Friday, April 05, 2013
Tonight I'm picking up the student who's come with me to church a few times, to take him to youth group at church. At my previous church, while my son especially was a teen and he was involved, I would take him and stay, and got to know the kids. Like my son, they're all grown, many married with their own kids, but I still hold them fondly in my heart, and the feeling is mutual when we run into each other here or there.
In Lima, Peru, I have also invested time with my host church's youth group, getting to know them over the years. Two of the "boys" (MEN now!) are engaged to be married. I've invested in the youth ministry by buying a drum set, guitar, amps, and mikes - which they use to lead in praise and worship, and which have drawn other young folks from the community.
Cesar and Jhon try out a couple of guitars at the music store
Cesar starts to assemble the drum set
My "kids", Moises on drums, Gaby leading worship, Cesar on guitar
I've bought them matching t-shirts, bandanas, and "baseball" caps, which they've worn when they've done community outreaches.
Abel and I minister wearing the 2008 edition of "Soldado de Bendicion" t-shirt as we minister in Bretaña
Jhon and I have our Soldado de Bendicion shirts on as we horse around in 2008
I model the 2011 edition of the tee shirt I brought to the youth group
Ruth in a skit is wearing the 2011 edition of "Soldado de Bendicion" tee shirt
So in a way, even though I'm not physically there, I'm participating with them in the work they do. I want to bring them some more new shirts and bandanas when I return next year (God willing), this time a camouflage design. Pastora Sabina says that it gives them a greater sense of unity, identity, and purpose, even boldness to share their faith. I think it's a worthwhile investment!
Meanwhile, TONIGHT, I want to start getting to know the kids in my newer-to-me church. I may even talk to the leader about getting tees for THEM. Hm, there's a thought!
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Today it's supposed to be in the 50's (F of course) and less overcast, and we're still on our Spring Break. So we might go to the zoo. I haven't been to our local zoo in AGES.
But that's not to say that I haven't been to ANY zoo. In fact, there's a park in the district of Villa el Salvador in Lima which I have been to numerous times. It features a little zoo, and I have joked that I have been there so often I should call the animals by their names (and I don't mean "ocelot" or "wooly monkey" - I mean George, Myra, and Elmer!). Well, I'll bring my camera for the outing to the Seneca Park Zoo, but for today's BLOG I'll share some pix from my Peru Zoo Ventures.
Quistococha - Iquitos
My first trip to Qustococha withPastor Hugo, at the entrance in 1997
Yeli with little Emmanuel and a log of turtles 2007
a handler and his 3 year old anaconda 2007
Abel handles the anaconda 2007
a shy river dolphin is coaxed to say hello 2007
This is the park with the little zoo I've come to know!
My pastor friends near the monkeys. 2006
How fitting that I was wearing that tee shirt! 2006
Bear in mind, this is during Lima's WINTER!
Taking a motorboat ride around the man-made lake with my "sons" Jose and Jhon and my pastor friends 2011
A photo op! 2011
Parque de las Leyendas 2011
This enormous park features flora and fauna from the 3 regions of Peru - costa, sierra, and selva (coast, mountains, and jungle). We went to the jungle first, and it's the largest part.
Many of my photos were lost when my hard drive died, but I saved some in my facebook albums.
Here I am with some of "my gang" on our way to the jungle section.
I like to call this picture "Buffalo Gals"
I spy an iguana!
I look forward to returning to Huascar and Leyendas with my "family" in Lima, taking new pix and forming new memories.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
I love working among young people. I am so blessed to have my present job as Teacher Assistant in a local high school. When I go on missions, I like to connect with the youth in the churches I visit. I've formed some wonderful friendships and taken on many "spiritual kids" over the years. So now and then I like to do something a little special for them.
In the summer of 2007 I gave a lunch for the youth group from Nueva Vision (pastored by my fiancé's cousin) in Iquitos, at the piece of property Foreman acquired and called Refugio (sadly, it suffered from the flooding last year, and I don't know if it can be used any more for its original purposes). I made a soup rich in vegetables, with chicken bought fresh - FRESH - at the market the day before. Here's Abel at one of the poulterers.
And here I am cutting up veggies at Refugio.
But the favorite entree of the the luncheon was the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches (Abel said he had about 3 or 4!). I brought the peanut butter from the states.
Here's a view of the feast - such a pleasant place to picnic. You can see the big kettle of soup that had been set up over a wood fire on the right.
I did the same when I returned to Lima, only this time inviting the youth groups from a fraternity of some five churches. Their arrivals were staggered, so the crowd was easy to handle! We held it at Manantial, since they had the largest sanctuary to accommodate the numbers.
Here we assemble PBJ's.
Here Ps. Gregorio's niece Pilar helps prep veggies for the soup.
Stirring tomatoes into the soup - fresh, because you can't find the abundance of canned stuff like you can here.
I lunch with the first round of guests.
Psa. Sabina paid close attention to how I prepared the soup, and before I returned to the States, she prepared a birthday luncheon for me, inviting friends from Her church, Voz de la Transformacion, and the pastors from the other churches.
Sabina's daughter Ruth (ONE of "my kids" and Ps. Gregorio of Manantial de Vida, whose church hosted the luncheon
My friend Ps. Alberto from Camino a la Vida joins me
Well...it's a BIRTHDAY party - GOTTA have cake!
Next year I hope to return to Peru. It will be the tenth anniversary of knowing these folks in Lima, and I'd like to do something special with/for them - especially the youth. In 2011 a few of us had a little "slumber party"
I'd like to try something similar on a grander scale, Lord willing.
Good food and Fellowship go hand in hand!
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
I do enjoy food - which is why it's hard to lose weight. It's not just the food, though - it's the company. Jesus asks us to remember Him when we eat and drink - and eating and drinking with loved ones is a time for building good memories. I was reloading photos from my mission trip to Peru in the summer of 2007 - you can see my weight was pretty good and I hadn't begun to color my hair yet. I found a lot of pictures of meals with friends.
While in Iquitos I took "my boys" Esli and Abel to various places on free evenings. I forget the name of this restaurant in the neighborhood of The Boulevard, but they have a very nice ambience, as well as good food.
See the nicely polished column of natural wood?
At The Yellow Rose in the Plaza de Armas, I ordered each of us a different dinner, and we split them 3 ways so we could each try some of everything. This is a fish dinner I'm cutting up.
Esli has the plate of barbecue beef - generous portion!
Guido, a brother from the village of Manacamiri whom I met in 2003, met us at this ice cream parlor at the Plaza de Armas. The ice cream in Peru isn't as good as ours - so it wasn't so much of a temptation!
My friend Marleni (left) brought me to visit other intercessor sisters. Here, Consuelo and her husband share a lunch of fish - another reason it's easier for me to lose weight on missions!
The delightful park of Quistococha near Iquitos features a restaurant besides its botanical garden, zoo, and manmade lake for swimming.
After the church service at Nueva Vision (pastored by my fiancé's cousin!)I wanted to take the musicians out for dinner. We went to El CArbon.
Now, I didn't get to partake of this dish, but I did learn that my Levi can cook - he and Abel made "Tacacho", a dish made from plantains, boiled, mashed, formed into a ball, and - I dunno if it's baked or fried after that. But it has a nutty taste.
I treated Abel, Foreman and his wife Yeli to dinner at the Yellow Rose.
Foreman, Yeli and I went to this floating restaurant where we met up with the director of JuCUM (YWAM - Youth With A Mission). It was good, but WAY expensive - more for "rich" American tourists than the local populace. I paid Foreman and Yeli's, needless to say!
Here we are with the Barnards at that restaurant.
One of the most popular "pollerias" in Iquitos is Kikiriki (the Spanish version of Cocka-doodle-doo), frequented after evening church services. Here Abel and I enjoy a quiet hunk of rotisserie chicken, fries, and cole slaw.
Another intercessor, Brigida, invited me to lunch.
That's me in the pink top with the little pink flower - Yeli had done up my hair - after my last night visiting Nueva Vision - again, at Kikiriki.
And that's just in IQUITOS, not to mention in Lima and Chiclayo! Maybe I'll mention them tomorrow!
Monday, April 01, 2013
In the summer of 2007 I made a brief trip down the river from Iquitos, Peru, to revisit some of the villages I'd visited in 2006. My companions were different, however. I had my good friend Marleni, my spiritual son Abel, a good friend and musician Esli, and a pastor friend, Johel. Marleni's son Foreman was supposed to come too, but he had to supervise work being done on his house. So he suggested Levi, who was experienced in missions. In hindsight I can see how the Lord used this to enable me to get to know him better.
That's my Levi on the left, and Esli and Abel...setting up HAMMOCKS
My friend Marleni and me - in our HAMMOCKS
My friend Pastor Johel in his HAMMOCK
The ports are full of interesting sights that you don't find every day.
These remind me of the Staten Island Ferry.
Because of the previous year's "Soldados de Barro" (mud soldiers) we were thinking about what to call THIS particular group of missionaries. We settled on Soldiers of Waiting because of all the hurry-up-and-waiting we did. And Levi and I continue to refer to ourselves as such because of the delays we have been facing to be able to get married.
But "good things come to those who wait."
Be it something as simple as a nice fish brunch like the one served to us in Nuevo Kuwait
or a boatride to catch a bigger boat home
or a new life partner when the first has passed away!
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