A Ripple From Rochester Abroad

June 17, 2021

Last month, Mary Ayala, an active member of Browncroft since 2000 and a part of our Small Group Leadership Team, shared with us a story about a young woman from our sister church in Miraflores, Peru who asked to be part of Browncroft’s Young Adult small groups this fall. This led to a conversation that brought to light the exciting, long-lasting effects of Browncroft’s outreach locally and around the world.

Mary helps oversee the placement of Browncrofters into small groups. She takes into account characteristics like age and gender so that they are able to connect with other individuals in similar stages and walks of life. Last month, she received a request form from a woman in Miraflores who wanted to join one of our Young Adult groups despite not being a member of Browncroft and living almost 4,000 miles away. Mary began emailing with her, and they quickly realized that they had several surprising connections stemming from many years of Browncroft’s outreach activities.

“I couldn’t help but think how Browncroft’s reach underscores every part of this story,” Mary said.

Mary happened to sign one of her emails with “Bendiciones,” the Spanish word for “Blessings.” The two then began conversing in Spanish, and Mary mentioned that she had once been a member of Rochester Youth for Christ Teen Teams, a mission that Browncroft has supported for decades. Mary’s team was led to both Peru and Colombia by Fernando Lay, who turned out to have been the Miraflores woman’s youth group leader when she used to attend the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Lince, Peru!

Mary (center) with her Rochester Youth for Christ team

Browncroft has supported Fernando Lay for over fifty years and even sent a team of missionaries to Quito, Ecuador in 1998 to visit the church where he now serves as a pastor. Both Mary and her new friend from Miraflores were in awe of the way that Browncroft’s reach allowed them to connect over their mutual acquaintance with him and share about their church experiences as young Christians.

Because of Browncroft’s relationship with the Miraflores church and their continued support of Pastor Lay, a woman from Peru was able to get to know one of our church members and ask to be a part of a small group. This is just one example of the eternal ripple effect of Browncroft’s mission, and it is certainly something to celebrate as we approach our 100th anniversary as a church.

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