Sunday: After devotions and breakfast, finished getting ready for church. Nico is still in Lima with her family (her cousin is very sick), and Andrea wasn’t here either, so it was just me with the kids for a bit. They wanted to do Bible sword drills with me saying the passage address in English and them looking the verses up in Spanish. They did well on the ones that sounded similar. Of course, my southern accent threw them off some. I don’t realize how southern I sound until something like that. I taught the lesson with Samuel’s help and emphasized salvation at the end. I know of at least one of the older boys (David, who is 10) is not a Christian. He listened, but he’s not ready. Please pray for him. He openly says he knows if he dies, he’ll go to Hell. We then moved to the younger kids’ class. We only had about 20 minutes in there, instead of the normal 45, because there was a meeting we had to go to regarding the plans for the church here over the next several months. The meeting was good and was well received. For August and September, the focus is going to be on evangelism. If visitors aren’t invited (meaning, if they are present) to the Sunday services and teen service on Saturdays, the services will be taken to the streets to evangelize. In October and November, the focus will be on discipleship – very similar to our Life Groups. And then December and beyond, still focusing on evangelism and discipleship, but adding deep teaching. Afterwards, we went to lunch because it was late. The evening service had more people than usual – Pastor Jorge’s heartfelt plea for folks to arrive on time hit home. After church, we all talked. I’m really going to miss the folks here. As time is getting closer for me to leave, it is getting more and more difficult to not get sad.
Monday: Studied a bit today after breakfast, market, and helping prepare lunch. An overall “down” day. Charo wasn’t feeling well today, so while she rested, I studied. We read 1 John together in the evening.
Tuesday: Today is Pastor Jorge’s birthday. After breakfast, Charo and I went to the market. I’m making meatloaf for them today – their request. This is the third year they’ve requested it. I feel more pressure today, though, because it’s Pastor Jorge’s birthday – haha. When Charo asked me how I know how much of onion, oregano, milk, crackers, black pepper, and ketchup to mix in, I had to tell her that I really don’t know. I’m simply going by the “smell” of it – haha. That’s what she tells me all the time about how she makes Peruvian meals. It actually turned out the best of the 3 years. I’m glad for that. In the afternoon, I walked around and took some photos and then went with Charo to purchase the cake for tonight and pass out a few invitations for tomorrow’s meeting. After Pastor Jorge’s evening class in the institute, we went for pizza. I’m not sure exactly what was on the Chanchamayno pizza, but it was DECLICIOUS! When we left, Charo and I rode in one motor taxi. We literally were almost killed by bus who decided since it was bigger, it was going to take our part of the road. Now, before you think I’m exaggerating, Charo was even scared! We got back to the house, and several folks from church came to celebrate Pastor’s birthday. The cake was really good!
Wednesday: Woke with another HORRIBLE sour stomach! I know it’s from eating so much so late last night. (At least I know what caused this one!) I’m teaching here in San Ramón tonight, and I need it gone. I’ve asked folks to pray. I have no doubt that the prayers will work and that I’ll feel better. After breakfast (I had tea and bread only), Charo and I went to the market. We passed out a few invitations for tonight’s meeting while we were there. After lunch, we decorated the church. After I got ready, I still didn’t feel great. But, I feel stronger. The meeting went well. I taught on “In the Potter’s Hands” again. One lady paid very close attention during the entire meeting. Others asked questions, which Samuel helped me answer. (I am so thankful that he decided to interpret tonight!!) At the end, after we were all done and had taken our group photos, the lady I mentioned asked if she could talk to me. She first asked if I could understand her. I said I could. She told me that the message tonight was for her. She had been invited by one of the ladies in the church, her friend. She said that God was speaking to her. We talked for about 10 minutes before Samuel came over. Once he was there, we talked more in depth, as he helped us understand one another better. Her name is Pilar. Please be in prayer for her. She is Catholic. Based on our conversation, I do not believe she is a Christian. I could be wrong, as only God knows her heart. We invited her to church. She said she might visit. After the meeting, I basically went to bed. I’m still not feeling great, but praise the Lord, He got me through it!
Thursday: Woke up this morning feeling MUCH better! After breakfast and the market, I helped Charo fix lunch. After lunch, she and I went into town to purchase Nico’s return bus ticket for tomorrow. I’m not sure what happened, but I managed to fall off one of the slanted steps off of the sidewalk. (The step downs are slanted from the edge of the sidewalk to the street. The streets all have about a 6 inch “gully” that runs through them for when the rains are heavy.) This particular sidewalk was about 10 inches off of the road. I caught myself with my hand before I totally hit the ground, but my knee popped. I’m going to be sore tomorrow, between my knee and my hand. But, most of all, my pride took a hit. Haha. People around us gasped! Once they saw I was ok, they were trying not to laugh. Charo commented on how red my face got. Lol. Later, we visited a lady that had been in a serious car accident in March. She still can’t walk. We took her a dessert. We prayed with her. Her house has no electricity, so she is very lonely after dark. She has a flashlight that she sees with. Her husband has left her for another woman. She has 4 children, 2 that are preteens who are already working in restaurants to earn money to help buy food, and 2 toddlers. It is a sad situation. We read 1 John again tonight. I’m getting “faster” and clearer with reading aloud.
Friday: Today has been a weird day. It started normal, with Charo and I going to the market. She found a purse that she liked. I’d like to go back and get it for her later if possible. After helping with lunch, I studied some for tomorrow’s teen service. Jonathan came over. He’s the American who grew up in Guatemala as a missionary kid who is fluent in Spanish, married to Rocio. All of these feelings of inadequacy poured in. I do NOT like them at all!! And, I can’t even say why, except maybe hearing him speak so rapidly and well in Spanish. After lunch, David and I went to find the purse that Charo liked earlier. It was gone! Wah. I bought some ice cream, maracuya flavor! YUMMO! When we got back, Rocio and Jonathan were there. I had to fight tears, again because of feeling inadequate. I mentioned my feelings to a friend, who reminded me that there are going to be times when I feel alone. I can handle the “alone” part here. It’s the feeling of not being good enough that trips me up. I’ve always struggled with this. I gave it to the Lord….AGAIN. Later, Charo and I went looking for a white shirt for me to wear when we sing on Sunday. No one has a white shirt that fits me. I wanted to bawl right there in the street. I don’t wear white normally, because my tattoo shows, and I don’t like that. Charo knows why I don’t like white, but everyone else wanted white shirts for Sunday. We finally found a lady who said she could make me a white shirt if I buy the material tomorrow! When we got back to the house, I broke down and cried. Charo hugged me. I tried to explain that finding clothes for me is always an issue and that I get frustrated with it. In honesty, that was only a part of my problem. We went to the 1 John Bible study. Thankfully, Pastor Jorge didn’t really call on me much. I think Charo must’ve said something to him. I tried to smile as much as possible, but I’m fairly certain that they could tell it was fake.
Saturday: We went to the market earlier than normal so that we could get the material for my shirt. I found a really pretty white material with a little bit of a pattern. The lady said she’d have it ready around 5. It only cost a total of $12 to have it specially made, including the material! As we were preparing lunch, I asked Charo and Nico for a list of needed items and prices for start up. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. It will be roughly $7500 – $8000 for everything – furniture, household items, everything. I also got estimates on living expenses. It appears that I can live here for roughly $1500/month, but that doesn’t include taxes or anything like that. After lunch, Charo, Nico, and I decorated the church for tonight. In the evening, Jonathan interpreted for me. I taught, “I’m a Christian, but I still sin!” Normally, I am super nervous around him, but tonight he put me at ease. He even used the animations that I used, which helped (voice inflections and such). We had 3 decisions tonight – the Lord is good!.
Until All Shall Hear,
2 Corinthians 4:3, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”