Dana Nelson is a pastor in Lima with the Peruvian Lutheran Church (ILEP). Tom Ososki is an architect and an urban designer helping several Peruvian Lutheran congregations in the process of constructing church buildings. To support Dana and Tom, or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
I recently went to visit one of our Sunday school teachers, Adrianna, in her home. Their home is tucked into the side of a small mountain along the outer edge of Lima. They don’t have running water. They carry water in big buckets on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from a neighbor’s house 150 meters away. (I know the exact distance, because they are hoping to save up money to buy a 150 meter hose.) They have dug a latrine behind their house. There is no path to their house. You have to kind of scale up the side of the mountain. Her little kids, 4 and 6 years old, are really good at it. I am kind of clumsy and sometimes have to use my hands to steady my climb.
Their walls and roof are made of cardboard, plastic and scrap sheets of wood. Thank goodness it rarely rains in Lima. The scariest thing is that there is a big bowling ball size hole in their wall, where a big stone came crashing through and landed on their bed. Luckily they were not at home at the time. Adriana and her family are squatting on the land until they learn if they can stay.
Adriana feels very called by God to accompany the young girls in our church (ages 8-15) and has started a dance group, called “Estrellitas de Jesús” (“Little Stars of Jesus”). She explains that it is much more than choreography. It is also time for them to get together and pray, sing, build their self-esteem and glorify God with dance. These “little stars of Jesus” gather on Saturdays to practice, and about once a month they do a liturgical dance during worship. It is often an upbeat cumbia-salsa or meringue-style music played on a CD while they dance and twirl, which makes the whole congregation smile and rejoice.
God bless you.
Thank you for your prayers.
Pastora Dana Nelson, Tom Ososki, Tana Ososki, Anthony Ososki