Sunday, August 24, 2014

Melting in Pucallpa

Melting in Pucallpa, here at Levi's cousin's inernet cafe with my stepdaughter, Levi's youngest. Only one computer available, so I get dibbs. Just checking accounts. Didn't get to church today - Levi wanted to organize things so's I'd have a place to stow my stuff, just as I need to clear space for HIM, for when he eventually makes it stateside. Please be in prayer for my Pucallpino pastor's family who suffered the loss of a family member. No other major news. Be back probably on Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Warm in Pucallpa

Last night I woke up to the loud noise of a sudden downpour pounding on the corrugated steel roof. Ahh, SELVA! Keeping warm and happy in Pucallpa. Most of my ministry is just spending time with my in-laws, especially Papito, with whom I pass a lot of time studying the scriptures at various times during the day. I also contribute to the cooking, cleaning, and stocking the little bodega. Like today we went to Tottus (the Peruvian equivalent of Wegman's...or maybe not, maybe more like Wal Mart), mostly for makings for pizza, but also for some things for the store. Tuesday night is Bible study at "our" house. Sunday I went with in-laws to church, where Ps. Desimo Flores was delighted to see me again. I will probably not be back on line until next Wednesday, just because it's not as accessible. But while I could feasibly spend many hours online, I think it has been better spending those hours in the Word with Papito! Times with Levi are short due to his work schedule, but we have had some pleasant and animated conversations, as well as devotional time before he has to leave for work.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How IS a Christian Identified?

Yesterday went with my friend/sis-in-Christ Aurora to pass the day visiting, and go with her to her church, Santidad a Jehova to receive prayer for my knee and hip. It was a... DIFFERENT church experience. The Body of Christ has many expressions. In this one, the women had LONG (un-dyed) hair and skirts. Well, I wore a skirt over my fuzzy pants so as not to offend. And in the chill, I had the combo hat-scarf that Psa. Hilda gave me, which hid the returning white, but could  not hide the fact that my hair is short. I did get some hairy eyeballs, but others greeted me. Towards the close of the service, the pastor invited me to say who I was as a visitor, where I came from... so I explained I was a missionary, had been visiting churches in Lima and Chiclayo. So he invited me to come up front and share a little more. I'd left my Bible at Voz, but I could at least testify that, despite various tragedies I listed, I always had the joy and peace of the presence of the Lord; had been walking with Him since just before my 18th birthday; that life in Christ was far from boring; encouraged the youth to follow Him - that they'd never regret it...like that. 

Freedom From Human Rules

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  Hm, doesn't say anything about skirts or hair...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

BARBECUE

Well, I already mentioned how Carmen and I arrived at the church (after a leisurely breakfast) around 9:45, and found a number of the women already grilling chicken for the fundraiser. Since I wasn't much help with THAT, I willingly accepted Jorge's invitation to deliver the message. Afterwards, Sabi served me a "little" breast - oh, my yummy! As people came and went for their chicken orders, i got to see some other pastor friends. But I think the best surprise of all was the arrival of the SUV with folks from Manantial de Vida, followed soon after by others on foot. They were surprised and delighted to see me, disappointed that I'm leaving Lima Thurs and won't have time to visit the CHURCH - but we took advantage of THIS time. Of course, they asked how pastor Al Hauck was! He is fondly remembered and missed. Luisa, the mother of my other goddaughter Lisbet, managed to work out a lunch date with me for Wednesday...and I think more of the Juarez clan may descend upon her for a little more visiting time! Meanwhile, I noted it was after 8 pm, so apparently the other church engagement fell through - but I was fine with that. After all, I'd preached in the morning when I WASN'T expecting to, and so when I WAS, and DIDN'T, I thoroughly enjoyed fellowship with these brethren. And I have successfully loaded the pix from the event to my facebook account (opting to create a separate album for them). Tomorrow? Well, I may be making burgers (Burger King style) for pastor Andy and family...we'll see! Thanks for prayers!

Weekend

Well, Thursday evening Sabina said she was supposed to preach but she had to go to a meeting, so she asked if I could give the message. I trust the Lord that He can use me at any time, and try to be prepared in and out of season. I "just happened" to have been focusing a lot on Eph. 2, so was going to use that, though I wasn't sure where I'd go with it. A brother Lorenzo was directing the service, and he opened reading that same section of scripture. Well, when it was my turn, I got up and began to take the passage slowly, calling to remembrance where we had all once been before Christ. Aftewrwards, Lorenzo thanked me, because he hadn't understood it quite so well, and I opened itup to him. What a blessing to be so used!
Then Friday after breakfast I was able to have a nice sponge bath - changed ALL my duds. I am sure there are missionaries and campers out there who know what I mean! It was a relaxing day - Nimia invited me (and Sabina who had to accompany) for lunch. I was served SO MUCH, but I couldn't (and wouldn't) finish it all. Then back to the church and toodling about on the computer until it was time for the evening service. This time Sabi preached, and for her I take out my notebook, because she is gifted and anointed to teach. She spoke of going in at the narrow gate.
"Home" again to Carmen's house, and the next day I spent mainly with Carmen and 2 of her 3 sons, Josue and Joel. We breakfasted and lunched and visited and watched videos on the computer and they looked at my pix and vids on Facebook. We went to the church for the youth service, well attended. It's a blessing to see the youth growing upin the Lord, discipling OTHERS. We didn't go home until way late because after the service itself they have a good time of fellowship and games, and hate to leave.
This morning after breakfast Carmen brought me to the church where the women were already preparing the chicken barbecue fundraising for a concrete roof for the church (so cats won't come falling through the caluminas!) Because Ps. Jorge and Sabi were also involved, Jorge asked if I could give the message. Again, in and out of season - I'd been reading in Luke 6 about loving enemies. While I don't have what I'd exactly call enemies, there ARE people who annoy me, and I am convicted that I have to change my attitude and actions. Anyway, I shared from that, and apparently GOD KNOWS WHAT HES'S DOING (ya think?) because one of the brothers there, when he got up to share, said he was convicted in his own life.
Afterwards, Sabi treated me to a BBQ chicken breast - yummers! Ps. Patricio arrived with the polos Hilda got for me for Levi and son Josue - but alas, they didn't have any extra large for me. Ps. "Jorgito", a diminutive pastor, also came to get some of the chicken. We were able to talk a bit, and Jorgito would like me to come to his church, but it doesn't look like I'll be able to, since I'm leaving Thurs. for Pucallpa, and my time is already being scheduled. Nice to be in demand, though!
Tonight another church...thanks for prayers!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Quiet Day and Another Day Visiting


Yesterday morning Vicki and I returned to the church where we had a nice breakfast of fried maduros, some over-easy eggs, and the crispy-on-the-outsied, chewy-on-the-inside rolls that I like so much. I spent some time on the computer, and later some of the women came to study the Bible.

 Sabi took me to the "center" so I could take out some cash - Psa. Hilda was going to look for some polos for me, and I'd given her a deposit, but I wanted to be sure I had enough to pay her. Then I wanted to get some hair color - the white is making its appearance, and I want to look nice for Levi when I return to Pucallpa. Sabi knew just where to take me, a "mall" of sorts, an enclosed area of shops. I got a small tube of the color I wanted, and treated Sabi to a hair product, for all her carting me around. Then while we were there, she got makings for tuna macaroni salad (that she'd learned from me). It was tempting to take a picture of the dressed, ready-to-cook cuyes - GUINEA PIG - but I knew it would upset my daughter, since we've had them as pets.
                  Sabi gets the mixed Asian veggies to make a Chinese style dish

Thus laden we returned to the church, and I joined the women in the studies whil Sabi prepared the lunch. We covered a number of topics, sharing experiences - very like when Papito Eladio and I study the Word. Exhilerating.

Then after lunching, I spent more time with them, before getting back on the computer. After a while Sabi prepared a little supper. Then while the pastors and leaders had a meeting, back I went on the computer, till they finished and Maximo gave everyone a ride home in his combi. This morning Sabi got me around 8 and one of my "daughters", Tatiyana, came to get me. She'd just gotten back from visiting her sister who was doing nursing internship among isolated villages - the government pays for nursing school as long as they do this community service! (That is my basic understanding, anyway.) Her older sister Mari prepared breakfast and lunch, and Tatiyana and I spent the hours talking about everything, showing each other pix - she on her cell phone, me from my camera, and then she led me up stairs (spiral staircase) to her room, and then led me to the computer in her bro's room, where I showed her pix and vids on my Facebook and Youtube. Anyway, we had a very nice visit.

 And here I am back at the church.
I would REALLY like to have a good bath, even if it IS asponge bath. I haven't been able to change my clothes as I wait for others to dry...I fear I smell gamey.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Catching Up


Oh, dear, I have some catching up to do!
Friday I spent much of the day loading pix. I made a potato salad while Vicki and Sabina made a fish soup and a cebiche, and we hree and Ruth enjoyed lunch together. Later Ps. Jorge told us it was sister Iris' bithday, so Sabi and I went walking, accompanied by another sister and her two children, to wish Iris a happy birthday, before returning for Friday evening's service. She served us a spicey dish traditional to where she came from. Then back for the service, and at the end, Sabi passed put slips of paper - I had one too - assigning parts for Tuesday's service. I drew 'lead praises'.!! After folks left I was able to call Levi and talk to him for a bit.
Saturday I was invited to lunch at Flor's home above her mother Santosa's.After a deliscious meal, I spent a lot of time listening, counseling, reading scripture to her, praying for her. I went there around 1 pm, and it was around 6 pm when I returned to the church. Originally I was going to hang out with the youth service, but I ended up staying in the kitchen with Sabi and Vicki, discussing various problems one encounters in caring for the sheep.
Sunday Pastor Andy came for me in the morning - intended to come for me at 8 but was delayed. Sabi, Ruth, Jorge, and one of the lads were with him inthe back seat, Cynthia his wife in front.Jorge stayed behind while I sat in back with the others, and then Andy dropped the other 3 passengers at the church where Sabi was to give a message. We then proceeded to his home, where I met Cynthia's mother who is the niece of Levi's cousin Jorge Utia in Iquitos.Small world! For simplicity's sake, I called her Prima (cousin) 


and Cynthia Sobrina (niece).My friend Psa. Adela was there, and assorted friends and relations originally from Iquitos also came by before church. I was given a good breakfast of 2 boiled eggs, 2 boiled otatoes (of which I ate one), and a mango smoothie.THEN I was served a fried egg and platanos! (I felt like a Hobbit - second breakfast!) I could only take a bite of the egg and a piece of the platano, gave the rest to Andy and Adela.
The church was nearby and the morning service was not heavily attended. 


But it was pleasant. Then Adela's brother talked to me about all the Lord had done in his life, including how He used Andy's father, Ps. Daniel. Then we had lunch and celebrated the birthday of Andy's mother, surrounded by her friends and family - and she felt extra blessed that I could be there too (we first met in 2011) Originally Andy was going to take me a 2 hour drive to another community of Iquiteños to preach, but the partying went on for some time, so instead they had me take a nap (in a VERY comfy, warm bed!) before the evening service. I got up and spent an hour with Ps. Daniel, talking about the Lord with him. The evening service was more attended. Afterwards, due to the lateness of the hour, rather than dine together, Andy got me a pollo a la braza and dropped me off at Carmen's at the promised 11:30. My portion was generous so I shared it with Carmen before going to bed.
Monday morning Abel came for me after I had time for breakfast and washing my hair. It was delightful to see him after 6 years! I met his girlfriend, and his parents-in -law and her assorted family members, including a cousin Jhordy.We lunched, and later Jhordy and Abel practiced their English with me. Then we had a light dinner and Abel conducted me back to the church. I gave Levi a call and we agreed I could go ahead and plan to return to Pucallpa on the 14th. So after getting off the phone with him,I bought my passage.
AND today I went with an intercessor sister whom I met some years ago from one of the A oG's. She'd come to the church while I was with Abel, and worked out a visit through Sabina. I went to her home where we breakfasted and visited, then with her daughter and granddaughter for a little 'paseo'- we stopped at one of the little 'malls' where Psa Hilda has a shop. Hilda was DELIGHTED to see me, and have me with her while Maria and her daughter went to pay a bill. We had a good long visit, and when Maria et al returned, she treated us to a papaya smoothie. Then we went for lunch of pollo a la braza, back to her house where I had a little nap, then more visiting over soup before she conducted me back to church in time.Despite a frog in my throat, I was able to do MY part to lead in the singing, using the list (and lyrics!) I'd prepared beforehand.
So, now, folks have left. Jhon came in and told me Cesar was outside, so I went out to give him a big hug, and he's going to try to work out a time to visit with me and intro me to his significant other!!! before I leave. And here I am! NOW to load more pix!