LCMS World Mission Short-Term Missions Field Guide Peru
SALUDOS DESDE EL PERU! Greetings to you from Anthony DiLiberto and Jamie Endorf! We are serving as missionaries through LCMS World Mission in the beautiful, mysterious, culturally-rich country of Peru. We will be your "go-to-people" during your upcoming short-term mission trip. We hope you're as excited as we are about the amazing opportunity God is blessing you and your team with to share the love of Jesus down here in "Llama Land." In order to maximize your effectiveness as God's servant and to ensure you make the most of the adventure that's headed your way, please take a couple minutes to read this field guide we've prepared.
People You will be working with various pueblos of rural farmers in the Cañete province of Peru, 2 1/2 hours southeast of Lima. These pueblos (or "anexos" as they are referred to in the area) line the river bank of "el Rio de Cañete" which flows westward from the Highlands of Peru. These "campesinos" (country-folk) cultivate various types of grapes (which are fermented into wine or pisco) corn, and apples. Poor economic conditions and a dangerous geographical location left many in despair on August 15, 2007, when a 6.9 earthquake rocked a town about an hour south from the area. Being rural, self-subsisting communities in a developing country (52% of Peru's population is considered poor) means that “That at the name of Jesus every knee simply surviving can be a challenge. Many should bow...and every tongue confess families live in very poor conditions, some that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of without water or plumbing. They are a very God the Father.” warm and friendly people proud of both their heritage (many descend directly from the Incas) Philippians 2:10-11 and the various plants they cultivate.
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
Mission The National Lutheran Church of Peru (Iglesia Evangelica Luterana de Peru) does not have a presence in any of the areas where our work is focused currently. Our goal as a missionaries in Peru is to continue molding the relationship LCMS World Mission has established with small pueblos south of Lima that were adversely affected by the earthquake. The majority of our ministry focuses on building relationships and establishing trust with the local people. Short-Term Missions play a vital role in that effort. Not only do Short-Term Teams demonstrate the love of Jesus through acts of mercy, but they also spark interest in the Church amongst the local people, open countless doors for the proclamation of the Gospel, and play a vital role in establishing new relationships and molding already existing ones.
Language Naturally, you will want to speak to the people you serve, minister to them, and tell them about God's forgiveness in Jesus...if nothing else, let them know you can't possibly fit another bite of Cuy (guinea pig, a delicacy in the region) in your mouth! Problem is, Spanish is the only language you'll hear spoken in these parts! Language barriers can be one of the biggest challenges on a short-term trip, but please don't let the fear of misunderstanding stand in your way of spreading the love of Jesus with people that need to hear the good news of the redemption Jesus has won for us! Actions really do speak louder than words in this context. We will have some translators along for the ride during our ministry together, but it would be really helpful if you made an effort to learn some basic Spanish phrases before you hop on the plane.
Gift Giving A common reaction to seeing the poor conditions that some of the people live in is to want to give them gifts. We recognize that this is a kind, heartfelt gesture with good intentions, but before you bring or give gifts of any sort, we ask that you would check with us first. Gift giving can potentially do more harm than good. Among other things, it may 2
create dependency and/or a Santa Clause image of Americans. We don’t want the people here to merely see us as an organization that brings them material possessions, and we don’t want them to start thinking that rather than work for something or do something themselves, they can depend on the “gringos” to bring it or do it for them the next time they come. Additionally, if there aren’t enough gifts for everyone, we prefer not to hand them out because we don’t want to cause jealousy or fighting. Again, we thank you for your generous hearts, but please check with us to see what the best way to express that generosity might be.
Religious Landscape According to the 2007 census, the overall religious breakdown in Peru was: 81.3% Roman Catholic 12.5% Evangelical 3.3% Other (Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormons) 2.9% Unspecified or None It is important to note that the beliefs here are very synchronistic. The Catholics not only worship and pray to Jesus, but also to several saints, many of which are native and unique to Peru. In Lunahuana in particular, you will see that most taxis have signs on their cars saying “Guide me Lord of Cachuy.” “El Senor de Cachuy” is one of their patron saints for this region, and there are many more associated with other cities and towns in Peru. Also note that the term “evangelical” in Peru refers to a wide array of theological beliefs and doctrines. Some people classify the Jehovah’s Witnesses as evangelicals.
Lodging During the week, all Short-Term Teams stay in a modest, comfortable hotel called the Rumi Wasi (quechua for "house of stone") in the Lunahuana anexo of Cañete. LCMS World Mission has a relationship with both the owner and manager of the hotel and they offer us a reasonable rate. There is hot water, television, and laundry service available. Electricity voltage is 220. Toilets work great if you keep toilet paper out. Participants will share rooms, but not beds. Each room has 2 or 3 beds fully equipped with bed linens and pillows. Towels are provided. I would bring you're own body wash and shampoo.
Food & Water Breakfast is included in the nightly rate at the hotel. Participants will eat the majority of their meals at the hotel restaurant, with the possible exception of one or two meals with the people we are serving on a specific day. If we are offered a meal by the locals, we will make sure to communicate cooking prep. concerns This is good, and pleases God and to ensure culturally sensitive options (i.e. most locals our Savior, who wants all men to understand that us North Americans don't particularly be saved and to come to a care for Guinea Pigs.). Tap water is not safe to drink, but knowledge of the truth. large amounts of bottled water will be available for less 1 Timothy 2:3-4 than US $ .50/ bottle. 3
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. “ 1 Peter 5:10
Dress Team members can wear jeans and a short sleeve t-shirt during the clinics, at the hotel, and while on our city tour. Please be mindful that we will be serving among people that don't have too many material belongings (i.e. don't wear your nicest clothing and leave your jewelry behind). We will not be attending any formal activities or church services, so don't worry about packing slacks or a dress unless you would like to look nice for our last dinner together in Lima. Make sure to toss a bathing suit in your bag because the hotel has a pool and offers water rafting on the nearby river.
Sight-Seeing You have the option to tour the "hotspots" of downtown Lima and the Miraflores district on a double-decker bus. The tour lasts around 3 hours and goes to the center of Lima (La Plaza Mayor, The Cathedral and the Government Palace). Total price- US $20. After the tour, we can take a stroll through the Indian Market, where you have the opportunity to buy all the Peruvian arts, crafts, and souvenirs your heart desires. There may also be opportunities to do some-sight seeing in Lunahuana such as white water rafting, riding 4-wheelers around in the mountains, or visiting some Incan ruins. Please talk to Jamie about any specific requests you have regarding the sight-seeing you do on the trip.
Money Peru's national currency is the Nuevo Sol. On average, one US dollar is equivalent to 2.75 Nuevo Soles. You will have the opportunity to change money either at the airport or your first day in Lima.
Airport Tax Please be prepared to pay an airport tax of US $32 on your way out of the Lima. 4
Helpful Internet Resources www.godgraceandguineapigs.blogspot.com (Anthony’s blog) www.jendorf.blogspot.com (Jamie’s blog) www.katielane-faithmyeyes.blogpot.com (Katie’s blog) www.lcmsworldmission.org www.ielp.com.pe (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Peru Website) www.peru.org.pe (Prom Peru- government's tourism site) www.moon.com/peru (online travel guide) “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
Helpful Books When Helping Hurts: How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor and yourself by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert Serving With Eyes Wide Open by David A. Livermore Short-Term Missions Workbook: From Mission Tourists to Global Citizens by Tim Dearborn Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot- and Cold-Climate Cultures by Sarah A. Lanier