November 18, 2013

South America – Lima and La Paz Ecclesias

Audience in attendance at the advertised special lecture on "What must I do to be saved?"
Audience in attendance at the advertised special lecture on “What must I do to be saved?”

Bro. Don Luff shares with us that it was a pleasure to visit the ecclesias in Lima, Peru and La Paz, Bolivia again.  During the final days of June, he received a warm welcome by the members in Lima.  Two advertised public lectures were held at which 4 and 3 visitors attended respectively.  The topics were “How to Handle the Bible” and “The Gospel of Prosperity – for the love of neighbor or the love of money?” There was participation during both sessions by helping read the quotes – one woman in particular asked some very searching questions, indicating the Bible’s message really had an impact.  On Monday July 1, Brothers César and Flavio took him on a tour of parts of the city of Lima, and the three of them had a very pleasant time together.  A new bus system (some underground) has certainly improved transportation in this capital. At one point, they went through a Catholic museum and Cathedral– a shocking experience really!

We’ve been on museum tours before, but this tour was certainly different.  One large room was dedicated to full-sized displays of many torture methods used during the Inquisition.  They were also taken down to the catacombs well below the main floor of the Cathedral – not a pleasant journey!  From these two experiences the phrase in Jeremiah and the Revelation, “Come out of her, my people” has real meaning.

More of the audience at the lecture
More of the audience at the lecture

In La Paz, the attendance at advertised public lectures is usually high – between 20 to 40.  Five thousand flyers were distributed by members in high-density pedestrian areas of La Paz in the matter of a few hours, for a special lecture held on July 4th.  A colorful banner was also hung in front of the ecclesial hall a week prior to the lecture.  One sister phoned a number of contacts and most of the visitors attended due to this personal invitation. We were thrilled to see 27 regulars and first-time people came out to listen to the topic – “What Must I do to be saved?”   The audience participation by helping with Bible readings and answers to questions was quite good.  Many visitors arrived before the start time of 7:30 and stayed until 10 p.m.

A notice board in the heart of La Paz “El Prado”
A notice board in the heart of La Paz “El Prado”

Brother Shimon and Sister Joanna Spina from Australia arrived on April 15th, the replacement missionary couple in La Paz for Brother Paul and Sister Naomi Osborn, who have returned to North America.  The Spinas and their daughter Dallas and son Zander are facing the challenges of learning Spanish and adjusting to a different culture.  The time we spent with the ecclesia bill pushing, at the Breaking of Bread and studying together was indeed heartwarming.  The fellowship shared in both countries, and hospitality extended to Bro. Don by members and visitors alike provide very pleasant memories.

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