In a beautiful stone-and-wood chapel with views of the massive Andes mountains on both sides of nearby Colca Canyon, San Felipe church in Cabanaconde recently celebrated its ten-year anniversary. A mission team from its sister church, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Frisco, Texas, joined Padres Justo Maqque and Alejandro Mesgo for the festivities that began with an afternoon of children’s dances.
About two dozen boys and girls had worked hard to prepare a dance that told the story of a typical day in this farming town, where the men work in the fields and the women bring their mid-day meal.
With the girls dressed in the brightly embroidered skirts and vests worn by the women of the region and the boys carrying farmer’s tools, they performed to regional music playing over the church’s loudspeakers.
The two church families—along with proud parents of the children and some visitors from Australia and Denmark who happened to walk past the church and hear the music—enjoyed the entertainment.
Later in the week, a special service began with the resonate sounds of Padre Justo’s acoustic guitar.
The sun had set, the altar was lit by candles, and the pews were full.
It’s hard to imagine a more touching evening of reflection on how the church has grown, how it has become so much a part of the town, and how it has shared the love of Christ with so many lives.
Of course, what would a celebration be without cake!
These two cakes were carefully carried by hand all the way from Kunter Wassi hotel (Maria, the owner and good friend of the church, always makes delicious and well-decorated cakes for the church), down the hill, past the plaza and a soccer game (where they did not get landed on by the ball!), to the end of the dirt road where the church sits.
Happy anniversary, San Felipe, with prayers of thanksgiving for your faithful service to Christ!