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Refuge

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.

  


A few more days in Peru...

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!

  


Peru in Review

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!

  


How much can you love?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I am amazed at the capacity to love that the Lord has given me. As I meet more people in Peru, especially, and get to know them, my cup overflows. The disadvantage, of course, is that loving them so much makes it hurt more when we're apart.
But I thank God so much, first for Marleni, who was the first Peruvian to respond to my letters, starting in 1992. Not surprisingly, she's a kindred spirit, a powerful intercessor, a valient woman, and her friendship has been such a blessing in my life. She feels the same about me, and we make kind of a mutual admiration society, for we each know what the other has been through. I count on her prayers for me.
Then there's her firstborn Foreman who's my #1 spiritual son (though not exactly the first one in Peru who called me Madrecita). It's hard to express the pride, love, and admiration I feel for him, for all he's been through, for all he's done, for all he's doing, for his passion and vision and industry.
There's Abel who has been learning how to enjoy a mother's love and has been making great strides, and who also is of estimable character.He's willing to assist and give of himself for others, as witness his personal sacrifices after the earthquake.
Esli is another whose companionship I miss, for his inclination towards the Lord. Not surprising he helps lead 3 churches in their worship. His passion is deep and quiet, not quite as effervescent as Foreman's but it's there like a strong undercurrent. When I asked why he was so quiet, when he came to visit, he said he just liked being with me - felt the peaceful presence of God in MY presence.
There's shy little Lisbeth who had her cousiin ask me if I'd be her godmother for her 15th birthday (an important event in Latin cultures), and the appreciation of her family, immediate and extended...And Antonio from her church, demonstrative in his affection, passionate in his worship... I am definitely most drawn to people who ARE passionate for the Lord. HE is my first love, and like David, I says "I love them that love thee, Lord".
And sometimes that love just wells up and floods out through my eyes.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNIE48 9/12/2007 6:02PM

  Wow, Shel, I really admire your energy and witness to all these people in Peru. It sounds as though you really have a lot of love to give them. Isn't it such a great wonder, when they love you back. But that is what it is like isn't it when we love each other with the love of God. That is what is most pure and peaceful for we know His peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Nice great pictures in your gallery. Keep on keeping on. Lots of love in our Lord Jesus Christ, Annie

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Memory Lane

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Today was a chilly rainy day and I was out in it at an art festival. But I was praying for the people in the earthquake devastated cities south of Lima, where it's winter, and they're left homeless amid rubble. I at least had a warm home and hot soup to return to when I finished at the show.
I imagined how it would be to have my boys Esli and Abel with me there. They'd been such enjoyable companions when we went to visit the churches on the river. So, here are pix from my first week in Peru, including one of Clay (Foreman's brother, my less expensive son!) and his pregnant wife Barbara and their not-quite-3 son Efrain (he was born the day before I went back to Lima from Iquitos in 2004) Their daughter Dara was born the day of the earthquake, Aug 15. Poor Clay was frantic when he couldn't reach her by phone at the hospital that evening, and when he went by cab they were charging double, and there was pandemonium in the streets. But they're doing all right, although due to inflation from the quake and medical costs, they're living with his in-laws.
Then there was the Sunday night when Dany arrived - I'd paid his way to travel from Ecuador to Iquitos with proceeds from a painting my church commissioned - so he could help Foreman with a youth event. We went to Kikiriki's more than once while in Iquitos, which I believe accounts for my higher cholesterol. I couldn't resist eating the skin of that rotisserie style chicken, mmmmmmm!
Then there are some scenes from Port Henry where we waited and waited for our boat (it was actually delayed an entire day taking on more cargo, so Abel and Levy stayed on board overnight to watch our stuff while the rest of us went home)
And there are scenes from the 2 villages we were able to visit, Jorge Chavez and Nuevo Kuwait. Abel and Esli fell in love with the latter, and we're planning on a return trip next year, or whenever the Lord works in my finances to make such a trip possible. Abel and Esli became good friends during that trip, and we became tight knit as the "Soldados de Espera", soldiers of waiting.
I went a bit over my calories today, I'm sure, because of the cold, I wanted some extra carbs. I had a BBQ pulled pork sandwich at the show - oooo, so goooood...Am so glad Abi'd known to make a nice hot soup for when I came home.
I miss my Peruvian sons.

  


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