Presbyterians Today

SEP-OCT 2016

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42 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 | Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay to work with another group here in Lima, because I want to come and volunteer with you to share this blessing." It was a wonderful experience to see someone so excited that they wanted to pay it forward. Lucia wants to pass along the blessing to someone else. All of us are looking forward to going back to Peru and working with Lucia and the other mission partners in the future. W estminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville recently sent four members of its Living Waters for the World team to partner with Centro Baptist Church and School in Lima, Peru. The group installed a water purification system. As part of the program, Terry Allen, Elaney Johnson, associate pastor Carson Salyer, and I also provided information about the importance of hand washing and the uses of clean water most critical to improving health. As the educator on the team I was thrilled to have a dedicated group of adult church leaders and teachers with whom to work. Participants had already worked all day teaching and running the church and school before coming to the evening classes offered by Sara Armstrong, a PC(USA) mission co-worker in Peru, and me. Despite the long day, the leaders and teachers enthu- siastically participated in three evenings of hands-on lessons about the new water system, which was partially funded by the Rotary Club at the local and international level. The Peruvian leaders were taught the most impor- tant uses of the clean water: drinking, preparing food, brushing teeth, and caring for babies. They also learned how to prevent recontamination of the purified water, how germs cause illness, how to most effectively wash hands, and much more. We watched as the teachers passed along the new knowledge to their own students. We were blown away that many of the teachers had made extra decorations and visual teaching aids for their classrooms. The children were wide-eyed and excited to be able to participate in experiments and activities teaching about germs and hand washing and the most important uses of clean water. Along with celebrating and dedicating the new water system on the last day of the trip, the teachers and church leaders prepared food and decorations for a program of appreciation and thanksgiving. The work may have been concluding, but it was not ending. Lucia, one of the Peruvian teachers with whom I had worked, came to me and said, "This clean water will be such a blessing to this church and to our outreach in the community, and I am so thankful for what we have received. I want you to let me know when you come back OUR CHURCH IN MISSION | Suzanne Allen Paying it forward in Peru Paying it forward in Peru Mission project inspires local volunteers Volunteer educator Suzanne Allen teaches the benefits of hand washing. Members of the Westminster mission team and Centro Baptist Church drinking the new, pure water at Centro Baptist Church in Lima, Peru.

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