Our synod has journeyed through two decades with Lutheran Church of Peru (Iglesia Luterana del Peru). This relationship began with strong companion congregational relationships with a few Peruvian congregations.
We believe in moving beyond multiculturalist to interculturality. Multicultural means many cultures living in proximity, keeping to themselves, and tolerating one another. Intercultural means sharing and deep, mutual respect.
We follow the principles of accompaniment. This means we are not in a hierarchical relationship, but friends journeying along the road together. We each have gifts to share with each other.
Being a companion congregation means:
- Praying for one another
- Communicating with one another about our mutual ministries
- Visiting one another when possible
- Offering or receiving financial support by mutual agreement
In general, women and children disproportionately suffer the effects of poverty in Peru. The poorest of the poor in Peru are boys and girls and female-headed households in rural areas; 46.3% of these women and 32.2% of children under age 18 live in extreme poverty. On average, women in rural Peru have been to school a little more than three years, and 24% of girls ages six to fourteen do not attend school at all.
The Lutheran Church of Peru’s synod council is responding to this reality with a project, “Sembrando” [Sowing]. 2010 was the pilot year with 9 congregations participating. Each congregation in Peru customizes this program to meet their needs. The oversight committee monitors the program for quality programming and financial accountability. Leaders are trained to operate this program in congregations.
Sembrando provides meals, social development, cultural and sports activities, and homework help, all designed to build assets in children who live in extreme poverty. Families are involved at a congregational level to ensure that Sembrando remains a grassroots initiative.
Understanding Sembrando’s Significance
This is a ministry that we share with the Lutheran Church of Peru. Your gifts are making it possible for children to eat and go to school.
As it is, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you.”
~ 1 Corinthians 12:20-22a