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Deborah Horst McIntosh ’76: Building Churches in Peru
03.24.14 |
Deborah Horst McIntosh ’76 met her husband after she graduated from LVC and entered seminary. “We both felt a calling to do urban church work internationally,” she said. “I studied Spanish in school, and the language and culture fascinated me, so we eventually ended up in Lima.” The couple first moved there in 1983 to work in local communities to begin new churches. “We’ve built a life for ourselves here, including raising our three children—one of whom is an adopted Peruvian,” she said.

At LVC, McIntosh majored in music education, a degree she put to good use teaching music in her daughter’s international school and training worship groups in churches. In 2008, she earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology. “The need in the churches here for an informed psychology compatible with a Christian worldview is great,” she said. “I now run a counseling center at our church and teach counseling courses in a local seminary.”

The years in Peru have been interesting, McIntosh said. “We’ve lived here through years of terrorism, the existence of extreme poverty, and runaway inflation in the 80s, to the current polar opposite of a building boom, growing foreign investment, a flavorful cuisine gaining international notoriety, and a heretofore unseen emergence of a large middle class,” she said. “It’s been a fascinating ride!”

McIntosh, who grew up in rural Lancaster County, treasures the opportunity she’s had to experience another culture deeply. “There’s nothing like living cross-culturally to broaden your horizons and challenge your perspectives on life,” she said. “I value that—not only for us, but for our children, who are working in or studying professions in which being bilingual and bicultural is a definite asset.”

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