Twenty members of Beaumont Bible Church should all be home after a very busy week here in Peru. They came with the intention of forming a sister church relationship with the Iglesia Evangelica Peruana "Maranatha" of Andahuaylas,helping construct the Bible Institute facility, leading a VBS, and conducting a medical campaign.
The Bible Institute facility has run into various snags--too many rocks on the land to be ready to build, too many holes in the roof of the old institute we could borrow--in short, we know we are going to start classes in a borrowed facility, but not WHICH facility. So they wound up painting the office that Kausay will be using soon. Still the Beaumonters managed to impress with their professionalism and love--because they filled the holes in the wall!
On the church front, all went well after a slightly rocky start. The second day of VBS no one showed up from the Andahuaylas church to help. This was the first mission trip that had ever come to the Andahuaylas church and the first VBS held there, so they just never buckled down and organized. However, this was just the wake-up call the Andahuaylas church needed, and the result was a real blessing for the Andahuaylas church and the Beaumont church. The week finished off with an appreciation dinner for the Beaumont team with a lot of tears and affection on both sides.
I have to admit I am a little dissatisfied with one result of this sister church relationship--on New Years Eve the Andahuaylas church, with a great deal of ceremony, posted a sign at the front of the church that says U.T., in honor of the visitors and the "grand fiesta of sports" (National Championship) soon to take place in the US. I wanted to take the microphone and say just two words: "Rooooll Tide!"
On the medical front, all went really well. After the struggle to get the doctors authorized to practice, there wasn't time for the health department to publicize the campaign. This was fine, because we had announced it earlier to the pastors from the country, and they had gone back to their villages and announced it. The result was that we had mostly patients from out in the country (some of whom had never been to the doctor before) and not people from the city who just want to consult an American doctor and get some free medicine. And we had no lack of patients! Four people also received long-needed hernia surgeries, and the surgeon established a good relationship with the hospital.
It was a great time, and a good start on a lot of things.