I am never worried about the lessons I will learn in one day. Nonetheless, its not a difficult challenge because I have so very much to understand before my time ends here in this place. Merely minutes typically slip by the watch for another simple and foundational lesson is resourced into the deep fathoms of my mind. The only challenging aspect of learning the lesson of life is to remember it upon return when life prompts a repetition.
Last week, my team finally pursued through discipleship classes up on the hill. Incredibly exhaustive, 35 individuals from the community began the course 12 weeks ago. Upon completion, every class was required to attend, only eleven accomplished the task. The course is designed to teach new Christians the basic foundational biblical truths of God's Word, prompting the passion to apply the Word to doing life. An operational manual to living, these eleven people have spent these long weeks filling up on the Living Word.
A graduation celebration was called for and we all gathered around with joy on the hill in the midst of strikingly warm sunlight for a brisk Autumn afternoon. Each of the eleven graduates gleamingly strutted their selected one family member along for the lunch feast of Peruvian Causa con pollo. A photograph below photogenically describes one of the most artistic fare ever created.
Even after interviewing Michael Bolton last night at Hotel Park's foyer in Miraflores, I still insist that Causa surpasses true authentic dining experiences of the Peruvian cuisine. I encouraged the action, reassuring him that Peruvian ceviche is anticlimactic for those venturing into stable yet inquisitive flavors.
This afternoon, at the graduation festival, Causa was served in its own selective right. Declisiouly served, the Causa gathered us around the table and we all took our seats. The eleven graduates sat down among their selected family member as prayers were offered up.
These precious eleven souls are crucial to the ongoing outreach of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world and they deserved recognition for their hard work. Infused in the first graduation class are mothers, youth, and leaders of youth. As expansion and growth continues to soar, our team is making the journey towards the south of Las Lomas. These eleven individuals are the next generation of starting bible studies, soccer clubs, and youth programs. Within Las Lomas, an average of 60 youth come together on Saturday nights to worship, prayer, and build community. The expansion has required careful planning as delegation of leadership has grown. Marveling at the hand of God, I simply give thanks for all that He has done and is doing in the lives of the future leaders of the community. The empowerment, encouragement, and advocacy has taken its effect and the results are astonishing.
I began to cry as I saw the joy of seeing hard labor bear fruit on the barren and scorching hills of Las Lomas. I am finally beginning to see something that I often wondered if I would see in my lifetime, growth and unity to the body of Christ.
I asked one of our youth leaders, Anderson, yesterday about the incredible growth, inquiring about his strength to continue to see out creative new ways to engage in some of Ventanilla's most challenging gang-afflicted regions, to which he simply responded,
"We had 63 youth last week," and he paused, later smirking, "Dan, this is just the beginning,"
So it is. Praise Jesus Christ.