Monthly Archives: June 2010

New Lesson Learned

About a week ago one of my fellow 40/40 missionaries pulled our cohort to the side after church and told us that  she would be going home, that she was outside of her umbrella of support, and could not handle the change, call, pressure, whatever you want to call it.  We were devastated.  The cohort’s become a family, really, and it was hard to have another person taken from us.

Our group that is stationed for Puno lost a person, making our number three.  Tacna only had three and it was their team that lost a member, making their number two.  I never thought we would loose anyone else.  It made me start thinking about the rest of us and even myself and I wondered if any of us could be next.  This occasion has made me realize just how fragile we are on the mission field.  Things can happen and can so easily get out of control.

Our loss has brought to mind the story of Gideon.  His army was so large that if he went into battle they would win and the glory would have gone to the army instead of God.  So, God has Gideon cut down the number of the army so that only He could be recognized out of the victory.  We are the smallest cohort that has come down to Peru.  I think the other cities have six North Americans in their assigned areas, which with their Peruvian partner makes them 12.  If God wants our numbers for these two cities to be small then so be it.  He will be glorified.

All the while that I was contemplating this story I was also praying that it be in God’s will that he give us another 40/40.  As you all know, we had our Love Extreme not too long ago, and they announced the other cities that Extreme will be going to next.  They gave the short-termers the oppurtunity to sign up for these projects ahead of time as 40/40’s or as short-termers again.  One of the girls said she was ready to come to Peru now to be a 40/40.  They interviewed her and after much prayer they decided to add her to the Tacna team!  Isn’t God good?!

Our number is still small, but God answered our prayers.  I don’t know if anyone else was praying for another 40/40 but I have been just amazed at the power of prayer since being down here.  First with Love Extreme, now with Kelsey our new sister!  Your prayers at home are so important.  Please, do not stop praying for us. My new lesson learned is the power of prayer and what an amazing tool it can be.  It sounds cold to say it, but it’s something the Lord has given us for combat with Satan.

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Whoa Nelly!

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,


When sorrows like sea billows roll;


Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

This is my point of view right now.  I think it’s interesting how monotone our room is… and a weird color at that.  I don’t think I gave you folks an update that I made a move.  I changed locations with another guy in our cohort to help my old roommate learn the language a little faster.  I’m living with this amazing guy, Garren.  

The window, that is the blur of white light in the photo, might as well be a hole in the wall.  It does nothing to block the sound of the busy street outside.  Garren said when he and Micah had moved in he told Micah to close the window.  It already was.  

So, I’m sitting in my room listening to the garbage trucks go by playing their little melodies and the taxistas blowing their horns.  And my insides are restless.  I tell myself… easy, easy.  And I realize, I’m a horse!  

Pray that I simply listen to God.  His voice is here in my ear… rather His hand is behind me pushing me forward and my head is saying… I’m not ready yet.  I need to be at ease.  Necesito estar tranquilo.  

P.S.- The culture is so exciting again!  One of my professors gave me a history book to read on Peru.  It’s all in Spanish and the words are rather beyond my level, but I want to learn them.  The love for language is coming back as well.  I’m excited to see the Lord moving in my love for the people.  I think today is another necessary step toward loving this country.  

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A Job Well Done

This day is nearly halfway over.  I am sitting at our computer desk and am sighing praises to God as I think about this weekend and the way that it unfolded.  I think I gave you a general idea of what this past week looked like, but let me update you.

Love Extreme is the project we’ve been preping for in Arequipa to jump start the church planting that is going on here in the city.  We want to flip this town and start a revolution for Christ.  This Mega Event is the largest event that the Nazarene Church has put on in this city, ever.  The goal was to get 10,000 people to the event.  People were coming to speak such as Nick Vuijicik and Felix Vargas.  Nick was born without arms and legs and Felix is an ex-cartel worker that left the drug industry and found Christ.

This past week was soaked with hard work.  There were at least 10 different projects going on daily.  We had 300 short-term workers come to the city to help with the event.  We were doing promo events where Taxi drivers were given packets of fliers and whoever got the most people to come to the event won a laptop, we hung 30,000 signs across the city, some people were involved in construction projects in churches and some were sent out to future church sites and annoited the ground with oil.  There were some days where we simply went out to the Plaza de Armas and passed out fliers.  In total we passed out 96,000 fliers! 

Yesterday was the big day.  Garren and I were in charge of the Cuy mascot suits.  (Don’t know what cuy are?  Check it out) We just made up a schedule and posted it on the wall for the short-termers to refer to and helped Dennis and the rest of the staff with last minute details or emergancy errands.  There were food courts, a children’s festival, medical clinics, informational desks, men’s and women’s conferences and the big events like Nick Vuijicik. 

From the first few people that came in the gates I saw some young kids that I had met earlier that week at the Plaza when I had been passing out fliers.  They were really excited to see me and they brought a video camera to document the day.  They interviewed me… I don’t know how well that went.  I thought it was so neat to see some of the people I had invited some to the event!

At 5pm Nick spoke.  It was very powerful.  I thought it was pivital how Nick’s story could relate to those in Peru.  He has experienced an oppresion that not many people in this world can say they can relate with.  It’s undeniable that the people of Peru are searching for something.  There were hardly any people that would not take the fliers and every person who took one would read it front and back.  They are under a heavy oppression and I think they could relate to Nick in a distant way.  Nearly everyone at the event asked when Nick as going to speak.

When Nick spoke he gave the salavation message at the end.  At the very end he gave the oppurtunity to say the sinners prayer.  From where I was I could not hear the people in the crowd repeating the prayer with Nick and I was a little disappointed, but then at the end he asked those who prayed to stand up… I didn’t see that either.  A few moments later he had people raise their hands who said the prayer and that’s when I saw them.  About 3,000 people gave their life to Christ yesterday. 

Later, when Brian Tibbs was taking Nick back the airport he asked Nick how he thought it went.  He said that usually when he gives the salvation message and asks the people to stand to pray he gets about 10%-20% response.  He said last night he got an 70% response from the people in the audience.  I had noticed this also, but he has repeated how important and real this decision was to give one’s life over to Christ three times, because he wanted to make sure that the crowd has understood what he was saying!  He was doubting the amount of people that stood!  God is so good!

Today, we had a huge celebration.  The church service was really long, but it was worth it.  There is a team of people that are following up on those who dedicated their lives.  I’m so excited for what God is doing.  Now, I’m dead beat tired and have mustered all I could to get this post up.  I hope you all had a wonderful father’s day!

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Amor Action

I had really wanted to post a new blog this past weekend after the first day of the start of our big project, however, I have been extremely busy and this is the first moment that has risen to taken update everyone.  Each day I am getting more and more excited for the event.  It’s this coming Saturday!  Please, everyone, PRAY PRAY PRAY!  We want to turn this town around for Christ!  We are trying to get 10,000 people to the event.  We can only do so much, but just pray that these peoples hearts will be turned and their interest peaked as we promote the big day.

I feel like as a 40/40 and not having been entirely involved in the planning process until this point.  The past few weeks I have been stuck in a classroom reviewing the language.  Other than that my time has been spent hanging out at the office studying with others or walking to and from our host family’s homes.  This is the first taste of activity that we have gotten.

These past few days God has revealed to me that He can work through me and that He will.  Everyday we are assigned to a project.  The first day of preparation for the project we had all gone out to the airport and picked up all the short-term missionaries from the airport.  Once we had them at their hotels I was assigned to a project to promote the event by getting taxi drivers to participate in our contest.  The winner gets a laptop.  So, these taxi drivers just have to give fliers to their passengers.  We gave each of the taxi drivers a packet of 100 fliers.  The taxista (taxi driver) who gets the most people to the event wins the laptop.  I DID NOT WANT TO TALK TO TAXI DRIVERS!  I was so nervous… I did it anyway and I did fine.  No problem.  Today my assignment was to take four short-termers around town on a combi (bus), one of them dressed up in a Cuy (guinea pig) mascot costume.  I DID NOT WANT TO DO THIS!  This meant we had to get in a tight space with a larger costume and tons of people packed on board.  I did it anyway… and this time I thought, God has placed me in the circumstance and I know that He will be me through it.  I prayed a lot on the bus… I fell in some mans lap when I wasn’t holding on the the bar… (extremely embarrassing) and I got to share with a ton of people about the event!

What I’ve realized is that I’ve been putting a limit on what God can do.  I also have realized that my thought patterns are more directed toward the flesh.  I have found myself saying that I cannot do that… instead of giving myself over to God to use me.  I can’t do these things, just myself, but what I’ve forgotten is that God is  working through me and that it’s Him that is doing the work.  I’m just there as a vessel.

Beside the falling in some man’s lap today I did another taxi promotion.  We got a total of 50 taxis to join the contest today! My friend, Garren, has an interesting story of what happened to him today.  It’s pretty neat, I hope you’d take some time to read it.  The Lord is at work here.  You can see it in the issues that are arising.  Satan is really trying to keep his foothold here in this city.  I urge you to pray that his power is bound here.

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A Group Realizes…

When you go to class (or when you went to class) what did the view look like out the window?  Well, this is mine.  Our Spanish classes are at the office, but we don’t have enough room to have the two classes inside the office, so one group (my group) has to meet outside on the veranda.  This is Misti Mountain.  Garren has conceived that this is the very mountain that J.R.R. Tolkien writes about in his book The Hobbit.  There is a secret door in the side of the mountain that leads to a heap of gold with a dragon sitting atop that’s missing a scale.  Shoot an arrow through the scale and the gold is all ours.  At least this is the theory.

This past week in our bible study we all mutually agreed that we were kind of stuck as to what our next step should be.  We all have worked hard to get to this point.  I know for me that getting to Peru was my goal for a long time and now that I’m here it’s shocking and confusing as to what I should be doing now.  We realized that we are still missionaries and that we have plenty of opportunities to share with people on the streets etc.

Having this discussion in our bible group was a great preparation for the meeting that all the staff had yesterday.  We are getting ready for a Mega-Event here in Arequipa.  I talked a little about it in my last post, but we are expecting 10,000 people to attend all of our events.  There are 380 short-termers that are coming down to assist the project.  Our goal is to flip this city for God and to help those who will be stationed in Arequipa to plant churches.  This meeting that we had yesterday was a discussion on what needs to be done and what we will be doing throughout Love Extreme (the name of the project).  I found out I’m going to be helping promote the project on the streets with fliers, posters, and megaphones!  Megaphones!!!  I’ll also be one of the leaders (along with Garren and Micah) to organize the Rico Team a.k.a. guinea pig mascot suits!  That’s fun.

So, to all my readers I urge you to pray for this event!  This is the largest event that we ever have had and it’s extremely important.  The staff has been working ridiculously hard to get this project up and going and there’s still lots of things that need to get done.  Pray for the hearts of the community that they will be open to hear the words that will spoken to them in these events and feel God’s amazing love.  This is EXTREME LOVE here.

Aside from the BIG event we are having here is Kristen playing some Pictionary.

Or how about Garren with THIS guy?  Can you guess it?  The answer is at the bottom of this post.

I have been trying to keep a journal for myself everyday.  I thought I would want to post everything on here, but I realize that it’s an amazing practice to sit down at the end of the day and just think.  I’ve been writing everything in my journal in Spanish to help facilitate the learning even further.  It’s working well.

I would like for you all to pray for Love Extreme, like I had said, and also for those of us who are having trouble learning this language.  There are some of us that are really struggling.  Also, pray that we remember why we are here in Peru.  You may think that sounds ridiculous, but we are in a transition time until we are on the field in Puno.  What we have to remember is that we are actually on the field right now.  I have noticed that people are watching us, and people do know who we are.  Pray that we are sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is guiding us toward and our ears will be tuned to God’s voice.

Give up?  Ugh, looser.  The answer was AVATAR!

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Thanks To My Hacker Friend

I do have the horrible habit of leaving myself logged into my gmail account on other’s computers.  And if you haven’t read “my” last post, do so and you’ll understand.  Here’s a photo of the perpetrator.

Well, that’s my attempt of payback. 🙂  Garren is really a great friend.  Very sarcastic at times and hard to read (except in the above picture).  He is a very huge blessing to me on this trip, though.  His entry is a compilation of things that have happened thus far on the trip… not all are entirely accurate though, I am not growing a rat-tail, you will be glad to know.

Anyway, things are going great here in Peru.  Some of us are having a hard time with the language, others are doing everything they can from throwing up what they’re eating and then others are adjusting simply to the altitude (which includes near overdoses of Imodium and Peptobismal).

The other day we went out to Zamacola for a lunch after a morning of fasting.  The dinner was a soup and then a plate of fried chicken, rice and a salad. Well, the soup was good for me.  One lucky girl, Ashley, got a chicken foot in her bowl.  I can hear the resounding gasp imparting across the world.  Yes, folks she was served a chicken foot with nails still intact.  She did not eat it, but was very intrigued.

A couple days later at dinner I was talking with Lala, the host lady I live with, and she asked me if I have ever eaten chicken feet, liver, heart, or gizzard… I told her no.  After a bit of a conversation about the ethics of eating chicken odds-and-ends she asked me if I would eat these things if she served them, because this is something they eat occasionally here.  I told her that I would make no promises to like it, but I would try it nonetheless.  I figure, why not be adventurous.

And here’s one last random thought for the day.  I was walking across the bridge on my way home today and I was amazed at how effortlessly I could walk.  I mean, it took no thought whatsoever.  Take ping-pong for example.  We had an intense match a couple weekends ago, and it took so much concentration… Walking, on the other hand, is a breeze… you just go… no other thought needed.  I guess this is a good thing to think about as within the next couple of weeks we are putting on our Extreme Love event here in Arequipa and this guy Nick Vuijic.  He was born without legs or arms and has a very uplifting story.  Also, there is going to be Felix Vargas, an ex drug cartel worker.

That’s all for now.  And if you want to visit Garren’s real blog you can find a link along the right or just click here.

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I Like Turtles

Trevor stayed logged on, on my computer.  So I will post a little bit about Trevor.

First off, he is very much Swedish.  Like it or not.
Trevor’s favorite thing to do is to walk around el cercado all day los sabados.
His second favorite thing to do is to put cotton in his mouth and chew on it back and forth.
His third favorite thing to do is to say, “Oh man, oh man, that’s great.”
His fourth favorite thing to do is to be very gringo and very pavo.
His fifth favorite thing to do is to fold brochures.
His sixth favorite, last but not least, is to find out where Kristin‘s tattoos are.  
You like that Kristin? I got you in this blog.  I even bolded your name.
In reality, Trevor is quite joyous and passionate about being here in Peru.  We have become great friends even though we are four years apart en edad.  I like to say my maturity makes up the difference, but in reality I like to say his immaturity makes up for it.  Trevor and I are growing mustaches together, and we’re also beginning the process of growing rattails.  Yay for european style.  Trevor is also my assistant for Operation: Acquire Dog for Puno.  One that isn’t so big that it can see the table when it stands up, but one that isn’t small so you can’t punt it.  The next two years we’ll develop a great friendship between Trevor and I hope he chooses to keep this post up.
Sincerely,
Garren
P.S. I hope you can comprehend sarcasm.

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