Orchestra Concerts, in Peru
Delivering comfort and hope to citizens exhausted from COVID-19
The Church of God organized orchestra concerts in various places in Lima, Peru, this year, in order to deliver comfort and hope through music to citizens exhausted from the COVID-19 pandemic that lasted for more than two years. The first concert was held at Lima Church in Peru, and then at Callao Church, Fosset Church, La Victoria Church, Huancayo Church, and La Molina Church. The concert was also held at Independencia Municipality Square, National Army Hospital Concert Hall, and Santa Eulalia Municipality Concert Hall, welcomed by citizens.
The Philose Orchestra consists of 130 Peruvian members. For high-quality performances, they had rehearsed a number of times online after the outbreak of COVID-19. As the Greek name Philose (I love you) implies, the Philose Orchestra soothed the loneliness of their neighbors through their performance filled with love, and conveyed hope to them for a better future.
On March 27, about two weeks before the Sacred Assembly of the Passover, 220 members and invitees attended the concert held at Lima Independencia Municipality Square. The mayor too stayed with them until the end of the concert. Additionally, residents and passersby near the square sat around the square to watch the concert. The concert was organized with the theme of the “Passover,” and it was a festival to preach the truth of the Passover and deliver God’s love for mankind.
On June 15, the concert was held at National Army Hospital Concert Hall to encourage hospital officials who devoted themselves to coping with COVID-19. The orchestra’s beautiful melodies such as the Church of God’s New Songs, “O My Dear Heavenly Home!” and “O Faithful Watchmen of Truth,” touched the hearts of those who were exhausted from heavy workload. The hospital delivered a certificate of appreciation to the Philose Orchestra for delivering good memories and comfort to the hospital staff with love. Colonel Juan Padilla, the Head of Health Information at National Army Hospital, said, “I had a hard time because of the pandemic, but I could feel the peace of mind though briefly. I received a lot of comfort and encouragement from the event.”
On September 23, about 140 people, including the church members, their acquaintances, the mayor, and the district officials, attended the concert held at the Concert Hall of Santa Eulalia Municipality in the State of Lima1. The orchestra performed various songs such as New Songs, “I Enter the Gates of Zion” and “All You, Pass Through the Red Sea,” and a folk song, “El Cóndor Pasa,” with a distinctive tone of traditional musical instrument. The mixed choir sang “You Raise Me Up” and “When You Believe” from the animation The Prince of Egypt, and received an ovation. The district municipality broadcast the concert on its official social media account, and presented a certificate of appreciation and a medal to the Church of God and a crystal plaque to the orchestra after the concert. Jose Harster, the Chief Secretary of Santa Eulalia Municipality, shared his impressions, saying, “Thanks to the concert, the region became beautiful as if it were dressed in very nice clothes. It’s all thanks to the beautiful harmony of many sounds. My heart feels very comfortable.” Additionally, referring to the cleanup the church members carried out in the region in the past, he said, “In a world full of selfishness, the Church of God is an oasis for many souls. The Church of God has been doing more than expected by voluntarily helping local residents and carrying out merciful activities.”
1. A separate administrative district outside the capital Lima
The Church of God in Peru has been taking care of neighbors and communities through active volunteer activities such as recovering from national disasters such as earthquakes, El Niño floods, and volcanic eruptions. In particular, the Philose Orchestra held charitable concerts for the flood victims in May 2017, for the cold weather victims in August 2018, and for the volcanic victims in August 2019. They plans to help their neighbors overcome crisis through the concerts full of God’s love.