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A small church in Hinton, 130km north of Sydney. “How long may I speak for?” I ask Pastor Scott Willmot. “For as long as you want,” answers the sympathetic Australian. I have never received that answer just before a church service is about to start. Normally they are planned down to the final second.
I am facing families with children who are delighted that we are here. In the afternoon Chris and Sandi Welch, who have spent the last three years with their 8 children living and working in Curahuasi, will give their perspective on Diospi Suyana. Without Chris our six aerial towers would have no satellite connection.
Friendliness seems to live in these church walls. In 1857 Christians built the church and the sanctuary is filled with young people. That gives hope. I learnt that 10% of all Australians attend church; the figure is twice as high as in most European countries.
I get talking to an exchange student who comes from Northern Germany. “You would never find such a kind and loving church-family in Germany!” As I think she is wrong, I give her the address of a church in her home town where I gave a presentation a couple of years ago.
Church service, lunch and the next report. After a good five hours and a final photo our ways part. Will we see each other again? Perhaps not on earth, but definitely in heaven! I shut my car door and head back to Sydney. On Monday morning I am off to Melbourne – 905km./KDJ
On Sunday we said goodbye to our social voluntary workers for one year. The party was held at Klaus and Martina’s home. One after the other all 9 workers stepped into the time-machine and reappeared 50 years later. Everyone could see what had happened to those on whom we put our hopes in later life. The photos show that the event was great fun and hilarious. We thank our friends Hanna Bauer, Mareike Diederich, Lea Dietz, Amelie Haas, Tabea Polster, Olga Thanou, Verena Thurner, Lukas Merkel and Jonathan Zipf for their excellent work done over the past ten months and wish them success in life and God’s rich blessings.
A journey through time seems tempting, but we humans are not granted one. And that is a good thing. Who wants to know which illnesses (s)he will get and which bad news will hit her/him in the future.
As Christians we know that we are safe in God’s hands, irrespective of what will happen. And that is a good thing for our team of 9 and for each of us as well.
Hundreds of thousands of Peruvians and Bolivians who live in the catchment area of or six radio towers can receive Diospi Suyana’s radio programme. But how many of these potential listeners actually tune into our frequencies? A market analysis would be too expensive and hard to execute. But we are not groping in the dark. Every month we register the number of calls and WhatsApp-messages we receive day by day. Our Ecuadorian member of staff, Rebeca Müller, working in an honorary capacity, is often the first person to speak to the callers.
In July 623 listeners contacted our Media Centre. During the course of the next few years we will see whether the number of contacts increases each month. And at some point we will be able to make a rough estimate of the total number of listeners based on the number of callers. It could be that 1 in 100 or 1 in 1000 contacts us. We will never know the absolute figure, but we can surely get closer to it.
Once again it was a last minute thing. After a talk 150km south of Sydney I rush back under time pressure and over full motorways to the metropolis of five million. The Peruvian Ronny Marin is picking me up at 5:30 p.m. from the Welch’s.
We finally leave just after six o’clock and the sat-nav tells us that it is 40km journey to our destination. During the next 70 minutes we will pass through merciless traffic jams getting closer and closer to the suburb of Parramatta. The chance of a punctual arrival at the “South American Church” is zero. “Don’t stress, Dr John,” Ronny, sitting next to me, reassures me, “I have WhatsApped Pastor Bruno Meister, he knows that we are running late!” What a comfort!
Around 60 Latinos hailing from Peru, Argentina, Columbia, Uruguay, Nicaragua and Brazil have come together and the background noise is loud. Everyone is delighted that we have arrived and we start immediately.
For 90 minutes I tell my listeners who definitely do not belong to Sydney’s upper class what, trusting in God, has happened in Peru. Everyone is fully with it and rejoice with me as soon as I show them my Peruvian passport! I am one of them.
I had assured Argentinian Pastor Bruno Meister that I was not on a money raising trip, but on a trip as an ambassador of faith: “God will take care of the finances!” “Yes Dr John,” answered the Argentinian, “but we want to help and will take up a collection!” The presentation is over and no eye has remained dry. Pastor Meister is as moved as everyone in the room. “If anyone wants to give a donation, feel free to do so. Please do not feel any compulsion.” he says short and to the point. I am content. No tear-pressure, no burning call for financial support. The Latinos sitting there have enough to do getting by financially in expensive Sydney. The last amen has been said and I shake hands and have many selfies taken of me with members of the audience. 30 books are sold that evening. People from many countries embrace me and wish me God’s blessing for the future.
Somebody calls “1,360.60 Australian dollars” into the microphone. I am overwhelmed. Including the 300 dollars that are lying in the book basket each of the 60 visitors gave an average of 28 dollars. The private budget of the Latinos is not great, but this evening their hearts are wide. On the presentation slides they have seen God in action and they want to support generously.
“Why are you a Christian?”, I ask a 60-year old man standing next to me. The Latin-American beams at me: “Do you really want to hear my story?” He dives into his life-story: a career as a heroin-addict and drug-smuggler, stations on the way to the abyss. He describes the downward spiral that countless thousands in South America’s big cities go through. “But then I met Christians and God healed me. That was 20 years ago!” I wished I had more time to write down what he told me on our website.
Everyone in the church hall could tell swathes out of his/her life. One story more exciting than the other. But I must press on. I start the car. Highlights from a Latino congregation where God is just as at work just as he is in Peru or Germany, or should I say worldwide!/KDJ
75,000 people live in Abancay, the capital of Apurimac State. For the past two years we have been trying to obtain a UKW-frequency in this area. A couple of weeks ago we were finally successful. Yesterday afternoon Sra. Eulalia Gutierrez and Dr Klaus-Dieter John signed the purchase agreement for the frequency 92.7 in a notary’s office. We hope that it won’t be long before Abancay’s inhabitants can tune into Diospi Suyana’s radio programme.
A photo for posterity of the protagonists of this important legal act and those present.
The three of us are sitting round a table, emptying bottles. Olaf Böttger, Diospi Suyana’s chairman, sticks resolutely to his fruit tea. I myself pour fruit juice down my throat, a joy to body and soul. Outside the local citizens struggle with record hot temperatures, inside we rejoice about the decision just taken by two motivated ladies. The scene: a restaurant near Darmstadt’s main station last Friday.
In the first interview a nurse gives us an insight into her life. She explains to me with conviction but without pathos: ”Having been through a difficult life situation, I decided to surrender my life to God: my time and my life belongs to him!”
In the next few months she would like to head to Peru and spend at least three years working at the Hospital Diospi Suyana on a voluntary basis. We wish her safe travels.
Then Dorothea Töws tells us why she, in the role as a qualified optician, is the person to head our eye clinic.
Both ladies have completely different vitae, but both believe in God and are convicted that as a Christian one should positively shape the world. This path, however, means that they will have to bring financial sacrifices and overcome uncomfortable hurdles.
It is said that people exist who live after the principle: “avarice is cool”. Both our candidates see things a different way. First of all they experienced an inner transformation which changed their lives’ plans in a fascinating way. Practical, vivacious and genuine. Being a Christian, not simply as a worldview or as a sanctimonious hypocrisy, but rather being prepared to follow him who, of his own free will, was prepared to die for every one of us on the cross. The nurse and the optician are also willingly moving the centre of their lives to a small mountain village in the Southern Andes.
Which power can help us conquer egoism? The power of God? /KDJ
Family Brady had issued invitations to come to a comfortable living room concert on Sunday evening: “Two musicians, friends of ours, are giving a concert!” But in no time it became clear that such a special concert deserves to be played in a much larger venue. And especially bearing in mind that it is the first classical concert ever performed in Curahuasi.
At 7:15p.m. the hospital’s church sanctuary was transformed into a concert auditorium. Filip Dvorak (piano) and Jiri Sycha (violin) enchanted the audience with their dulcet tones. The chosen European and Latin-American pieces went down very well with the 120 guests. The audience’s passionate applause extended the programme by three encores.
Thank you Filip and Jiri for this unforgettable evening. We wait with bated breath which professional musicians the Bradys will book for the next concert. The fact that many of the local population attended shows that there exists an interest for upmarket musical performances.
On Friday all schools and on Saturday all private and state institutions marched. On 28th July 1821 General San Martin declared independence from Spain. Ever since it is expected that every citizen fulfils his/her patriotic duty on such holidays by decorating his/her house with a flag. Furthermore it is the done thing either to march in a parade or stand by the wayside cheering it on. The Curahuasinos speak warmly of Diospi Suyana’s great participation.
Photos are an essential part of the celebrations. The group photo 2019 (see below) gives an idea of the relaxed atmosphere. Viva Peru!
From 20th July onwards Peru is either celebrating or preparing celebrations. The events’ character can be equated to colourful folk festivals. Attendance is compulsory. Every house has to fly the Peruvian flag. Even the smallest village puts on its own procession. On Friday 26th July, accompanied by rousing music, the schools march. Even Diospi Suyana’s kindergarten children are proud Peruvians. For most Peruvians the national week of celebration is an unofficial extra week’s holiday.
On the above picture you can see children attending the state disabled school dancing. All in all the days of celebration are a good idea.
Dear Friends of Diospi Suyana, the masonry works are nearing completion. The missing balustrades and some partition walls will be put in at a later juncture. We are sure that next week we can start plastering the inner walls of three group rooms. This week’s aim was concreting the first section of the roof deck.
We chose the roof’s bulkhead formwork so that the external shuttering can remain whilst concreting the attic. As I mentioned last week we had to rebuild the concrete-crane. Its mast now stands on a balcony-overhang of the ground floor ceiling and one floor higher the lift’s working platform has been constructed.
As always all hands were needed as we laid and bound the thin reinforcement irons together and positioned the light-sockets including the necessary empty conduits. These works went better than expected and planned; thus we could start concreting the first section of the roof on the Wednesday as opposed to Thursday. We got four hospital gardeners to help us make the concrete and by 3:30p.m. we had finished the task. Now we can all leisurely look forward to the “Fiestas Patrias de Perú” bank holiday weekend. Wishing you a good and blessed summer weekend, Udo.
The first section of the roof has been encased and we are laying the lower iron rod layer.
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