Just beyond the stunning Spanish colonial architecture of Chiclayo, Peru, is a different reality. Each year thousands of people move into the city looking for a better life. Instead, they find themselves living in tightly packed neighbourhoods with little access to education, clean water, employment, and sanitation.
It’s here that Sarah Beer works with United Church partner Centro Esperanza (Hope Centre), doing anything from basic office work to supporting people as they mobilize for change. “I find it hard to talk about the work briefly because it is so complex,” Sarah says. “Centro Esperanza works in social development with people, mainly women, promoting quality education and gender equality, and engaging people so they can ask for changes themselves.
“It starts with people taking ownership. Projects start with them. Some women want to learn how to be good parents. They want their children to have opportunities; they see their children as their hope and for the healthy development of their communities and their futures.”
At the end of the day, when Sarah’s back in her small apartment, she finds herself thinking about 1 Corinthians 12:12, where Paul writes that Christians are all part of one body. “Mission and Service is so important. This work wouldn’t exist without it and the presence of the United Church, and the relationship is a huge source of solidarity.”
Your donations to M&S mean that people in the poor neighbourhoods of Chiclayo can improve their lives and their communities. Thank you, and please continue to give.
Mighty and tender God, our gifts to M&S help your church to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with you.