Recent Posts

May 12, 2010

Open Minds, Busy Hands

We began our first full week of program activities with lectures on modern political events and the reality of life in the new settlements that surround Lima.  We participated in a workshop on medicinal herbs, a time of reflection and worship at Goshen Tambo and language classes in the afternoons.  Then we headed south for a two-day visit to the southern cone.  The trip included a tour of a church and school founded by Dario Lopez — theologian, pastor and author — who returned to Villa Maria after studying in the U.K. and teaching in the U.S. to help bring…

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May 8, 2010


What is the best way to learn a new language?  Living in a Spanish-speaking country gives our students opportunities to learn that go far beyond the classroom.  But class time is important nonetheless when students first arrive as it offers each student a chance to study Castellano, as the local dialect is called, under the guidance of trained professionals.  This semester we are pleased to welcome three new instructors — Irene, Moises and Biviana — who come to us with specialized training teaching Spanish as a second language and many years of experience.  They are adept at developing their own…

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May 3, 2010

We boarded a bus for downtown Lima to explore the city founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535.  Celia, a lifetime resident of Peru’s capital, pointed out landmarks along the way, helping the students get a sense of the geography of the city.  Our driver, Juanito, skillfully steered our bus up the narrow road to Cerro San Cristobal, a hill overlooking the metropolitan area, so that the students could gain an appreciation of the immensity of this metropolis.  Then we descended to the colonial area downtown for a tour of San Francisco Cathedral and the Plaza de Armas with…

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May 2, 2010


We spent two days getting to know each other, our study program and our coordinators.  On day one we began with a walk from Home Peru to the directors’ home, Goshen Tambo.  When we arrived we did our first check in, giving each student a chance to share whatever happened to be on their heart at that moment.  Some were nervous about meeting host families and speaking in Spanish.  Others were surprised how similar Lima seems to the cities they know in North America.  All were excited to wake up in a new country and have an opportunity to experience…

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May 1, 2010

This evening our students greeted their host families for the first time.   Each seemed excited and a bit nervous as they waited near the entrance to our hostel.  One by one, families appeared.  Connections were made.  Handshakes, hugs and kisses were exchanged.  Photos were taken.  A hasty goodbye was said to the remaining students.  And then each one stepped out into the warm evening air with their new mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts…

April 29, 2010


Twenty-one fresh faces landed at Jorge Chavez Airport in Peru’s capital city this evening.  After making record time through immigration and customs, they boarded a bus for Home Peru, the hostel where they will spend the next two nights.  Over the next several days they will have a chance to get their bearings here in Lima.  Welcome aboard!

April 27, 2010

Leaders and Families

Jerrell and Jane Ross Richer will direct the Peru SST group for their fourth and final semester this summer.  Jerrell, Jane and their children — Sierra (11), Naomi (9), Teresa (7) and Jordan (5) — are anxiously awaiting the students’ arrival  Wednesday night. In preparation for their arrival, the Lima host families met with the directors and coordinators on Monday evening at our new location:  the Methodist Church of Miraflores. Celia Vasquez is serving as Study Coordinator this semester, organizing the lectures, scheduling the workshops and coordinating family stays in Lima.  Willy Villavicencio is the Service Coordinator, planning our learning…

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April 8, 2010


Nine of the students in our group traveled to Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima Tuesday evening to board a jet bound for North America.  The others will spend another week or two traveling in Peru before they return home.  Our goodbyes were filled with smiles and tears as we parted ways, at least for a time.  Until we meet again, farewell!

April 7, 2010

By Joshua Delp It is still before dawn.  But in the growing half light, I can begin to make out shapes undreamed.  On either side of the road that’s been running downward since before I was awake and before I was asleep there now appear, with increasing reality, svelte mellow mound shapes.  When the bus rests at a cross light, an untended mini-shack offers café and none of the platos tipicos. It’s sooner than I thought for this realization.  But it’s also later in the morning than I expected.  And the unseen sun’s refracted glow has found a level of…

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April 7, 2010

Final Days in Peru

We finished our program back where it began three months ago — at the edge of the Pacific Ocean.  Kauai is a retreat center operated by the Biblical Union Church, a two-hour drive from Lima.  The facilities include simple accommodations, a meeting area, a pool, and the star attraction — a wide, sandy beach. We began our first day revisiting our theme of poverty and migration.  We asked each student to describe the particular problem that his or her service organization was attempting to solve.  How were they succeeding?  How were they not?  Then we moved outside and posed another…

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