Monthly Archives: May 2011

Freaky Friday

I know, I know.  It’s not Friday yet.  But, tomorrow sure is.  And if you haven’t seen this video already than, you should hop on over to watch it.

If you thought that song was scary then, you are very normal.  But, if you found yourself tapping your foot and bobbing your head and screaming, “YES YES YES YES!”  Then, I would say you are quite deranged.

Tomorrow is Friday and we are staying indoors all day long.  Why?  What’s going on?  Well, Peruvians sure know how to throw a party, but they might have themselves beat with how they throw a strike.

I posted an article the other day about the strike and what was going on.  But don’t worry, I won’t send you to another page.  I’ll explain what’s going on here and now.  There are two sides to the story, but what matters on both sides is that Alan Garcia (the President of Peru) signed off on a project two or three years ago to start a mine in Ilave (the Aymara capital).  The mine is to be on a mountain called La Capilla.  Apparently, there is some 320,000,000 grams of silver that can be extracted from the mine along with petroleum.  Don’t quote me on that however; that’s what I’ve heard.  Three days ago the people of Ilave (the Aymara Nation) is rising up and taking a stand against the government claiming that the mine will contaminate their drinking water and the Lake Titicaca.  Horrible, right?  Good for them making a statement, right?

Here’s side two.  Apparently, this mountain La Capilla is a sacred mountain where the Aymara people make “payments” to Pachamama (mother earth).  There are also similar sites here in the city of Peru, only here these three mountains are called “Los Apus.”  It is believed that when one is sick they can go to the Apus, or La Capilla and make payment to the mountain and they will be cured.  The same goes for farming.  By making payments to the mountains the people will be blessed with a fruitful harvest.  So, the people don’t want their precious mountain to be touched for fear that they will be cursed and their farms will be left fruitless.  But, here’s the true shocker of this side.  There are still human sacrifices that are practiced on the mountain in Ilave.  What I have been told is that people are kidnapped from parties while drunk and taken to the mountain and sacrificed to Pachamama.

It has been said that the water contamination is merely a smart political move, being that if someone were to complain about their magical mountain being defiled it might be looked upon as mere Folklore and left at that.  However, one smart Aymara advised the rest about that and suggested using a different approach, the water.

“Yes water!  Mine no!”  “Aymaras united will never be conquered!”  “Listen Alan!  This fight continues!”  This is what you hear down in the plaza down the road from our house.  There are 22,000 people standing in the plaza protesting and throwing a very large and  what is becoming a frightening strike.

Stores are closed all around the main venues.  If a protester sees an open store it may result in rocks being thrown into the store or maybe even at its owner.  Small corner shops are closed and so is the main central market place.  The question is, if this continues to go on like this, how will we get food?   With no resolution having been found yet it is becoming the fear that this will not end soon.

There is also no transportation.  The same rule applies to stores.  If an Aymara sees you driving a motorcycle or car you may get home with a nice sized bump on your noggin.

It seems that the Aymara’s efforts are not calming down.  I thought they would have by now.  Rather, there has been an increase in their labors toward gaining the attention of the President.  There have been two police cars that have been raided and burned, and their attraction to fire spread to actually starting one in a bank!  Also, earlier this afternoon, the store Curacao, an appliance store, had been raided.  The Aymara have also taken even more ludicrous measures and smashed all the public phones down by the plaza.  It is believed that tomorrow they may gain power to shut off all water supplies to the whole city.

The Pastor and his wife both came by this evening and told us the news about what was happening concerning the strike.  They also urged us to stay indoors for tomorrow.  I suspect that when food sources get low they will let some trucks through if food, but the prices will be jacked-up and it may be scarce.

We need your prayers.  Right now we are fine and still comfortable, but if this continues on like it is, it may become a pretty difficult situation.  We are not able to work like we would be, because there is no transportation and no one is home.

Striking news!  I was literally just told that the Army has just been mandated into the streets to keep order.

I just wanted to let you know exactly what’s going on right now.  We are in need of your prayers so we can get back to work and that the city of Puno can come back to peace.  This is the first time in the history of Puno that there has been an uprise of this magnitude.  Pray that there will be a resolve soon to the problem.

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Today = 1 Year

Hell-o there good folks at home.  I feel like every time I write I am apologizing for having not written, but this time I actually have an excuse that is worthy to have kept me from writing.  There have been a lot of things going on in the Extreme world, not just events and special happenings, but there have been defining changes.  I’ll try to take you through in order what’s been going on.

ONE

First off, Joel, my partner had to go home because his mother had passed away and, well, who wouldn’t go home if their mother passed away?  He went home for three weeks.  He had bought a ticket there and back, so we were pretty sure he was going to come back.

I had already shared with you some of the issues and conflict Joel and I were going through, a lot of it being on my end.  The three weeks that Joel was gone I worked with Micah, who two days after Joel was to come back he was scheduled to leave to join another ministry with his family in Arequipa.  While working with him I learned several things about myself and what I was doing wrong in my partnership with Joel.

1.) It doesn’t matter who I’m working with, be they North American or Peruvian, there will always be moments of disagreement.
2.) I am still a control freak and I do try to control situations within relationships.
3.) (this is something I just learned the other day) I am more willing to stay mad at someone then share with them that I’m mad at them and risk them getting mad at me too.
4.) I am not responsible for other people’s actions and I have to let them be who they are and if at times I think they are wrong and it’s not vital or biblically a true issue to argue over, then I ought to just let it go.

The fact that Joel was not around also through me into the necessity of depending solely on myself to start conversations with new people.  I was able to see that I was a stronger asset to the partnership than I had led myself to believe.  I am not just the useless gringo who attracts people with my blonde hair.

Well, Joel came back and Micah went to Arequipa to be with his family.  Then, on Sunday, which was Mother’s Day… a hard day for Joel, Joel pulled me aside after church and told me that he was not going to be able to continue on with this work.  It was odd.  I was thinking to myself how I had just gotten used to the idea of him coming back and I was ready for that.  So, I was faced with the fear of going home myself or going to another city to work.  Fortunately, neither of those were options, which brings me to:

TWO

I have been placed to work with the two Peruvians, Nelson and Sixto.  They were placed on a team together when Micah decided to leave and work in Arequipa.  So, when Chad and Amanda asked me what I would rather do I said my first option would be to work with them.  So, now we are working with the communities Juliaca, Ilave, and Santa Rosa & Ricardo Palma, Santa Rosa & Ricardo Palma having both been congealed into one district, because they are both smaller and right next to each other.  So, it’s good considering those are the places we all have the most contacts and no one is getting dropped.

THREE

I don’t really know how much liberty I have to share this third part, however; I’ll just say that there was an issue within the group that caused another hiccough in our onward tread of the mission.  It has been resolved, and we are praising God for it.

ANYWAY

As you can see, there have been some major battles with the enemy.  But, we have made it through.  It would be the most honest statement I could make to say that the months of April and May have been the hardest months to get through for this team and personally.

Where there is a battle with Satan, afterward comes the refreshing downpour of blessings from God.  Garren recently shared with me that Ravi Zacharias has Podcasts online and we listened to a few together on a recent bus trip out to Ilave.  In one segment called “Growing In Your Disciplines” Ravi touched base on how important a personal prayer life is with God.  I have been changed forever concerning my devotional life, which I think is where He needed to get me first to now make a change in my prayer life.

LATEST NEWS

  • We have officially been in Peru one whole years today!
  • Sunday evening I had a kids program with the kids in my Sunday School for their parents.  I gave some students verses to memorize and recite to their parents and also we played a English quizzing game to show that they are learning.   At the end we showed the movie “Facing the Giants,” and had a call to those who wanted to give their lives to Christ and all four parents who came rose their hands to accept Christ into their lives.  Please, pray that their faith is strengthened in their decisions!
  • There is a pretty large strike that has struck us here in Puno.  There is no transportation to Juliaca or to Ilava… in other words, you can not get out of the city and there is no school and the majority of stores are closed.  You can read more about the strike here.  So, we took advantage of the opportunity and did a Kid’s Festival in Ricardo Palma (the nearest district that didn’t require mobile transportation).  We had 50 kids show up and got one adult contact, which I’m perfectly fine with.  We meed with her tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.  Her name is Deysi (Spanish spelled version of Daisy).

Here’s a quick picture of Rocky, the menacing puppy!


WHAT TO PRAY FOR

  • In about two weeks we will have a short-term mission group coming to give us a boost in contact building.  Pray for their health as it is probable they will have a brief shock with the altitude and we need our team to be ready to work ASAP.
  • Sixto, Nelson and I are still new to each other as partners.  Pray that we will continue to work well together and that we will learn how to work with each other.


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