Tuesday, September 08, 2009
PADRE MISAEL AND CLAUDIA TO GO TO ICA
Padre Misael and Claudia Varillas are being sent to Ica to develop mission work in what will become eventually a new diocese. They have responded to God's call and after more than ten years in charge of Cristo Redentor in south Lima will soon be on their way to take up this exciting challenge.
They stand out for me as the right people to send, because of their faithfulness to the Lord and his Church and their experience. They love the Lord, the Gospel and his Church, and their loyalty and willingness to preach and serve in loving obedience is an example. When I asked them formally if they would go, they responded with an immediate 'Yes' and thanked me for the privilege!
It is our intention is to send others with them and we are praying for discernment about the right people. They will work with Padre Mike and Linda Chapman, who are coming from the Church in the USA to work in Ica and are at present doing deputation work to raise funds.
Manpower and money are two challenges which always accompany mission.... who to send and how to support them. So we praying not only for the right people to send with them, but also that dioceses, churches and individuals will be willing to commit to support them.
It is a wonderful opportunity for the Diocese too and one we want to take with both hands, giving support in every way we can - with teams going down to help, and special collections and prayer.
It is an emotional time as Padre Misael and Claudia say farewell to their two congregations, but also one of great excitement. All their children are grown up, except for Miriam who has just finished school and is beginning university, and her older brothers and sisters will have the special task of looking after her.
Our mission work began in Ica two years ago, following the devastating earth quake on August 15th. The Diocese responded by sending teams of people to help those who were so dreadfully effected. We set up soup kitchens and medical posts and stood alongside the people in their hour of need. As they saw the Anglican Church's response, they asked us to begin worship services, and eventually to stay there with them as their church. We have tried to do that, even though for the past year we have only been able to send clergy and lay ministers from Lima on a regular basis. We have known it has not been enough and that there has been the need of a permanent presence, with leadership and an ongoing commitment. Now that step is being taken and for that we thank God and offer it all to him.
Padre Misael and Claudia have been at Cristo Redentor for over ten years, to begin with as a lay minister, and the daughter church, San Pedro, which they began and built themselves, and he is also the Regional Vicar (Area Dean) of South Lima.