Women for Mission’s Support a Volunteer fund recently helped Emily Giffen to volunteer in Moyobamba, Peru through teaching nutrition and taking music classes. Below she tells us about her experience.
This summer I spent six weeks in Peru, staying in Moyobamba with David and Martha MacPherson.
In the mornings I taught nutrition at Annie Soper Christian School. It is a beautiful school with so much to get involved with and so many welcoming staff and pupils. I really enjoyed my time at the school. As a medical student teaching nutrition was totally up my street and I loved using the creative part of my brain to plan lessons, however it wasn’t without challenges. The simple teaching plan I was given at the start quickly grew many arms and legs and I was constantly trying to re-establish realistic expectations of what I could do. I was also expected to communicate and teach in Spanish which was a challenge due to my lack of knowledge of the language. However, I got by with lots of preparation work, my slow learning and the help of some senior students who spoke some English.
In the afternoons I taught music with an organisation called San Lucas. San Lucas primarily provides medical care for the community, including cleft lip and palate surgeries for children. After surgery these children are offered woodwind music lessons to help rehabilitate them. Over the last few years however, this music program has developed to include a wider range of instruments, as well as to include local children. Over the six weeks I taught individual flute classes, group classes and musicality masterclasses. I also played in their little orchestra with them!
I couldn’t have asked for better hosts than the MacPhersons! Them, their family and friends and the other volunteers fast become my friends. And on holidays and weekends some assortment of us would go on trips to explore Peru. Hiking through the jungle, canoeing down tiny brown rivers, swimming in thermal springs, walking through the streets of some of the poorest areas in Lima and visiting the local towns helped me to praise God more fully for his creation and also to mourn more fully the brokenness of our world.
It was very special to see how God used me during my time away. Who would have thought that playing the flute would have been the most useful skill in the jungle of Latin America? Knowledge which I have acquired through hours of music lessons, orchestra rehearsals and biology lessons were suddenly in demand, and it was great to be able to share those. Six weeks is long enough to build relationships, and I pray that through these I was able to show and share something of the love of Jesus to these kids.
Thank you to the Women For Mission for supporting me!
Women for Mission were pleased to be able to offer Emily some funding towards her trip to Peru via the Support A Volunteer Fund.
Could you or someone you know benefit from this fund? Find out more here.