What does an Anglican church look like? In some places, it looks like this:
Or for a more modern twist, like this:
For the people of Puente Piedra, a northern district of Lima, it looks like this:
Our two churches in Puente Piedra–San Andrés and Santísima Cruz–sit on adjacent hills separated by about 100 yards and a lot of huffing and puffing.
The dirt hills are steep!
They assure that coming to church is not a simple matter.
And in the open air of Santísima Cruz, it’s not possible to escape the bitter winter cold or the sweltering summer sun.
A life in Puente Piedra holds little promise of comfort.
But thanks be to God, Padre Benjamin Salas has a heart to love and serve the people of Puente Piedra.
Padre Benjamin has sacrificed the comforts of his home in a developed district of Lima to live in the simple rooms on the property of Santísima Cruz.
Living in the community, he can do what he does best: nurture relationships, which he forms while holding after-school children’s programs, enjoying the hospitality of a home visit, or simply setting up a neighborhood volleyball game or chatting with his neighbors.
Of course, all who know Padre Benjamin know the joy he brings to the community through his music. He plays the guitar and sings. He plays the banjo and sings. He encourages the children to sing. He leads his congregations in song. Praise and worship through song; these are a constant in his life and a huge blessing to his churches.
Padre Benjamin’s joyful heart comes from knowing and freely sharing the love of Christ. It is with that joyful heart that he carries out our great commission to preach the gospel to all the world.
So, what does an Anglican church look like? It looks like the love and joy and praise and worship and caring relationships that are found in our churches in Puente Piedra.