Peruvian Mennonite Church ministers with all ages

By Serena and Paul  Manickam
Thursday, January 24, 2019

Peruvian Mennonite Church ministers with all ages

Every Wednesday and Friday afternoon, Paul and I head to the neighborhood of Monte de Sión on the outskirts of Iquitos, Peru, to teach English. Our students range from 8 to 15 years old, and as some of them also study English in school, their knowledge of the language varies as well. We love seeing the eagerness in our students when they remember new concepts and their excitement when we pull out a ball for more hands-on exercises.

In addition to Monte de Sión, we also teach two classes in the neighborhood of Rumococha, and our teammate, Elena, teaches two classes on Isla Bonita (Iquitos Island, in the middle of the river).

Pastor David (featured in the video above) explained two reasons for offering English classes as part of their ministry. First, although Spanish is the dominant language in the city of Iquitos, this “capital of the Peruvian Amazon” attracts a lot of tourists, making English competency a desirable skill among job applicants.

Second, it can help encourage our students to get involved with the church. Many of our students also attend the children’s ministry that takes place on Saturdays in Monte de Sión, Rumococha, and Isla Bonita, as well as at our home—where the church originally met—in the neighborhood of San Juan. Although most of our students found out about the classes through the children’s ministry, a few have started attending children’s ministry because they heard about it in class.

During children’s ministry, kids of all ages worship together through singing and dancing and then break up into three groups according to age for Bible lessons. At the end, they all gather together again for a meal before heading home. The numbers vary from about two dozen in Isla Bonita to more than fifty in each of the other locations.

The church’s work is inspiring, as in addition to the children’s ministry and English classes there are regular church services in Rumococha and Monte de Sión each Sunday morning and evening, respectively, as well as prayer meeting on Tuesday evenings and a young adult group on Saturday evenings.


​Serena and Paul

Manickam serve in Peru with Mennonite Mission Network




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