Monday, May 28, 2007

On the Street on Pentecost Day

On Pentecost Day the Bishop visited two missions which meet on the streets of the Independencia District of Lima. In both places Peter's words from Acts 2 were read, words first spoken on the streets of Jerusalem!
The first celebration took place outside a centre for handicapped people, "Hearts United in Solidarity and Action" and the second in a community on the edge of the city, where the road climbs into the foothills of the Andes and comes to a steep end.
Both missions are organised by the Deacon Benjamin Salas, helped by his wife Livia. Benjamin is a talented musician and leads the worship with either a guitar or key board. As the Gospel was preached, people leaned out their windows and passers by stopped to listen. There was a deep sense of relevance to be celebrating Pentecost on the streets and deeply moving experience.
After the service the Bishop discussed with community leaders how a soup kitchen might be organised and run. Many children in the area suffer from malnutrition, making them vulnerable to TB and other diseases, and less able to ope well with study.
A young teenager, Michael.,was brought to the bishop after the service. He told how he was abandoned by his parents when he was young and lives alone, doing odd jobs for people so as to receive food. He was a delightful young man and it was a heart breaking story, one to which we must respond.... how, yet, I do not know. But Jesus' words ring in my heart, "in as much as you did it to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40.

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