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Favorite group shots

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'm a people person, especially since the Lord delivered me from Fear of Rejection. I especially love to be among others who are as passionate about the Lord as I am. When I go to Peru, I get to hang out with such people all the time. Missionary work can be rigorous - I do more walking and more squatting ( not everyone has indoor plumbing!).They charge more to ride in a motokar if you're gordita! Well, my desire to return to Peru and continue such work is my principle motivator. Featured this time are some of my favorite groups shots - and hopefully you can notice a bit of a difference between the pictures from one year to another!
One of the churches seen here, Manantial de Vida in Lima, has a very active youth group, and the first time I was with them BEFORE Spark the girls caught me up in a dance, and it didn't take long for me to get winded. But doing cardio every day, now, I'm able to keep up with them.
Current prophetic words have had much to do with blessing this next generation with a revival zeal and fervor. Well, I don't want them to surpass me - I want to enter the Promised Land like Joshua and Caleb did, the only ones of THEIR generation who hadn't died in the wilderness due to rebellion - they were in their 80's or so, and hail and hearty as the younger generation. Spark will help me to "go thou and do likewise!"

  


Why, YES, I DO have family that's not in Peru!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I love the missionary work I do in Peru, but it's because of the relationships I have formed there. But before I was "Mamallama" I was and still am just plain "Mom"...or Mommy, or Mumz. I married my DH Ansel at the age of 20.Our first child was stillborn from a cord accident, but I went on to have 3 more kids of my own. Abi is the oldest (30 on Saturday Dec 8th! Hard to believe!) Then there's my son Ben, 24; and Cassie is 21.
Abi has had an on-and-off relationship with the father of my grands Keiah and Kegan. Ben married the sweetheart from his adolescence, Mellissa ("Moonie") last year and is now the father of my granddaughter Penny. Cass, though youngest, was first to marry as soon as she turned 18. She met Brent via internet, but it was one of those happy endings.
I have 3 sisters, Pam who's 2 years older than I and lives with her DH in Florida; Leigh who's as much younger and is with her DH in Maryland; and Gwyn who's the baby and lives with DH in New Hampshire. Our Mom is still alive, barely...Dad and his second wife met a tragic end at the hands of our psychotic step-brother who also took his own life. We also have a half-brother Brandon, who is in Indiana, and has a son Atlas from first marriage, and a son Bransen of a second love. Blended families can be very confusing...I prefer monogamy. But I do say that if I become widowed I would probably hook up with a Peruvian...maybe someone closer to my "Real Age" , hahaha.
I figure if I continue to work out and establish healthy habits, I should live to a ripe old age and see some great-grandchildren if the Lord tarries.

  


Becoming MAMALLAMA

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Well, ever since my first missionary trip to Peru in 1997, I decided to set aside collections of elephants and cows and start collecting llamas. FYI, they are indigenous to Peru. And being harder to find, I'm not quite so overrun by them!
I also began to collect another thing...spiritual sons and daughters.
My first was Jose Choquehuanca, who had been one of the students in the missionary's English class which I took over for her during my first visit. He wrote to me after I left, and told me how his own mother had passed away when he was just 5 (he was in his 20's when we met) so I told him if he wanted he could call ME "madre". We built our relationship through correspondence, and when I returned in 2003 for our friend Pastor Hugo's wedding, Jose was a ready and willing escort about town for me, endearing himself to me even more in his sincere solicitude.
Also in 2003 I reconnected with my friend Marleni's eldest on Foreman, who had been serving as a missionary in Colombia with JuCUM (Youth With A Mission). As he shared his vision and goals with me, I became one of his main supporters, both in prayer and in finances, as well as a spiritual mother. In fact, while he was not my first, he soon became my number 1 spiritual son...and we joke that he is also my most expensive, because I invest so much in his work.
His brother Clay has also become like a son to me, as we visit online, and as he's put me up for a night or two in his home in Lima. We joke that he's my LESS EXPENSIVE son, compared to Foreman.
Jhon and I built our relationship after we met in Lima in 2004, when we met online and chatted. We had an opprotunity to know each other better when we shared missionary adventures in Iquitos in 2006.
I had met Cesar briefly with Jhon, but he was quiet and reserved. But he was also with us in 2006, and I watched him grow and blossom in the Lord. Our shared experiences both then and in Feb of 2007, as well as our online chats, brought us even closer together in heart and spirit, so when he was away when I returned in July this year, he was heartbroken not to be with me.
Abel! Ah, Abel! What a sweetheart HE is! We'd met only briefly in 2004, but bumped into each other online in 2005 and when I learned he lost his mother when he was 3, I took him to heart, and since (unlike a majority of my other spiritual kids) he has no mother BESIDES me, we developed a much stronger kinship through our chats. Then I was able to spend a week with him in February, and brought him with me to Iquitos this summer. We were together for 5 wonderful weeks, and I ministered to him as a mother, and watched HIM blossom as the void was filled.
Jose Calderon is a youth leader at a church in Lima. He was one of those rare people who gave ME something, a praise/worship cd that he saw me enjoying from his collection.
Elvis I'd met only briefly in 2004 and didn't remember him, but he was with us in 2006, and we grew closer; and again in February of this year as one of the Sodados de Roca. He became my "Indiana Elvis," a hand to pull me up the steps of Machu Picchu, an arm to link with mine as we walked the streets of Cuzco.
His brother Victor "Tito" endeared himself to me as he learned Row Row Row Your Boat and we'd chat online as much as possible.
Then there's Esli Gonzales, whose pastor father had interviewed me for Christian Radio in 2003, and passed away in 2005, but not before giving Esli my e-mail. We got to know each other online, and he introduced himself to me in person in 2006. This summer he spent every spare moment with me on my evenings off and just enriched my time in Iquitos.
And while I seem to have acquired mostly sons, I DO have some daughters - two goddaughters, Esther and Lisbeth, and Sabina's nieces Leydy and Zandy...but I think my favorite daughter is Sabi's Ruth.
These are just a FEW of my sons and daughters, the ones I've come to know most...and there'll be more, so many more...
And I love and miss them so, and they are among the main reasons I want to get rid of these excess pounds and get in good shape so that I can make more trips to visit them and go with them on missionary adventures.

  


Soldiers of Waiting (Soldados de Espera)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

After settling in Iquitos when I arrived in June this year, I went with a small group of people to revisit some of the churches I had gone to last year. Pastor Johel helped to coordinate things with the pastors. My #1 spiritual son Foreman was originally going to accompany me, but he had to supervise work being done on our house. So he sent friend Levy instead. I also had my "son" Abel from Lima, and Esli from Iquitos, and Marleni - Foreman's natural mom and my best friend.
Well, having come up with names for the prior two groups, of course we had to think of something appropriate for this one. And since the boat was delayed a day because it had to reload, rearrange, and take on more cargo ... so we had to wait...and then it was so dark when we arrived in Jorge Chavez, so we had to wait to go to Nuevo Kuwait where my dear friends pastors Augusto and Rosa awaited...and we had to wait for Pastor Walter to come back to get us from Nvo. Kuwait, and had to wait to go to to Requena, and there was no boat directly to Iquitos, so we had to wait and board a boat for Nauta, and arriving in Nauta we had to wait for a bus to get us to Iquitos...Waiting and waiting...But God is patient and does a quick work in us by making us wait.. In Spanish as in some other languages, the verb WAIT is the same as HOPE. When GOD makes us wait, we can do so with a sense of expectancy and HOPE - it's not for nothing! In the waiting, closer bonds were formed among the soldiers, especially Abel and Esli, who discovered certain common talents, interests, and experiences, and the two became very good friends. They escorted me on my free evenings to the Plaza de Armas where we'd go to the local internet cabina for an hour or so, and then hit one of the restaurants for dinner and a caraf of Sangria. The experience on the river was well worth waiting for, and we want to return again next year, taking more time to be able to visit more of the villages for longer time.
It's definitely easier to mount the gangplanks to board the boats, climb the stairs, get into and out of hammocks, step into and out of canoes, squat to relieve oneself on a muddy bank behind reeds - with less weight to encumber one! Good motivation to get rid of the unwanted pounds and keep the muscles limber. Love those squatting exercises!

  


Presenting "Rock Soldiers" (Soldados de Roca)

Friday, November 16, 2007

It was Pastor Jorge Samelvino who coined their name because of the terrain we were going to, in the mountains ("Sierra") of Peru. The Andes are like the backbone of the country. Along the coast, where Lima is, they are dry and barren. But inland we discovered there were lush areas. Cusco is a beautiful city, rich in the country's history, and I'd love to go again. In February the climate was springlike - warm compared to the Rochester winter my senior minister Al and I had just left for this prayer project! But the warriors from Iquitos, which is in the rainforest ("selva") region closer to the equator, found it very chilly!
The surrounding farm villages are beautiful, and the mountains reminded me of the Catskill region of my state of NY. In a couple of places we had 3-way translations of Al's sermons - English, Spanish, and Quechua (an Incan dialect found in the mountains)
Moises had been in Iquitos last year, but was visiting his grandmother in Iquitos so he did not become one of the Soldados de Barro. But here he had the opportunity to be a Soldado de Roca. Jhon, the other Soldado de Barro, on the other hand, could not join us, and remained in Lima to continue his studies.
I bonded with my boys even more.And the lads LOVED Al. I bequeathed Elvis (whom we dubbed "Indiana" from the Spielburg thrillers) my leather coat and got him a hat to go with it. Still gotta get him a whip!
Can't wait to go on more missionary adventures with these guys! So, I have to continue my exercise and healthy eating so I can endure the rigors even better!

  


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