Pray for Peru

Today is Peruvian Independence Day and I thought I would post some prayer requests for the country of Peru.

Please pray:
That the government remains stable and is responsive to the needs of the poor and the provinces.

That the new law of Religious Toleration accomplishes its purpose of allowing all denominations to be chaplains and provide religious instructions in schools, etc. and is not twisted into causing more regulations and state control.

That the people of Peru develop a respect and love for their own culture, especially the indigenous peoples, and realize that they have potential and capacity to learn equal to North Americans and Europeans.

That many turn to Christ as the only answer, both for the country's problems and their personal problems.

For the pastors of the many small and struggling churches, and for revival in these churches.

And... just maybe, for a GOOD national soccer team.

Yours in Christ,

Back from Youth Conference

We made it! Mike is no worse for the trip--he is on some hefty antibiotics and the Dr. said the climate in Umaca would make him better. And it would have been if it hadn't rained yesterday, probably.
Umaca is an hour away over the winding mountain roads. The trip there is full of breathtakingly beautiful mountain scenery, green checkerboard fields, snow-capped peaks, winding river vallies, the usual stuff. We went in a truck with several people and all the mattresses for the conference and took the dog along so he could enjoy some greenery and space (he lives on the roof here in Andahuaylas.) The pastor of the IEP church in Umaca drove the truck. We got to ride in the front with him, the boys and the rest rode in the back with the dog and the mattresses.
Umaca is in a sheltered valley, so it has tropical fruits, parrots, flies, hot days, and cold nights.
All of the schedules in the country have been changed because of swine flu, so events that were scheduled for the midwinter break from school have been moved up to go with the changed vacation schedule. This conference was moved up a week, like everything else, and so the location was moved to Umaca because the church there was having its anniversary on this date. Although we anticipated an attendance of 200 , the reality was only about 70 due to the general confusion generated by the flu. We also participated in the church anniversary, with Mike preaching twice with a Quechua translator. We also got to hear the many musical groups that came to sing for the anniversary, and enjoy the food provided for the anniversary. (Mostly soup, but Saturday there was fresh beef!)
We taught the youth an evangelism seminar that wound up with volunteers giving their testimonies. That was a moving experience!
We came back by taxi last night, as the rain was continuing. It was hard to get a taxi because they run up the mountain and back down, and at the end of the day they are usually going to their home (at the top or bottom). The last ones coming down are usually already full of people going back to Andahuaylas. Still, the boys found room in one and Mike and I in another. The pastor said that he would bring Bother with the mattresses.
The conference was fun, but it was great to be back home! Private rooms, private toilets, telephone, and email!

Catch up

The day after our last post we went on a trip to Lima to renew the boys' passports. Because Chris is a minor both of his parents have to be present with his birth certificate, so we all had to go. This was a good chance to visit Miguel and Becky.

For those who don't already know, Becky is expecting! Our trip came at a good time for them because Miguel was going to the north with a group from Anniston Bible Church, and so we could stay with Becky.

Passport renewal was complicated by a transportation strike that made it impossible to cross town for two days. But we got it done!

Our return to Lima was uneventful and rapid! We arrived at Abancay just in time to board a bus for Andahuaylas with no layover.

Once here we were back at work again on Bible Institute courses and a youth conference. The youth conference date was moved up to this weekend because the annual school vacations have been moved up two weeks because of the swine flu epidemic.

However, Mike has come down with the flu (not swine flu, just normal) and we are praying that we will be able to do the conference. Chris and Colin are sick too! Only Mom is well.

Please pray for the conference, our wisdom in knowing whether to do it, and that everyone gets better!


As predictable as.... Peru?

Saturday morning I got up early to go give a devotional at a women's conference. Before I left I set out the garbage, because the garbage truck had gone by ringing its bell. (It goes by ringing its bell and then comes back and picks up the garbage sometime later.) Actually I set out the garbage, and then picked it up after a dog ripped into it. And actually, Mike took it back in the house later because the truck didn't come back. Just a harbinger!

I arrived at the church and found the door inside to the sanctuary locked and no one around. The church custodian arrived with a bag of oatmeal--and told me that the sisters were not there for the conference, but that there were problems--the enemy, she whispered always attacks at such times. And said that she had been there until 5 am for the prayer vigil. Then she let me into the sanctuary. I decided to pray as I waited for the ladies, but I kept hearing crying and shouting from a back room, so I decided to pray for the "problems." In a few minutes the custodian came back to say that I was needed in that room.

The problems were a mother and a daughter, who, it turns out have a long history of violence that no one in the church was aware of. After the prayer vigil they were sleeping in the room and broke out into a full-fledged brawl with kicks, punches and broken glasses. So instead of giving a devotional I spent the morning counseling along with Pastor Benjamin's wife Noemi. (Benjamin is the secretary of Kausay and was the speaker for the conference.)

Back to the house, and Mike and I decided to go out for a date. We decided to take some dessert home to Colin (Chris was at a weekend camp) wanted to find a bakery that is supposed to be on our street, but in the direction we usually don´t go (away from the main square and toward Munay Wasi). Upshot--we walked and walked in the blazing noonday sun--no bakery! At least I got my 10,000 steps in--and before 2 pm!

Well, back to the house, ready to kick back and relax because we have absolutely no commitments for the rest of the day! Maybe watch a DVD, who knows?

In about 10 minutes the phone rings. It is Cayo Vargas' (pres. of Kausay) wife Elizabeth. Can we be at her parents' house in 15 minutes. Sure, I say. So off walking again! It turns out it is her father's birthday, and they have made chicharron! Their kitchen is in back of the house and they cook with firewood. That is certainly the way to cook pork rinds! We enjoy some with boiled potatoes, then we talk with the family and another guest, a preacher and ex-policeman who is working closing down illegal taverns at the city's request.

Then we enjoy some soup. Then, as it gets dark and cold, (We go through summer and winter every day here.) we go sit around the fire in the dirt-floored kitchen, enjoying a new round of chicharron and potatoes, fresh from the fire, telling jokes and Mike answering questions about people who have visions, how God guides believers, etc.

Eventually it is time to go home. As we walk home in the dark, we find the bakery. It has no sign, so when it is closed, it is effectively not there! We pick up some yummy tajadas (rolls filled with elderberry) for breakfast.

Another, good, busy, unpredictable day.