From June until September 2013, WMC Youth and Young Adult Coordinator lived in Peru working on fulfilling his requirements for the Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Chicago. During his time there, he had the opportunity to fellowship not only with members of the Methodist Church in Peru but also with the board of CIEMAL (Council of Evangelical Methodist Churches of Latin America).
The Methodist Church in Peru has approximately 8000 members throughout the country of Peru. Methodism arrived to Peru through missionaries from the United States in 1870. In 1970, the Methodist Church in Peru became self-governing and is headquartered in Lima. The denomination is led by Bishop Jorge Bravo Caballero and in 2014 it will celebrate its General Assembly. In addition to meeting with Bishop Bravo, several meetings were held with youth leaders to aid in constructing a national Methodist Youth Organization.
At the 2013 Assembly of CIEMAL in Costa Rica, the decision was made to relocate the headquarters of CIEMAL to Lima, Peru. The current President of CIEMAL is the Rev. Lizzete Gabriel Montalvo of Puerto Rico and the General Secretary is the Rev. Luciano Perreira da Silva of Brazil. The Lima office was inaugurated in late July and Mr. Thomas was able to share with the CIEMAL Board at their meeting. Additionally, Mr. Thomas was able to spend time to develop a partnership with Mr. Emerson Castillo of El Salvador— the Continental Coordinator of the CIEMAL Youth in Mission Program.
The WMC is committed to ensuring that the global Wesleyan/Methodist family connects and we are thankful for the ministry of CIEMAL in working across the region of Latin America.