Sunday: Again, what a privilege to attend a church that prays for its summer missionaries! My Life Group again prayed over me and gave me cards/notes again for this summer! That is SUCH a blessing! Then, at the end of the service, Pastor Jon called Anna and me (Peru), the teens (Mission Arlington), and the Montana mission group down to be prayed for. It was a huge blessing (brought tears to my eyes) to have Merlyna pray over me! The rest of the day is actually a blur. I was basically already packed, so it was mainly last minute stuff.
Monday: Linda McMurphy picked me up to drive me to New Orleans for my flight to Dallas. We talked on the way down, ate lunch, and got to the airport in plenty of time. But, when I checked in, the flight was no longer there. Apparently, the flight I booked only has a 17% accuracy rate of leaving on time! SHEESH! (I guarantee I’ll be checking those things from now on!!) They had me leaving on a flight via Miami the next morning. That wouldn’t work, because Anna was waiting for me in Dallas! So, they rerouted me – New Orleans to Charlotte (30 minute layover) to Dallas (20 minutes between flights) to Lima. I asked all my prayer warriors to pray for the short connections! And, although I stressed and doubted, the Lord provided just enough time to make each connection! The Dallas to Lima flight was almost finished boarding when I got there, but Praise the Lord, I made the flight! I wasn’t able to get the seat change for which I was hoping (for my knee issues), but I was reminded by a friend that, although my aisle seat was gone, I was blessed to have made the flight! So, after I repented for my attitude, I enjoyed my flight! I even slept a little.
Tuesday: We arrived a few minutes before our flight was scheduled to land. Customs was quick and easy. This year, there was no small white piece of paper to keep up with. They simply asked us where we were staying and for how long. The customs agent typed it all in for us. My luggage was some of the first off – I’m assuming because it was some of the last on (haha). We had to wait for a bit for Anna’s luggage, but we were very thankful to have ALL 8 bags (3 large suitcases each, plus 2 carry-on pieces) make it with us! This year, we did not have to put our luggage through the x-ray scanners, so that saved us some time. We were out before Candy got there, which was a bit nerve wracking to begin with, but then I remembered that it was all good. Candy got there, and we went back to her apartment. Anna and Candy slept for a bit. I repacked bags so that I could find clothes and such. Rosa came over and the four of us went sight seeing. We were in a small traffic accident on the way. (Think 2 lanes of traffic and four cars.) No one was hurt – just the car a little. We went to Miraflores! It is gorgeous! The views from there and of there are the ones that always pull up when you search Lima, Peru. After that, we went shopping for gifts for our sponsors. I didn’t find everything I was looking for, so I’ll need to go again. Anna and Candy found what they needed/wanted. We ended the day with anticuchos and the water park. No, we didn’t go swimming – this water park has fountains and water shows. It is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest water spout of any water park. We didn’t walk all of it, but we did see most of it. Once we fell into bed, I do not think I moved one inch!
Wednesday: Today was full of preparing the PowerPoint and fill-in-the-blank for tonight’s lesson. I’m thankful that the lesson was already translated for me! That made it much easier to do the PowerPoint and fill-in-the-blank. We sent my English lesson (for me to read from) and the fill-in-the-blank sheet to the printer for us to pick up on the way to Villa Juanita. But I misunderstood and thought the lady was bringing those to us – more on that in a minute. We got to the church and started setting up. The plugs in the church are for 2-prong, and my laptop and the projector are both 3-prong. So, we had to find adapters. My clicker to advance the slides would not work. OK, so I’ll stand beside the laptop and advance them. When I asked Candy when the lady was bringing the copies, she said we were supposed to go get them. So…I began to panic just a little. But, again, I know God has it all under control! The pastor’s wife, Flor, tried to print them off, but her printer ate the paper and wouldn’t do anything. Another lady in the church took me to her house, and we printed. I was beginning to get the feeling that Satan might win this fight….but He didn’t! The ladies were singing when I got back from getting the prints. Anna gave her testimony and did great! I taught on “Putting Jesus First,” and Candy translated. The ladies were receptive. When Flor gave the invitation, four ladies raised their hands that they needed to put Jesus first in their lives. We went back to the apartment. Anna went to bed. Candy and I talked for awhile about our future ministries in Peru. Slept like a log again.
Thursday: The day started with Candy’s Bible study. It must’ve been a tough lesson, because both she and the lady she was studying with were crying through their prayers. After the study was over, Anna, Candy, and I went to San Carlos to show Anna the church there. We ate at my favorite Chifa place. We got back to Candy’s apartment just in time for her evening Bible study with 2 pastor’s wives. The time was really good. The ladies opened up about past hurts in their lives as Candy discussed the book “The Hem of His Garment.” The lessons are tough, as they peel back some tough layers. The study lasted almost 3 hours, and they would have kept going if the chapter had not finished. I was amazed at how much I understood! After the study, we went for Pollo a la Brasa. When we got back to the apartment, Candy and I talked more about the Bible study. We’re still not sure how we’re getting to the bus station tomorrow. Candy can’t take us; Wilma can’t take us; Rosa can’t go with us. To say that I’m a bit stressed and frustrated would be an understatement.
Friday: Anna is not feeling well. She thinks it’s just the Pollo a la Brasa (a bit greasier than anything else we’ve eaten since being here). She rested while Candy and I went to the Metro and to the market for the items she needs for Sunday (they’re hosting a Christian movie night in their apartment) and Monday (Bible study in their home taught by Wilma). It took us almost 4 hours to complete the shopping. The “normal” taxi driver that Candy uses is able to take us to the bus station tonight! YAY! Praise the Lord! I’m reminded once again that when I stress, I’m not trusting the Lord with the little things. One of these days, maybe I’ll get that! After Candy and I returned from shopping, Anna and I repacked the suitcases. We’re only taking 2 each plus carry-on’s to San Ramón this time. When I bring Anna back, I’ll take the rest when I return to SR. I didn’t want the suitcases too heavy to lift up onto the bus, but I’m not sure I succeeded – haha. I took my phone to get a SIM card to be able to use it here in Peru. It didn’t work, but there’s no time to get it fixed before we leave. The taxi driver called to say he asked his brother to take us. So, now it’s someone we don’t know. It’s OK. God’s got this. Anna and I were crammed into the back of the taxi with suitcases all around us. The taxi driver thought he knew where to take us, but it wasn’t the right place. We did get there after he asked for directions (haha). He was wonderful! He carried in all the luggage for us and waited to make sure he put it all on the bus (he waited about 45 minutes with us!!). Then, he told the driver to make sure we got off in San Ramón, in case we were asleep! Again, God showing me He had us! Charo called – I can receive calls on my phone with the Peru SIM card, but I can’t make calls out. *sigh* Bus ride was fine. I slept on and off. I think Anna did, too.
Saturday: Arrived in San Ramón to torrential rain! I’ve never seen it rain that hard while I’ve been in SR! But, apparently it has rained like that quite a bit – like once a week or so this year, not counting the rainy season when the rain was horrible, flooding parts of Lima even. All of our suitcases were wet. Thankfully, the electronics were not damaged! We settled into our room and blew up the air mattress. Anna slept some when we got to San Ramón – she had a headache from the change in altitude. That’s not uncommon – most people do experience that. Thankfully, I have not. Charo and I talked some about the supplies that I brought for them. She was visibly thankful. After Anna rested, we walked with Charo to the market to buy food for lunch. It was nice seeing familiar faces at the market! The vegetable lady hugged me and said “Welcome back!” After lunch, we prepared for the children’s camp in the afternoon. I studied over the lesson on Heaven and Samuel read the lesson to familiarize himself in order to translate. We blew up the big ball and put out the horse shoes sticks. Once kids started coming, we played games outside (horse shoes and Frisbee) before going inside for the songs and lesson. The kids did a great job with listening and answering questions following the lesson! Samuel did an amazing job translating! He’s definitely grown as a translator since last year! (He will be moving to Lima soon to attend university to become an interpreter/translator.) Then the kids played with the big ball (THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH MRS. BEVERLY STEPHENS! THE KIDS LOVED IT!!). After the children left, Charo, Anna, and I went to La Merced so that Charo could find some “departing” gifts for Brad Watts. He’s been here for 2 months, and tomorrow is his last Sunday before leaving. While we were there, we saw a band playing musical instruments. It was nice. We got back to San Ramón and went to the plaza. There we saw another church lady and her daughter. It sure feels good to be “home.” And, it’s been wonderful to be able to share this with someone else – I’m so thankful that Anna has been able to come with me this year! I’m praying for a larger group next year, but I’m thankful to be able to show my beautiful San Ramón to another! It has been a bit different, having other English speakers (Brad and Anna) here. My Spanish is not as good as it was when I left here last year, but I’m communicating. I’m looking forward to being immersed again and learning more and using more.