May 16, 2018
A Vibrant Sunday School Outreach in Iquitos, Peru
From the Superintendent's DESK
Sam Ajayi, Director of South America Work, and his wife, Shade, have been in Peru this past week. Brother Sam sent this report of their activities:
In preparation for the upcoming Peru camp meeting, scheduled for July 29 through August 5 in Cajamarca, I met in Chiclayo with Augustin Quiroz, the Peru District Superintendent, and three pastors from the mountainous region surrounding Cajamarca. Our time together was very profitable and encouraging. The pastors were delighted to receive camp meeting flyers and some tracts to help with evangelism, and though the people here are very poor, they agreed on a plan to improve this year’s camp meeting over that of previous years.
One goal of the meeting was to foster continued unity, and it was thrilling to hear how devoted these pastors are to this faith. Another goal was to improve their understanding of the ministry. It was impressive to see how they are working to deliver the Gospel message in a way that their congregations can understand it. All of their efforts are led by Brother Augustine, whose health needs a touch from the Lord. Please remember him in prayer.
Following our meeting in Chiclayo, we went to Trujillo where we focused on distributing tracts and making new contacts.
On Sunday, Shade and I went to Iquitos where we have had an Apostolic Faith church since 2011. In recent years, the work here has metamorphosed into a vibrant Sunday school outreach with over sixty children attending during the dry season. This came about even though members of the church had to move out of the area to find work. Two factors contribute to Iquitos being isolated with limited employment opportunities. First, it is the largest city in the world unreachable by road due to the great rivers that surround it, including the sprawling Amazon. Secondly, it experiences flooding nearly every year during the rainy season. Though we regret losing some of our congregation, we are thankful for the blossoming Sunday school program.
It rained on Sunday morning, but many children came to Sunday school, accompanied by their parents and other family members. They enjoyed singing action choruses such as “I’m in the Lord’s Army,” and listening to the Bible story. They also recited their memory verses and colored pages from the lesson. Afterward, they were fed a full meal, and then Shade distributed sweets to the children and their parents in honor of Mother’s Day.
Before we closed, the children were challenged to have good attendance in Sunday school, participate fully in class, and invite their friends. They were happy to hear that meeting these challenges would result in an end-of-year reward.
Shade and I left encouraged by what we had seen at Iquitos. The dedication and consistency of Modesto Aranda, the pastor, and his wife, Clara, as well as a few others, have produced an effective outreach. We were surprised at the number of parents who sat through the Bible lesson with their children. Some even stayed afterward to share a Mother’s Day cake, and this gave us an opportunity to speak to them about salvation.
Iquitos is an area with great potential for the Gospel. As we prepare to return home, we are gladdened that the Lord is using this avenue to plant the seed of His Word in the lives of these young ones. Only God knows what the end result will be. What a thrill!
Brother Sam and Sister Shade have concluded their trip to South America and are expected home later today.