Tuesday, July 27, 2010

at the clinica with the CCV team

The following photos were from a day at the Clinica San Juan de Dios, where the team from Christ's Church of the Valley helped out at a rehabilitation center for special needs children. It was a most wonderful and fun day for the kids, many of whom have families but have been abandoned in the live-in center due to their disabilities.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Our church meeting was so good yesterday. Ricky shared about Jesus being la Pan de la vida, the bread of life. Food, and to eat, is a necessity that we cannot live without (on the long term). Just a few hours after we eat, we get hungry again. And without bread, hunger can lead to death. Jesus fills us with living bread, salvation and eternal life, and when we partake of it, we will never have hunger or die again.

Someone recently asked me why Jesus spoke in parables, which many didn't understand or needed Him to explain. If he spoke directly wouldn't it have furthered his fame even faster? I think that if the most intellectuals, the pharisees, couldn't understand his parables it was because they were too puffed up to understand. While on the other hand, the simple-minded could grasp what was being told. I believe that he spoke using parables so that it would lift up the low and bring low those who were puffed up. Parables about the bread of life or the harvest or some seeds being sewn, makes so much sense to a simple Quechua people. Using parables makes all the difference for them to see and understand what Jesus was trying to say.

There were four people who went forward to pray to follow Christ this past Sunday. We had 7 new visitors too. There were nearly 30 adults in attendance. While numbers is NOT our main focus nor our goal is to have a large church, we are encouraged that the church continues to grow and for the new believers.

We are busy this week preparing for a short-term team who is coming from CCV in California. They will have only a few days to work, so we hope to make the most of it.

Friday, July 02, 2010

so i began blogging an "update" post and then forgot about it. I just decided to start-over. since this is mainly my blog and is terribly informal, an informal post will have to do. I don't have time for blogging and writing letters and things like I used to. Having children is the best thing EVER, but it does take quite a lot of time and energy! Every night after the babies are tucked in bed, I usually check my email and try to talk myself into blogging. Usually what happens is that I just end up going to bed.

Life seems to be on fast-forward... and that's even living in a place like Peru, where life is slow in every sense. I can't imagine what life must feel like for those living in fast-paced cultures! I am so accustomed to life in Peru, I really can't (nor do I want to) imagine what it would be like to be back living in Lost Angeles.

The parties have really started this last month and so we are in the busiest time of year in Cusco. The Inca (Quechua) people had some very interesting beliefs. On winter solstice several days ago, we celebrated Inti Raymi, which is Quechua for Fiesta del Sol, which means Festival of the Sun (god). Inti is one of the most important gods to the Incas. On the shortest day of the year when the sun is furthest away, they believed that unless they had this huge religious celebration including the sacrifice of a llama, Inti would be angry and would decide to keep moving further away and eventually not come back. Farming is and was tremendously important to the Quechua people and so you can understand why Inti and his interaction with the Pachamama (Mother Earth) is important. Following Inti Raymi, there are numerous other celebrations for different Catholic saints, one just a few days ago was for Peter and Paul.. a day for the fisherman. Funny. you'd think they would only eat fish on this day, but that isn't the case.

We recently walked through one of the 13, yes thirteen, cathedrals in Cusco. (we have a population in the city of just around 200,000.... apparently the Spanish believed it that important to impose Catholicism on the Inca people). Anyway, we walked through the Cathedral and Isabella noticed Jesus and asked about the candles and all the shiny gold. Just next to us a guy from Argentina and a Peruvian woman got in a verbal fight inside the cathedral. The guard didn't kick them out he just kind of stood there and watched as they slung ugly words at one another. Apparently she did not think it was okay for him to take a photo. Isabella just watched as I hurried her out the enormous wooden doors into the chilly night. It will be interesting teaching her as she becomes more and more curious.

Earlier this week we said goodbye to a team from California. They did lots of outreach activities, including visiting the people of Huacarpay and Lucre, the areas devastated by the flood. Hundreds are still living in tents. With temperatures that drop to into the 20's during the night, living in a tent with only a thin sheet of plastic between you and the freezing night air is not only miserable, it's dangerous, especially for the children and the elderly. The government soon will be relocating the tent-city to government housing not too far away. The team, with the guidance of city leaders, went to the most needy and elderly to give food baskets and to pray for them. We hope to go back with the next team to help more families.

We also have a family from the States living here for several weeks. They have been a joy to have around and a help in many ways with the team and the church. We'll be sad to see them leave later this month.

There will be another team from California coming in just a few more weeks. We also are happy that Jorge will be coming to work with us full-time. He has been struggling with his job for the last several months due to the drop in tourism. And we received a new supporting church (thank you Crossroads) that made it possible to bring Jorge onto our team. He has been serving faithfully and without pay for the last 2 years. Always taking over whenever Ricky and I need to travel. He has a gift of evangelism, hosting a family group in his home. He and his wife Yanet (Janet) are always reaching out their neighbors and family and whoever they come in contact with. We are positive that God is going to use Jorge in amazing ways in the future.

Lastly, our family is doing well. We had a really nice Mother's Day and Father's Day as a family of four. Our babies are simply perfect, we love them to pieces. Milan just turned 5 months a few days ago. He already has 2 teeth. Which was quite a surprise, since 4 months is early for teeth. He is rolling all over and becoming so mobile. He is such a sweet little guy. Isabella is nearly two and a half years old... my my where does the time go... She impresses us all the time by the things she remembers. She knows her ABC's, and can count to 10 in both English and Spanish. She brings such joy to our lives. She sure knows how to make us all laugh. It's fun watching the two kids interact with one another.

That must be all for now as my mind keeps drifting, thinking of getting some sleep. Thanks for reading such an informal update. Life is calm and peaceful. We are happy and enjoying ministry, friendship, marriage and parenthood.

Buenas noches