This morning I spoke to two groups of workers at Granja Porcon. Services there start at 6 a.m. – they start each day out this way! I have to get up and going by 4am to get there on time because traffic is bad going up the mountain if I leave any later and have to compete with the commuters to the gold mines.
Tomorrow I leave for the mountains with two other men. We’re taking literature and the projector and films with us to help reach the people there. Pray for us!
We are starting this semester of missiology and ministerial studies on the 10th. Additionally we have a group of Sunday school teachers that we are going to train in a two-day event.
My wife Udelia’s health is better now and thank God, my 10-year visa to the U.S. was renewed.
Well, the rains have begun in Cajamarca and they are complicating our meeting in the church in Cajamarca, because rain comes in everywhere with just our ill-fitted tin roof. I think we will move evening services to twice a week, one in one home, another in another home. While it doesn’t rain in the mornings, we will continue to have Sunday school for the children who come to sing, pray, do crafts and Bible Studies. We’re hoping these rains bring the blessing of funds for a proper roof.
In October, I will travel to Piura to visit a man who is asking for 10,000 tracts from Christian Triumph – I hope to be able to find his home! Then the following week, I will be travelling to a new place where we will hand out testaments and tracts and have some meetings in a school for some Bible studies. We’re praying that God will give us victory and that people will accept Jesus as their savior. The place is far from here – four hours by car then two on foot. We will have to carry the literature on horseback. It might also be possible to take our projector and show a film – that brings people in.
Here’s the last of the videos we produced for our presentation at Hilltop Bible Church following our mission trip to Peru. Enjoy this colorful walk through a Peruvian market. BTW, there is an error in this video, that is, something is not quite right about the whole thing. Would love for someone to bust me on it! Look and listen.
Hard to believe there are actually people who feel they have to suffer the children. Take a look at this sample of shining faces we met in Cajamarca, Chota and Bambamarca. Toward the start of the video, you’ll see us working on materials. We took some things folks in our church had leftover from years gone by, but while there, we also printed out three months worth of lessons for four age groups, and made flannel graphs. We made 30 sets of lessons and 15 flannel sets, including 9 stories for each congregation. We only completed one of the seven do-it-yourself flannel lessons (see Jonah story in video), and then provided all the materials for the congregations to finish the other six. The other two flannel sets each church got were “store bought” (donated by Dorothy Kennedy and our church). May not sound like much, but those brief flashes of our work day are actually representing a 12-hour work day times four people, plus Bill and Baltazar helping out for about three or four hours each, plus random good Samaritan Daniel (pictured in flannel board making scene) plus about five hours times two people in Cajamarca one day buying supplies and getting copies and printouts made, plus time to find and download all the materials, plus more! All in all, about 100 combined hours of labor of love.
We gave the leaders a brief (!) demonstration on their use, but I’m thinking it was much too brief. Just got word from Narciso today that he would like us to return next year and do a two-day workshop on children’s ministry. We also left a fund of 500 soles with the regional pastors group to reimburse churches who make photocopies of the lessons. If each of the churches used the materials each week, the fund would probably last about four months. Really doesn’t seem like much and when you see these faces… just makes a body want to do MORE!
We´ve just finished our week at Granja Porcon. Monday-Wednesday was a pastor´s conference. Donna had two speaking sessions and Jeanene and I enjoyed meeting the conference attendees and also the Porcon people. During the teaching sessions we three would sit in the near back rows so that Donna could translate for Jeanene and me. They were excellent topics and I´m glad God placed me there.
On Wednesday evening Donna and I, along with Narcisso, Udelia and Alberto, a Chilean pastor rode back down to Cajamarca. Thursday morning the two of us were off to shop for children´s supplies. This was great fun. Our first stop was an internet cafe were Donna printed off Bible lessons she had previously downloaded. This took over an hour and our bill was enough to make the man behind the counter smile. Then to the print shop. Donna had two print shops busy printing a total of 2000 copies. Again we left with smiling shop owners. Down to the liberia. In a small book store, we hardly had room to stand. Colors, glue, markers, and the like were on display in a glass case. It was much fun to shop this way. Ask to see a product, ask for the price, agree on the item and then ask for 14 more. The shop lady had to run upstairs to her store room several times. She happily did so. We left Cajamarca with our arms full.
Thursday-Saturday was another conference, the 24th convention of the iglesia de dios in Peru. I believe we were close to 100 in attendance. And this time we had work to do. Friday was work day. Donna, Jeanene, Evelyn and I worked from 8:30 am to 11:30 pm organizing Bible lessons and making flannel figures, only stopping briefly for lunch and dinner. Donna´s father Bill, Baltazar, and a friendly helper Daniel also helped making the flannel boards. At the end of the long day Jeanene said with a smile, ´`It feels like Christmas Eve!“
Today we passed out teaching material for children ages 3-12 to 15 different churches. Donna gave a brief instruction on how to use the lessons and flannels. It is our understanding that most churches have limited to no resources for the children in their congregations. We sent these lessons out with prayer that they will be used to teach children about our God and his Word and change lives.
This evening we are all back down in Cajamarca at the Zamora´s home. Total capacity this evening is 15! I´ve been told this is not unusual, their home has been used for many years as a welcoming respite for hermanos y hermanas en Cristo.
Granja Porcon in itself deserves a full post, but it´s late and we have an early start tomorrow. Google it. It´s a Christian cooperation. A farm and tourist spot and community of 2000 people living simple lives harmoniously.
I have few pictures of Porcon. The latter are of this afternoon in Cajamarca.
This trip took about 1 1/2 hours from Lima. It seems almost half that time was spent driving out of the city. It is large, with an abundance of traffic. Many cars, taxis, buses and horns, horns everywhere. As expected we passed many deprived neighborhoods. This was very humbling.
When we arrived in Trapiche we were greeted with hugs and kisses. This caught me off guard and it took me several minutes to regain my composure. I was touched by their sincerity.
Two years ago when Donna, Jeanene and others from our church visited Trapiche their church building was constructed of cane mats for walls and a tarp roof. They are now in four bricked walls and a tin roof. And I believe I saw two light bulbs, which were turned on after dark.
The church sang a song with a tambourine and a drum and enthusiastic hand clapping. Donna, Gerson (Narcisso’s son) and the two men who came with us all spoke briefly. As did Evelyn, Donna’s younger sister. Jeanene said a few words and Donna translated. I wanted to contribute so I led them in “God is so Good” because it has few words and is easy to sing in Spanish.
We then passed out glow sticks to the kids. This was exciting and new for them. Also, we passed out individual packages of soap, toothpaste, colors, etc. that were given to us by members of our church.
During the meeting the older women were busy outside preparing a dinner for us over a wood fire. They served us chicken noodle soup and a semi popped corn. It was all good.
As we started to leave the children kept asking when we would return. We could only answer that we didn’t know. How I wish it wasn’t so far to get to them. Our goodbyes were the same as the hellos. Kissing and hugging and utterances of hermana (sister).
My heart is full and heavy for these people. We all serve the same God and yet our lives are so different. What do I take away from this experience, what can I do?