May 8, 2019
Sunday School Grows in Iquitos, Peru
From the Superintendent's DESK
Before leaving Peru, Sam Ajayi, Director of South America Work, and his wife Shade, visited our church in Punchana, Iquitos, for Sunday services. They sent this report of their visit.
The annual torrents of rain had come to Iquitos, and in their wake the usual flooding. Though this year the flooding was not as severe, our church was not spared. It is near where a major sewage line empties out, so consequently, the area is usually subject to flooding during the rainy season. Though the area leaves much to be desired, the people have responded very well to the Gospel, especially by sending their children to hear the Word of God in Sunday school.
As we approached the church on Sunday morning, we noticed that a higher-than-usual stilt bridge was in place. This time also the ascension point was very steep, making it a little dangerous to climb, but we made it. Inside the church, we were shown the flood line left by the now receded water. It was about two feet above the floor. The flooding prevented the placement of new tables and chairs made for the students of the expanding Sunday school program, some of whom are unable to attend during the rainy season.
We began Sunday school with the children singing choruses, and then the teacher took them through the memory verse and lesson. Later, the children eagerly sat at their assigned tables and did the coloring exercise of the lesson.
The teachers have been using only the Primary Pals lessons, but the children have grown since our first visit, so one goal with this trip was to introduce the older students to the Answer curriculum. After the children finished their initial activities, we separated out the older students and taught them the Answer lesson titled, “Gift to God” taken from the “Respect for Things Holy” quarter. They took turns reading the lesson’s story, and then were asked the discussion questions. It was emphasized that we must have respect for holy things, esteeming them. Also, that we must make a commitment to serve God, attend Sunday school, and follow the ways of God. The only sure way to do this is to give our hearts to Him. The students were excited about the new curriculum and responded very well to the lesson. We closed with a time of prayer, and then they were each given a snack before heading home.
In the evening, we had a short meeting with the adults about the schedule. It was decided that the Sunday services will concentrate on Sunday school for the children in the morning and adults in the evening. The weeknight services will center on prayer and some Bible studies.
Our meeting was followed by Sunday school for the adults, focusing on Search lesson 140 with the topic of “Consecration.” The lesson story of David offering a sacrifice was one that everyone could relate to. We had a very lively discussion about how we need to emulate David by making our life a “living sacrifice” unto God. We were admonished that we cannot be a truly successful Christian unless we yield our lives to God daily; following Him with purpose, obedience, determination, and commitment.
Iquitos has a lot of potential. We pray that the Lord will help us to nurture the opportunity there and raise up people for the Kingdom of God.