Hundreds of people held flashlights and lanterns as they filled the streets of Cusco, Peru, the night of Dec. 8. Red paper lanterns strung above a stage matched the color of large red signs with the words, “Ilumina el Mundo” — Light the World.
A band of musicians were escorted by motorcycle-riding police officers. People held large posters and signs while choir members in red scarves sang Christmas songs and hymns.
The event — organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — was one of several across Peru this month to celebrate the Light the World initiative, which encourages and invites everyone to perform acts of kindness every day in December, leading up to Christmas day.
The Church’s Peru Newsroom reported that the day before the Cusco parade, a choir and local Church leaders were invited to appear on CTC television and speak about the Light the World initiative, which has the theme this year of, “The world needs your light.”
Music was also a part of a Light the World celebration in Iquitos on Dec. 10. Choirs from the Iquitos and Punchana wards and a choir of missionaries from the Peru Iquitos Mission sang Christmas carols and hymns.
Members in the audience were encouraged to share the Christmas spirit and serve those in need. They also all sang “Silent Night” while candles were lit, continuing on the theme of how one person’s light can bless others.
The same night in Callao, Church leaders working with municipal authorities hosted a Christmas choir festival at the Campolo stadium. Several local government leaders attended, as did the leaders of several wards and stakes, a large number of Latter-day Saints and their neighbors.
Many ideas on this year’s list are for individuals and families, but wards and stakes in Peru have also been performing organized service activities for Light the World.
Volunteers met at the stake center on Dec. 3 where they gathered and prepared clothes that they had begun collecting in October to deliver to cancer patients.
And the Ventanilla Peru Stake opened its meetinghouse doors on Dec. 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. to offer food and chocolate to people who passed by.
Peru Newsroom said the activity was developed to especially reach anyone going through difficult times. Around 100 people were fed that night and thanked the members of the Church for the service.