Monthly Archives: August 2010

¡Loco por Panorámicos!

Zamacola Roof

Well, it’s Saturday and I’m sure all of you at home would love to smack me in the face for saying this, but I’m bored.  I’m sitting on Roy’s bed sipping on my Altomayo Instant Coffee.  This stuff is a lot better than the previous “cup of coffee” I displayed months ago (it deserves placement between quotation marks as I really wouldn’t ever don it as anything resembling coffee).  But, I wanted to put up this post with some panoramic photos that I took today.  The first one here is from the rooftop of the church building where I’m living.

Zamacola Classroom 
This is our classroom.  It is really rather large.  The floor is also just as slippery as it looks.  I have taken a spill or two here on this ice-rink.  We just finished our second class of the fourteen that we have to take.  The grading system in Peru is a little strange, as I’ve found out.  The grading scale is based on a scale from 1 to 20.  And that’s it.  Well, the final for our last class, Biblical Basis on Missions, was a shared test.  Each of us worked with our partners.  Joel and I scored an 18.  The highest score was Kayley(sp?) and her partner Ester with 19.  I’m super proud of Joel and myself for taking second place!

Zamacola Dining

This is our dining hall!  It’s really too small for all of us.  When there are no seats for all of us at the tables along the right that you see some spill over into the chairs and sofas to eat.  This is also where all of our internet surfing happens if we don’t want to be in our rooms.  Also, this happens to act as our entertainment room where we watch movies together.  So, I suppose this is more like our Dining/Study/Move Watching Hall.

Zamacola Guys Room

Here’s the guys room.  On the far right you’ll notice there are three levels to the beds.  Count carefully, it looks like there’s only two.  I sleep on the top third bunk on this very far right set of beds.  Roy and Jeremias got lucky and only share a double-decker.  Sadly, Roy’s bed gets invaded a lot by vagabond Peruvians and North Americans alike.  It’s very often you walk into the room and find someone who is not Roy sitting or laying on his bed.  I, of course, asked permission to be here, so I’m cool. 

You know, that’s all the panoramic pictures that I have for now.  I guess I can give you a bit of a glimpse into how this week went.  As I said we just finished our second class and that’s pretty much all this week consisted of.  We had two presentations for this class, one where we had to read a book about a missionary and the other on a biblical theme.  The presentations are done with our partners so Joel and I did a presentation on Richard Anderson, who did mission work in Guatemala in the early 1900’s, and then our theme presentation was Repentance.  All of our presentations went well, but I’m quickly realizing just how different I am from my partner.  It’s all a cultural thing.  I love him, I think he’s great, but there are things that they laugh at and I’m left thinking… seriously?  That’s funny?  I’m praying about this a lot.  I hope you would as well.  I want to be able to connect with my partner and for me connecting with people hugely depends on humor.  That sounds silly that I’m upset that I can’t kid around with my partner, I suppose, but it’s more than just joking around, rather I need to make a connection and relate to him.  I’m hoping that maybe doing Bible studies with him in the morning will help.  Please pray.

Other than that, everything is great.  Friendships are flourishing and I’m not out of control maintaining them.  God is teaching me so much.  I’m excited to see what this next week brings.  We are starting our next class Monday, Strategies for Biblical Studies.  Catch ya next week.

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The Mother Post: Puno

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Welcome to Zamacola

Perhaps I should wait to give you guys a full update on Zamacola, but I’m just so excited I want to let you all know how this is going to far.  We are all moved into Zamacola and I have my new Peruvian partner!  Whew, the Lord is so good.

First, the move.  There is good news about this move here in Zamacola.  It has a soon approaching end!  In one month we are moving, all of the 40/40, to a new home just one block away from the church.  The first floor of the apartment complex is for the guys, the second floor the girls and the third floor for the Cluster Support Family (Chad and Amanda).  This is amazing considering that we have had so many problems with relationships and stuff forming here where we are now because the girls only live in the same building but in different rooms.  How many of you parent’s would want your kids going to a coed Nazarene school?  It just didn’t make any sense.  So, now we get more privacy and also a better chance for hot showers!  The guys scored big from the luck I got by extracting from my host family an extra electric shower head that they had.  They are letting us use it for Puno also!  So, the happy news is we will have reliable hot showers, privacy, better living situations to keep Satan to himself and well… We have a whole apartment to OURSELVES!  It’s so awesome.

My peruvian partner.  I am so excited for what is to come.  His name is Joel and he is 21 years old.  Earlier today at the pizza shop I was trying to tell Kristen, “It doesn’t look like he’s 21 years old does he?”  and instead I said, “It doesn’t look like he has 21 years, does he?”  which is the very Spanish way of saying it!  Joel Antonio Piña Guerra, is his name.  Upon meeting him he asked me for a hug, this is perfect.  I’m so happy about the match.  The Lord is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo GOOD!

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A Need For Prayer

You all must be thinking, This Trevor kid doesn’t blog forever and de repente (suddenly (I know you don’t really think in Spanish, but indulge me here)) he has two blogs in one week?!  I know right?  Well, I’ve updated the look of the blog and want to show it off!  That and more importantly the Lord has been at work and I just want to share with you what exactly that is.

Roy studying hard.
Kristen being cool…?
Two weeks ago we had our weekly bible study (on Thursdays).  The Whites brought in some avocados and made some guacamole, which was delicious.  Right before we started the bible study the Whites (Tricia and Lindy), Kristen, and Roy got called down to the office for a meeting.  This is the whole Tacna group, so we didn’t really quite know what to think if the ordeal.  Needless to say the guacamole was devoured by the Puno group.  A day later I asked Kristen what the meeting was about but she said that she couldn’t tell me… I almost couldn’t handle that.  I said something along the lines of, “Well, I was hoping maybe you all were coming to Puno.”
You all should remember the amount of losses we’ve had so far, and I don’t just mean from my last post.  We lost Ashley from our Puno group and we lost Denina from the Tacna group.  I’ve been praying that God would fulfill our needs in each of the groups by providing some extra help if that would be His will.  Well, I had been praying the wrong way, apparently.  
Today we had a meeting.  All of our Cohort 4 got together, that is the group for Puno and Tacna, for an announcement.  The Lord has answered our prayers, but in a way that I never thought would have been the solution.  Kristen and Roy will be joining the Puno group!  
I am so excited to be sharing this experience with two people that I have grown so close to.  I had actually thought the past week about having to leave them for Puno and it made me really sad.  I am so thankful for our God who provides in such miraculous ways.  He is so good.  
The Cluster Support for Tacna (Lindy and Tricia White) will take on other positions with the Extreme Ministries.  Lindy will take on a position as a constructor and Tricia as a nurse.  In a year they will meet a new team for Tacna for the Peru 2 project.  They will still serve in Tacna, but will be spending more time in Peru in the end, of which I am slightly jealous!
Something Amanda had brought up in the meeting was that we need to start praying for the strength of the unity of our family.  This is where you come in.  I need my prayer warriors!  I have already been faced with spiritual warfare.  At first I didn’t recognize it as such, but then after Amanda had talked about Satan working to pull apart our unity it became clear to me.  I won’t talk specifically about the situation but I had to confront an issue that tore at my heart and made me scared that I would ruin everything.  Well, the Lord has been keeping us in His hands and directing that situation, but it could have been ugly.  
I urge you so STRONGLY to pray for us.  It is imperative!  I cannot tell you how much we need your prayers.  I think that folks in the States when they hear missionaries say they need prayer they tend to lean more toward the impression that they are asking heavily for financial support, but the honest to goodness truth is WE NEED YOUR PRAYER!  Your financial support, of course, is greatly needed, but your prayers are what combat Satan and his forces.  

With all serious things aside, here are some pictures I’d like to share with you.  This is the new Bible that I bought from my host family.  It’s so little and it’s got a little clasp.  It’s so pretty and it’s in Spanish.  I love it!

This is a typical looking plate of food here in Peru.  I’ve only had the purple stuff twice (Russian Salad), but the portions of rice are dead on.  We eat a lot of rice.  The Russian Salad is made of lettuce, beets and peas.  I thought it was such a pretty dish I had to take a picture.  The green place mat looks nice as a background too!

My Spanish is coming along very very nicely.  I’d even say that I’m more fluent than I ever had been in Spanish.  There have been several times in the post where I’ve had to backspace a Spanish word out!  Uh-oh!

Well, friends and family, like I said, PRAY PRAY PRAY!  We are meeting our Peruvian partners this weekend and we have our “partner fusion” sessions.  It sounds rather scary and I think most of us are a tad apprehensive… this is, after all, very similar to a Japanese arranged marriage.  Yikes!

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Prologue to Chapter 2

A thousand apologies to my readers!  It has been too long since I’ve given you an update on what is going on in Peru!  I’m so sorry.  I’ve been waiting and waiting for something action packed to happen so you folks at home aren’t falling out of your chairs, passed out dead asleep and get a concussion.  Well, to be honest I don’t think that my life is that boring, but I wanted to write something that would maybe make your heart palpitate a couple beats faster per minute.

I have just been going to the Spanish school five days a week.  Last week the 29th was Peru’s independence day so there were two days where the city was rather tranquil.  It was very difficult to travel across town, everyone stayed at home even taxi drivers apparently.  Garren and I went to the Plaza de Armas Wednesday, a day before the holidays, to go to Serpost (the post office) to pick up his collection of packages.  They told us the office where he could pick up his packages would open at 6 so we stayed out and about in town so we didn’t have to walk all the way home and come back later.

We went to the Plaza center and sat down on a bench next to an older gentleman.  He thought we were French, which I took as a huge compliment, Garren not so much (he’s not a fan of anything french).  We found later that his name was Percy.  He was a dirty old man, but a blast to talk to.  He told us about his family and a little about the weather of Arequipa.  It’s a universal conversation filler, the weather that is.  Well, when we left him to go back to Serpost at 6 we found out that 1.) The packages had been sitting there for 6 days… and 2.) The office opens at 3:30 pm.  We weren’t too thrilled, but it was nice spending the afternoon in the Plaza… getting pooped on by pigeons.

This chapter of my Peruvian life is about to come to a close.  We have two more weeks of Spanish class then we are moving across the city to Zamacola (about ten-fifteen minutes away on the bus).  When we first got here until about three weeks ago I was excited about moving into the Zamacola church.  You see, all of the 40/40’s go to live in Zamacola after their language schooling is completed.  We will be moving in with a handful of other missionaries that we have become good friends with.  So, what’s the draw-back?  Well, I’m not 100% thrilled by the change of menu… our host family’s food is pretty good.  The thing I am not looking forward to the least is the cold showers.  I’ve been told they are ice cold.  Oh boy.  Anyway, two weeks from now I’ll be there in Zamacola accumulating a smell some may call B.O. (body odor) but I’ll simply refer to it as C.R. (comfort retention).

Let’s take a swim over to the deeper side of the pool, shall we?  You may remember some of my posts talking about friendships and how I’ve had to re-prioritize relationships and how loco I can become which turns into Control Freak Monster.  If not, here’s a quick recap:

“As for the self-exploration I’ve realized that I’ve begun to loose a bit of my own self, in that I’m fading from my own individuality.  I’ve been putting so much of my energy in building relationships with others that I’ve even been neglecting my relationship with God.  And I’m right where I began maybe three months ago.  Can I tell you how frustrating that is?  Leaving my best friend at home was a wound that I started to patched with a new friendship.”

 So, I have been incredibly happy with myself since Mollendo, that’s where this “self-exploration” took place. I’ve been able to stand on my own and not have to depend on what other people do to have fun or make decisions.  The Lord has been filling me with Himself, which has been so satisfying.  This new family of mine has become so precious to me and though it is just that important to me I have to remember where it is in line with God.  I think about our future Peruvian partners and sometimes I get a rush of dread that they could put a drive between some of these friendships that I’ve made, but then I think to myself, “What the heck are you thinking?”

There have been ten people sent home from the mission in Peru.  Seven of the ten are due to breaking a very simple rule on the field, no dating.  I hope I don’t get in trouble talking about this here, but I just think this is something very worthy of your prayers back at home.  I don’t know what happened in three of those  but of the five I do.  I think the most frustrating of them all is the most recent two that were sent home this past week.  They were having a secret dating relationship even after we had a HUGE meeting to clarify what exactly “dating” means.  All of which is rather silly, who needs to be told what dating is?  But, I’m not so much mad at the people.  Satan really was able to make a mess through this issue.

But, what I’ve realized is that having any relationship have priority over God’s and mine can be detrimental.  Anything that keeps me focused from the mission that I’m committed to in Peru can be just as harmful to the ministry.  It’s sad that some of my fellow missionaries decided they would break some of the rules, but the Lord has a plan and if it’s to make a point to the rest of us 40/40 then I suppose that’s a price we will have to live with.

My beloved Cluster Support father and mother, Chad and Amanda, took me out to eat last night.  We went to a Sushi restaurant!  I love sushi!  When I left the States I was sad, because I thought I would have to wait two years before I could sample the wonderful alaska roll, or any sushi roll for that matter, again.  But, lo and behold, Arequipa the city of life does have a sushi restaurant.  It was so wonderful eating one of my favorite foods with my parents and their two lovable children (Ella 5yrs and Thomas 3/4yrs can’t remember).  I had some great conversations with them about adjusting to Peru and also got to discuss some general concerns.  Overall, I was so happy and felt like we had bonded so much.  I am a huge believer that food has that mysterious property of bringing people together.  I tell you all with so much feeling in my heart that I love my new family so much.  The Lord is so awesome with His provisions.  They are not only great friends, Chad and Amanda, but are teachers through how they live.  I could not have asked for better mentors.

I know this is turning into a rather long post, but you’ve been out of the loop so long, I’m sure you don’t mind! But, I would just like to cover this one last thing.  When the 40/40 missionaries come down to Peru usually part of their “Orientation” is going to El Mercado San Camilo (The San Camilo Marketplace) and tip back a refreshing glass of jugo de rana (frog juice).  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  Well, here are some pictures of the event.

Pre-faces:
Well, why does everybody look so apprehensive?  Hmm
Here’s the drink that changed our lives… forever
Apparently, the drink consisting of different cereals, eggs, coca leaves, and of course frogs is very good for your health and also… sex drive.  Maybe this is why so many people have been sent home?
Here’s Garren scoping out the impending torture.  This really is the best representation of how we all felt. 
  Don’t you love that they put an horribly vile drink in such pretty glasses?  They thought they could fool us, I suppose, by making it look very gourmet.  
After Faces:

You will note that Kristen very cleverly brought along gum.  We all took a piece eagerly to cover the froggy taste enveloping our mouths, I love having my mouth enveloped (House Bunny anyone?).  Johan and Brian also joined us, I just didn’t get their pre-faces.  But, the truth be told the drink was not that bad.  We all downed our glasses in a matter of thirty seconds and nobody had a gag reflex.  There was a general consensus that it tasted like a protein drink.  I took mine in two tragos (gulps) and the second time I almost lost it only because the drink had gotten cold along the bottom. 
Here’s a video of the frog massacre.
  

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