(Peru CNSAM). At the end of October and the beginning of November 2014, Peruvian Nazarenes were in a festive mood as they celebrated 100 years of “Maintaining the fire of the Holy Spirit” in the country.
National Pastors’ Retreat
The celebrations took place in the city of Chiclayo, Lambayeque State, in northern Peru. They began with a National Pastors’ Retreat from October 28-31. More than 500 pastors, both men and women, came together for a time of reflection and learning with the purpose of strengthening their ministry.
The speakers for the event were Dr. Jerry Porter, General Superintendent, and Dr. Christian Sarmiento, Regional Director for South America. The themes that Dr. Porter presented were: “Pardon”, “Living Holy and Godly Lives”, “Our Identity” and “A Challenge for the Churches”. Dr. Sarmiento preached about “Our Ministerial Commitment”, “Differences Between a Disciple and an Interested Person” and “Regional Strategy”.
The pastors had times of fellowship and relaxation. One of those times was a championship football tournament involving 16 teams of the different districts in the country. The Peru North District won the championship cup. Second place went to the Peruvian Cajamarca District and third and fourth places went to the Peruvian Libertad Chavín District and the Southern Peruvian District, respectively.
The afternoon of October 31st was filled with many flavors and colors, when the Pastors’ Retreat finished with a fiesta called Nazarene Mixture in which several districts exhibited the typical foods of their regions: Alto Marañón (Churumbo and dried and cured meat); Central (skewers of beef heart and stuffed yellow potato); South Central (beef, pork, chicken and guinea pig cooked underground over preheated rocks); Pacific North (Mashed green banana); Andino (guinea pig with potatoes); Cajamarca (pork rind with hominy and guinea pig); La Libertad Chavín (raw fresh fish “cooked” in lemon juice); North (Rice with chicken and Potato covered with melted white cheese sauce); and the South District (Arequipa stuffed peppers and sweet anise bread from Cuzco). Some of the districts also showed typical clothing from their area.
In closing everyone enjoyed the traditional birthday cake, courtesy of the La Libertad Chavín District. 1500 cupcakes were distributed.
On October 31, the Republic Congress made special mention of the Church of the Nazarene for celebrating 100 years of doing evangelistic and social work in the country. With the participation of distinguished Christian authorities and the Congressman Eduardo Nayap Kinin, Hurtado Zamudio presented a Diploma of Honor to the President of the Association of the Church of the Nazarene in Peru, to Rev. Oscar Medina Guzman and to the General Superintendent, Dr. Jerry Porter.
Then the representative of the Latino American Institute of Wesleyan Studies, Johnny Llerena, and the parliamentarian, Eduardo Nayap Kinin, respectively, paid tribute to the Church of the Nazarene.
In the evening, the centennial celebration continued with a massive crowd in the Elías Aguirre Stadium. There was significant participation by the different districts and Dr. Jerry Porter preached, challenging those present for the beginning of a second one hundred years.
Honoring the retirees
Saturday, November 1, there was a meeting where preachers shared profound holiness messages. At the close of the service there was an emotional ceremony honoring the retired pastors from all of Peru. They are:
Segundo Artemio Rojas Vásquez and José Gabriel Fustamante Edquén from the Peruvian Andino District; Juan Aguilar Cabrera, Mauro Castro Fernández, Nélida Pachamora Viuda de Rivera, Segunda Dávila Viuda de Altamirano, María Villena Viuda de Farfán, Emelina Vilcamango Viuda de Buri and Elizabeth Fernández Córdova of the Peruvian North District; Austragilda Viuda de Becerra, Josué Serrano (layman) and Timoteo Díaz of the Peruvian La Libertad Chavín District; Néstor Rodas Mendoza, Olga Olaya Viuda de Vásquez and Evelinda Torres Viuda de Olaya of the Peruvian North Pacific District; Alberto Zamora Lisboa, Oscar Medina Rivera and Luciano Grillo Gutiérrez of the Peruvian Central District; Susana Del Águila Viuda de Valencia of the South Peruvian District; Alfredo Balcázar Santa Cruz of the Peruvian District of Cajamarca and Sebastián Guevara Rodríguez of the Northeast Peruvian District. The great work of missionaries Arlene and Alfredo Swain was recognized.
Simultaneously in the Nazarene Theological Seminary, from 10 AM until 1 PM, there was an activity especially for the 400 young people who participated.
In the first part there was a panel discussion led by: Dr. Macario Balcázar, district president of SDMI, who presented the theme “The Participation of Youth in the History of the Church of the Nazarene in Peru during these 100 years”; Dr. Evelio Vásquez, Rector of the Nazarene Theological Seminary, presented the theme “Projections of Youth Ministry”; David González, Global President of NYI, spoke on the subject “Identity from a Global Point of View” and José David Balcázar shared the theme “Why it is Important to Have an Identity”. The activity closed with an inspirational message by Rev. David González challenging the young people for the next hundred years.
Saturday afternoon more than 12 thousand Nazarenes marched down the streets of Chiclayo. The local newspaper made mention of the massive meeting and emphasized the work of the Church of the Nazarene in the country.
The march concluded with a meeting in the street Paseo Las Musas at 5 PM. In an atmosphere of joy and celebration, the different Peruvian Nazarene ministries participated. The group Vibe, the symphonic chorus of the North Peruvian District, the group Ensamble, the Worship Ministry from the La Libertad Chavín District and the Mejía Brothers. Pastor Oscar Medina preached an evangelistic message.
The Closing Service
For the closing celebration, a service was held in the Elías Aguirre Stadium on Sunday, November 2, in the morning. The various districts present shared their gifts and talents. Dr. Evelio Vázquez presented the accomplishments of the first centennial. The Strategy Coordinator of the area, Rev. Segundo Rimarachín, preached about the growth and the accomplishments of the church. The service concluded with a meaningful communion service led by Rev. Rimarachín for some 10 thousand persons from all of Peru.
Source: Freddy Zapata and José David Balcázar.
Redaction: Germán Picavea.
Translation: Evelyn Ovando.