Do any of you like to travel via Greyhound? Believe it or not I’m posting this entry from a bus on the way back to Arequipa from Puno. Chad has a Internet key you can plug into the USB port of your computer and anywhere we have Claro phone service we have internet service as well. Who would have thought in Peru we’d have this kind of technology? We tried watching some T.V. online but it wasn’t strong enough a connection.
I figure I should give you a heads up on how our house search went in Puno. We left early Sunday morning to get in Puno in the afternoon and still be able to go to their church service at 6 pm. Saturday I woke up with the start of a pretty ugly cold. Sunday morning I woke up feeling the worst I have yet in Peru. I don’t know what it was, whether it was a cold or allergies, but Sunday morning I laid there and begged God to lay His healing hand on me. Now from Arequipa we go 7,000 or so feet above sea level to 12,000 feet (don’t quote me on that). With the heavy contrast in the change of altitude my congestion felt like it was turning into the jaws of life prying my head open. Some of the others were getting ill too. So, we definitely were seeing the spiritual warfare as we were trying to find this house.
The first day of searching the city was Monday. If you’re asking how we knew how to look for homes here in Puno, I was thinking the same thing. Basically we were told to walk around the city, knock on doors, and simply ask people if they knew of any places available. There are very few places that will actually advertise in newspapers. There are also walls around the city where ads are posted.
(I just quickly want to add as a side note the poster we just passed. Apparently, coming soon to a city near me is some kind of midget parade… don’t try to read too much into it, it means exactly what it says. A midget show of some sort.)
We spent the day walking around the city asking everyone we could about houses. Joel and I didn’t have any luck at all the whole day. We were assigned to an area where it was basically just commercial buildings and nothing residential. At the end of the day we all got together and talked about what was found. One group found an anticresis, but we didn’t know if we would be approved for it.
By Tuesday I had woken up feeling nearly 100% better, which I believe was seriously a divine healing from God. So, Tuesday we sent some of the 40/40’s home, because we had already scoured the city and only had a couple appointments to look at a few places. Chad, Garren, Sixto and I stayed and in the afternoon went to look at this one house. It was a house the our Pastor used to live in, and he assured us that it would be a good fit. We met the landlady there and she told us she had to ask the tenants if it would be okay if we could look in the house. Well, they refused to let us in. Throughout this whole ordeal we were thinking this would never happen in the States. Are you kidding me? Your landlord is here and is telling you to let them show their own property and you are saying no? You are ridiculous.
So, the landlady (her name is Asuncion) asks us in to her apartment, which is the third floor of the house she owns. There, both she and the pastor try telling us it’s a great place and it will definitely work for our 14 people, but we were trying to be insistent that we couldn’t sign a contract for two years if we didn’t see the place. Apparently, the renters had let Asuncion in with some other interested parties several times before and they were sick of letting more people in their house. It was very frustrating… very Peruvian. This house was kind of our last option too, so we were getting very upset that we couldn’t even see what potentially could be the best thing we had found yet, besides the anticrisis. So, Asuncion told us we could sign on for three months and if we didn’t like it we could find another place. We did it.
We had been praying for so long for the perfect place and the fact that God hadn’t given us anything quickly has been speaking to me that we needed to be faithful and believe that He would provide. Now, this was the fifth time that we had come to Puno looking for a place and the one place we didn’t look at is the place that we decided on… and we all felt at peace with it. Now we just have to tell everyone else on our team!
My lap is getting hot from the computer. Thank you all for your prayers. We still might have to make another move after this, but praise the Lord that He has given us at least “a place to land,” as Chad says. I’m excited to actually get to see this place, but we will have to wait until at least the 4th of January. So, it looks like we are going to be spending Christmas in Arequipa!