Friday, October 05, 2007
The photos I loaded today represent the tail end of one night and 2 other days in Iquitos. I had the blessing of staying with Foreman while in Iquitos - his house is INDEED my house, will be where I retire. After all, I helped him purchase the property right next to the home of his mother Marleni - who IS, after all, my bestest friend.
Abel Amañe, my son from Lima who accompanied me, also stayed there. Esli Gonzales, who has been in both Lima and Iquitos, spent as much time as he could with me. He and Abel had formed a strong bond when they accompanied me to visit the villages along the river, and the 2 of them were my companions many a free night. These pictures show our time at the Boulevard near the Plaza de Armas. Esli still has his natural mom, so he knows how to joke around and show affection with me. Abel, who lost his at the tender age of 3, still had some learning to do. He made progress during our time together, and by the time we had to part was joking and hugging.God, how I miss them!
Foreman is still my number one, for the years - 15 - we've known each other, first through correspondence, and then more when he's stayed with me here in the states. He will tease mercilessly, but also pamper me ingratiatingly and keep a protective eye out for my best interests. Dany and I met briefly during my first visit 10 years ago, and grew in our relationship via the IM. I helped him come to Iquitos to work with Foreman - and to return to the missionary work he'd been doing in Ecuador. The 2 of them are really something to see together - they get to joking and laughing uproariously. But they also minister powerfully together, and Foreman has expressed missing his friendship now that Dany's beck in Ecuador.
These are just four of many spiritual sons , and they have been the source of many delightful memories. To be able to return to them and KEEP UP with them is plenty enough incentive to get the rest of this weight off!
Monday, October 01, 2007
If you look in my gallery today, and especially the lower photo on my page, you'll see a picture of me with a big old tree that has all these roots reaching from higher up, going to the soil. It's near the Plaza de Armas in Iquitos, and Abel and I would pass it when we'd walk farther from the Plaza to get a motokar for a lower price. It's a magnificent tree. I have considered that the Lord is making me like this tree...every time I go to Peru, I meet more people, or get to know others better, strengthening relationships. For instance, I'd been to Esposa del Cordero the first time in 04. They were delighted to have me back at last. And I've begun to know some of the women of Nueva Vision by name. And of course there are my spiritual sons - here, Foreman and Abel especially. And I renewed my ties with the intercessors of Marleni's church - here, Consuelo.
As these relationships grow fonder and stronger, it's like I'm sending more and more roots into Peru, so that it gets harder and harder for me to leave. My family in New York is glad to have me back...and I'm glad enough to be back with them...but the pain of missing my loved ones in Peru becomes greater each time. Eventually I expect to reverse things - to spend more time in Peru and just visit stateside!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Or, it's Spanish name, Refugio - it's the piece of land that my number one spiritual son, youth pastor Foreman Varela, has purchased with help from my church , and has been developing with the help of many others who share the vision. It's to be a camp which can be utilized by other churches in Iquitos, Peru, for retreats, conferences, seminars, concerts, movies, sports events - a safe place for youth to be able to have fun, hang out, and get a dose of God's love. Progress is slow because funds just trickle in.
The big project is for Foreman and his wife Yeli to get visas to come to the states to work for a year , and invest the income in getting the buildings up and running. Besides the necessary bathrooms and well,he has plans for dorms, a conference hall, dining area, and kitchen to start off. In time we want to include shops where youth can learn useful trades; an internet cafe; a warehouse for distributing to needs in the community; and a playground for children. These are pictures from when I was there in July and we held a picnic for the youth, which was followed by soccer and volleyball matches. The pool and well were still being dug. The pool is a necessity in the tropical climate of Iquitos, especially for a nice cool down after a steamy "futbol" game.
I support a worker, Jose, on the grounds. We used to have a little house there for him, but there were some heavy storms earlier this year that took it out. Before Foreman can leave, he wants another house built so Jose can stay the night and make sure no one makes off with the fruit tree saplings we invested in.
Sparkmail me if you want to know how you can participate in this worthwhile ministry.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I love to look over my photos and since I have this little gallery, I love to change them.Twenty five at a time isn't much...so, here it is a few days after my last change!
Looking at them, I was thinking how great it is that I lost enough weight that I just left those clothes behind. I have the Nueva Vision t-shirt though - that was given me. It would've been too small last year, but it fits just fine now!
During my second week I had some wonderful new opportunities. I was at the dedication of the site for Nueva Vision's new church just before going to Union Biblica. Foreman took me on the back of his aunt's MOTORCYCLE...SLOWLY! Ysabel, who is part of NV's music ministry, had observed me drawing during worship and asked me to come and show my techniques to some of the students who demonstrated a talent. These are all orphan boys, about 50 of them. I hope to be able to get to know them better in the future and sow a little motherly love into their lives. I'm practicing with the bigger lads!
During my stay in Iquitos I reconnected with my intercessor friends. This group of pix feature the sisters Dora and Julia Tamani.
I first visited Modesto's church in 2004. When I notified him of my return this summer, he was eager to have me return...pounds lighter and with better Spanish. They have a large children's ministry, as you can gather from the photo.
I had made a donation to MIC, the Christian radio station, and the general manager inivited me to share from the word. Marleni came with me, and of course my son Abel.
And on my evenings off, Esli would come over and join me and Abel and we'd head to the Plaza de Armas. They light up the fountain at night for a little while. Perty, isn't it?
These people whom I love and the country where I feel so much at home are among the main reasons I undertook to lose this weight!
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Well, let's see, I covered the first week pretty much, when we traveled on the river. The pictures now are from the 2nd, from July 1-3. Because of the roadwork on Av Los Angeles, where Foreman lives (my home away from home!) I managed to get plenty of walking as we'd go to a spot more accessible to catch other transportation. Abel almost always accompanied me (he didn't come to the women's meeting at Cordero de Dios that Monday night). Esli came over whenever he had free time. So often the 3 of us would go to the Plaza. Last year my friend Psa Sonia had found a restaurant that sells fairly tasty pizza. Not such as we're accustomed to (I still prefer Papa John's) but good anyway. We got 2 kinds, and a pitcher of Sangria to share among the 3 of us. It became a place where we'll plan to go in future get-togethers.
Meals are festive things when you get together with loved ones. I took the musicians from Nueva Vision to dinner that Sunday. You can see Foreman and his good - BEST - friend Dany there at the very end in the center. I had fun teasing Foreman, for a change. I had a big serving of Paiche, a good fish with few bones. He was saying since I wouldn't be able to eat it I could split it with him. But I gave good sized pieces to Abel and Omar, saying (loudly) "Don't let Foreman know I'm giving you my paiche. Omar said (loudly) "MMM, good paiche!" Foreman catches on, says,"Where did YOU get PAICHE?" and looks at me accusingly...all in good fun!
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