During the first weeks of January, I (Sr. Katty Huanuco) had the opportunity to share the spirituality and charism of our CCVI Congregation and the work of our Congregational JPIC Office with our lay missionaries in Lima, Peru.
These days of sharing gave everyone a chance to better understand Peruvian culture and society, its historical reality, and the challenges it presents to our mission in Peru. It was also a precious time to experience an inclusive retreat where all the memories and experiences from 2016 were reflected on in light of Scripture, in order to renew our commitment to the poorest and most vulnerable.
The first day we gathered together, and after having lunch with our sisters in Lima, we visited the Shipiba Community in Cantagallo, Lima. The shipiba-koniba community, are indigenous Amazonian communities living in Lima. This population has been recovering from a fire that left more than 280 families homeless in November. Sharing with the women artisans encouraged us in our work and reaffirmed our commitment to strengthening women's leadership. They gave us a lot of hope.
The next day, we visited the National Museum of Archeology, Anthropology and History of Peru in order to understand the diversity of cultures in the country. In the afternoon we arrived at the Museum of Memory and Tolerance, a space that chronicles the last 20 years of violence in Peru. After these visits, we talked about our commitment to this country, its people and the world, to create a culture of more respect, nonviolence and peace.
After contemplating this reality, with the support of Sisters Ivonne and Carmelita, the missionaries had opportunities for reflection around our call to incarnate the merciful love of God in our concrete commitment in Peru.
Then there were 4 days of spiritual retreat, where the concrete faces of victims of human trafficking, the cries of the earth, and the victims of violence continued to call us to collaborate with God in healing the suffering of the world. One phrase we reflected on was, “be visible signs of community in diversity.” This is a call that continues to require us to be a presence of compassionate love that engages in the transformation of the world, so that the world can fulfill its plans to serve the joy of all women and men.
It is interesting to note that our lay missionaries Diana, Mark, Juan, Selena and Ana Catarina come from different cultures and countries, and have been in Peru since August 2016 with a missionary commitment in Chimbote for two years.
Thank you for helping us to extend the Mission and Work of the Incarnate Word as Lay Missionaries of the Incarnate Word. As a Peruvian, I feel very honored to have them among us, sharing the God of life with such humility and love. Our prayer accompanies your ministries in Chimbote. Blessings.