Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Heroes of the Faith - Juan Carlos

The Diocese is blessed to have some modern day "heroes of the faith". Juan Carlos, one of them, working in one of the poorest areas of Lima north, in St Patrick's Mission, Cerro Cachito. He leaves his work at 2.30pm and travels by public transport to be with his people - on one of those "combis" packed with people - a two or three hour journey. Then his real work begins, sharing the love and compassion of Christ in any way he can, visiting homes and running Bible study groups for the families and activities for the children.
It's a mission which lacks funds. They used to run a soup kitchen, but the support came to an end. He told me that he could feed about 70 children every day for less than US$300 per month, and asked if I could help.
Sarah Tester, a SAMS GB missionary, runs a play scheme for the children on Saturdays. There's a photo of her with some of the children on the Outreach page of the new web site. David Gonzales, one of our deacons, works there as well.
There are about 80 people in his congregation, not counting the children, all of whom live in wooden shacks and most of whom don't have enough to eat. It is an area designated by the Government for physically handicapped people, and there are a number who need wheel chairs, almost impossible to push in the sand on which the houses are built.
Besides his work in the mission, Juan Carlos is a seminarian and will finish his studies at the end of this year. He says, "I want to be a priest, but whatever happens, I will go on working with my people."
Pray for him and his future. Pray for the people of the Mission. Pray for Sarah and Deacon David. Pray for the land, that the Council will allow us to stay. And pray that the funds will come in, not only to allow us to start feeding the children again, but also to build the facilities needed to develop the mission.

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