2021–2023 Mission Grant #17 "Spiritual and Physical Food for Children of Peru — La Mision Luterana del Peru" $56,750
Feeding Both Body and Soul in Lima, Peru
By Deaconess Caitlin Ramirez with Eden Keefe, Mission Editor
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8–9).
This grace from God, which we have received, is now at the core of who we have become at Castillo Fuerte in Lima, Peru. It inspires, motivates, and compels us to every good work in His name. These works are not our salvation, but they can be used by the Lord to bring faith to the lost. In Lima, the faithful missionaries of the LCMS continue to labor, motivated by this grace and sharing the love and mercy of our Lord with others. We care for children and families on the streets of the city and faithfully provide them physical food for the body and spiritual food for the soul. With the help of mission grant #17, the work of Castillo Fuerte and La Mision Luterana will continue to prosper and grow, sharing the Good News of Jesus with the lost, and showing them God’s mercy and love in action.
Each weekday, Castillo Fuerte is able to provide a nutritious and filling lunch to the children of the neighborhood. Last year, Miranda began to attend the mercy house for this lunch. After a few months, she invited her Grandmother Lidia to come to an event that the church and mercy house were holding. Lidia came to watch over her granddaughter, but she also heard the words of the pastor. She began to come with Miranda more and more, listening to the Good News of who Jesus is, and the free gift of salvation that He has prepared for Miranda and Lidia. The Lord used this daily lunch to show His mercy to this family, and it brought them into His house to hear His message. The physical food prepared them to receive the more important spiritual food — the food which brings eternal life. After a year, Lidia and Miranda became faithful attendees at worship, and, in February 2022, Lidia asked to be confirmed. Her faith was nourished while she studied the Bible and the Small Catechism. On July 31, 2022, Lidia publicly confessed her faith and joined the Lutheran church (pictured left with Pastor Walterson). Praise the Lord for Lidia and Miranda who were given faith through the Word, faithfully taught at Castillo Fuerte and by the pastors of La Mision Luterana!
While we cannot boast that our works save us, we can rejoice that God has inspired us to use the overflow of His abundance to further His mission here on earth. Because of the grace we have been given, our response to that gift, our acts of mercy, and by feeding the children on the streets of Lima, God is reaching more people with His saving grace, giving them faith through His Word and salvation through His Son.
Deaconess Caitlin Ramirez has been an LCMS Missionary in Lima, Peru, since 2013. She serves as Executive Director for Castillo Fuerte and Professor for Seminario Concordia El Reformador. Feel free to write Caitlin with any questions at Caitlin.Ramirez@lcms.org.
This story was originally featured in the Winter 2022 Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. Order your subscription here.
For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.