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Pleasant Days...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Well, I stopped by the internet yesterday but didn´t post a "newsletter". In the morning I went with Marleni to visit intercessor Dora Tamani where we breakfasted on TOCINO (bacon - but lean, slab style) and platanos. Then we took the collectivo (bus) to visit an older intercessor, Brigada , who´s up in years and down in health. She was glad for the visit, however.

We returned home, and I lay down for a bit - having risen early, I was ready for an early nap - and around noon Fore´s best friend Dany came to take us to his house for lunch. ORIGINALLY, he asked ME to come, and of course Fore, being his best friend, invited himself, and Marleni said I should take my son Abel rather than leave him behind. So the four of us traipsed up the hill over the road under construction - what a sandy mess! I was glad I had THREE sons to keep me from falling into pits or toppling off banks. We dined with Dany´s mother Claudia, chicken, platanos (MADUROS; my favorite!) cole slaw, and the ubiquitous rice. We talked about ministries, about having vision, about administration and stewardship...

then Fore, Abel and I went downtown where I spent a little time on the internet and also took out a cash advance so that I could help Fore pay for motorcycle parts (his birthday present!) We went to a grocery store and got stuff for the house, including some different yogurt flavors...some kind of berry, some other tropical fruits (why settle for strawberry? OOOOO, MANGO!)

Then home again, and Yeli prepared a Chinese-y chicken. Around 10 to 7 Clara, Pastor Modesto´s wife, arrived to take us to Pan De Vida. Abel accompanied me so that she needed bring me back. I let him handle the camera for me...We descended some steep and uneven wooden stairs and went across a foot bridge, then over the terrain to the church where I was warmly greeted in song as I ascended the steps. I´d been to Modesto´s church the first time in 2004, and he was delighted to have me back. They have a children´s ministry: he covets prayers for (re)construction of the church building next to the present facility in order to accomodate all the children. Half the church was packed with youngsters. ..I shared from the word, depending heavily on the Spirit´s leading, and afterwards Modesto called to mind how the last time I was there I´d had to read from a paper, but THIS time, I was proceeding without a script. ADELANTE!(forward!) I was presented with a paper mache macaw (which, happily, replaces the ceramic one broken by a clumsy student) and then we had refreshment, a soft drink made from star fruit. Then From the offering I was given fare home, and Abel and I returned to Fore´s house. Levy was there to let us in, and I was ready to throw myself in bed.

Today Marleni and Abel accompanied me to the radio station. We arrived early, and the manager was late, so I ended up just speaking during a half hour, interspersed with music, after which Martinez invited me to come back again! So I´ll return Wed. Meanwhile, we invited him to Refugio tomorrow for the luncheon with the youth.

Then the 3 of us went to the market in Belen, where I got makings for soup. Now, this is the first tiime I had such FRESH chicken. We went to this little shop, and Marleni told the guy she wanted 4 chickens weighing 2 kilos. So he steps into this pen and chases the screeching hens around, thursts them on a scale, and if they´re the right weight, he tosses them in a crate where they await their fate (rhymes!) Grabs ém by the feet, whacks ém on the head and thrusts them in something else in back - maybe boiling water - they were prepared for us right there. Abel transfered the plastic bag into our grocery bag, and I felt its heat - so unusual, coming from a place where it´s refrigerated! So, that was the highlight of THAT experience.

Once home, I had a bathe, and then since I just was gonna be waiting for Esli, Yeli and I worked on the choreography. I´m started to get it - goofing up less. Worked up quite a sweat! The other 4 girls who are in on it were late coming, and Yeli said "Buenas NOCHES" in greeting, to let them know they were LATE. But I told her at least it gave me more time for one on one. We ran through the routine one more time after Esli had arrived, and then I joined him at Marleni´s, taking a bottle of water with me!

Esli´d brought his keyboard, and he and Abel and I just had a nice time of worship, as first at Esli´s request I did some songs in English. When my voice was finally giving out I suggested we head out. So the 3 of us are here at the Plaza de Armas, I´m catching up, then we´ll do supper, maybe take a trip to the Boulevard for some crafts - I gotta get Mom some earrings! Then we´ll try to get home at a decent hour. Later!

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    I have been reading your posts and enjoying them. Just not posting all the time. Blessings! :D

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Something New

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Well, yesterday after I had a nice nap, I asked Yeli if she had some nailclippers as my fingernails were getting a little ragged. But she wanted to give me another manicure (NOT your typical missionary agenda!) and paint them. So, as I was sitting there waiting for the nail polish to dry, Marleni brought the key intercessors from her church by before they went to meeting, to greet me. Of course, with sticky nails I couldn´t give a proper hug! When they dried, I pulled out my calendar, my agenda, and we set up dates for visitation. Then they went their way, and Yeli started to give me a PEDICURE! Later Esli arrived. We waited a bit, but Esli said the entrance to the street was difficult with the construction. He knew where the church was, and suggested he could take me and Abel. So we left word with Yeli, in case someone DID get through to get me, that I´d already gone.

The church Dios Me Cambio is in the district of Belen. We had to descend some steep stairs, and then ascend again. The building itself is nice. There were just a couple of women there, and they greeted us, and told us the pastor would be along. After a bit, as we noticed there weren´t many people, I told Esli, maybe they just don´t get a big turnout on Tuesdays.But then one sister asked our purpose, and I told her I´d been invited to speak...and she said Tues is when they have their intercessory meetings; Weds as the day of praise and worship service. Esli and I looked at each other, and I told him I KNEW there was nothing signed up for on Wednesdays. Well, when they were about to begin, they invited us to join them anyay, and I figured, why not, that´s hat I DO. Then the pastor arrived, and it had NOT been an error on HIS part - nor ours. He said he knew from Psator Johel that I was an intercessor, and so invited me purposely to share something with the group. So I was able to pull from my experiences and observations and seminars. I talked about the importance of worship being part of our warfare, and how at the coordinated inter-church vigils I´ve gone to, as well as in my own church´s worship service, I´ve been addiing drawing to the already well-known forms of worship. Well, there was a young man present who said that of late he, too , had been drawing we´re going to get together and compare notes, and I´ll see if I can help him to develop his gift in the church.

Afterards, Esli, Abel and I went to a pizza place - it was the same one Pastora Sonia had us stop at last year when she had a hankering for pizza. It´s not Domino´s or Papa John´s, but it´s good. I ordered 2 large, and a pitcher of Sangria - since I dind´t have to drive and the lads are of age! - and we had a nice time together.

This morning I went with Fore first to a meeting of his church leaders at the ground where they´re building their new church: they wanted to start off the construction with prayer and dedication. Then Fore dropped me off at the Bible school where Isabela had asked me to come and show certain talented children about incorporating color. BTW, to go the few blocks there, Fore borrowed his aunt-in-laws motorcycle and had me climb up behind him! THANKS TO ALL WHO ARE PRAYING!

This afternoon I´ll join Yeli and the dance team. I don´t know how cooperative my knee will be, but I´ll give it a try anyway.

Tomorrow I´ll be having lunch with Dany, and going to the church Pan de Vida in the evening.This is one I visited in 2004. Keep those prayers going up. Gracias!


Surprising Opportunities

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Last year when I was here with Pastor Jorge Samelvino and a group from Lima, we werre given four days, an hour a day, of free radio time on the Christian station MIC here in Iquitos. I had wanted tomake a donation to the station, having benefited myself from years of Christian broadcasting, but at the time I only had my credit card. So, I made a point of setting some money aside for MIC, and I asked Foreman to take me to deliver it. Turns out he´s a friend to the 2000, Foreman was entered in a contest to be a dj on the new station, and won, so for a year, 2 hours a day, he was broadcasting contemporary music to minister to the youth; and he built and maintained a friendship with the manager. And the mgr (Martinez Izquierdo) didn´t realize that Fore was my #1 spiritual son . Fore had called him this morning saying, "Look, I´ve got this missionary staying with me, and she wants to give an offering to the ministry." We went there, and then he recognized me. Well, my onlyintent was to bless the ministr, but he invited me to come to spend an hour, preach, on radio. So, I´ll be doing that Friday morning (will send out prayer bulletiin!) MEANWHILE, they´re under renovation - the Lord is extending their borders so that they now have a tv station, very new, channel 45 here. So he had both me and Fore greet Iquitos on video and broadcast it this morning .

Yesterday Esli had called to come visit in the afternoon, but he´d lost track of time while doing laundry and arrived late, 6 instead of 5. Mercedes from Cordero de Dios was to pick me up at 6, but she got a little lost due to the construction and ended up arriving a bit after 7, so I still had a nice visit with Esli. When Abel and Levy arrived from Refugio with some long seed pods called guava for me, we discussed what theyshould be called.: Last year Jhon, Cesar, and Eslvis were dubbed Soldiers of Mud(for the trip down the river); in Feb, Cesar, Elvis and Moises were dubbed Soldiers of Rock (for the trip to Machu Picchu). So, we decided, considering all the waiting we had to do on our trip down the river, they would be Soldados de Espera - the soldiers of Waiting.

I was originially going to prepare spaghetti dinner for the youth leaders of Fore´s church who were meeting at the house last night, but we decided I´ll do it NEXT Mon instead, so I won´t have to "cook and run".
Well, Mercedes found her way to the house, and Marleni accompanied me, and we arrived to a full church - Mercedes said they had invited the women from 5 other churches to attend. After some rousing praise, I was introduced and shared from the word about women of influence - Esther, Ruth, even Naomi - for there must have been something in HER life to testify to Ruth about the presence of God, that Ruth would leave her people to stay with her mother-in-law. And I encouraged them that theytoo had opportunities to be powerful influences in the lives of those around them. I invited Marleni to bring things together for me, as she has done in the past, but she said she believed I was quite clear and needed no clarification. So she expanded upon things by exhoriting the youth not to be unequally yoked, giving some of her testimony; then Mercedes added the need to be submitted to ones husband. So among the 3 of us there was a very good teaching for those present. Mar and I went to KikiRiki´s after, and arrived home at nearly midnight. Fore had been a bit concerned forus - and I laughed this morning with Marleni as we considered how often as mothers WE had been up late worrying about where our KIDS were.
Anyway, I´m here to try to catch up on my email. Tonight I go to the church Dios Me Cambio, God changed me, and not only Abel will join me, but Eslñi wants to also. I don´t know if it´s just for the pleasure of mycompany, or if he also wants to hear the preaching. Since 4 adults can´t very well fit in a motokar, I´ll pay for one for those 2 while I go with the church rep, and they´ll accompany me back home, But I think I´ll have Esli find us a pizza place. NO, Abi, that does NOT mean that YOU can send out for pizza! ;)


Behold how good...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Saturday night we had our pastoral dinner, meeting at Kikirikki´s. I was delighted to see some familiar faces, and told them not to test me on the names of the new pastors I met. We passed a piece of paper around, arranged like a calendar, so they could write in the dates they wanted me to visit at their churches (evenings only). The are 2 conflicts, however, so I have to get those worked out. The problem is, they´re all for Sundays, Tues, Thurs, and Sats., although Johel´s church wants me some time today, Monday, for the women´s group. Let me give you an idea of prices in Iquitos. There were about 30 of us, plus a couple of meals I took home to Levy and Abel - and it was only about $100 (yay, credit cards). Originally I was going to use Johel´s church to cook up a meal for them, but after discussion it was decided it would be better all around to go to the restaurant.Johel´s wife Betti and I agreed it was nice not to have to slave over the hot flames, nor to have to wash up after.

Sunday in the morning I went to Foreman´s church, Nueva Vision, pastored by Jorge Utia, where I delivered the sermon. I had THOUGHT I was going to speak about one thing, but as worship progressed I sensed the Lord leading in another direction and took my cue from the Spirit. I had also brought my drawing supplies - including a small sketchpad, a gift from one of the sisters in my church (thanks, Marie!) I had actually started it that morning at home, when Fore put in some praise music in ENGLISH. After the service I gave the finished drawing to Ps Jorge. And ALSO after the service, Yeli´s aunt Xiarra (Sara) gave me, on behalf of the church, a black Nueva Vision t-shirt, to my great delight (because, with weight loss, I´ve been giving away a lot of XL shirts and was finding my wardrobe quickly being depleted). After the sermon, I asked Jorge to close for me and told him I was open to pray for people. So he invited people to come forward for prayer, and I took the easy way by praying in English or in the spirit, and just let the Lord minister as He saw fit. From time to time there was a word for someone. And a couple people went down, and HONEST, I only placed my hands VERY GENTLY on the sides of their heads or on top, NO PRESSURE! Anyway, people werre blessed, and I was too.

After church Foreman treated us to lunch, but discobvered tohis dismay he had dropped 150 soles - about 50 dollars - out of his pocket. He checked back at the church, and I told him, well, let´s pray that whoever finds it will be someone who really needed it, and you were just the vessel for his miracle. But it IS frustrating.

Then when we got home, Foreman´s best friend who is also his brother-in- law (married Yeli´s sister Jaqui, AKA "gata" for her hazel "cat" eyes)Brandon, and Gata, and their baby Tyler were there, and we were invited to go to the park, Quistacocha, where there´s a zoo, a botanical garden, and a lake for swimming and boating. The sun was fierce, so I accepted the invite. Abel opted to stay home., as did Fore. I used my shorts and sports bra as swimwear (it was more modest than Yeli and Gata´s teeny weeny bikinis, but their figures are also teeny weenier!) and enjoyed a nice swim. The park itself was cooler with all the trees, and the lake was so refreshing. Then Yeli with baby Emanuel and I went to look at the animals. They have a recent addition, a Bufeo, river dolphin, rather shy, and the water similar to the river, so you couldn´t see it until it came up for a breath, and then only briefly. There was also a loose monkey - capuchin, I think - don´t know if it was from the zoo, or a natural visitor. But it had absconded with a boy´s bottle of Inca Cola. ..Anyway, a good time was had by all. And I got to chat a bit in English with Brandon, who´s from Arkansas, another missionary. He´s commissioned me to paint a mural of the Arkansas Razorbacks - so that should help a LITTLE financially (shall I charge him Peruvian or as a gringo???)

That evening I went again to Fore´s church, but it was brother Augusto who gave the teaching, and the music as always was lively. Towards the end of the morning service I got a mental picture and had begun it while waiting for Fore after the service.I was finishing it up during the eve service, and it was during one of the songs that the Spirit clued me as to what was going on - "The River Is Here". I showed it to Junior, the lead worshiper, and he asked if I was going to give it also to Jorge.I hemmed and hawed a bit and said, well, who has a birthday closest to today in the music team? He had no idea. Well, after the service I told Fore I´d like to treat the musicians to dinner, so he told them (he said if others come, they´ll pay their own). So, there we were, and since Junior was the first among them to be there, I gave it to him, to his great delight.

Oh, and during that song, I managed to give my right knee a turn which REEEEEALLY hurts, so you can be praying about that.

I believe Isabella is Juniors wife´, also a singer on the team.She had asked me that morning, seeing my drawing, if I could meet with their children´s ministry to show them a little about "painting" (incorporating color with drawing) because, she said, some of them have great talent. I recalled the word that came forth through Pauline at church about the Lord doing a new thing, and my involvement therein, and I thought, this may be the bringing forth of the use of other art forms in worship - first in Nueva Vision, but perhaps in other churches as well. Anyway, I´ll tell you all how THAT goes.

Meanwhile, I´ve been at this over a half hour and I still have a slew of emails to review, so , hasta luego!


Back from the Jungle Churches

Saturday, June 30, 2007

We left Iquitos by LANCHA (large boat) on Tues, rather than the hoed for Mon, and LATE, so we arrived at the village of Jorge Chavez on Wed well after the sun had set. But I was delighted to see the familiar face of Pastor Augusto awaiting on shore, and we had a warm hug of greeting just before he helped me disembark. Also present was pastor Walter from the city of Pucallpa, but part of the fellowship, and Pastor Fransisco. We discussed plans, due to our late arrival. Originally Augusto was going to transport us to his village of Kuwait, but because it was dark and more dangerous to navigate the muddy canal (where my lads from Lima, Jhon, Cesar, and Elvis got their baptism in mud as Soldados de Barro), we decided to spend the night in Jorge Chavez and go to Kuwait in the morning. Abel had his tent which he pitched in the hospitality house where he, Esli, and Levy slept protected from bugs. Marleni and I shared a room by theirs, with our MOSQUETERO (mosquito netting) securely in place. We had no cushion, just the floor with our hammocks spread thereon (the hammocks were used on the LANCHA) but when you´re tired you can sleep anywhere, even a wooden floor. The night was chilly, so I had my big CHOMPA (sweater) and Marleni had the foresight to pack a quilt. There was an abandoned puppy that cried all night long which made sleep not as sound as it might have been. Plus the ubiquitous roosters who crow starting around 3 am.

In the morning Augusto brought us by canoe in 2 trips - one for luggage with Abel, Levy, and Johel, and the other with me, Marleni, and Esli - with PEQUE PEQUE, a long shafted motorized propeller, up the muddy canal to Kuwait. Enroute I told Esli, I bet I could make an animal out of that mud. So he grabbed some for me, and I took requests - a frog (Esli) , dog (Marleni - I made Chine, Foreman´s chow, lying frog-dog), then I made a guinea pig (CUY) and a llama. They got a kick out of it and had me leave them on the side of the canoe and brought them with us to the village. I walked with haste, eager to see Pastora Rosa (Augusto´s wife) again.We had a long affectionate greeting, and I gave her some t-shirts that were TOO BIG for me ! :) and she gave me some seed-bead necklaces and bracelet she´d made. I know the students at school will flip when I wear the one that features a turtle skull!

We had a breakfast of fish and platanos, rice, and oatmeal. Abel was delighted especially with the abundance of platanos, which he doesn´t get so often in Lima, and of course the fish is the best., so fresh. Both Abel and Esli were charmed with the pueblo, and Abel declared he was going to stay there. We agreed that the next time I go to Peru we´ll have to plan to spend more time there.

As it was we had to make it a short visit: Johel had to travel with other pastors toLeticia, Colombia early next week, so we HAD to get back by Saturday. So, after the guys had a swim and wash, and we all had a nice visit, and Marleni collected a huge boxful of CAIMITO - a wonderful, sweet, sticky fruit - as well as some platanos, we returned to Jorge Chavez, again in 2 trips. When our troup arrived, we had supper of fish and platanos and rice. I´ve been passing on the rice...wonder of wonders, I actually experienced the OPPOSITE problem of last year (stomach acclimated? Knowing not to eat that one fruit?) (Though thanks to the caimito, I was able to make use of Rosa´s commode). Besides, having lost 40 pounds since last visit, I didn´t want to put it back on again! Then we waited to have the service under the circular thatched roof of their meeting house.

Jorge Chavez´church has a lot of children, and Esli and I had them in delighted shrieks and giggles. I took pix, the flash of which would cause one set of girlish shrieks (girls are the same the world over, I guess), then when they saw themselves in the screen, there´d be another set of shrieks and giggles. And Esli just has a great way with kids.

I had the honor of sharing from the word, and it was good that I had been delving therein so it was pretty well ingrained in my spirit, because it was too hard for me to try to read by the kerosene candlelight. I shared about Josheph, as I had mentioned before. Ps. Franscsco´s son , Paco, led us in praise and worship. We met him when we had first arrived, and he shared his testimony, but also how they needed encouragement, and had all been praying and waiting for our coming, with great expectation. I hope he was not disappointed!

After the service, the children first were allowed to greet us visitors with hugs. Esli took the task of photographer as I got swarmed by the gigglers. But in the midst of all the hugging I also laid my hands on each one as I could and invoked God´s blessing on them.

That night we slept in a different building that afforded a little more elbow room (CONCRETE floor this time) and rose before 4 to take a rented boat big enough for all 6 of us and our luggage, to go to Requena. That was a long trip, and we took a rest stop, where I had one of those few moments where I envied men... then we arrived in Requena around 1 pm. Alas, no LANCHA to Iquitos, BUT we could take one as far as Nauta, and then take a bus to Iquitos. We bade a fond farewell to Walter and his wife Rosario, boarded and slung our hammocks and waited till we were to leave, around 7 pm, enjoying the sights and sounds of the port (the others making occasional forays ashore for various and sundry). We arrived in Nauta around 3 in the morning, and got a bus around 4, which didn´t leave for a while - I tell you, a lot of time was spent WAITING, and this is one of the very few times in my busy life when I don´t have to DO anything. So I enjoyed the change of pace. We arrived around 7:30, and I claimed dibs on the bathroom to wash off my accumulated insect repellent, sweat, and travel dust. After breakfast, Foreman brought me and Abel here to his favorite cabina in the Plaza de Armas, where I expect to spend another hour after posting this. Till next time!


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