Members made their way to Christ Church Strabane for the annual Overseas meeting of the Derry and Raphoe Mothers’ Union. For those who had never visited before, they were amazed at the beautiful architecture of the church and richly coloured windows with the evening sunshine streaming through.
Quoting John 10 v 10 ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’, Rev’d Mark Lennox spoke about the life changing 10 day mission he and 9 young volunteers from Christ Church embarked on to Lima in Peru. Rev’d Mark explained that he was an evangelist and felt called to serve abroad, wanting to share the Gospel of Jesus. Gathering his team of nine willing volunteers together thy organised many fund raising events to raise the £1500 – £2000 needed for each one to make the journey.
Arriving in Lima after a tiring two day journey, the group settled into the Convent run by the nuns and became familiar with the city, where the language spoken is Spanish.
Emma, one of the young volunteers explained to the members that Lima has a population of 10 million where 54% live in poverty and 33% survive on the equivalent of 64 pence each day. She told of their visit to the shanty town built in a very steep urban area. Make shift houses were constructed cheek by jowl, with no provision for running water or disposal of sewage. Rubbish littered the area and conditions were extremely primitive.
Despite this the people were happy, polite and friendly, welcoming them into their homes.
As part of their visit various projects were organised. In the area around the church local gangs roam around, drug taking is rife and graffiti is regularly painted on the walls of the church. The team set to work painting the walls and what a transformation when it was completed. Rev’d Mark suggested they walk up and down outside the church praying that the building remained free from graffiti and to date none has been repainted.
Other projects embarked upon by the team were the Holiday Bible Club for the children and the Compassion Project where the team shared their food with some of the locals.
Sunday worship was held in the local Anglican Church where the structure of the service is very similar to our own. Services last for about 3 hours and sermons can last over 1 hour! The people love their church and attendances are high. They are charismatic and worship God with their whole bodies, dancing and singing and playing musical instruments. The whole team found the prayers for each other very moving and powerful and they shared wonderful experiences together.
In conclusion Rev’d Mark asked for the prayers of Mothers’ Union members for Pastor Anderson and the church and communities in Lima and the work he does in that area.
Following a beautiful supper prepared by the ladies of Christ Church, Mrs Kay Clarke presented Certificates to each branch in recognition and thanks for their contributions to the Overseas Fund. These were very well received by the members.