Círculo Abierto para Perú
The McEuen Family…Cross cultural witnesses with the people of Peru June 2010
Jirón San José 230, Urb. San Carlos; Huancayo, Perú Volume 4, Number 6
www.opencircleperu.org – email@example.com – 678.701.3757
Always be ready…
T he picture here is a weaving we have on our wall at home. It is a stylistic version of a traditional scene: the backs of some
Quechua women. Usually in the traditional art here, they are seen in groups of three. Their backs are to us because they
don´t want to hear what they are saying. They are called “Las chismosas” or “The gossipers.” They like to talk. And,
according to my kids, I do to. The difference, I hope, is what we talk about.
The apostle Peter tells us in his first letter, “…in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to
everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” (1 Peter 3.15 NIV).
This is an important message for all of us.
First, he tells us that we need to be sure that we have a strong relationship with Jesus Christ
and that we have accepted him as our Lord and Savior. We need to be sure in our hearts
that he was not only just a good man, or a role model. We need to be sure that he is the
Christ, the anointed one of God. When that is sure in our hearts, we will know the hope
and joy that comes from knowing and loving Jesus Christ.
The second thing Peter tells us is that we need to always be ready to “give an answer to
everyone who asks” why we live filled with hope and joy and peace and love and everything
else. We need to be ready to share the stories of what God has done in and through us.
We need to be ready to share at any time and any place. We never know who is going to
Here in Peru, we have found that to be very true. There have been a lot of times people
stop us on the street or in stores or in the market and ask us, “What are you doing here?”
They don´t mean it in a bad way. They are curious. There are a number of non Peruvians
here. Most of us them are tourists passing through as they hike across the country or
volunteers from the United States or Europe. A few of us are missionaries. We do stand
out. Usually we are taller than the average Peruvian. Often our hair is a lighter color and our eyes are different. We even walk and
move differently because we come from a different culture. As hard as we try, it is hard for us to blend in. But we do the best we
Although this can be a bit uncomfortable at times, it also opens some doors for us. For example, the other day we were in one of
the local parks. We´d already been there about 20 minutes or so when a woman stopped us and ask in broken English, “Do you
speak Spanish?” We said we did. She then asked, “Where are you from?” We said, “From the United States, but we live here in
Huancayo now.” That led to a conversation about why we are here, which, in turn, led to an invitation to one of the ministries in
which we are involved.
In the produce market a few months ago, another woman asked Aylis and I why we were in Peru. When we told her why, she asked
how long we were going to be staying. After we told her “at least five years,” she went on saying how bad things are here and how
good things are in the United States. (I think she honestly thought the streets are paved with gold there.)
Both these meetings (and a lot more like them) gave us a chance to share the love of God and what Jesus has really done in our lives.
We are thankful for these chance meetings. We are thankful because they are helping us grow everyday to be ready to give an
answer why we have faith in Jesus Christ.
May you be thankful as well for the chance meetings in your life. ¡Que Dios te bendiga! May God bless you!
Working with the Youth
A sh has begun working with the youth at the local Methodist Church again. Here in Peru, youth is anyone (as long as they are
not married) between the ages of 17 and 29 (more or less). With this age range, some of them are still in High School. Some
are in college (or trying to get there). Some have finished college and are just now starting
their careers. Most of them are stilling living at home and checking in with their parents for
permission to stay out late or go on this or that trip. It´s a different understanding of what
we in the states might call “teenagers” and “young adults.” I asked them once about the
attitudes of the adults (that is, those their age who are married and those who are older
than 30 or so). “Do they think y´all are responsible?”
“No, not really,” they replied.
“So, do they think you still need a baby sitter when it comes to meetings and trips and
“In the eyes of the church, yes,” they said. “And it is good to have an adult with us to help
guide us on the right paths and make sure we are doing the right things.”
Ash is working with them using a curriculum he developed for a confirmation class while he
was still pastor of Ball Ground United Methodist Church in Ball Ground, Georgia. It is called “Las manos y los pies: aprendiendo
como seguir a Jesucristo” (Hands and feet: learning how to follow Jesus Christ). Please pray that the conversations and discussions
continue to create stronger relationships with one another and with Christ. The youth meet Saturday nights at 7.30 PM (we are
currently on Central Standard Time until the United States change their clocks in the fall, when we go back to Eastern Standard
¡Muchisima gracias! Thank you very much!
hank you very much to the people of McDonough First United Methodist Church in McDonough,
Georgia. In February, the sent a team of youth and adults here to Peru to work in an orphanage
and to help start a kid´s club. One of the youth on the team, Kelsey Van Boxel, came back to
minister again this month and brought with her a very large number of books for the mobile library. To
raise the funds for the books, she traveled from Sunday School class to Sunday School class asking for
donations. Some gave books, but most gave money, which Kelsey (age 17) used to buy books from mail
order catalogs, online, and other places. It is such a blessing to us to have hard workers like Kelsey and the
people of McDonough First being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ for us in ministry here.
A new ministry we have started is an English Language Outreach. We have been trying to find
our ministry niche in the area without reinventing the wheel. There are, truly, a lot of things
that the nation Peruvians can do and do well. We don´t want to do what their ministry for
them. We need to find things that only we can do and do well. We may have found it. Three
weeks ago we started an English Outreach Program in which we teach and practice the English
language with Peruvian nationals who wish to improve their language skills. Most study English in
school or at special institutes. The problem is that very few of the teachers are native English
Speakers. Therefore, the English being learned and taught is not always accurate. We can offer a
chance for them to perfect their English with native speakers of the language. Classes meet once a
week for a total of seven weeks. The two hour sessions are divided into 50 minutes of class, a 20
minute break, and another 50 minutes of class. During the break time, we share a lesson about the
love of Jesus Christ for their lives. The final class session will include a strong evangelical message
followed by covered dish supper and a drawing for a bilingual Bible. Please pray for this ministry.
K imberly (not her real name) is a woman Audra and a few other women from the community met in March. She is not yet 20
years old and has a five year old child. Audra met her at a lunch the team from the University of Georgia had for some local
prostitutes. Kimberly was one of them. We can say “was” because she is now in jail. Not for being a prostitute, but for being
in the wrong place at the wrong time when her “husband” was robbing something. Refusing to pay
a S/.400 bribe (about $150) she went to jail. She is still awaiting trial. Doesn´t know how long she´ll
be there. Her child is staying with her parents. In the jails here, the inmates are required to pay for
their room (if they can´t pay, they are not kicked out, though. They just get a big bill at the end of
their sentence.) Friends and relatives on the outside bring them their food. It isn´t a very pleasant
place. Audra and a few other women (some Peruvian and some North American) visit her and
other women in the local prison to bring them hope and the love of Jesus Christ. Please pray for
them as they go.
Kia´s comments on her trip to Bolivia
I went to Bolivia last week for about two weeks. It was a strange, but wonderful experience.
A girl (named Megan Herrin) and I went together, or at least met up at the airport in Lima.
From there, we flew together to Santa Cruz. Following one another, and turning to glance
or question when we weren’t sure of things, we finally made it to baggage check. We walked
through the doors, not knowing exactly was awaiting us on the other side… and with a couple
more glances and little shoves, we made it to where the Phillips family was waiting for us.
Well, for me, the last two weeks were not a lot of what I expected. I thought that we would work a
lot, and meets lots of people who afterward, we wouldn’t remember their names. But instead,
there was more time to relax and talk and play. We did meet people, Bolivians and other
Americans, but it was good. I show pictures and can tell you what we were doing, with whom, and
what I felt while doing it. I was also very glad that I got to
spend the time with Megan, too. She talked to me the way
I would have with my sister, and we went through In a park downtown with the
Phillips family and Megan
everything together, arm in arm.
I think on this trip I’ve learned (or at least recapped) on two things that I’ve forgotten more
than once. The first thing is that I’m not alone. No matter what I go through, where I go, or
how I feel, I’m not by myself. In Hebrews 3:5b-6 God says, “I will never fail you. I will never
abandon you. So we can say, the Lord is my
helper, so I will have no fear.”
The second thing I learned is that I need to
slow down every once and a while. Being
With Megan before going out to eat our busy is good at times, but it’s also helpful
last night in Bolivia. to treasure the quiet. One of my favorite
verses is in 1 Kings 19. It talks about how there was a storm, then fire, but God was
not in either, but in the peace and stillness that followed.
Even though my expectations differed to what actually occurred, I still think I’ve
still learned a lot. And it may be even more special and useful than what I thought.
Playing the guitar and singing with Anna Phillips
and Megan during a prayer meeting
How to contact us
Snail Mail: The McEuen Family (or any of our names)
Jirón San José 230
Urb. San Carlos
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Blog: http://opencircleperu.wordpress.com & http://opencircleperu.weebly.com
Online Photo Album: picasaweb.google.com/OpenCirclePeru
Phone: 678.701.3757 (Atlanta area number we answer through our computer)
011.51.64.215327 (local number here in Perú)
Our phone (and skype) is hooked through our computer upstairs. We will try to listen for the phone, but
sometimes (okay, often) miss it. Leave a message, and we will get back to you.
Skype Name: opencircleperu (Skype is a free download and we can talk for free)
Facebook: Ash, Audra, Kia and Aylis all have Facebook accounts (Todd and Soraya aren´t quite old enough)
Photos (in order from the front): Photo of some insects and a flower in our backyard (photo by Aylis); a woven wall hanging in our
house of “Gossiping women”; Todd working with Juan José, one of the youth from church; Kelsey from McDonough; our banner for
English Outreach; graphic from the internet; pictures from Kia´s trip to Bolivia (the caption is below the pictures): and Audra and
Soraya making chicken salad for sandwiches.
DEAR ASH, AUDRA, KIA, AYLIŚ, TODD, AND SORAYA,
Through careful and earnest prayer, I have come to the following decision:
I/we will pray for you. Please send me/us your prayer letter.
Please update me by e-mail ____________________________________________________________________________
As God provides, I/we will partner with you by giving $ __________ per month / quarter /year
I would like to give a one-time gift of $ __________. Please contact us again next year.
I would like to be your liaison with my church or organization.
I would like to organize an annual support raising event (e.g., sale, dinner, carwash, golf tournament, 5K run, etc)
Your name ________________________________________________________________________________________________
City_____________________________________________________ State________________ Zip __________________________
Phone (______) ___________________________ Church ___________________________________________________________
Please return this form (with your first gift, if applicable) to:
The Mission Society Designate gifts: “McEuen Support 5/323”
PO Box 922637
Norcross, GA 30010-2637