After a long day of travel and another to adjust to our surroundings, we were very excited to get started ministering to the kids here in Ayacucho. This first week we were blessed to work with the children in the orphanage Casa Luz that our hosts, Pastor Jorge and Mariela, run. In the mornings, we did a variety of VBS-type activities with the kids, including songs, skits, crafts, and games. We focused these activities on the themes of the lost sheep, the sower and the seed, and God’s love and power. Each day the kids grew more animated and involved in the activities, from learning the motions to the songs to putting lots of time into the crafts!
During each of these days, we took a brief break for lunch before returning to Casa Luz to take the kids on an outing. These included trips to get ice cream, go to the park, and go to a sports complex. Almost every outing included a game of soccer, usually featuring team USA vs. team Peru (unfortunately, team USA is currently winless). These outings were great times for us to get to interact with the kids, and we all have appreciated the chance to get to know them. The love, acceptance, and joy that they have displayed have struck us all as an incredible blessing.
Besides ministering to the kids, some of us also had the opportunity to pass out meals to the homeless and elderly in the downtown area. We were able to offer a meal, a hot drink, and tract to each person. This is a ministry that takes place every Friday night, so our hosts knew many of those who were there that night, as well as regulars that weren’t there. All the people that received the food were very appreciative, and it was eye opening to encounter people who really don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
We finished up the week with a church service at our hosts’ church. A few of our team members played and sang with the band, performing songs in both English and Spanish. A few of us were also able to give our testimonies to the congregation. The service was very uplifting, and it was a great way to both end our week and prepare us for the upcoming week. The trip so far has gone very well, and we are excited to work with a different group of kids next week and paint one of the learning centers. We appreciate continued prayers for our health, safety, and ministry.