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Radio Diospi Suyana

A slum’s public declaration

And widespread approval from Diospi Suyana in Curahuasi

I am heading back to Lima from a meeting in Huacho, located three hours’ drive north of the capital. Looking out of my right window I see a slum sprawled across a mountain top. The many primitive huts on the ridge give me the impression that they are defending something. Despite, or perhaps because of, their poverty the inhabitants proclaim their life’s motto freely into the world: “Cristo vive!” Jesus is alive. They could have used the white chalk for political means, e.g. “Father State help us!” or “Better schooling for all children!” But instead they have focussed on the central statement of the Christian faith; fascinating do not you think?

The grave is empty and that is why the poorest of the poor conclude that they also can hope for eternal life. It is this hope that gives them the energy to endure their awful life circumstances in the here and now. “We won’t give up!” they call, “for Jesus loves us and hears our prayers!” When was the last time that you heard such a statement of faith in your church in Europe or USA?

The musicians in the morning service

A thousand kilometres as the crow flies away Diospi Suyana staff are celebrating a morning worship service. Once again the church is packed. In roughly 3,000 services held in this building half a million Peruvians have heard the truth that Jesus is alive. Admittedly it is a steep statement. But the simple existence of Diospi Suyana adds weight to this statement. None of the 60 missionaries who are currently investing several years of their lives would be here if (s)he did not believe that Jesus is alive.

No one coerced the 200 patients sitting in the church’s auditorium to travel for hours in buses to Southern Peru, passing public hospitals and private clinics on their way here. They made this journey, because they know that faith in the risen Christ can radically change human actions. Suddenly mammon is no longer the focus, but love for one’s neighbour. The masses waiting in front of the missionary hospital have voted with their feet. All these people, who suffer from one thing or another, have turned to Diospi Suyana in search of hope and attention. Why? Because Jesus is alive! /KDJ