Well – this is after all the reason why i’m here. On the last day now of the conference – and it has been a great week. Around 80 pastors and leaders from a whole range of denominations have gathered here – and this is the first weird thing – we’re staying at the Peruvian Police Casino and Country Club. Quite a posh but surreal place, around 30 minutes out of Lima in the desert hills. I’ve searched in vain for the gaming tables and roulette wheels (no bad thing) – but the place has certainly been crawling with police officers and their families while we’ve been here. Needless to say, we’ve all been on our best behaviour.
Peru is a land of 2000 potato varieties. Not quite sure they need so many – but we seem to have a different variety at every meal. Food has been lovely though – lots of lovely fresh fish and fruit – exactly the same range of fruit as we enjoyed in Uganda.
3 greatest honours of the week (if not a lifetime):
(i) Was mistaken for John Stott – one of the more senior ladies here turned to one of the organisers after my first talk and asked ‘Is that really John Stott? He looks so young!’
(ii) Offered my first England football cap – i know many have been wondering what the future would hold in the post-Beckham era. Well now you know – I AM THE FUTURE. On Tuesday night after supper, some delegates wanted a Peru vs England match. Would have been slightly one-sided i fear – it would have entailed a rather unfair 15 vs 1 – and i’m not sure i even constitute a full ‘1’, because i am the proud possessor of two left feet. Still, i’m afraid i passed on the honour this time – the cap will have to wait for now. But watch this space…
(iii) High level negotiations with the west’s thorn in the side – you will know about Hugo Chavez, the controversial Venezuelan president. Here’s a pic of him at the UN.
Well – he’s actually been here at our conference – or at least he is under a cover name (Pastor Jorge Soto). Real privilege to have good quality time with a national president who wants to learn how to preach better. You don’t get many of those.