Divinity students are equally enthusiastic. Christian Peele D’08 of Goldsboro, N.C., says: “I was humbled by how much our Peruvian brothers and sisters taught us about living for God. Their honesty and willingness to embrace us was breathtaking.”
Peele, a 19-year-old who plans to minister through domestic missions when she graduates, also learned a lot from the Peruvians’ relationship to the earth.
“Many of the people we worked with were farmers. They understand that the earth is a gift from God, and as such, is life-giving. They understand their relationship with the land to be a reflection of and an integral part of their relationship with God.”
Peruvians still suffer from poverty, as well as from the trauma of a guerilla war that left 69,000 people dead and countless others missing, says Kristin Herzog, whose books include Finding Their Voice: Peruvian Women’s Testimonies of War (Trinity Press International, 1993), and Children and Our Global Future: Theological and Social Challenges (Pilgrim Press, 2005). The latter contains a chapter about children in Peru.
A former teacher of religion and German in German secondary schools, she earned her Ph.D. in 1980 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the National Coalition of Independent Scholars.
She is active in the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Durham and a board member of the United Christian Campus Ministry of N.C. Central University.