In this week’s cycle of prayer we pray for the Diocese of Peru in South America.
“The Anglican Church of Peru is a missionary diocese in South America’s third largest country. There are parishes and missions in Lima, Arequipa, Juliaca, Ica and Cabanaconde as well as numerous social outreach and development programs so desperately needed in this poor country. As a missionary diocese we still rely on support from overseas mission personnel, mission organizations, and direct support from churches and individuals.”
This is an extract from the introduction to the website of the Anglican Church of Peru. (Please have a look at it. It is very informative about their extensive work. And click on the map to zoom in to find the places mentioned.)
Both Anglican and Peruvian
In the website, Bishop Godfrey describes the Anglican Church of Peru as a diocese “which is clearly both Peruvian and Anglican in its identity. Its roots and history go back to the first half of the nineteenth century with the arrival of English and North American immigrants. But Peruvian congregations are now the overwhelming majority, even though there is still a live English-speaking congregation at the Cathedral. National clergy and lay ministers make the Church and its worship relevant to the people they serve in Christ’s name and in many of our congregations Latin American Christian music enhances the worship.”
The dual Anglican-Peruvian identity is confirmed in the website of the World Council of Churches, where it says “The Anglican Church of South America is well-respected in the area by other churches, including the Roman Catholic hierarchy and by the governmental authorities. It holds together the differences of culture, charismatic experience and missionary purpose, thus embracing both concern for issues of evangelism and social issues such as land rights and development. Spanish-speaking outreach is more recent and constitutes the key urban ministries of the church.”
The website of the Anglican Church of Peru describes the outreach work that it does, as well as its several ministries. Amongst the ministries, the Youth Ministry is singled out for specific prayer requests.
It points out that approximately 25% of Peru’s population is between the ages of 12 and 25, and that more than 75% of the population are under 25 years of age. [If these statistics are correct, it means that 50% are younger than 12 and that 25% are older than 25. In simpler terms, for every person older than 25 there are 2 people younger than 12. I doubt the accuracy of these figures. See Peru age structure.]
Whether these percentages are quite accurate or not, the fact remains that the gospel has not reached many of these young people. The diocesan youth ministry’s vision is for significant growth in the faith and number of young Christians with an Anglican identity. With bags of passion but short on resources the youth ministry’s focus is on training and equipping youth leaders to evangelise, disciple and send out young people in service. “We have recently taken the exciting step of employing a diocesan youth coordinator, something that is common for many churches in North America and Europe but a first for our Diocese!”
The young people of Peru have great needs but, because of the country’s poverty, there are few resources. In this situation, the Diocese of Peru’s Youth Ministry is working to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the many young people who need to hear it. Do join us in supporting the young people of Peru.
Please pray for:
- The youth ministry’s mission to reach the young people of Peru with the gospel.
- Growth in the faith and number of young Christians with an Anglican identity.
- Lizbeth in her role as diocesan youth coordinator and the other members of the youth ministry team – Deacon Rachel, Paul and Jasper.
- Resources for the youth ministry to help it achieve its vision.
The Anglican Church of South America
The Diocese of Peru forms part of the Anglican Church of South America, which is an ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion covering Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Its members in South America are thinly spread, making it one of the smaller provinces in the Anglican Communion in terms of numbers, although one of the largest in geographical extent. The Bishop of Peru is the Rt Revd Dr Harold William Godfrey and the Suffragan Bishop of Peru is the Rt Revd Michael Alexander Chapman