Saturday, February 24, 2007

Churro Sighting #3 the plaza.

this time he jumped up on Ricky when we gave him like 2 seconds of attention.

who wants to adopt Churro??

Monday, February 19, 2007

welcome to the world

Trinity Elizabeth, my niece, was born February 13th.

Congratulations to my brother Nathan and sister-in-law Cynthia! We love you!

And congratulations to big sister, Madison, who seems to be thoroughly interested in this new addition to the family.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

an important day

Friday, February 9, 2007
Victor Terrazas was the first believer from the Iglesia de Cristo Iberoamericana in Cusco to be baptised.

We had a team from Santiago, Chile and several individuals from our house church in Cusco come to witness this step of faith that Victor has taken in his life. Some from our home fellowship are also very close in their own walks with the Lord to make a decision to be baptised. Lastly, the most special guest was Victor's father, a man who has lived a very hard life, who is set in his ways and without any verbal desire to know more about Jesus than what he says he already knows. It was an incredible testimony for him to witness his 46 yr old son's decision to follow Christ.

The location was in San Jeronimo, about 20 minutes from Cusco. We found a nice green area with a pool that we were able to rent out for the early morning baptism. With the nice and cold water, various onlookers, complete with a cow, Victor was ready to be dunked.

To die to his old life and be resurrected to the new life in Christ, was Victors affirmation... and a joy to our hearts to hear.

There are heavenly hosts that are praising God over the life of Victor, which once was lost but now is found!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

..the church..

This is the space we are renting in San Marcos; where we are currently meeting with the children.
This year we are planning to start a church group with the adults from San Marcos. In this past year we have gotten to know many people and parents from San Marcos and surrounding communities. By the way our friendships have grown we are seeing that they trust us and see us as a part of the community rather than tourists or newcomers like they may had thought before. As time goes on they are able to see that we have no plans to leave... and that we want this work to continue on into the future. That security makes them open up to us in a way that they hadn't before. It's exciting to walk around and recognize and be recognized by everyone. They appreciate what we do for the children, even though they may not understand why exactly we do it. That is the reason we want to begin a small group with the adults, so they can also begin walking with God and find a wonderful relationship with Jesus like their children are discovering.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

las reglas de la sala (classroom rules)

for 2007 i have had to incorporate a few changes. since we have between 50-60 on average in attendance each week, i have felt the stress of teaching. getting the kids to settle down and pay attention has been the biggest challenge in the last several months. imagine a regular school teacher and the stress she feels with a classroom of 20 children. Imagine 3 times that amount! it is (has been) absolute insanity. The kids' ages range between 1 and 13. AND, all the kids are in a small room about 20 sq meters in size. But i think the biggest thing is that these children do not receive much parental care. The preschool aged kids run around alone all day, while the older ones many times are victims of physical and mental abuse (sometimes sexual abuse also). The majority of these children live with alcoholics. They don't receive the love and nurturing at home that they need in order to grow and become successful individuals in life. They are able to attend school but the teachers are not there to make them better people. The teachers in peru are disciplinarians, often times hitting the children themselves.

So of course our method needs to be MUCH different!! I do not express anger and try to always be give positive reinforcement. Many times the children don't know how to respond to this... they think I am their best friend, their auntie and they love me (and i love it!) but they also don't understand how to respect someone like me.

After I almost lost my voice a few times in December, I decided I needed to make some changes for the new year. So I began researching what elementary school teachers do to start off the new year:

Classroom Rules

I followed an example that I read about, that advised in letting the children decide their own rules instead of me doing it. So we spent our first Saturday back in January deciding on the classroom rules. I wrote them all down and we went over them until we all were in agreement. And then I had them written and posted up on the wall for the next week. We put some consequences in place (although we didn't post the consequences).

Ever since then, the children have been much better behaved. Not perfect by any means.. and it is still a challenge to have such a large group tucked in a small space, with dogs running in and out from time to time. But we have seen a difference. Thank you Lord.

our new wheels

we're pretty excited about finally having a car. we have been a year in cusco without one, so now we're looking forward to having more freedom when teams come; we can take them around and carry equipment for projects and ministry. and it means freedom to explore cusco and the surrounding towns. it is super easy to get around cusco just by walking or taking taxis, so we don't need to use the van all the time, but if we need to leave cusco or get up to the other side of the mountain, a vehicle is necessary and such a blessing!!