Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Souvenirs and Surprises

Yesterday after breakfast Vicki and I went into the city. I needed to take out money for our busfare, and wanted to get gifties for the kids. We went to the station first to check schedules and also see if they took plastic...which they did not, so I HAD to get cash. Vicki assured me that what I had would be enough to get stuff for the kids, so we went to the Artesania. Sure enough, I was able to get tee shirts in the right colors, as well as some cute barretts for the girls and cute pens for the boys. The clerk gave me a discount for the multiple purchases.
Then we went to a "cajero" (ATM) - no money. Tried another - still. Vcki told me that the patoras' meeting we'd be going to later was in a center near a bunch of cajeros so we could try then. So, home again.

 I lay down a bit. When I got up, the sun was beaming warmly, and I was all by myself. So, I scrounged a small sheet to wrap myself in, grabbed the shampoo, and had myself a bath - especially after having had drips from my chamberpot experiences! As I was dressing, Vicki returned, explaining she had to go with her brother Hilario to Emergency. I wasn't surprised, as he had not been feeling well. Glad to say he is doing better.

Vicki whomped up a quick lunch of fried pork with a side of yucca and the ubiquitous rice. Then off to the meeting, already in progress. They were discussing the first interdenominational pastor/leader couples retreat in August. Love and Unity! Perfect! I thought of the Koinonia weekends in Rochester. Anyway, I told Psa. Paquita, who was heading things up, that I would like to donate something towards the retreat, so they could have nice little "detalles" - little mementos of the event. Well, Vicki got up with one of the pastoras and left, I assumed to help her with something or other. While she was away, Paquita invited me to share something, so I shared from Esther.4:14   "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” - that each of us have passed through a number of experiences, trials, to arrive where we are today. That each of us has a DIVINE PURPOSE. As pastoras, they have a great calling to minister to their spouses, and to their congregations. Anyway...I encouraged them, and then there was a little time in which I was able to share some of my own experiences.
Then along came Vicki and the other pastora with a huge box - and Vicki announced that I'd be having a birthday soon, and so they had cake, and would sing me happy birthday. The little sneak! But what a pleasant surprise! And Paquita even presented me with a little hand-made bunny jewelry box and a frammed scripture! Another pastora gave me a key ring with a scripture, and I told her I'd think of and pray for the Chiclayo pastoras whenever I looked at it.

Afterwards, the same pastora accompanied me and Vicki to a cajero where I was finally able to take out some cash. We went home. Now, earlier on our way downtown, a sister from Yenny's church greeted us and asked us to come to church again that night. But I've been having a lot of late nights, so we stayed home this time. I was playing Words of Wonder on Facebook when I was called to dinner - bits of fried pork, rice, and yucca. Afterwards, I was going to finish my game, when suddenly we lost power. So I went to lie down and pray till I fell asleep.
 The cake suffered a slight mishap, losing its "Feliz" - and people have such a hard time spelling my name!
 Pastora Paquita on the left
 some of the other pastoras - there were 11 there, from different churches
Vicki tries to get a group shot before my batteries died.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Day of Rest

Yesterday we only planned to visit Vicki's father, Papito Maximo. So, I spent some time on the computer. When I got up to walk around a bit in the garage I was surprised to see a little dog had wandered in and made himself comfortable under my chair. 
 After a bit Vicki called me in to lunch - OOO, crab, shrimp, fish, a version of Johnny Cakes, rice from Vicki's own farm... 

Usually I don't eat a lot of rice, but I did have some of Vicki's with the broth from the poached seafood. 
 Then the pastora called, and the pastor (who'd been out of town) wanted to meet me, so I was asked if I could go to the service that night. I asked Vicki if I'd be preaching, and she said "maybe." Well...I prayed to be prepared 
A little later we went to Papito's. Yenney and Meme were there with their THREE sons. The eldest, Christian, gave me a warm greeting, as did Papito. Papito wanted to discuss scriptures with Vicki because some Jehovah'sWitnesses had left one of their magazines with him. So, among Christian, Vicki, and myself, we pointed out errors in their doctrine. 
 Later Elmer also arrived, this time not all covered with mud from working at brickmaking.so he was able to give me a clean hug! 
 Rambo's sister Pantera lives with Yenny's family. It was fun to watch her playing with the youngest son. 
Papito brought home an order of pollo a la braza. As Elmer served me, I asked if it would be a bother to have ketchup. He gladly went out and bought a packet for me (stuff we usually see in jars or bottles usually comes in packets there), so I was able to enjoy ketchup with my fries. Meanwhile, not being much of a rice eater, I gave Vicki some of mine, and sneaked a bit on to Christian's plate as well while no one was around except Vicki. 
We all had plenty to eat. 

 Then Vicki and I returned home until it was time to return to the church. The pastor greeted us, asked me a few get-to-know-you questions, and asked if I would just greet the church and share a brief testimony. "Like, not 30 minutes long!" 
I pondered what to share, and it was when the pastora led in the song "Donde esta el Espiritu de Dios, Hay Libertad" (Where the Spirit of God is, there is Freedom), I decided to share about how God set me free from the fear of rejection. "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them...There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear." (1 John 4:16, 18) 
God's love set me free!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Loving the Neighbors and Ministering to the Youth

I don't know how many people in the neighborhood Vicki invited, but yesterday afternoon 4 adults and one girl arrived. We served crackers with strawberry jam and some with what they CALL mermelada de leche - milk marmalade - which, if you ask me, is CARAMEL. Or maybe butterscotch. That, and a bit of coffee. We sat and chatted a bit first, munching.

They were all believers so instead of addressing the issue of salvation we discussed walking with Christ. I started with Col. 3, setting ones affections on things above, but we covered other scriptures as well. Then  Vicki invited them to go through the clothes we brought from Lima. The brother stayed to talk with me, asking opinion/advice on things he was facing, and I was able to speak encouragement as well as exhortation. All were blessed according to their need.
Later we got a motokar to the church Maranatha for the youth service. I think it was the largest group I've ministered to so far! After some praises, there were some games (really fun to watch)

and then I shared a bit about the question Is it boring to be a Christian.
I invited them to think about how it would be to be best friends with someone who was rich, famous, and influential. I gave some examples - athletes, actors...and then softly sang a little chorus, in which others joined : "Yo tengo un amigo que me ama" (I have a friend who loves me), and pointed out that Christ has been famous for a LONG time, and the benefits of having known Him, using personal testimonies. At the end, I read from Rev.3:20 "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." and offered the invitation to receive Christ.

 The youth pastor expanded on it, and 5 came forward - 3 to receive Christ, 2 who wanted prayer for the peace that only God can give through Christ. 


Then a little more singing, and a light repast of sandwiches (a roll with lettuce? I think I tasted a little chicken and mayo when they passed the platter around the second time) and coffee. I chatted with the youth next to me.

 Afterwards, the pastor invited them all to give me a hug,  then we all began to leave. While Vicki and I waited for Segundo to retrieve us, a couple of girls sat with me and one of them practiced her English. I gave them my facebook info. Pastora on the left, youth pastor on right, English student in white)

 And finally we headed home.
A fruitful day!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ministering

Yesterday's afternoon visits were cancelled, so I treated Vicki (offered Walter, who was with us, but he didn't want any) to ice cream.
 Last night Vicki's bro-in-law Meme picked me up and took me to the church service at a pentecostal church called Mas Que Vencedores. Vicki arrived a little later - delayed as she was picking up an order of pollo a la braz (with fries and salad) for our dinner after. After the pastor read a passage from 1 Sam. 13 about how only Saul and Jonathan had swords, I was invited first to introduce myself, and then to share from the word. I spoke about how as believers we are ALL supposed to be missionaries - doesn't mean we have to go far, nor that we have to stand on the corner shouting condemnation. Basically, What Would Jesus Do - What would Jesus SAY? He came showing the Father's LOVE, and if we want to be like Him, we have to do likewise.
  Afterwards, he expanded upon it, and invited Vicki up, and she put it succinctly - love and unity.
 Then home again, and Meme and Vicki's sis Yenny and their 2 younger sons came in and joined us. Vicki manage to tear that bird apart to serve NINE people (she opted for more of her soup from lunch; her ex, Segundo, had already eaten...)

 I went to bed afterwards, as it was already well past 10. She said the others left after midnight - and that it had been a good 3 years since she and her sister had shared a table, due to some relational problems. I hope I had a little to do with the reconciliation!
This afternoon: a meal and clothin g distribution to the neighbors, along with a message about salvation, and tonight, a youth service: "Is the Christian life boring?"
(I'll give you a hint -NO!)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Visiting and Ministering July 17, 2014

So, yesterday Vicki gave me a little tour of some of the farm. The sun is pretty intense here, so I cut it short, having left my sunblock in Pucallpa. This morning Elmer presnted me what at first I thought was deodorant, but it's sunblock, SPF 100! What a sweet guy! Anyway, after the tour Vicki and I went into town to meet one of my sons. I treated us to lunch at a place Vicki recommended. They had goat (Vick gave me a couple bites of hers) and I ordered Chupe de Cangrejo (chupe is from chupar, to suck - you suck the meat out of the shell) a crab chowder. It was luscious, though labor intensive (reminds me WHY I so seldom eat crab!) I had them help me finish the huge portion. 

After a little stroll in the plaza nearby, we went home, Paul coming along for a visit. Later I took a little nap and then prayed in preparation for ministering at an AOG, Ejercito Celestial. Vicki felt checked about making supper, and sure enough we were given a meal of chicken soup, sweet potatoes, and cheese before going in to the service. I preached about the FATHER'S love,

 we had some prayer after, and on leaving the pastor pressed the offering ( 20 soles, about $7.40) in my hand. This will go to our various traveling expenses!
Well, little Rambo the puppy gave me a fond greeting when we got home



 after 10:30 and I tossed myself into bed. I'm about to have (late) breakfast - more ministry tonight. Thanks for prayers!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

After a Rest...

Had a restful night, which included a 35 minute phone call to my Honey! Arranged to treat Vicki and one of my "sons," Paul (who has CP) to lunch today, after which Vicki and I will probably try to book our bus trip back to Lima for the 28th in the evening. Being a holiday it will probably cost more, but there is a monthly meeting of pastors and Vicki said that I was expected; so we're going to leave afterwards, so we can get back in time for my god-daughter's birthday on the 29th. Meanwhile, tonight I will be ministering to a group of women - prayers always welcome!
Had one mishap, after using chamberpot during the night I accidently let a corner of one of my blankets dip in the pot. Gross! When I got up after seeing to nature's call and leaving the blanket at the wash basin, I did a little walk around the yard, praying as I went, and then did my resistance band workout routine, which I haven't done since Friday. Want to stay in shape, limp and all.
Had palta (avocado), rolls, a couple of olives, and coffee for breakfast. MMMMM, avocados!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Chiclayo Arrival

I am safely in Chiclayo, where it is warm and sunny. Sitting here in Vikki's...um, I guess it's the garage, because there's a motokar here, but so's the internet. I'm confused! But anyway, there's a breeze blowing through here.
Anyway, I slept well Monday night, just the occasional intrusion in my dreams of the local cock's crowing loud enough to manifest as some crazy person yelling in my dream. Carmen gave me a light breakfast of coffee and rolls, with butter, cheese, and olives on the side. I mistook the butter for cheese, and after taking a bite had to open another roll to redistribute it - though I think Ansel would have gone ahead! Then Vicki came over and walked with me a ways till she hailed a motokar for the rest of the way back to the church. Sabi had a bit MORE breakfast ready - some fried fish and yucca, and tea. I reorganized my suitcase for the trip to Chiclayo, and then gave Vicki the money for our bus trip while I got on the internet and loaded photos. Also took more pix, which I'll load later. The church got together some clothes from where they store donated clothing - 3 or 4 large bags full - for Vicki and me to take with us for distribution.

 We had a light bite before leaving around 6 pm, getting a cab to the bus station, where we boarded a little after 7. Very comfortable, Bus Cama" - a bed bus, with reclining seats, but bear in mind I'm taller than your average Peruvian. We were on the second level, up front for a panoramic view, and I occasionally put my feet up higher to change the pressure on my rump. This will definitely be my last BUS trip (well, after the return to Lima, of course, some time before the Fiestas de las Patrias, probably the 25 or 26). I did not drink a lot because I did not want to have to use the bus loo - not that it wasn't clean, it's just hard to manage in a moving vehicle! I watched Ride Along with Spanish dubbing and subtitles, but not the second movie they showed. I dozed fitfully. We arrived in Chiclayo around 8 this morning.

 Vicki prepared a light repast of boiled maduros with a side of farm cheese and some rolls. I lay down for a while and then she was calling me for lunch before I knew it. I've had a bath and changed my clothes - feel much better! - and I think today is mainly rest up from the trip. I've been reunited with Vicki's daughters Leidi and Zandy, her granddaughter Brigith - who is 12 like MY granddaughter, now how did THAT happen? - and with her son Walter, her bro Elmer 

and I met another bro (forget name). Also met her puppy, son of her deceased dog, carrying his daddy's name, Rambo - a sweet pup.
I'm going to look over mail and such and then have another nap, just in case ministry is on tonight's agenda.
I am also feeling a greater longing to be in the selva. I love the people I know in Lima and Chiclayo, but there is a stronger pull to Pucallpa with my family there. Anyway, Thanks for prayers, and you're in mine!