Monday, December 26, 2011

Dec 24th and 25th

Dec 24th is the Peruvian Christmas day, at midnight they celebrate with fireworks gifts and a traditional meal. We chose not to eat a midnight meal but we did celebrate , we had lunch at our home and invited a number of our Peruvian friends who were on their own over the Christmas period, we then held an afternoon Christingle family service at church.

After church we tracked father christmas on the internet, had mulled wine, mince pies and prepared a lot of vegetables for the following days feast , we enjoyed a secret santa gift exchange with our BMS colleagues and Jess and Sam put up their stockings and left out a mince pie and carrot for Santa and his reindeer!

Dec 25th was our traditional British (with a twist of American) Christmas celebration. James and Julia Henley are staying with us for Christmas and New Year, we hosted the action team as well as some Peruvian and American families. We introduced the Peruvians to homemade christmas crackers and gravy our guests brought us a delicious dish of sweetpotato covered in marshmellows! Scott cooked for 19 people and although a little homesick we all really enjoyed celebrating our Saviour's birth and feasting together. We are so blessed that we have so many wonderful friends in Cusco and it was great to have the house full of friends on both 24th and 25th of December.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Canastas de Navidad (Christmas baskets)

It is traditional in Peru for employers to give their employees Christmas baskets (a bit like Christmas hampers). We are in contact with a number of needy unemployed folk who struggle to put food on the table and for whom Christmas will not be a time of great feasting.
La Fuente clinic and also El Puente church have been making and distributing canastas to folk in the community who really need extra food, for them this has been an unexpected special Christmas gift!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Carol singing in the regional hospital

Twice a week the action team visit the local government hospital to play with the children on the burns and trauma unit. Today the Williamson family joined them and we sang spanish Christmas carols and gave out hot chocolate bread and small toys.In this photo Jessica is giving out toys in the ward whilst we were singing.

This lady couldn't walk into the day room where we did a lot of singing but was delighted to have us visit her room and sing for her.

singing carols in the day room of the burns department.

Jessica giving out toys on the paediatric ward.
Today we were reminded that it really is better to give than to receive, many folk in the hospital do not receive any visitors so our visit and our carol singing was really appreciated. As we sang about peace on earth we pray that these patients and their families will experience God's peace this Christmastime.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nativity service

We had a wonderful all age nativity service celebrating Christmas together, amazingly the children all arrived on time but sadly the narrator and her script were delayed and someone else (thankfully not Anjanette) did a great job improvising at the last minute. Our youth choir sang beautifully, the church enjoyed singing christmas carols in spanish, the children were all fantastic, we even had a real live well behaved baby Jesus ! We ended the service with a special time where we were able to thank God and pray for the Roper family as they leave Peru and start a new adventure.
Ya llego la navidad fa la la la la la la la la !

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chocolatada en Huambutio

A few hundred people from the community in Huambutio attended the chocolatada.
We gave the children small toys and the young people received notebooks and pens. In this photo Jessica is marking the hands of each person who receives a toy. Jessica really enjoyed helping out and serving. She also spent a lot of time before hand helping to sort all the donated clothes into different sizes. We are delighted that she is developing a heart to serve and help others.

Distribution of sweet bread. At Christmas, it is traditional for the whole community to come together to drink hot chocolate and eat sweet bread to celebrate Christmas together.

Rodrigo giving out hot chocolate. We had a good turn out from El Puente and lots of our church members from Cusco came along to help, it was a great church event. Our church members have opened their hearts to this community where early in the New Year we hope to start the clinic/cell church group.

Samuel also joined in , especially since jumping in the back of our friends' pick up was so much fun! Here he is helping to load 50 bags of donated clothes into the truck.

Scott and Toto share the Christmas story with the community. Toto has only been attending our church for the last few months, how wonderful to have him join us in Huambutio reading the bible there!
It was a great time to be together sharing the good news, food, toys and clothes with our friends in Huambutio. Many thanks to those of you who donated clothes or money to make this possible, it was a very special event.

Monday, December 12, 2011

El Puente news

Our real desire now that the church building has moved to a residential area is that folk who live in the new community will start attending our church plant. We are delighted that a new lady and her daughter who live a few houses down from the church have recently started attending, we are absolutely thrilled that Toto who has been attending our church for the last 2 months or so has come to faith and wants to be baptised soon.

We have now started a Friday evening aerobics class in the church building which is good to laugh at and with each other at the same time as doing some physical excercise, we hope that people from the community will also come and join in the fun too.
Our 0600 prayer meetings were (perhaps unsurprisingly) not well attended so we are changing them to 7-8pm every Thurs night, we will see how that goes.

so the new church timetable is as follows

Tues 9am young mums' bible study in our home
Tues 7.30pm ladies bible study at church
Weds 7.30pm mens bible study at church
Thurs 7-8 pm church prayer meeting at church
Fri 4.30 kids club, 8pm aerobics at church
Sat 6pm youth group at church
Sun 4.30pm Sunday service at church

This week we have some special events: on Friday our kids club will have a christmas party, on Saturday morning we will hold a chocolatada in Huambutio then on Sunday our church children will be taking part in a nativity service. Anjanette , the action team and our young people are also busy practicing spanish Christmas carols to be sung at church and also during hospital visits in the next few weeks. We will be preparing Christmas baskets to give out to some of our needy church members and also patients from the clinic where Anjanette works.

In the midst of this weeks seasonal activities and celebrations we have mixed emotions since Neil Amanda Daniel and Sophia have decided to move back to the UK. We are saddened by their decision to leave but excited about the way God will use them to serve and be a blessing in the UK as they have been here in Peru. So the childrens' nativity service will also be the church's Despedida (goodbye) to the Roper family. Please pray for the Roper family in this time of transition and re entry.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Newly painted rooms

Thanks to a lot of hard work from the action team we now have 2 beautifully painted rooms in our new church building. The older childrens' Sunday school room has been decorated with an enormous rainbow, butterflies and a bible verse. The creche room walls have been transformed by waves with Noah's ark floating on the water. Thanks Rob Amy Liz and Jess we are all absolutely thrilled with the end result.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feliz Navidad

Sam putting the star at the top of the tree

two very silly reindeers

Today in Peru (Dec 8th) it is a public holiday to celebrate the feast of the immaculate conception.
It has been great to read and study the story of the annunciation this week both as a family and also with our church ladies bible study group. We have been amazed and challenged by Mary's simple obedience to God.

Anjanette has been experiencing some pressure from the rest of the family to put up the Christmas tree so since Jess and Sam are off school we decided to get the decorations out. Last Christmas we were in the UK so our tree has not had an airing for 2 years, we did have a mouse nibble it a bit while we were away but it still looks fine, this is our first Christmas in this house and as you can see from the photo of Sam putting the star on top of the tree the ceiling is lower in this house!

It is always a treat to get out the christmas tree decorations that we have accumulated over the 14 years we have been married and to remember God's faithfulness to us.
So the Williamsons now have a new Christmas tradition, we have decided that on Dec 8th we will decorate our tree each year.

Jess and Sam sing Feliz Navidad

Monday, December 5, 2011

Quechua Christmas carol

We are currently having fun teaching the action team spanish Christmas carols, the fa la la la la and the glooooooooria bits are going well! Only 2 members of the Williamson family are singing quechua: Here Jess and Sam sing a song in quechua about a llama shepherd going to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus.

Friday, December 2, 2011

boxes of treats

Our spare bedroom has been full of many boxes and bags of clothes and shoes for the last few months. A dear friend in the UK collects clothes which she sends out to us on a regular basis , we also have some large bags of donated clothes from a Peruvian family as well as stuff that Jess and Sam have grown out of .

Basically for the last few months we have been waiting for a time to sort through it all so we can give the clothes out to people that need them for Christmas. What a joy and a relief that the action team took this job in hand.

Now everything is sorted and organised and we have a list of what clothes and sizes and ages we have. Some of the clothes will be given to some quechua ladies from our friends church, most will probably be given out when we do a Christmas presentation and a chocolotada in Huambutio in the next few weeks. Hopefully many people will be happy and blessed to receive these gifts and we will be glad to have some space in our spare room for a while too!