Each year, my church's youth group works to raise funds for their mission trips, and I try to help when I can. Since the group is traveling to Peru for their mission this summer, I just had to get my friend and fellow author, Natalia Sylvester, involved.
Natalia was born in Lima, Peru and came to the United States at age four. Her debut novel, CHASING THE SUN, is set in Lima during a time of civil and political unrest, and was partially inspired by family events. Natalia has a generous and fun spirit. When I told her that I planned to assemble a Peruvian-themed Book Group basket featuring her novel for the annual Youth Mission Dinner Fundraising Auction, she was thrilled to contribute a personal touch.
For those who won’t be able to join the youth on the Peru mission trip, they can explore the distant culture through Natalia’s evocative novel. The Book Group basket includes:
- 2 hardbound copies of CHASING THE SUN, signed by the author
- A personal note from the author
- Skype session with Natalia when the book group meets to discuss the novel
- Favorite Peruvian recipes from the author (3 handwritten recipe cards signed by Natalia!)
- Seco de Res — cilantro beef stew
- Picarones — sweet potato doughnuts
- Chicha Morada — purple corn drink
- Several recipe ingredients imported from Peru
- $40 Target gift card (to buy more books or goodies for the book group meeting)
- 2 additional signed bookplates
Paradise Valley United Methodist Church (PVUMC) has an enthusiastic and active group of high school-aged youth. In the past, they have traveled to Mexico and the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona to lend a hand and share their faith. They have also served communities in Phoenix, Denver, San Francisco and Booneville, Arkansas during summer missions. This year’s fundraising dinner and auction will be held February 28, 2016.
You can visit the PVUMC website if you would like to learn more and if you would like to make a donation to help support youth missions.