Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Declare his Glory among the Nations (1)
After Ashley shared some of her stories as a missionary kid in Peru, it's made me reminisce about working in a medical mission there. If you ever get on to the subject of my all too short time there, you are in for a long chat, probably peppered by LOTS of photos. So I figured that this way if you don't want to know, you can go and potter somewhere else, but I thought that some of you might like to hear about the work there. (These articles was originally published in my denomination's mission magazine.)

"How on earth did I end up here?" was a recurring thought as I was driven from the airport to Moyobamba, hidden away at the Peruvian border of the Amazon jungle. My taxi-driver was turning on all the charm - he was looking for a Scottish wife apparently - but it was really the scenery that blew me away. There were so many trees and plants - all more green that I could ever have imagined - sprinkled generously with bright dashes of orange, yellow and red flowers, with no hint of tarantulas that I was dreading.

I had arrived in the selva, or rainforest region, of Peru, after an eighteen hour flight to Lima, broken by a lovely hour-long stop in the Caribbean, then another one-hour flight over the Andes. However, why was I here of all places?

Since becoming a Christian at the age of 18, I have had a strong interest in the field of medical mission work. So many people in the world live without the basic necessities that we, here in Scotland, take for granted. However, I appreciate that it is an incredibly demanding job to work in such places and wanted to use my medical elective, when all final year medical students get the opportunity to study and work anywhere in the world anywhere in the world in a healthcare setting, to get a small taste of what life as a medical missionary could be like.

Originally I was going to go to India but had to think again after India and Pakistan threatened nuclear warfare and my university told me I couldn't go. Just a few days later, a missionary working in Brazil came to speak to our church prayer meeting. As soon as she discovered I was a medical student, she demanded to know if I had sorted my medical elective. I explained the problems of going to India, but she answered by telling me to write to Latin Link, a mission organisation working with churches in Latin America. My protests that I did not speak Spanish went unheeded by her and again later at my interview. I was sent to see the work of and hopefully be of some help at a medical mission clinic in Moyobamba...

  1. Plants in the garden of my new home
  2. A boat on the Rio Mayo
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous works among all the peoples!

Psalm 96:3

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  posted at 18:42  

At 07 February, 2007 00:01, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just getting into the story and you stopped!!!!!!!!!!!! No fair. :)

At 07 February, 2007 00:18, Anonymous John Dekker said...

I assume this is part one. :)

Are you in the Free Church? I remember reading a book once by a Free Church minister who as a missionary in Peru.

At 07 February, 2007 23:22, Blogger Keziah said...

Kirsty - there plenty more coming!

John - I do indeed! I'm intrigued now though. What book was it? Who was it about? Why were you reading about Free Church missionaries in Peru?

At 08 February, 2007 09:52, Anonymous John Dekker said...

Umm, it was purple and it was a long time ago.

But I've always felt something of an affinity to the Free Church.

At 08 February, 2007 21:15, Blogger Keziah said...

Hmm, a purple book? I will scour the bookshelves of Free Church homes across the country to see if I can work that one out!

I'm interested to know that you feel an affinity with the Free Church. How has that happened? We are a very small denomination, even for Scotland, so it is surprising that you have even heard of it.

At 08 February, 2007 23:20, Anonymous John Dekker said...

Well, I am a Presbyterian. And my denomination has always had links with the Free Church - for example, the Principal of my Theological College (Douglas Milne) is from the Free Church. And the Presbyterian Church of Victoria began as a union of Free Church and Church of Scotland congregations.

I also spent a number of years as a kid in a church that sang only Pslams, so I appreciate that aspect of the Free Church heritage. Finally, a number of my Christian heroes, such as Rabbi Duncan, were in the Free Church.

Anyway, because of the Free Church connection, I've always been interested in Peru. :)

The Free Kirk, the wee kirk,
The kirk without the steeple.
The auld kirk, the cauld kirk,
The kirk without the people.

At 08 February, 2007 23:53, Blogger Keziah said...

How fascinating! You certainly have a number of connections to us in the Wee Frees! That's great to know.

For anyone who doesn't understand the wee poem John has quoted, it goes back to the split in the Established Church in 1843 when 470 ministers and congregations left to form the Free Church of Scotland over the rights of congregations to choose their own ministers, rather than have one imposed on them by the state.

The Free Kirk had no buildings to worship in initially. The Auld Kirk refers to the Church of Scotland.

We continue to be referred to as the "Wee Frees" with our brethen in the Free Presbyterian Church (church splits being a common occurrence in Scottish church history sadly) often referred to as the "Wee Wee Frees".

At 09 February, 2007 15:51, Blogger Ashley said...

Keziah, I loved reading about this! Thanks so much for posting it. I want to post more about my life in Peru but I am not sure how interesting that would be.

I'm trying to think if I knew Scottish missionaries in Peru... We were very good friends with the Florits, do you know them? I'm trying to remember if they were Free Church missionaries, but I don't remember. I will have to ask my mom! But we might know the same people, depending on what year you were in Peru. :-)

At 10 February, 2007 23:26, Blogger Keziah said...

Ashley - I promise to find it interesting, even if no one else does! The Florits are indeed with the Free Church. I've never met them, but I've heard a lot about them. This is very exciting that we know the same people. I'll save everyone else our chat about who we know and email you!


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