Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Long-Awaited “Glory Be to God”

(A special thanks to Amanda Duerre for being my official photographer for this special occasion)

The glory does all go to God!  I’m so happy to say that we finally found a locale in Juliaca.  Sammy and I have been looking for a place to meet for over five months now, and finally one just happened to land in our laps.  We went to talk to Diana one day and Sammy happened to ask her mother, Thomasa, if she knew of any places that were renting.  Lo’ and behold, she had a store/room in the front of her house that she was willing to let us use.  So, we went over a different day to look at the place and we asked her and her husband how much they’d want for the place… and they said gratis.  That means free in Spanish.  We were elated… obviously, and made an agreement that we would pay for the power bill each month instead of any rent.

So, we had our inauguration yesterday evening!  We haven’t painted the place yet, but we are going to this coming Saturday.  We had a good turn-out, six people!  Diana got baptized in the church because she couldn’t go with us on the 7th of April to Juli to be baptized in the lake.  Her legs are really weak from having been in bed for almost two months, and this was the first time she had been out of the house in two months when she came to the church.  Her husband, Efrain, was worried she was going to hurt herself, but she did great!  I hope and pray that her example for him will show him the dedication she has for the Lord.  Thomasa and Rosi (one of our contact’s daughters) gave their lives to the Lord as well.  I was so blessed to see the fruit of our labors.  Praise the Lord!

Here’s Sammy and me in front of the locale!  It’s small, but it doesn’t matter.  After the service I heard Diana say to her daughter Yessica, “Don’t do that!  This is the House of God!” I was tickled by the reverence she had for our little locale.

Speaking of Yessica (pronounced Jessica), this is her!  She is just the craziest little girl you would ever meet.  She is all mouth, just doesn’t stop talking.  I love her so much, even though she calls me Bebon or Tlebol.  She touches my heart.  She practiced some of the praise songs with Pastora before church service and she sang along with me during worship time.

This is Chad with Daniela, Diana’s other little girl.  She’s eight years old and is a sensitive little girl.  After church we played “musical balloon”something like hot potato, I suppose, and she got caught with the balloon in her hands when the music stopped.  She then had participate in a punishment… hard to explain, but she was too embarrassed to actually do it.  But, once you get to know her she is lively!

This is a good representation of what our locale looks like.  It’s so little!  But, it’s ours and I love it.  Thomasa was such a giving hostess, she let us use some of her chairs, a bench, and a table.  Her heart is so good.  I’m extremely excited to see how God is going to use her!

I can go home feeling so happy about our work after witnessing this.  Diana is one of our oldest contacts we’ve made here in Juliaca.  She has been so faithful and I can see the change God is instilling in her life.  I was so overwhelmed with happiness I would have audibly been sobbing if it weren’t for the other people in the room.  Her face was so peaceful and I could see what I can only explain as bliss written across her face.  I am so blessed to be part of the privilege that it is to work in Juliaca and witness the hand of God moving and gathering his people to him.  Glory Be To God!


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A Call For Prayer

Well well well… Peru is doing it’s best to ground our hard work.  Really, when I say Peru it should be said Satan.  Satan is really doing his best to try to kill our short term group that is coming down in two weeks. This is an awful repeat of last year… and just thinking about it is making my blood boil.  Can we not catch a break?

So, last year in June we were going to have a short term trip come here to do a medical clinic.  We worked hard to get things planned for them to be here, when the Aymara decided to march into the city and protest and strike against a mining effort in their sacred mountain by bashing in bank windows, looting stores and burning cars… even police cruisers.  Thanks to them our short term trip was canceled.  

Nearly a year later we are expecting a short term group to come in two weeks… lo’ and behold!  Another strike!  This time miners from the north of Peru are apparently striking either against illegal mining ooooor they are striking to be able to mine illegally… we’ve heard two versions.  Either way, I’m… WE’RE extremely frustrated that our short term group is being threatened of being canceled.  

So, the call for prayer is that this strike will go away!  Pray that the government moves their tooshie to make amends with these very angry people (they have been slashing traveling vehicles tires and 4 or 5 people have died in Puerto Maldonado… I think that’s the number).  Pray that the Lord will do His mighty work so we can have our construction group come to build the Puno church’s temple and our short term missions group.  Pray pray pray pray pray!

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Pallowing Swills

Today is not exactly the day that I wanted it to be.  I think days like this are never technically wanted, hoped for, pinned for.  It’s a day that you would always prefer to come tomorrow.  Today we got a reality check.  It has blind-sided me, leaving me rather disappointed that some stuff wasn’t clarified from the very get-go.

We had a meeting today with the Pastor.  Basically, Sammy and I felt stuck as to what more we could do with the potential leaders we have… especially in Ilave.  So, we called Pastor over to talk about stuff.  We explained that nobody is coming to the church, for neither the Saturday night service nor the prayer service on Wednesday nights, and that the only people that do come are the people that live there in the house where we are renting but they show little commitment… rather none, to God and are not disciples in any shape or form.

At first the Pastor was pretty cool.  He went through and told us we have no potential leaders if they themselves are not coming to church.  He talked about what we needed to do there and it was good/hard stuff to hear, considering our time limit.  Then, things turned a bit hairy when I asked him what is plans were for post-40/40.  He kinda got upset with me and told me that he was going to put leaders there in the places where we were working and if there aren’t any then leaders from the north would be sent.  I said… hmm I didn’t know that, which he told me, “obviously,” they wouldn’t leave these places.  It kinda left me feeling like a heel.  I told him he never told us that, but he said some other things that just made me feel worse, so I left it at that.  I just wanted him to understand that I didn’t know that they were going to send other leaders and that made me feel a lot better, more equipped to do this work.  It turned into a bit of a tizzy and I left it there.  In the rest of the conversation I got the impression that he thought I just wanted to go home and that I thought my work here was done.  If I wanted to go home, I would buy my ticket right now and be eating Taco Bell tonight!  It was hard to sit there without saying anything, because I just wanted to explain myself, but he wasn’t open to hearing me.

Afterward, and after sitting down with Sammy to talk about what we are going to do next I feel like again… we are starting over.  We are closing down the current local we are in in Ilave and we are searching for another, and we are going to do another kids festival.  My hope, my encouragement is that these places aren’t going to be left. I wish I had known this sooner… and this really frustrates me, because I could’ve had such a different attitude about our work if I had known what was so “obvious.”

Even though today was mainly meetings, it was one of our hardest days.  Now, I feel like I’m battling the enemy emotionally.  My peanut butter/nutella sandwich sure helps a bit though (thanks Mom).

This past week I also found out that my grandpa is dying.  He has cancer everywhere and they are saying he only has 4-6 months left.  It’s very probable I won’t get to see him, but my dad said that he is okay with his fate and that he’s come to terms with it. So, I can’t be too upset about it.  Jesus talking about hating our families is really coming alive to me through all of this.  I’ll see Grandpa again.  My eyes need to be on Christ.

Prayers are being answered in Juliaca.  Efrain, the husband of Diana, the lady who’s adobe wall fell on her, asked us for discipleship lessons this past week.  I was shocked!  Apparently, he had come home one night after partying and told Diana that he wanted to change.  Don’t stop praying for him, because now that he’s decided this Satan is going to try hard to dissuade him from continuing down this road.

P.S. after the meeting with Pastor I tried saying “well, that was a hard pill to swallow” and it came out “swill to pallow” it was a good mood lifter 🙂

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Almost Bedtime

I’ve got my chilly piggies tucked into my blue and green wool socks from Gap, my polyester blue and green plaid pj pants and tie dye shirt accompanied with my purple flannel on… I’m about ready for bed.  I can’t believe how good my feet feel just to be out of my shoes and in some incredibly cozy socks.  They feel like they are melting.

I rather feel like melting.  A lot of memories have been popping up recently.  We’ve passed out “Go” here in Puno, that being our one year anniversary.  I didn’t have any strong memories that tied me to January of last year in Puno, but going through the Candelaria and now Carnavales… I remember a lot from last year during these celebrations.  And that’s triggered thoughts about how long I’ve come and awe at the person that I am now.  There are so many changes that have happened in me in this short/long year (yes! it’s possible to feel both ways) and the majority of them are a mystery how they happened.  It’s only explanation is… Dios (God)!

But, looking back a year ago has also been sending me through some discouragement.  A year ago, I was working in Santa Rosa, Ricardo Palma and Juli… none of those three remain as my districts.  If I were a different person than I am now, I would sit down and blame God and tell Him that all the problems that we are having in Ilave and in Juli are because He didn’t put me in the right place at the right time.  I mean, I’ve practically had to start over 3 different times and it’s just terribly unfair.  Who could plant a church… or I’m sorry, two churches in 6 months?  Oh, but I realize this isn’t about me.  And this isn’t about what’s fair. And this isn’t about a time-frame.

This passage has been a blessing to me:

“Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

-Matthew 11:28-30

Christ’s promise is incredible… we can come to Him as not to carry our burdens alone.  This work is not any sort of work for mere humans.  I’m reminded that my Lord calls me to Him on crappy days like we had today.  Absolutely nobody was able to do their lessons… and I was thinking… how are we going to get a church here in Ilave if our time keeps getting wasted?!  But you know… I’m learning it’s not even any of my business.  It has nothing to do with me whether we plant a church in Ilave or in Juliaca or not.  My only concern is being obedient.  And right now to be obedient I need to come to Christ with my heavy heart.

It’s almost bedtime… only 5 more months left and life will get a little easier, and then interesting again.  I still can’t explain just yet, but I promise, if you are patient you will know soon enough.


Diana is doing better health-wise.  She cannot lift her left arm up because she hasn’t been using it and that is scaring her.  Her husband is also being a lazy bum and won’t cook for the kids, but he’ll go out to play soccer.  We’re going to talk to him about that.  Continue to pray for her and her family as it’s not only a battle for health, it’s also a spiritual battle within her home.

Jesi, the pup, is doing almost 100% better.  I took her down to the vet on Monday and got her her first shot of the series and her worming medicine.  She has filled out nicely and has a lot more energy.  She’s doing very well with her house training and she’s rather chill.

Can’t think of anything else.  Questions?

Good Night


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