Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Last night was able to call my "Honey" when he got home from work. It was good to be able to talk at length, clarify some things, make plans. I appreciate his concern for my health and well-being - he especially worries about my being so long in Lima, due to the crime and all. But I assured him the church family keeps watch over me (besides God's angles at work).
While I miss the people - and WEATHER - of Pucallpa, there's such a feeling of being at home here among the church family of Voz de la Transformacion.
Today we're going to Huascar Park. I hear they've been expanding its features. It has a small zoo, a lagoon where you can ride either a paddle boat or a motor boat, various rides and things for the kiddies, some futbol fields, a train that takes you around the park, a pool (not that I'd do any swimming this time of year!)... a nice park! Then around 6 pm I'll be going with my friend Psa Lorenza for my goddaughter's birthday (TWENTY! How'd she come to be TWENTY???)
Monday, July 28, 2014
Not sure what time we arrived in Villa el Salvador yesterday - 9 ish maybe. We got a cab from the bus station to the church, where Sabi had a breakfast ready of avocado, baloney, rolls, and tea. Being Sunday, it wasn't long before people started filing in for church service - some dear friends, and some whom I have yet to know better. I was given the opportunity to greet (greetings from MY church, Cidudad de Refugio) and share 'a word' - so being overtired, the word I shared was LOVE, that love that binds us together and makes us a family through the precious blood of Christ. A visiting pastor shared the message, and stayed for lunch after - spaghetti with a tasty sauce, and chicken.
Sabi also gave me a plate of steamed broccoli and carrots, bless her heart! After lunch I napped a little, and got up to Nimia and other sisters preparing Picarones, a fried dough made with sweet potato, served with syrup. They whomped up a huge batch to sell to benefit the building fund. The church needs a good roof before continuing to construct more floors, for residence and hospitality, as well as to serve the needs of the congregation. I enjoyed a portion, and then a neighbor who is one of my spiritual sons, was enticed into the church to have a portion, and to surprise him with my company. So we enjoyed fellowship over picarones, and after Sabi cleaned up, I went with her to a local market to get makings for chicky-veggy soup to serve with PBJ's to a bunch of my 'kids'. They filed in, and enjoyed the sandwiches - for many it was the first time having our American staple of peanut butter. For others it was the first time having it with JELLY. All pronounced it RICO. Then one of my 'daughters' arrived and we had a nice chance to chat. Finally I got to yawning so much, I was accompanied tomy digs at sister Carmen's house, where I slept soundly. Got up this morning when Sabi arrived, breakfasted on fried egg and maduros and coffee. Then we walked back via the market, where Sabi stocked up on some fruits, and some fish for lunch. I'll be spending time with the extended family today. Tomorrow so far the plan is a paseo in the morning to Huascar park, and probably in the afternoon I'll be joining my goddaughter for her birthday. So for now it seems the ministry is that of visiting individuals and families, the fellowship of the saints!
This particular computer OR the Spark site isn't letting me upload pix at the mo', so it'll ahve to wait. Meanwhile...Thanks for prayers!
Saturday, July 26, 2014
My last day in Chiclayo. We leave around 6:30 for the station, and the bus leaves around 7:30 tonight. It's about 13 hurs to Lima.
On Thursday, we got up and out in plenty of time this morning, but we're entering Las Fiestas de las Patrias, the patriotic holidays. So we ended up detouring due to a parade.
However, we were not the only ones thus delayed from getting to the conference on time! The courses ran a little shorter so we were dismissed earlier, but Segundo couldn't get to us right away.
The conference ended early last night - while there was still daylight! (near the equator, so sun sets around 6!) Segundo conducted us home, and I stripped and hopped in the bath house, Vicki washed the few dirty duds I had and hung them on the line so they'd dry in time to pack. Then, though I whined a little that I didn't want to go out again, Vicki and the girls convinced me to go with them to a fair in a neighboring town/suburb. Well, at least we went in her son Walter's new taxi (a KIA for anyone interested to know) - more comfortable than a motokar, especially for this stupid hip. We walked around (good exercise) - I treated to candy apples (and chocolate-covered marshmallows on a stick for Vicki's granddaughter). I also bought a few more little trinkets for the kiddies at home...and some CANDY, which I HOPE will make it to the US (though the peanuty chocolate fudge may take a beating).
This morning even my fuzzy pants were quite dry, and I'm borrowing a carry-on sized suitcase from Vicki to hold the things I've bought for kids and the things I've been given. I can transfer stuff to the large suitcase when we get to Lima. Vicki left early this morning for the bus station to get our seats. I gave her 300 soles, just in case, but it was only 80 each, much better than we expected, given the holidays.
I'm glad I was able to participate in the leadership training - I trust the Lord will use it to make me more effective in my home church. I didn't get a certificate, as the others did, but no matter.
with my classmates
And I was glad to be able to help a little over some rough spots in the translating. It was also fun to meet my countrymen (and I told Ken I was BORN in Texas, where they're from.)
(two of the expositors had to leave a little early, but here I am with the others)
Psa. Paquita wants me to return to Chiclayo to speak to the women/pastoras. In fact, as other pastors in my classroom got to know me, some of them were interested in inviting me as well. But I explained time and again that this was my last long bus trip - I plan to work with Levi to establish something permanent in Pucallpa, in the Lord's timing.
I took a few pix of the adobe that Elmer made, just like in the times when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt! I wanted to do a video of him actually making some, to show the process, but he isn't here today.
The mound in the background is where he gets the earth - you can see the chaff in front of it, to be mixed in. Then to the right is the first drying stage, flat; then they are inspected and trimmed and set upright to dry more, as in the middle.
I am grateful for his brotherly affection and care for my skin by getting me sunblock!
I'm very grateful to Vicki and her daughters, for hospitality, for taking care of me, washing my clothes by hand. I appreciate Vicki's humble, submissive spirit and her ability to see GOd's hand working in her life; her discernment and wisdom, her mightiness in battle; her joyful, generous heart!
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Last night I went with Vicki to the opening service of a Leadership Training conference, which will conclude Friday.
Due to the extenuating circumstances I was allowed to acompany Vicki. So this morning we scurried to get there before the meetings started at precisely 8:30 in the morning. You have to understand that Vicki is a very busy person, and ran to market to get breakfasty things, COOKED UP some chicken bits with onion and tomato, all the while trying to get HERSELF ready...and the fact that we were going by motokar, which takes some time since where we are there are a lot of dirt roads to traverse before you hit pavement. BUT we made it on time, and were assigned to room 4, on the 3rd floor of the large Baptist church. One of the directors was going to change me to the main auditorium so I wouldn't have to deal with stairs, but they weren't any trouble (just a bit slick. Note to self: wear sneakers tomorrow.)
Vicki and me at the conference
There were 2 courses with 15 minute break between, then lunch (the ubiquitous rice - seasoned - a piece of chicken, a container with cooked sliced potatoes and a creamy sauce, like a version of potato salad, with a piece of lettuce and an olive. Then 3 more sessions, with 15 minutes between, and then all together in the main auditorium.
The speakers were all GRINGOS. They worked with translators, and in my own classroom I was useful over some rough places (one translator gave me a hug as she left, saying with a laugh, "my salvation!") It's been fun chatting a bit with my countrymen. I feel sorry for them staying at a hotel. Though I have occasional challenges with a chamberpot, I still prefer staying with "family." And I catch myself thinking in Spanish. During breaks I've enjoyed talking to local pastors and pastoras.
With some of the pastoras I met yesterday, and one of the speakers.
No doubt the Lord will use this conference in my own life.
Thanks for prayers!
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Yesterday after breakfast Vicki and I went into the city. I needed to take out money for our busfare, and wanted to get gifties for the kids. We went to the station first to check schedules and also see if they took plastic...which they did not, so I HAD to get cash. Vicki assured me that what I had would be enough to get stuff for the kids, so we went to the Artesania. Sure enough, I was able to get tee shirts in the right colors, as well as some cute barretts for the girls and cute pens for the boys. The clerk gave me a discount for the multiple purchases.
Then we went to a "cajero" (ATM) - no money. Tried another - still. Vcki told me that the patoras' meeting we'd be going to later was in a center near a bunch of cajeros so we could try then. So, home again.
I lay down a bit. When I got up, the sun was beaming warmly, and I was all by myself. So, I scrounged a small sheet to wrap myself in, grabbed the shampoo, and had myself a bath - especially after having had drips from my chamberpot experiences! As I was dressing, Vicki returned, explaining she had to go with her brother Hilario to Emergency. I wasn't surprised, as he had not been feeling well. Glad to say he is doing better.
Vicki whomped up a quick lunch of fried pork with a side of yucca and the ubiquitous rice. Then off to the meeting, already in progress. They were discussing the first interdenominational pastor/leader couples retreat in August. Love and Unity! Perfect! I thought of the Koinonia weekends in Rochester. Anyway, I told Psa. Paquita, who was heading things up, that I would like to donate something towards the retreat, so they could have nice little "detalles" - little mementos of the event. Well, Vicki got up with one of the pastoras and left, I assumed to help her with something or other. While she was away, Paquita invited me to share something, so I shared from Esther.4:14 "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” - that each of us have passed through a number of experiences, trials, to arrive where we are today. That each of us has a DIVINE PURPOSE. As pastoras, they have a great calling to minister to their spouses, and to their congregations. Anyway...I encouraged them, and then there was a little time in which I was able to share some of my own experiences.
Then along came Vicki and the other pastora with a huge box - and Vicki announced that I'd be having a birthday soon, and so they had cake, and would sing me happy birthday. The little sneak! But what a pleasant surprise! And Paquita even presented me with a little hand-made bunny jewelry box and a frammed scripture! Another pastora gave me a key ring with a scripture, and I told her I'd think of and pray for the Chiclayo pastoras whenever I looked at it.
Pastora Paquita on the left; the one who gave me the key ring on the right
The cake suffered a SLIGHT mishap, rubbing out "Feliz"...and they DO have such a hard time spelling my name!
Vicki tries to get the pastoras together for a group shot - and then my batteries died!
Afterwards, the same pastora accompanied me and Vicki to a cajero where I was finally able to take out some cash. We went home. Now, earlier on our way downtown, a sister from Yenny's church greeted us and asked us to come to church again that night. But I've been having a lot of late nights, so we stayed home this time. I was playing Words of Wonder on Facebook when I was called to dinner - bits of fried pork, rice, and yucca. Afterwards, I was going to finish my game, when suddenly we lost power. So I went to lie down and pray till I fell asleep. And so ended another day!
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