Monday, June 25, 2012
Leví is entering the 21st century - last night he was at his niece's house and she told him I was online on facebook. So he started to message me under her name, till I reminded him of his account and password (wife=secretary!)While we chatted, Sabi brought me sandwiches of meat sauteed with peppers and onions. He went home after a while and tried to call me at the church, but could not get through. So he returned to his niece's house. Meanwhile, Sabina sent one of her nephews to get me a pre-paid phone card so I could call HIM. And that's what we did, finally connecting, talking about my arrival. Around 9 I was yawning like crazy so he urged me to go to bed. I slept well, and when I got up around 7:30 I went to Sabina's for breakfast. Chicken bits with peppers and onions - I told her, you can make anything taste good by adding peppers and onions! We had no formal agenda planned, so Jorge escorted me by mototaxi, with a bag of the clothes my grands outgrew, a big bottle of vitamins for children and one for women, to the tailor shop of my friend pastora Lorenza (whose daughter Ester is one of my 2 god-daughters, and whose 5-year-old daaughter was named after me!) She was totally surprised and delighted, and said my coming was very timely because she is in the midst of a very heavy economic crisis due to a loan her oldest daughter took out and has been unable to keep up with paymnts - so Lorenza as co-signer faces losing her house, and the sewing machines of her trade. I told her, were I rich, I would pay off her debt ( the equivalent of about $1500)- but that I would at least pray and alert others to pray for her situation.(SO PLEASE PRAY! And if you can help let me know, I'll tell you how to wire money to her!)) I have faced such crunches too, and understand the stress - and have seen God move, to the glory of His name, in unexpectd ways. While I was at her shop another sister, "Soldd de Roca, Anglica, who was with us at Machu Picchu, happned by and was surprised to see me thus unannounced. Lorenza's eldest son David - he's 14 or 15 - also came by. He has left school to work to help his mother, at HIS insistance (let me mention, Lorenza is a widow with many children) and today was his first day. My goddaughter Ester came by and gasped when she saw me. I think she'll be 17 this year! Well, then Lorenza was calling our mutual friend Cristina, and telling her "You have to come quickly, I don't know what to do, I'm desparate, hurry!" SCRING her (and Lorenza's muffled laughter sounded like crying). I hid when Cristina was approaching, and she took a seat, wondering what was up, and out I popped. Again - surprise and delight. Well, I treated us four adults to "pollo a la braza" (rotisserie chicken) with chicken noodle soup, fries, salad, and good ol' Coca Cola. Angelica brought her 4 yer old grandson, who focused on the fries. We had the whol chicken cut in eighths, and I sent the leftovers home with Lorenza to shar with the other kids. For that meal it was the equivalent of $14...a worthwhile expenditure to treat my friends. But you can't outgive God. Lorenza bought me some small bananas and tangerines to snack on! Then Cristina and I walkd to her house to visit and catch up on what we'd been going through during the past year. Lorenza and Anglica joined us a bit later with bread, whole grain crackers, cheese, and coffee.I crammed some cheese and crackers into the space in my esophagus, till Jorge came for me around 4:30. And here I am online!
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Had a wonderful time during the youth service. It's thrilling to see how they've grown in the Lord over the years. José delivered a message after he and Ruth led in praise and worship, and even I had to get up and do a little dancing (took ibuprofen later!!!) They had some games afterwards - I had to video bits of them. I want to post this one, where Jhon and Tito squared off like a pair of fighting cocks to grab a little ball! Finally around 11 since they were still playing, I had to call it a night. José walked me home and I think I caught up on my sleep. Irma served breakfast this morning, with her husband Wilfredo, Ps. Jorge, and José - whole wheat rolls, a plump avocado half, and my favorite Peruvian olives! We had a long visit, then went to the church where Santosa and Sabina were leading in praise and worship. I was fairly successful in being surreptitious in my entrance, so as not to distract from the real center of attention, our wonderful Lord Jesus - but a couple of sisters did grab me with big hugs and kisses! Since I was there, Jorge asked me to share from the word. Afterwards, there was a video of a pastor expounding about end times. Then I walked home with Santosa (good exercise!) for a lovely lunch of chicken and mixed veggies. The ubiquitous rice was also offered, but since there were bits of potato in the veggies, I passed (starch!) Evelin is Santosa's daughter, and both were with us in Feb. 2007 when we went to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. It's delightful to be with them - and use their internet to post this!
Youth Service videos
Saturday, June 23, 2012
When my son-in-law dropped me off at th airport, he said I looked like an excited teenager. I guess love will do that! But I won´t be joining Leví till the 28th.Well, uneventful is a good way for flights to be. All flights were on time. I took advantage of wheelchair service due to sometimes great distances between gates (especially Chicago!) Thanks to sis Deb´s love offering I was able to tip those who served. Especially when the gal in Chicago told me she gets only $5 per hour, plus tips, and she has a baby, and is going to college in the fall. (She was responding to my questions) But once there, I have them leave me, and I do local walks to stretch out a bit. The longest layover was in Miami, so I did my first drawing. When I have more photos to download, I´ll put it on with an explanation.
My welcoming committee in Lima was a bit smaller than at other times - many WANTED to go, but having to BE there at 4:30 in the morning is daunting (it´s a good hour or so to Villa el Salvador from the airport) - especially for those who have to study for exams. But Jorge and Sabina came with two of my boys, Rónald and José, and they helped load the 2 heavy boxes into the taxi, the driver of which wanted 35 sols at first, but then 50 when we came to the end. That´s about $20, low by US standards, but high there. I covered it - the least I could do for robbing my friends of sleep! Note to self - next trip, get a later flight! Sabi, Rónald and José dozed in the cab on the way home - I told Jorge he had to stay awake because no way could I give directions.
Sabi prepared me a breakfast of a hamburger as I showed her the herbs and spices Abi and I had gotten for her. She was eager to try them out. I gave José and Rónaald the little goodies I had acquired from my flight - some fancy chocolates a fellow traveler gave me from her business trip, and a couple of oatmeal cookies from the last flight´s"dessert" - and also their "gorras"- baseball caps: for the music team I had gotten some army grey ones that said "God´s Army", which go well with the "Soldado de Bendicion" shirts I gave them last year.
After breakfast I went next door to my hosts´ house, Irma and Wilfrdo (José's parents) and had a nap to catch up a bit on lost sleep. I returned to the church at 12:30, where Sabi had lunch about ready, having used some of her new spices.
I've met José's pet white rabbit, and Ruth's little parrot and pet quail. A nice quiet change from two hulking slobbery boxers fauning for attention! And now here I am. Son Jhon has arrived, so I have to give him his hat and bandana and peanut butter - he gets a little extra spoiling since his own mother passed away. And later I'll have Moisés help me load photos. Youth service is tonight, so I want to get in on that. Hasta luego!
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I am returning to Peru on Friday, for the 9th time. Each time has been different, and I think it's the Lord's way of keeping me from trying to "box" Him in or limit what He wants to do, where He'll do it, and how. I had my ideas of what I'd be doing this trip a few months ago, but the Lord let me know otherwise, bit by bit. One thing is certain - I am remarrying...uh...Right, Lord???
I actually met Levi Utia the first time I went in 1997, but I didn't really come to KNOW him know him until the summer of 2007. In hindsight I can see how the Lord was preparing the way for this union by first establishing a friendship and letting me get a glimpse of this man's character.
So anyway, the agenda goes SOMETHING like this. Leave Friday afternoon, via American Airlines, by way of Chicago and Miami, arriving in the early morning of the 23 in Lima, where I'll be greeted and picked up by my "family" - oh, they really are family! - from the church Voz de la Transformacion , pastored by Jorge Samelvino (brother to my late friend Hugo) and his wife my DEAR friend and considered little sister, Sabina Campos. At first I was going to go directly to Pucallpa, where Levi is, but I have a goddaughter, the niece of another pastor friend, and her birthday is the 26th. I want to have some time with her and the family. And I want to see if I can find either a keyboard or a guitar which I can afford to buy for my musical husband. And since my last trip, I have bonded very strongly with the church family there, so I really want to have a few days with them before I devote myself to my new husband. But I don't want to stay away TOO long. So...I will continue on to Pucallpa on the 28th of June.
I'd THOUGHT we were going to have the civil ceremony - this is the only one Peru recognizes - on June 30th, but it has been in Levi's court to make arrangements, and he has been working 7 days a week. So I don't know the exact date - I expect it will be in July. And I ask the Lord, what may be the significance of the date HE has chosen for us to wed. Because I've learned he DOES things like that.
So, I have an IDEA of what's going to transpire and the rough outline of the time frame. But the details will unfold before me - and Levi - as we walk into this new life together. So, for now, I'm happily counting the days till I'm reunited with the family in Lima, and will enjoy them while I'm with them...and the days till I'm back in Levi's arms!
Friday, November 11, 2011
Recently when I spoke to Levi, he shared with me his concern about his father, Eladio. Papa Eladio is 78 years old, and at various times has had one infirmity or another, and by God's grace has recovered. Levi said he's been having stomach problems, and there is concern that it may be cancer at the root. The sickness of body isn't so much the issue, however, as that of the heart - his usual cheerful demeanor is failing. I ask prayers for healing, but more than anything that joy and peace would be restored - that there would be no fear for whatever is in the future, trusting in Him who holds it in His hands.
Papa Eladio has been a great influence and example in many lives, especially Levi's, and he honors his father as he works to support him and his mother.
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