Friday, July 27, 2007
I´d been looking forward to being with the church Juan 3.16 today, because of last year´s experience. They have a strong ministry of worship and intercession. The only thing I regretted was that I wouldn´t be able to go to the evening service since we were leaving for Chiclayo (I´m in the bus station waiting even now.)I thought I´d be going with the pastor to visit various people, as I did with Ps Puelles and Chumpitaz yesterday.
Well, we went to the church, opened the door, and SURPRISE, I get confetti thrown in my face. We had a regular service, albeit not as heavily attended, but people took off from WORK and from SCHOOL to come for this gringa. I was moved to tears as they sang Better Is One Day (in Spanish of course), which I´d told them in letters that I can never sing in OUR church without thinking of THEM. After praise and worship (and they also sang Lord I Give You My Heart and let me do a solo in Englsih) they had some specials, and I was given a few gifties in celebration of my upcoming b´day...we went to a sister´s restaurant for lunch and then hastened back to Sabi´s house to take bus and taxi to the city for this bus. Back later!
Friday, July 27, 2007
I have about 10 minutes if hat...I´ll be going with Ps Hernana from Juan 3.16 this morning and then this afternoon Sabi and I leave for Chiclayo by bus. Keep that trip in prayer - I will be preaching in a considerably larger church ( i WAS TOLD MEMBERSHIP IS ABOUT 1000) unlike the 100 member average! I was with Ps Alberto Tues, Gregorio Wed, and Hernan Puelles yesterday morning, Victor in the evening, ministering in visitation and encouragement as is my calling. Wed we prepared a sumptuous soup at Gregorio´s church. I´ll HAVE to tell you more about that day when I get a chance, cause you´ll be tickled. i hate not having enough time to go into detail yet! Maybe in Chiclayo...I´ll have some time tomorrow.
I was able to see some of my kids from Voz at Manantial and Aposento. Sabi has been at all the services. BTW for those wondering, Ps Jorge Samelvino is on a trip to some other city, so I haven´t seen him. But Sabi has been great. Abel is enjoying my presence at his house, and his nephew Marcos not only came with us to church last night, he actually played and sang a few songs, to his mum Cristina´s joy. I´ve been helping him with practicing his English, too.
Well, time to go!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Yesterday Abel and I arrived in Lima where Foreman´s brother Clay greeted us, and I gave him the goodies his mother Marleni had sent.We dropped him off and continued by taxi to a music store on the way home (to Abel´s). There I got a guitar for Cesar (whose nephews had broken his) - because of his call and anointing in leading worship. Abel joked around about getting a keyboard. He´s starting to feel a little more natural with me, I think!
We arrived home and were welcomed by his sisters Cristina and Hayde, and fed a little breakfast. I let them go through photos, and a bit later Sabina came, together with Roldan who had shared my adventures in Cuzco and lived nearby, along with his wife Pilar and little toddler.They also went through the photos, and Abel brought down the big plastic box which I´m leaving with Sabina for whatever. I went through its contents telling her who gets what.
I had a little nap in MY room, with 3 warm blankets (changed into my sweatpants and layers of shirts).Then we went downtown by bus - Abel, Cristina, and her son Marcos, and me. I coaxed Marcos to practice his English, and we talked about various things. We met up with more of Abel´s family - sisters, nieces, nephews - at a restaurant. Abel was so delighted to have me with him, and for the family to be thus gathered together - a rare occurrence. He invited them to get to know me, and we had a good time talking about this and that. As we finished up for the evening, I was touched when Abel expressed how much I had filled an emptiness in his life for want of a mother, and he invited others to share a few words. Which they did, but none so tenderly as he had, bless him. We got home not terribly late, but I was so tired from lack of sleep from previous night, that I was ready to throw this carcass in bed.
I slept like a log - closed windows blocked the ubiquitous cocks´crowing in the wee hours; no fevered baby crying in the middle of the night. We breakfasted on bread, jam, and coffee. Then Sabina came around 9 and she, Abel, and I met with Ps Alberto Saens. We went with some sisters from his church to visit among the sick. I was much impressed with Maria, who is apparently an intercessor in the church. She reminds me of Marleni in her ministry. I´ll be preaching in their church tonight.
After visitation, Alberto took us all to lunch, and then I went with Abel. We´re at the building where his Pastor, Richar, ministers. Can´t believe it´s already 5 o´clock!
Tomorrow I´ll go early with Sabina and Abel to get stuff for tomorrow´s lunch with the youth at Gregorio´s church, Manantial de Vida. I´ll also be sharing from the word with them. Thursday morning I´ll be with Ps Hernan Puelles and thew church Emmanuel; in the evening with Ps Victor Chumpitas and Aposento Alto. Friday I´ll be at Juan 3:16, and that night Sabina and I will head to Chiclayo. I say all this now because I´m not sure when I´ll next get to the internet. So you can be praying specifically for the ministry in those churches.
Pray also for Cristina´s family situation, and Psa. Sabina - as the Lord leads (I won´t go into detail). Cesar, alas , is out of town, a family emergency - I may not be able to see him to give him his guitar personally, but Sabina will take care of the matter anyway.
On a lighter note, it IS winter here...a bit chilly and damp, but there are LEAVES and FLOWERS. No sympathy from an upstate western New Yorker!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Well, it´s my last day in Iquitos. We leave tomorrow morning for Lima. The only mitigating factor to leaving my beloved friends and kids is that there are others awaiting me in Lima.
Yesterday Fore and I spent the morning together, each of us still deep in thought about needs and goals for ministry and Refugio, but enjoying one another´s company (and who´s going to tease me when I´m in Lima???)
In the afternoon Yeli led me to the home of one of the sisters where the women were meeting so I could share from the word.
I shared from Genesis, about how God said it is not good for man to be alone - and that goes for all of us. We need each other, we need intimacy. I especially stressed how He desires that intimacy with each of us.
But I was blessed and surprised afterwards when Pastora Sonia invited the women in turn to share a word with me, knowing it was near my time to leave. I was very touched by their comments, especially Rocio, who said that when she first met me - back in Feb when Al and I ministered together - and I had embraced her at that time, she said she felt as though Christ Himself were embracing her. And this has always been my desire, that Christ would be seen in me, His presence obvious in my life.
As those of us who are Koinonians will agree, our best times are when we get to crying.
I´ve just stopped here with Abel for 1/2 hour after church - Fore said he´d make lunch. He´d stayed home, with the family, because Emanuel is still sick and had a rough night. Keep the baby in prayer.
The choreography is tonight! Then I can relax! We´ll probably do one more time to Kikiriki´s after church tonight.
Thanks for prayers - keep them coming.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Well, it turned out that yesterday was supposed to be BREAKFAST with Angelica. I found out after my time at the internet, because Joey (who was with us) told me Yeli had called hiim (on his cell) to relay the message. So, we´ll have to go visit her another time before I leave. Meanwhile, Foreman had gone off to attend some business, and after Joey, Abel and I finished at the internet, while Abel went to a pharmacy for something for his cold, I asked Joey how he came to know the Lord.And so little by little I´m getting to know some of these guys. When Foreman arrived, he apologized that he had a meeting to attend. "I´m sorry I´m not with you more." But I replied that he was like me - when he was visiting, I was always having to go off to work, leaving him with someone.
So Iwent with Abel and Joey to Hypermercado to buy some lunch and supper things and a few staples like toilet paper (I also invited the lads to pick out a personal goody, and if they needed any toiletries - each chose a favored cooke and a deodorant). The store gave out tickets for a chance to win a motorcycle. Last time Fore was with me and filled out a bunch.This time I let Joey have them all. Hey, you can pray that one or both of them get a prize!
Yeli prepared the chicken for lunch. But Marleni had made some kind of tocino (bacon) of a kind of wild boar, and invited me to join her. So I let Abel dine with the others while I went with Marleni.
After, Braulio, one of the workers at Refugio, was at Fore´s for lunch (part of his payment) so I got a chance to talk to him and ask him how he knew Christ, and it was altogether pleasant. He also practiced a bit of his English.
When Yeli was done in the kitchen, I cut up the beef I had bought and started marinating it for tonight´s dinner. Then I wanted to lie down for a nap, but Veronica had the children with their video, and they were laughing and having fun, and I didn´t want to squelch their play time. So I went to see if I could lie down in MY room, which Abel (and Levy before he went on a fishing trip) has been using. I thought that the bed was free - he had his tent set up - but the mattress was IN the tent. Still, he offered it up to me uncomplainingly, bless his heart. It began to rain, refilling the water tank, cooliing things, drowning out other noises by the white noise it created on the corrugated rooftops.
When I got up later, I made tuna melts for the family. Ivan the mute was sitting in the doorway, along with a couple of kids ffrom the neighborhood, and Estefani and Abiagail, Fore´s nieces. I asked Fore in English, shall we offer a bit to them or what? So among the children we gave quarters, and Ivan got a half...Marleni gave him one of her famous yucca empanadas, too...I also took a half over to her. Fore enjoyed it and wants Yeli to know how to make them. I said maybe we could have a little restaurant at refugio when I retire, call it Casa de Gringuita or something, haha, specializing in Yankee cuisine.
It had rained considerably, so I wasn´t surprised when I wasn´t picked up. Many churches are in areas without paved roads and they can be treacherously muddy to get to. So at 8, Abel and I went downtown for a bit, and I treated him to a banana split. Service was slow and inattentive, however (spoiled American, I, no?) so I told Abel how we often use tipping to express our pleasure or displeasure with service. Rather than simply not leave a tip (because one normally didn´t anyway) I left the smallest denomination I had, a penny (worth about 3 centimos...I had no centimo piece) Well, Abel wanted one for his collection, so I fished out the most recent coins I had of penny, nickel, and dime.
Not being in any hurry, we took the colectivo home again. Foreman didn´t get back from church till one in the morning because of leader meeting after, and little Emanuel is sick with fever and congestion again. So no one got much sleep (´cept maybe Abel). I gave Fore some money so they could take the baby to the doctor today. He has to go again tomorrow for a shot.
Marleni came over this morning and said she was sad because I´d be leaving soon, and we just hugged each other a while and sniffled. I joined her in her kitchen where she was cooking more empanadas to sell. She told me how lately she´s been having more problems with her ear - she´s had this for a few years now, ringing in her ear - otitis? - which at times really makes her ill. She´s asked for prayer, that she may go to Lima where Abel knows someone who may be able to help her medically without charge. She also wants to go to be able to help her daughter-in-law Barbara after the baby is born in August. I told her I´d get out a petition for prayer for her health and finances. So many people here can´t afford to go to a doctor for health maintenance, let alone a prescription. When I make my next trip I plan to lay in a supply of baby tylenol and ibuprofen, and aspirin for adults, as well as the usual vitamins - because, I´m told, the quality is much better than what they can get here.So...Please pray for Marleni.Meanwhile, we had a tiime of heart to heart, because our friendship is very deep, despite the distance - the Lord has knit our hearts together.
Around 11, Carlos, a friend of Sonia Samelvino (sister to Hugo and Jorge) whom I met and got to know online, came for a visit. He´s young, about 26, and a polyglot, having studied French, Portuguese, Chinese, and English. But he was accustoomed to a British accent (he has an Australian cousin) so he wanted some practice hearing an American. I gave him breakfast of cheese sandwich and yogurt., and we whiled away an hour or so talking in Spanish or Englsih. Then Dany came by to take me to his house for lunch, so I bade farewell to carlos. Abel came with me - Fore had been invited, but since the baby was sick, he begged off.
Dany shared about his work in Ecuador, setting up his music studio so people of humble means could record. He gave me one of HIS cd´s, which I´ll listen to when I get home. We talked about his work, about MY mission trips. I shared about how Ps Hugo had discerned in me the gift of helps back in 97, and again in 2003 how he had told me I had a gift of preaching, and he´d be praying that the Lord would develop it. Then suddenly I had to pause and weep a little weep in remembrance of him, for his input in my life, for missing him - because he and his brother Jorge are so different, no? I continue to thank God for giving us that boat trip together...After lunch, Dany and his mother asked me to leave a prayer of blessing before I left, which is what I did. Then Abel and I took a motokar here to the Plaza de Armas, and Dany came on his motorcycle...and that´s where we are at present!
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