Are you getting a little tired of zoom meetings and online gatherings? We’re all anxious to get back to in-person connections, but today’s story might remind you to appreciate that online get togethers are an option!
In Peru, we work in Comas, a district in the capital of Lima that is known for being densely populated, and extremely poor. Sadly, the community there has been devastated by COVID. The crowded conditions and limited access to basic infrastructure like running water has made it nearly impossible to control the spread of the virus.
Many of the families we serve in Peru have lost loved ones due to COVID. Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, friends… the emotional toll on our kids is awful to contemplate.
But despite all this darkness, there is one shining bright spot: Life Centers!
From very early on in this pandemic, our staff in Peru found a way to keep sharing about Jesus with our kids despite the lockdowns. They are meeting virtually!
One of the pastors we partner with in Peru has been faithfully recording Life Center lessons for the kids every single week, reminding them that Jesus loves them, assuring them of God’s faithfulness, and helping them continue to grow in faith. Using WhatsApp and other platforms, the kids are able to view the new recordings, submit assignments to their teachers, and check in with both their teachers and fellow students.
It’s not the same as meeting in person of course, but it is so much better than nothing! And we have seen God do amazing work through these virtual Life Centers.
Virtual Life Centers have:
- Helped kids overcome depression as they offer a way to connect when so many other things have been taken away.
- Provided a space to grieve for those who have lost parents and grandparents.
- Alerted us to specific needs, allowing us to provide food for hungry families, and PPE for those without any.
- And so much more!
Best of all, virtual Life Centers have constantly pointed kids back to Jesus during this difficult time in their lives. Lesly, a 13-year-old student, told us how these lessons have impacted her life:
“I like the lessons because they are dynamic. I like answering the questions, especially when we send photos – I am excited because I want to see my photo in the lessons. I learned in these Bible lessons that God always hears our voice when we approach him with a sincere heart. Now I trust God more and I know that He hears my prayers… and I thank Him because he takes care of my family and has kept us safe from the virus. With these lessons, my emotional and spiritual life is healthier.”
– Lesly, 13 (translated and edited for clarity)
We are so grateful for our dedicated Life Center teachers and pastors who are making these lessons possible for kids like Lesly. We can’t wait until we can reopen Life Centers in person in Peru. But in the meantime, we’re glad that these virtual meetings are an option!
So the next time you’re less than excited for another virtual get together, spare a thought for Lesly and kids like her in Peru. Meeting virtually isn’t the same as meeting in person – but it is still a privilege. It is so much better than not meeting at all, and God can do great things online!