July 14, 2008
Chincha Alta, south of Lima
Everyone refers to the town of Chincha Alta as the earthquake region, because it´s the area hardest hit by the big quake last fall. It was my first visit there, so I couldn´t make a comparison to how things used to be, but the buildings in the main square had some very severe cracks running top to bottom down their walls. We had a super time with the kids here, though.
The pastor here, Sister Flor, is just phenomenal. She is a single woman, probably in her 30´s or early 40´s, who obviously has a heart for her people. She is taking classes to better herself, in English and theology, I think. She has a strong children´s program in place in a community that is quite sad.
When we arrived for the service, they cranked up the music on the sound system inside the church and started calling on the microphone for kids to come. Just like the pied piper, they responded and came pouring in from all directions. They sang and danced and listened to Mitchell´s presentation of the three Hebrew children. Such beautiful children.
We got a quick tour of their facility before leaving. It was small and simple, but very clean and well-maintained, and very welcoming to the children. Lots of colorful pictures and signs of encouragement.
It was the calm before the storm.....