to San Mateo Anglican school in Lima.
In September, Polly and I went to Madagascar on mission with SOMA. I led a small team of five in the dioceses of Fianarantsoa and Toliara. I taught and Polly was the intercessor. The first clergy conference went well. The second, a men’s conference, ended after a day and a half with the death of a young participant. He was thirty and had a heart attack on the soccer field. This trip was hit with “attack.” The national airline canceled lots of flights, and we had significant illness among the team. We came home very much the worse for wear, however, we saw some effective ministry and the positive effect of your prayers.
2016 begins with a January trip to Peru. Our goals are: first to visit a new missionary area – Huancayo up in the Andes (altitude nearly 11,000 feet) – and second, to work with the new Peruvian bishops and clergy as they transition to Bishop Godfrey’s retirement later this year.
In late February, I have a SOMA board meeting in Jacksonville, FL, followed by a March trip to Peru with leaders from Grace Anglican who will survey ministry opportunities for their ongoing relationships in Lima and Huancayo.
In April, we have the triennial SAMS missionary retreat followed by the New Wineskins Missionary conference in North Carolina.
I shall be in Peru during late June setting up for the July team visit by Grace Anglican to Lima and Hunacayo.
In addition to all of this, I am functioning as the main supply priest at St. Luke’s, Cambridge, NY. This is a fulfilling ministry, but I ask you to pray that they may find a long term priest soon.
My passion continues to be clergy development and encouragement. This call of God on my life is an amazing gift in retirement.
God has blessed us greatly with your friendship, prayers and support.THANK YOU.This has been a busy year past and will be a busy year ahead.God has blessed us with a retirement from Heaven.
Polly is ever more involved with the local community.Apart from volunteering at the local thrift shop, primary school and our Church ministry, she now chairs the “Friends” of the local library.When the ground is not covered with snow, she is busy in the garden. Winter provides lots of time to cook, read and write while I am traveling.We minister together at the healing services at the Spiritual Life Center of the Diocese of Albany.
Last August, Polly was the featured speaker for Mothers’ Union of the Women of the Diocese of Toliara, Madagascar, where she ministered with the Rt. Rev. Todd and the Rev. Patsy MacGregor. She did really well, using a hands-on booklet of felt squares for evangelism andwitness.
The climax of 2014 was a gala event to celebrate my 70th birthday.Family came from England, California, Ohio, Maryland and New York.What fun.I do not feel that old, and someone said that 70 is the new 50.We shall see.
In October I was surprised to be invited by Bishop Bill Love of Albany to be the interim priest in Cambridge, NY, which is only 8 miles from the diocesan Spiritual Life Center where Polly and I are members of the healing ministry.What a joy it is to serve St. Luke’s, Cambridge, on a part time basis.They are a small congregation and yet very much alive and spiritually energetic.They were thrilled to balance this ministry with my travel for SAMS and SOMA.Indeed one of the wardens, and family, was with us on a visit to Peru a few years ago.We are there forSundays and then later in the mid week.
I have continued my ministry with SOMA and with SAMS.SOMA sent me to Myanmar and Kenya.With SAMS I was in Madagascar, Peru twice and spent some personal ministry time in Kenya with my old Diocese.While in Myanmar I was able to spend a morning (just short ride from Mandalay where I was speaking) discovering where my mother was born a hundred years before – very moving to visit the church and see the font where she was baptized in January 1915.I continue to serve on the board of SOMA-USA which is a delight.
This coming year looks busy.The SOMA board meets in early February, then Polly and I will spend St. Patrick’s Day in Northern Ireland as representatives of the Diocese of Albany. We then go on to a family wedding in England at the end of March.May and June will hold two trips to Peru, the first for preparation for the June visit, and then mission work with the team from New Grace Anglican Church, Jacksonville, FL.In July, Polly and I return to Madagascar where SOMA will lead a men’s conference, and I have been asked to lead that team.We will probably combine Madagascar with a mission to Kenya so as to make sense of an expensive airfare.
We have our health and strength – God is so good.Thank you and bless you for your being so much a part of this exciting and fruitful time in our lives.
To those of you who have given financially, and I know sacrificially – a special thank you.The need continues as these trips to the far side of the world are getting expensive.SAMS handles all our ministry funding, including SOMA ministry. I have now led three SOMA teams, each on a different continent and with team members from different cultures.It is challenging and exhilarating as we seek to listen to God and minister accordingly.Without your support, daily prayers and passion for this ministry, God’s Kingdom would be diminished.THANK YOU and BLESS YOU.
Dr. Glenn Petta (national director of SOMA-USA) invited me to join a SOMA team to Honduras.
Bishop Lloyd Allen
On October 23rd, I headed down to San Pedro Sula in Honduras. The other team members joining me were Edwina Thomas, our leader, and Mary Anne Weisinger. Both are from Texas. We prepared for an Episcopal clergy conference for the Diocese of Honduras at the invitation of Bishop Lloyd Allen.
After a week with the clergy, we moved on to the Cathedral for a day and a half of renewal meetings with clergy and laity.
With (left to right) Mary Anne, Bishop Allen and Edwina
I gave four expositions – one each morning. 1 Peter 2:1-12. We began with the focus on being living stones being built into God’s Temple, a royal nation and a holy priesthood – once no people but now God’s people.
Bishop Allen interpreted for me – while my Spanish was OK for all else, I wanted to be sure that the talks were not hindered by my lack of skill.
1 Cor. 2:4 and 5. “My speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” The title was, “The power of the Spirit and the humility of the servant.”
Bishop Lloyd Allen has been Bishop for over twelve years. He loves his clergy and is loved and respected by them.
Luke 3:21-22. The question was why Jesus needed a special anointing of the Holy Spirit.
The exposition then continued to the end of the gospels where Jesus says wait for the promised Holy Spirit. We looked at John 20:21 and 22. “Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
We continued into Acts 1 and 2– the great commission then followed by Pentecost Day.
Luke 6:17-26. The focus was Luke 6:19 “And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.” The critical words being “power came out from Him.”
Worship was lively and energetic
Most of the Honduras clergy
Cathedral renewal meetings.
Catedral Buen Pastor, San Pedro Sula
At the Cathedral we had three sessions – two of these were led by Honduran seminarians under our coaching. Edwina presented the last talk. The talks were (in order) – Salvation and God’s love, the Anointing of the Holy Spirit and, Living the Transformed Life.
Worship at the Cathedral
I preached on Sunday was based upon Luke 6:19 – power came out from him and healed them all – which is the verse that precedes the All Saints Gospel reading.
After the sermon on Sunday
The time in Honduras was hugely energizing for me. My Spanish returned sufficiently, for which I was most grateful. I asked Bishop Allen to interpret the talks as I wanted to be sure that the people heard exactly what I was saying. We got into a great rhythm. He is such a Godly man and a superb leader.
The clergy arrived at the conference tired and in need of rest and affirmation. By the time the conference was over they were transformed and renewed. Some asked for confession and some, spiritual direction. We were able to train some to give presentations that are part of the “Life in the Spirit” weekends. We had a number of group sessions – affirmation, silent prayers of blessing, and prayer ministry.
Thank you for the prayers and financial support that made it possible for me to participate in this trip.
I have been praying about how to be supportive of clergy and missionaries. Working with SOMA is a means to do so as well as a way to serve the larger Anglican community.