Nurturing and nutrition

Posted on June 11, 2013 by Global Mission Support

The Rev. Dana Nelson and Tom Ososki are nearing the end of their service as ELCA missionaries in Peru. To support any of the ELCA’s over 200 missionaries in the global church, go to

Italo, center, who lives alone, relies on the congregation’s food program for his breakfast.

Italo, center, who lives alone, relies on the congregation’s food program for his breakfast.

June 1, 2013

Greetings from Talitha Kum (Little Girl Get Up!) Lutheran Church in Cusco, Peru. We have exciting news to bring to you. The Sembrando para el Futuro (Sewing Seeds for the Future) program started up again the first week in May and is now in full swing. We are excited to report that the congregation is providing nutritious breakfast to 50 children (and two elders) five days per week.

Italo is 13 years old. He is wearing his red school uniform, sitting next to the tiger in the photo.  He rents a room a few blocks from the church and lives alone (without parents). Thanks to the Sembrando program starting up again, neighbors told us about Italo and invited him to breakfasts and into the life of the church.

This year we collaborated with the local health post, and nurses came to Talitha Kum to measure the height and weight of all the kids so we can mark their progress during the year to see if the Sembrando program is helping them to grow. The nurses found that six of our children have “chronic malnutrition” or are “at risk of chronic malnutrition.” So it makes Sembrando para el Futuro feel all the more urgent.

Thank God for teachers! We are so grateful to have found Alicia, who is a second-year student at a teachers training institute in Cusco. She comes to our congregation four days per week to tutor the Sembrando children, especially the ones in second through sixth grade, since those are the grades Alicia is being trained to teach.

We have windows! Upstairs and downstairs and even way up in the parsonage on the third floor of the church we have all of the windows and doors installed now, so everyone is warmer. Tom painted the windows in the sanctuary red, blue, white, purple and green — the colors of the church seasons. When we have worship in the morning, the colors are projected onto the floor by the sun and move across the sanctuary as the earth turns. It’s so pretty!

I can’t believe we will only be here in Cusco for four more Sundays before we move back to Minnesota. We are going to miss Peru very much. Thank you for making it possible for us to have served here in the church since 2007.

Que Dios les bendiga muchísimo.

Even though we won’t be living here as missionaries in Peru in the near future, we encourage you to keep Talitha Kum and all the congregations of the Peruvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in your hearts and prayers.

Dana, Tom, Tana and Anthony