Saturday, July 28, 2007
We arrived after a bus trip of about 14 hours...oog! But I did actually sleep a bit. Leydy, Sabi┤s niece, has brought me here to the local internet, and after some false starts, it┤s finally up and running, and I plan to use at least 2 hours to get caught up in mail. But first this newsletter!
Backing up to earlier this week...Sabi, Abel and I went to a supermarket so I could get stuff for the lunch. I also invited Sabi to go ahead and grab stuff for the home..laundry soap, shampoo, toothpaste, staples... we ended up with about 2 carts of stuff, so we took a taxi rather than trying to lug it all on the bus. We went to Manantial - and it was missing the roof! Pastora Juanita later explained how it occurred, and it┤s rather complex. Suffice it to say, pray for wisdom, discernment - and a new roof! Through God┤s grace it didn┤t rain for th lunch and all the specials of that evening┤s service!
Antonio, Pilar, and Flora were there - A&P are part of the dance group. I presented them with camouflage colored bandanas to go with their black shirt, camo pants gear, much to their delight. They helped cut and chop, as did Flora and Abel while Sbi and I spread peanut butter and jelly on the bread, making some 75 sandwiches. When preparing food for a lot of people, there are 2 concerns - that there won┤t be enough, or that not nough people will come and there will be too MUCH. There was enough for alll to have seconds (and Abel said he had three PBJ┤s and probably as many bowls of soup) and have some left for those who hadn┤t been able tocome. A goˇd-sized group of youth from Hernan Puelles┤church came as well.
When lunch was pretty well taken care of, and I had eaten and served and helped clear for next round of people a couple times over, around 3 pm I felt tuckered out (my body┤s usual clock - nap time after I finish at school!) so Pilar walked me to her aunt┤s house, where her cousin Lisbeth invited me to snooze on her bed under warm covers. I woke refreshed after a couple of hours, returning to the church where we prepared for the evening service of worship and specials, besides whatever message the Lord had.
I had brought my sketch supplies and Antonio asked if I drew as well. I wasn┤t sure the light would be good enough, but it was, and I did indeed draw when worship began, and actually got a picture of the drawing before giving it away to Antonio. (He also draws, so I told him it may just be that the Lord would have him explore THAT form of worship as well as the dance he does so well).The second song lent the title..."God is doing New things" (eh, Pauline and Al?)
Much of the worship at Manantial is led through cd┤s, but it is anointed as much as many "live" instruments. And Juanita and some other women accompanied by a couple of young men on Peruvian instruments - most notably a harp - led in some worship-praise songs with a very Peruvian flavor that had everyone up and dancing (even me despite my complaining knee - sometimes one just CANNOT stay seated!) I can┤┤t wait to load the video clips onto Photobucket so yßll can see.
As usual it was hard to leave the service. We got out about 10, and went to Marcelino┤s home - he┤s Gregorio┤s bro, and the father of Lisbeth, who had asked me to be her Madrina (godmother) for her quinci˝era (like USA┤s sweet 16, only for the 15th b┤day). I hadn┤t been able to be present the actual day, but had sent her a card and money via Sabi, and also brought her a little ceramic rabbit I┤d made (she said rabbits were her favorite animal) Well, I wasn┤t familiar with all the traditions...apparently it is custom to kill the fatted OX and serve it up whole to the godmother with the expectation that she consume it entirely on her own. Not QUITE, but not far from the truth - I was given a platter of two whole CHICKENS (BIG ones) and about 10 pounds of potatoes, and, as Cristina described it, 5 ostrich eggs (actually, 5 rounds of scrambled eggs, probably 2 or 3 eggs each)...AND a torta (cake)...all of which I was to take home with me and not share out with the other guests - all Gregorio┤s relations who had gathered at the house that night. Well...when we got home with the goods, I divvied it up and the nex morning Abel and I took 1/2 a chicken and some of the tatoes to Sabi before being picked up by Hernan to go a-visiting; the other 1 1/2 chix and potatoes and torta we took to Lorenza and Victor as they had a number of children and ministered to other children as well.
Oh, and Wed night at the service Angelina was there fromVictor┤s church, with her grandson...this is the grandson who, while we were here in Feb, had taken a seriouc fall and cracked his skull and had a very grim prognosis. Al had been allowed to go into the OR to pray...and I testify you have never seen a more normal and active and busy little boy - you┤d never know he┤d been at death┤s door or facing paralysis. GOD IS MORE THAN GOOD.
Thurs, as I said, in the morning and early afternoon, we┤d gone with Hernan to visit among various members of his church, praying for them and encouraging them in the Lord. Sabi and Abel were with me as well, for fotos, and also added to the ministry. It was good to be with Hernan again - Sabi testifies, he is a humble man who reveres God and has a servant┤s heart. Pastor Hugo had led him to the Lord when Hernan had been a terrorist with the Sendanistas. What can┤t God do?
On the afternoon Abel and I went with Victor and Lorenza to visit, encopurage, and pray for various members, then we had dinner, and the sevice, which I┤d already mentioned.
So NOW I┤m caught up!
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.
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