Juan Carlos and Penny Marces, our Church Missionary Society (CMS) mission partners based in Lima, Peru joined us on Zoom at the monthly St Mary’s Evening in June. Whilst they were both in the same Zoom meeting, geographically they were 700 miles apart from each other in Peru! Juan Carlos was in Arequipa, in the south of the county where Penny had been, too, until she had travelled back a day or so before, to Lima. In Arequipa, they had been involved in running workshops for church leaders from the region focussing on and encouraging leaders to remain faithful and authentic. Penny commented that the hymn sung at the St Mary’s Evening before Penny and Juan Carlos spoke – Great is Thy Faithfulness – is based on Jeremiah’s prayer in Lamentations 3:23 and was as encouraging as it was apt.

They were thankful for the first English speaking service to take place in Arequipa for over 20 years. This generated a lot of interest as people are keen to learn English, so the service provides an opportunity to speak and hear English! They are praying that similar English-speaking services would follow.

Looking back, Juan Carlos and Penny gave thanks and asked for prayer for their work and in particular the recent church leaders’ training events that took place in both Arequipa and Lima. Church leaders in Peru often have very limited training, as most pastor churches whilst working in another job. Time and resources for training is limited therefore, though as some of the recent training took place on a public holiday, attendance was higher on that day. They are also thankful for the provision of the Moore College (Sydney) distance learning materials for church leaders that is made available with support from St Mary’s.

Juan Carlos has recently changed roles with a new responsibility for the Church of San Juan Evangelista. This role has been time consuming initially, in ensuring the paperwork for the legal transfer of land for an annexe of the Church of San Juan Evangelista takes place. The land is in a very poor area ‘way up the hill’ but they are thankful for the completion of the land transfer and for the work that the annexe will enable.

They asked for prayer for the following:

  1. Give thanks for the workshops in Lima and Arequipa, and for both the challenges and encouragement for those attending.
  2. Give thanks for all those attending the first English-speaking service in Arequipa for many years and pray for planning of future services.
  3. Give thanks for the completion of legal paperwork for land for an annexe of San Juan Evangelista.
  4. Pray for ‘The Lord’s Treasures’ (mums-and-tots) a new initiative starting soon in Jesus el Nazareno, where Penny is based.
  5. Pray for people in the churches Juan Carlos and Penny are involved in, to love and learn God’s word.
  6. Pray for politics and the economy in Peru. The political situation is unstable with the opposition parties wanting to impeach the President; the political instability adversely affects the economy.