Peru 2016 Week 7:
Sunday: Neither Charo nor I slept much last night. The hotel where we stayed was on a main thoroughfare in Pichanaki. The cars outside our window honked their horns all night. Rocio, Jonathan, and the kids didn’t go to church with us this morning – all of the kids are sick. I’m praying they get some rest and are better by tonight. I know how difficult it is when everyone is sick. Charo and I took a moto-taxi to the church. We were some of the first ones there. Pastor Javier spoke. I am amazed at how much I understand. I know it helps to have both my English and my Spanish Bibles from which to read, but I understand the points given, too. At the end of the service, the pastor in Pichanaki baptized four people (2 couples). It was such a sweet time. Then, the church had “dinner on the grounds,” Peruvian style. YUM. They prepared different foods from the different regions. I ate WAY too much food! After we ate, Pastor Javier and I talked some more. He shared with me about Carmen and then asked if I could teach in Los Sureños on Tuesday. We’d talked about Wednesday, but they have something at their church. I agreed. In the afternoon, Charo and I went back to the hotel. The heat in Pichanaki makes it nearly unbearable in the day time. We talked some (she told me that David wonders why I don’t “play” with him like I do Tamara and Samuel. I pretend to push them when they smart off. She said she’s told him I don’t do that with him because he’s younger and smaller. I need to remember to include him somehow), and then she rested. In the evening, we met up with the rest of the San Ramón church choir and some other folks. We sang our song (I was even able to hit those high notes that I couldn’t last week!!), the choir from La Merced sang, and then the choir from Pichanaki sang 4 songs. The music is beautiful. I videoed as much as possible so that I can listen to it later. Pastor Javier preached again. It was amazing! He talked about how remaining faithful protects our relationship with the Lord, protects our families, and protects our testimonies. Before we left, Pastor Javier and I talked again about my teaching in Los Sureños. When I asked him what topic he would like for me to teach on, he told me to pray and follow the Lord’s leading. That hit me between the eyes. I hadn’t even considered praying about it really. All the way back from Pichanaki (2 hours or so), I prayed for clarity. I was “hoping” it would be one of the lessons previously taught, because that’s the easy way. I had no peace. When we got home, we pretty much all went to bed quickly. We were worn out.
Monday: We had planned to go to La Merced today to hike to a waterfall. Everyone is still tired from yesterday, and Yesseni and Eliecer are too tired from the Pichanaki trip as well. I was a little disappointed. I wanted to see it, but at the same time, I completely understand. The kids are out of school today, too. We (Sipions, Nico, Liz and I) went to the La Encantada Waterfall. It’s a small waterfall in San Ramón, but it’s absolutely beautiful. There’s a rope to climb up on the waterfall. Samuel was able to do it. I tried, but I couldn’t get traction in my sandals. I loved letting the water cascade down over me. It was cleansing in a way. Later we walked a bit to the river. The water is low enough that we could cross over via the rocks. Charo thought I was nuts. I slipped a few times and scared her. But, I didn’t get hurt, unless you count the little scrape on my forearm lol. David walked with me quite a bit. One of the views walking back was beyond breathtaking – looking up at the mountains reminded me again of Psalm 121. We talked about how this is my last week in San Ramón and how I’m already dreading leaving. In the evening, everyone was so tired that we talked very little. I think we will all sleep very well tonight!
Tuesday: Charo and I planned out the meals for the week – I’m going to learn to cook certain meals this week so that I can prepare them in the US. Pastor Jorge joked that he is putting on weight because I’m learning to cook Peruvian foods – ha. I finished up the lessons for the Special Needs school. I met Amparo, Candy’s friend. She helped me with the PowerPoint for the school. She is a special education aide in Connecticut. Oh how the Lord worked this out to have her in San Ramón this week to translate for me!! I completed the fill-in-the-blank sheet for the lesson, too. It sounds like a simple day, but we were busy the whole day. In the evening, Pastor Jorge and I talked about my bringing a group to San Ramón again. We discussed the logistics and the type of work we could do. I am really praying that a group from Country Woods will come! We also talked about the possibility of my teaching English in a local school. I hear it’s very difficult to get a work visa. I’m going to ask Candy. She’ll know. But, it’s something to consider.
Wednesday: I made papas rellenas today!! As in, I prepared and cooked them!! YAY!! I must make these in the US. They take work, but they are so worth it! We got to Escuela Especicales just as the teachers were finishing up with the parents. Amparo was there. She talked to Pastor Jorge and Charo about coming next year when I’m here and working alongside me, teaching the women. Since she is Peruvian, she understands much of the cultural problems that the women have. We will talk throughout the year to see what works. The lecture went well, I think. The teachers asked questions and requested that I come back next year with additional topics and information. They took my email address so that they could ask questions throughout the year, too. Today was Charo’s mom’s birthday. When we got back from the school, they were ready for us to go eat. We went to the Pollo Broaster place. As always, it was good. We walked back. It was nice walking. I must keep up the walking (and other exercise) when I get back to the US. Right now, I have some killer calves – lol. And, from carrying all of the bags when we go to the market (I try to carry as much of the weight as possible so that Charo doesn’t have to), my arm muscles are toned, too.
Thursday: Charo’s mom requested a specific meal today. I can’t remember what it’s called. She’s cooking, so my making cau cau de pollo is being moved. That’s good with me. I can make the chocolate cake tonight that Charo has asked for. I sure hope it turns out. I’ve never made one from scratch before! In the evening, we had church. Pastor Jorge taught on Jude again, but his PowerPoint wasn’t working. I had to get the notes from Charo. I couldn’t figure out how to spell things. Pastor put the icing that Charo made on the cake, and we all enjoyed some. And, I must say, it was actually good! Pastor shared that next summer while I’m here, we’ll be going on a missions trip to a city on the other side of Pichanaki!! He wants to take the church for 3 days or so and help the church there. (I can’t remember the city that he said, but it’s one that I haven’t been to yet.) We also talked about my continuing to teach in other cities (next year and once I’m here full time). Chatted with Candy tonight. She said that if I have a work visa and teach English, I will have very little, if any, time for ministry. So, that idea is out. I could, though use teaching English as an outreach ministry – offering classes in the church to bring folks in. I like that idea.
Friday: I made Cau Cau de pollo today. I think that’s something I can make in the US, too. Charo and I began to make my “shopping list” for Metro. There are some things I can’t find in the US that I will need to cook these meals. And, as long as the items are sealed (as in jars or bags from the ‘manufacturer’), I can check them in my luggage. Charo’s head is hurting today. She napped in the afternoon, and I worked a little on my lesson for Tuesday. I’m struggling with getting it on paper. It’s in my head, but when I start typing, it doesn’t make much sense. Praying the Lord gives clear direction. In the afternoon, Charo and I went to La Merced to Highland Coffee. It’s a really neat place. I had a few “gifts” to purchase. I found a little book that gives history and facts about Chanchamayo. I’m starting to understand the district and region info, thanks to the little book. We got back just in time for the end of prayer meeting. Tonight’s prayers focused on missionaries. When Pastor Jorge listed me as a missionary to Chanchamayo, my eyes filled with tears. Hearing the folks pray specifically for the Lord to use me and protect me was humbling. Finished the lessons for Sunday morning, too. I’m really nervous about teaching in Spanish.
Saturday: Rosalinda, her husband and son came over this morning. Rosalinda, Charo and I went to the market. We’re making arroz con pollo today. It’s one of my favorite meals. I can’t wait to learn how to make it!! Again I say that I will not win any contests for my speed or for my chopping skills, but I got the job done. After lunch, I walked to get the copies I need for La Merced and for Sunday. I’m getting good at asking for copies and paying for them. When I got ready to pay the clerk, I was counting the money out. She tried to give me change, but she didn’t owe me any. When I “corrected” her by saying she didn’t owe me change, she was surprised. She said, “You must be a real Christian.” I asked Charo later what she meant. She said that not all Christians are honest, and it makes it difficult to witness. In the evening, we went to La Merced. They had a good group of ladies. Some of them were ones from last year, but they had several new ones. I think the lesson went well, except for the distraction that comes from needing a translator.