Friday, April 30, 2010

i suppose there is a resemblance. the first pic was Isabella when she was 3 months

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Cusco flood

Today we visited Lucre and Huarcarpay, one of the areas hardest hit by the January flooding. Most of the water has since dried up, but has left behind a total disaster. 

Looking through the front door of what used to be someones home

corn fields have been ruined

All that is left of this house is the metal gate

The next few photos are of an elementary school. The buildings simply sunk into the ground

There are still over 600 left homeless

The tent living conditions are sad. no electricity, running water or bathroom.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Annual School Supply Project

This year we put together school supply packs that were enough to help 100 children with their basic start-up supplies.

a long year

One year ago we received an email stating that our largest financial supporter would be eliminating our support. After many hours lying awake at night wondering what was going to happen with us and our ministry, after many prayers giving our hurt over to God and asking for peace, and after months (and months) of waiting...

We finally received an answer. a tangible answer.

We thank God that they decided to not cut our support entirely. We are grateful they decided to wait on the Lord and become more involved in seeing what we really do here and how God is at work before making such a drastic change. We pray that our relationship will grow into something new and better.

That being said, they have, however, decided to reduce our support by nearly 30%. Some of our ministry goals for this year will have to placed on hold until we have a firm support base that will ensure we reach a certain amount each month to continue to grow. We just hope that by putting some things on hold that they will still give us a good review at the end of the year. Nevertheless, we are moving forward as much as possible to see the Iglesia de Cristo raised up here in Cusco. By faith we keeping striding, whether it be through the river or into the desert. The LORD is our strength. Our calling will not be hindered.

Many of you know how we came to be in Cusco, Peru, but if you don't, here's how we began...

Ricardo graduated from the University with a degree in Computer engineering. He worked in his field for some time and was preparing to leave and work in Italy when God tugged on his heart to join a short term team to Tacna, Peru. During that trip he knew he had to return and stay longer. Just as God changed his life and plans, He also was doing the same in me. I also had recently graduated from the university with a degree in Business. I had worked in my field for a few years while also serving a different short-term trips to amazing places like India and China. During my first trip to India I knew that my calling was to be out in the world serving my God and helping others come to know Him. A few years later i went to Tacna, Peru. 

The same year I was preparing for an internship in Tacna, I met Ricky at my church in the states. It was his first visit to the US. We became friends and kept in contact for many months. During those months (long distance), our relationship grew more and more intimate and finally we began praying about something more serious.... a life-time together. My wise father gave me some good advice, as he always does, and I made a choice. To go to Chile and visit Ricky and his family during the holidays, just before traveling to Tacna to begin my internship where we would be serving together. During that trip, our love for each other was confirmed and after only a few days together in Chile, Ricky proposed and I said yes. The following year we served together in Tacna, Peru, then left for Chile to be married. 

As we served in Tacna, planned a wedding, and talked about the future, a pastor asked us what our plans for the future were. Whether we would continue cross-cultural ministry. It was then we began praying about Cusco, Peru. We had never been here, but after weeks of prayer, God confirmed in both our hearts that we would love to come and serve in Cusco. So 3 short months after being married, we arrived in Cusco for an indefinite amount of time. 

What were we to do, recently arriving to a new city in a foreign country? How were we to "plant" a church? The fact that nothing was laid down before us was a challenge and a blessing; a challenge to start something from nothing, but a blessing to have a clean slate to work with!

Well, as with planting anything you first need the seeds. Our seed is the Word of God. The first months were spent making friends and sharing the gospel. Those friendships continue to this day as God had been preparing their hearts from before we even arrived. The Word was received and a small fellowship of believers was formed. The first year was spent discipling 2 people. We also began to work with children, which has been KEY in reaching entire neighborhoods and families for Christ.

I suppose I can say, the rest is history. 

This week we celebrate the church's 4 year anniversary! The first Sunday of April 2006 we had our first church gathering, with 4 adults and 4 children. Now, April 2010, our gathering has grown to nearly 30 adults and many more children. 

We have many goals for our church fellowship. Some of the top goals are:
to become self-sufficient, by beginning small businesses.
to bring on 1-2 more part or full time staff people, 
to rent a larger building or purchase property to build on, so we can continue to grow
to continue to better our ministry and disciple new leaders

Sunday, April 04, 2010

He is risen!

Every year I love to share the lyrics to my favorite Easter song, by Keith Green (old school, i know)

Here the bells ringing
They're singing that you can be born again
Here the bells ringing
They're singing Christ is risen from the dead

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the word, He has risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah

Hear the bells ringing
They're singing that you can be healed right now
Hear the bells ringing, they're singing
Christ, He will reveal it now

The angels, they all surround us
And they are ministering Jesus' power
Quickly now, reach out and receive it
For this could be your glorious hour

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah, hallelujah

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah