Peru 2017 Week 4:
Sunday: This morning I taught the 7 and older kids first. I taught them about the 10 lepers that Jesus healed, and how only 1 returned to be thankful. We talked about the importance of being thankful for all things, even the trials and hard times that come. Several of these kids have very rough home lives. It’s heart breaking to see… Then, I taught the 6 and under kids the same lesson. We acted it out a bit. They surprised me with how much they understood! I don’t know why, but it always surprises me. Samuel translated for me in both classes. He did great. After the service, Pastor Jorge talked with the leaders of the church about what the Lord has shown him during his week fast. I didn’t get everything down on paper, but I know that he’s planned out August to December on ways to help the church grow by making disciples. It reminded me some of Pastor Jon Daniels’s message at the anniversary service a few years ago. We had lunch and then rested some. In the evening, Pastor Jorge taught from Proverbs 22. He’s teaching each Sunday night on family values. Tonight was on the importance of teaching our children that we don’t need everything the world has. Although I was only able to understand the gist of the message, my heart was stirred. He taught that we don’t need all the electronics that the world seems to think it needs, that we are putting up barriers within our families. Now, I know this is true. I’ve heard it many times. But, tonight, it stirred my heart even more. After church, we had a very quick dinner and then prayer. Pastor Jorge is traveling to Lima tonight to be with his family as his niece Melina heals from the burns she suffered. I can’t help but smile at the interaction between Pastor Jorge and Charo. It is so obvious that they love one another. If the Lord ever allows me to marry again, that’s what I want.
Monday: Tummy is a bit on the icky side. I’ve got to figure out what I’m doing or eating or whatever. This is rough. I worked more on the lesson for Pichanaki today. The lesson is on “Transformed Lives.” It’s not coming together like I need for it to. Helped Charo make lunch. Rested in the afternoon because of my tummy. It’s different with Pastor Jorge gone. I can’t really explain it. The interactions at meals is different. (lol). I helped Charo with a project for David’s class. Here, the parents are responsible for making sure that projects get done. If not, the parents are contacted. (Can you imagine if schools in the US did that?!) She needed help typing up labels. It didn’t take me very long at all, but she was very appreciative for the help. I spent more time reading the Word today, trying to get a clearer picture of where my lesson for next week should go. I also worked on this Saturday’s kid’s lesson and Sunday’s kid’s lessons. Yes, I think I was procrastinating on the “Transformed Lives” lesson because I’m dealing with some of those same areas in my own life. Tummy was horrible at night. Charo bought me a type of “pain” pill for it. This sour stomach needs to LEAVE! I was nearly in tears at one point – between the awful “rotten eggs” burps and the pain, I didn’t eat supper and went to bed early.
Tuesday: Stomach is better! I went to the market with Charo after breakfast and then helped prepare lunch. Once I sat down to work on the lesson for Pichanaki, the words started flying from my fingers. I gave the lesson to the Lord last night. And, I woke with a totally different direction for the lesson and a completely different perspective. I’m teaching from Jeremiah 18. It really is amazing how quickly a lesson comes together when we listen to the Lord instead of trying to do it on our own! Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. I should have that figured out by now. This lesson has been one of the most difficult for me – out of all three years and all the different topics. But, with the Lord’s help, it is nearly complete. I looked at the calendar today and panicked just a bit. Next week, I teach 4 different ladies lessons (1 on Thursday night and 3 on Saturday) and 2 more for the kids! It’s ok, though. The Lord’s got this. When Samuel came home for lunch, I could tell that something was really bothering him. He barely spoke and went straight upstairs, completely unlike him. Later he shared with me that one of his students, a 14-year-old girl told him today that she is pregnant. He was visibly upset. He said, “I didn’t know what to say to that. How is she going to finish school and have a life if she has a baby this early? She is afraid to tell her Mom.” The field is wide open to minister here! Lord, please provide quickly for me to be here.
Wednesday: Breakfast and then the market today. We bought the food that we need for tomorrow, too. We’re going on a day excursion, so we’ll need to cook early tomorrow before we leave. Finished up the lesson on the Potter’s Wheel today. Charo shared today that their church is now self-sufficient, which means they do not get any support from anywhere else, only what the folks here give. They have needs themselves, especially with Samuel and Tamara both heading to university very soon (Samuel in August, and Tamara in October/November). She wants to get a job to help out, but Pastor Jorge doesn’t want her to. In the past, Pastor Jorge has worked some, but the church has asked him to not work. They are surviving on 300 soles a week, which is less than $100 a week! She said their needs are met, but that this doesn’t give them anything extra for things like clothes, shoes, or anything extra. I know it is not my job to help with those things, but it hurts my heart a little. At least when I’m serving here full time, I can give weekly to the ministry here. I also started listening to the songs that we’ll be singing in a few weeks in Pichinaki (a different date) for their anniversary. Two of them I have heard before (I think they are even in English), but 1 is completely new to me. I think I should get brownie points from Jim Farrish for learning new songs in Spanish – lol. In the evening, Priscilla came by. She attended the meeting last week. She’s the one that I mentioned was under conviction while I taught. Please pray for her. I don’t want to betray her by stating what I know. The Lord knows what she needs and why I ask you to pray. One specific to pray is that she would begin to attend church regularly. She has been hit or miss for over a year now. Please pray for her 3 boys, too.
Thursday: Woke with another sour stomach, but this one isn’t nearly as bad as the others, thankfully! I took some med and got busy preparing for the day. Pastor Jorge, his brother Isaac, and Isaac’s wife, Rubí are coming in early this morning from Lima, and then we’re leaving for Oxapampa. I’m not exactly sure what all is there, but I do know there’s another waterfall! I’m telling y’all, if you love waterfalls, San Ramón Perú is THE PLACE TO VISIT! Today is a holiday, so the kids are out of school, too, which means we all get to go! Instead of buying things for myself this year that I don’t really need, I’m paying for the bus fare. By doing that, two church members who never get to do anything like this are getting to go with us. For the day, the bus fare is less than $80, but to be able to give them a day is such a blessing! The travel to Oxapampa was amazing – mountains on all sides! And, it rained a bit overnight, so the clouds are hanging low. I tried to get pictures, but they don’t do the view justice! I couldn’t help but think as we drove how the God that created those mountains by simply speaking is the same God that loves me, an insignificant sinner. I was overwhelmed many times. I tried to explain to Charo why tears would slip out every now and then. The waterfall did NOT disappoint! WOW! The only part of it that I did not like was walking across the bridge – it was only about 2 feet wide and swayed as you walked. There’s even a sign posted that says because of weight restrictions, no more than 8 people are allowed on the bridge at any one time. David and Isaac thought it would be funny to jump up and down on the bridge as I was trying to walk across. If they only knew my deep fear of those things….lol. Of course, once they found out that I was afraid, it made it more “fun” for them. That is, until Pastor Jorge made it clear that the “Hermana” is about to cry. lol We left that area and went to another tourist spot. We had lunch there and then went to watch the sugar cane be harvested. I guess that’s the right word for it. The sugar cane is put into some type of machine that pulls the liquid out, sort of like a juicer would do, but this is water powered. Then, the sugar water (for lack of a better word or knowing what it’s actually called) was put into large vats to ferment. We left there and went to a rodeo of sorts. We didn’t stay long. The horses got a little too close for comfort for all of us – lol. Next, we stopped at a zip line area. It was GREAT! Only Rubí and I went down the zip lines. They think I’m crazy because I went “flying” (no hands holding onto the rope). It’s the closest thing to a roller coaster that I can describe! I loved every minute of it! Back on the bus, my stomach started to feel sour. I prayed that the Lord would keep it away until we got home. He did. But, almost as soon as we got home, it was full force. Charo’s mom fixed me some tea and told me to drink it quickly. I only ate a piece of bread for supper, with 2 glasses of tea. More medicine and off to bed I was sent.
Friday: Stomach is better! YAY! It’s raining, which probably changes the plans we had for today. If it clears up…. After breakfast, Charo and I did the market run. Samuel took Isaac and Rubí to La Merced to get their tickets to Villarrica where her grandmother lives. The kids are out of school again today for the holiday, so it’s busier and noisier than usual. Charo asked me if I was going crazy yet. She has said several times that she is ready for me to be here so that we can work and serve together. I am, too. She’s agreed to help me figure out how to cut up the chicken – lol. I’m getting better at the vegetables, but cutting up a whole chicken still baffles me. The rain let up and the sun came out, so we’re tackling the waterfalls in La Merced this afternoon! YAY! OK. So, my ‘YAY!’ was a bit premature. I literally thought I was going to die on this trek! Round trip, it was approximately 6 miles. No biggie, I’ve walked more than that before. But, I have not climbed wet rocks, crossed rapids, climbed using a Tarzan branch, or crossed fallen logs before. It was hot, so my glasses kept fogging up, which made some of the climbing and such more difficult. It was fun, once we got to the waterfall. And I did conquer two fears on this adventure – I managed to walk across the fallen logs (those that have known me awhile will remember my not-so-graceful fall from the balance beam years ago) that were across rapids without falling off, AND I crossed another one of those bridges without panicking! I have bruises in places that I didn’t think you could get bruises, and I seriously doubt that I’ll be able to walk tomorrow. We were walking back part of the way in the dark. Isaac and Rubí left from there to go to her grandmother’s. They’ll be back tomorrow. The rest of us rushed to get back to the church for the 1 John study and prayer meeting. I think it took me longer to get up the stairs to change clothes than it did to change clothes! My legs are already screaming! Sitting during Bible study was more difficult than usual. Between being tired from the hike and the pain in my legs, the hard benches we sit on were rough. I hadn’t finished all of the questions, either, which upset me. I’d really wanted to have them all answered so that I could participate more this week. I did answer a few things. Prayer time was challenging as always. To hear them pray for their requests, to hear them add me to those prayers, just makes my heart swell. We ate after Bible study. My biceps are KILLING me, too – I guess from trying to pull myself up with the Tarzan branch. One thing is for sure… I will sleep VERY well tonight!
Saturday: Today was a normal day – breakfast, market, cook, study. Then, this afternoon, we weren’t sure we’d have any kids come because of the holidays. But, we had over 20!! I taught on creation, Adam and Eve, the first sin, how that first sin means we’re all sinners, and how we all need a Savior. The kids listened very well. Samuel did very well with translating. I used A Beka flashcards. I want to purchase all of them before I move here (either used or new, or request them as birthday/Christmas presents). I also need to get a good Spanish study Bible. I need to check out what’s available. I think I want a Thompson Chain one. I know I’ll be doing most of my studying from my English Bible, but it would be helpful to have a better study Bible in Spanish. The one I have is ‘ok’ for reading from in church or with the family, but not for studying from. Rubí and Isaac got back this afternoon and observed just a little of the children’s camp. Rubí is a teacher in Lima. In the evening, the young people had their meeting. Charo and I stayed in the house. I worked on the PowerPoint for Thursday night. I also looked at the calendar and realized that one lesson for next Saturday is not even started yet. OK. Panic is starting to set in. After the youth meeting, we all read 1 John. It went better for me tonight, except for 2-3 words that I hadn’t had to say before. With new people (Isaac and Rubí) with us, I was more nervous. Lord, I give you my pride in this area. Please help me learn the language in a way that I can be used here. Please help me with my pronunciation and memorization.
Until All Shall Hear,
2 Corinthians 4:3, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”