Michael Rinehart, bishop
Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
12941 1-45 North Freeway, Suite #210
Houston, TX 77060-1243
Michael Rinehart, bishop
Goodbyes are always hard. Even more so in an effusively affectionate culture. It’s been 12 years since my first visit and two years since my most recent visit to be with our Lutheran brothers and sisters in Christ in Perú.
Our cultural values and Christian values are so intertwined we often cannot tell which are which. Seeing the Christian faith lived out in another cultural context makes things clearer.
As ever, I am convinced that we receive from this relationship far more than we could ever give. As has been said often this trip, we are not just companion synods; we are in one another’s hearts.
Talitha Kum is a Lutheran Church named after Jesus words from the story in Mark 5:37ff. Led by women, this church is aptly named: Little Girl Rise Up!
They are completing the third floor of their facility. When the project is finished, the first floor will be a library, the second their worship center, and the third a parsonage.
Pastor Ofelia is at Luther Seminary in St. Paul Minnesota working on her doctorate. While she is gone, Jessica and Cynthia, pictured here are leading worship. Wow! What intelligent, articulate, soulful young leaders. Cynthia is studying to be a nurse. Jessica is studying to be a tour guide. Both are considering going on to be pastors, by the grace of God.
Thank y’all for your prayers. Our group of 27 from the Gulf Coast Synod is doing well. The interactions with the churches here have been very affectionate. We have 11 from Christ the King Houston, 3 from Tree of Life Conroe, 7 from Faith Bellaire, 5 from Spirit of Joy The Woodlands and Dr. Jay Alanis from LSPS. Grace Conroe comes next month and Living Word Katy comes in November.
Christ the King has agreed to be a companion with the four congregations in Trujillo. Their mob has spent one day at each congregation, and a couple days visiting archeological and cultural sites. The rest of us have spent about a week in Lima visiting congregations. A smaller group led a training event for the leaders of the churches participating in Sembrando, a ministry of health, education, nutrition and faith.
The economy in Peru is growing 9% a year, so things are improving. It warms my heart. The church has it’s struggles, but progress is being made. Their work is making a big difference.
Tomorrow, July 28, is Independence Day here. They are gearing up for huge fiestas! It is also the day the new president takes office. Pray for a peaceful exchange of leadership.
Finally, it’s the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Machu Picchu. Hiram Bingham came upon it in July of 1911. A great time to be here. Several times this week the number of tourists have exceeded capacity. UNESCO allows 2500 on the mountain. 4,000 showed up Monday. The unticketed got turned away. Should be interesting as we hope to go on Friday.