Lynn's Peru Blog

LYNN'S PERU BLOG

Lynn's Peru Blog

December 3, 2017

It has been quite a month!  Some times two steps forward and one back.  And through it all our God is faithful. And that's a fact!


Early in November, I was able to find a permanent (for now) room on the second floor above a "pollo a la braza" or rotisserie chicken place.  Every weekend we have yummy smells finding their way up our stairway.  The downside is there are bunches of strange people coming and going, the loud music is mostly the same three notes of which my son said, "If I hear this music much longer, I'll jump out of the bus".  It's not that Peruvian music is not good, it's just that it's written in minor keys and the mandolin dominates at the high end of the scale, in between are women who sing in a little girl voice and the whole thing makes for difficult appreciation.  Some bus drivers vary the music, but many times that is not the case.  Sometimes I just put my earphones on to stop hearing it.  The chicken guy plays the music at full volume as well.  I'll keep the room until the road workers leave the village, since they are occupying all the extra rooms right now.  The good news is, I can cook in my room and it's large enough where I can invite ladies for Bible Study or kids for tutoring.


Some of you who came to visit Viraco in 2011 remember Natalie and I am happy to say this is her year to move up to high school.  Her older brother Paolo will graduate from high school.  I am very proud of both of them.  They have truly persevered to get this far.


Greg is already becoming famous for his muffins in Viraco and Machahuay.  He is becoming known as a hard worker as he cleans up his house and helps others.  There is a story I heard that he impressed onlookers as he ran down the street with an empty gas tank for the stove, exchanged it and ran back up the street with a new full one!!!  Several of the ladies let me know how strong he is.  When I asked him about  it, he just shrugged it off and said "I had muffins  in the oven baking, time was of the essence!!"  Spoken like a true baker.


On November 21st, I received a note that our paperwork for our carnets had been accepted.  That is good news, we won't be plagued with fines for staying to long, we can get Peruvian rates for air fare in country and for tourist attractions.  We can actually get paid for tutoring English or Computer Classes.  I am very grateful God led us to the correct organization to facilitate the transactions that led to this.  Yaaaaah God, as my sister Kay would say.  At present, I am sitting here in Arequipa in my room at the Medina family home.  I came to town Thanksgiving Thursday bringing a cuy (guinea pig) on my lap.  She is pregnant and very nicely marked, so rather than eat her, I bought her so she could bring new blood into the cuy herd we have here.  My friend Yrene sold her to me and fixed a basket with alfalfa for her.  I made a pad of towels and plastic so that when cuys do what they do, I wouldn't get a wet lap out of the deal.  We made the 8 hour trip well, in spite of 3 note music and many temporary road issues.  Loyal Mimi was up and waiting for me when cuy and luggage and I arrived at 1:30am.  We had a short scare when we opened the basket and the cuy didn't move.  I knew she had been thrashing around on the bus but during the cab ride she had gotten to cold.  It took a bit of prodding, but she revived and is doing well.


A main reason for my coming down the mountain was to assist with planning Granddaughter Joyce's 15th birthday party.  Earlier in the week, big sister Yoki had fallen at church and badly sprained her left ankle, pulling ligaments and tendons.  Eco-grams show enough damage that she is in a cast to the knee to give things time to heal.  So she was not able to do secret missions in search of party and food preparations.  So, I helped in small ways while getting my own errands run. 


I was asked by Marco, my Peruvian son, to help teach some English to another mining engineer who is doing a presentation Monday for his company.  His name is Charlie Sanchez and I had a few minutes one day to tell him about differences between evangelicals and Peruvian Catholics.  He has invited me to come back to their home any time in the future to chat with his Mom.  His Mother is taking English Conversation classes and gave both Marco and me nice key chains.  I would like to meet her some day.


So the party for Joyce came off nicely at the church.  I took her for birthday pizza while the decorations went up.  All hands were helping put food together, and we all laughed and had fun till midnight.


One night I stuffed and sewed little animals my Mom makes for me to bring.  A few will go to be sold at the Church Bazaar.  The proceeds will go to a missions fund for members who are called to work in Viraco/Machahuay or elsewhere in Peru.  It's all for the good.  


I had planned to leave for Viraco today after our church service, but yesterday I began having intestinal distress.  By this morning things were urgent and there was no way I could make an 8 hour bus trip with no amenities.  The Medina women have gone into overtime making healing teas and chicken soups and boiled coca colas.  I have some tablets I am taking as well.  Tomorrow is another day.  The good news is that as I sit, lay down, recline in my room I have time to reflect and look at the things here that remind me of the goodness of God.  I have my photos of family and friends here.  There are loved books gifted to me, handmade cards and other reminders of how much people care about me and the work here.  I needed to stop the crazy pace a bit to just, as the song says "be".


So, this is the first Sunday of Advent, as we begin to prepare our hearts again for welcoming a baby who would prove to be our Redeemer, Advocate and Great High Priest, but also my Forgiver and Friend and so much more, I pray that you will take some time as well to "be", to listen, to rest, in the arms of One who is closer than a brother.


In love and appreciation for each of you, 


Lynn



Lynn's peru Blog

November 1, 2017

Well Folks,


It is fitting to thank all of you for your support.  Your prayers continue to sustain me.  Your gifts are an extra blessing.  Many, many thanks!


As many of you know, I had ponchos made here and then took them to the States to sell for raising funds for the three special young men we have been helping out with their Leukemia expenses.  Many in the Arequipa church had given blood and those of us who could not give blood, gave money to buy the platelets needed.  In the States, there is a higher survival rate than here in Peru.  Sadly, life expectancy here is about one year after diagnosis, and with chemotherapy, the year is not an easy one.  With having said all that, the last of our three young men passed on to join Jesus and his friends who had gone on before him.  Since he lived in Puno, between therapies, we were only in touch, face to face, when he was receiving chemotherapy.  I had visited him in September and Greg and Marco both visited with him in early October.  And to be honest, I was optimistic that Hipolito would make it.  But that was not the case.  Hipolito had told Pastor David about a dream he had a few weeks earlier where Andre came to visit him.  They had been walking along a river bank and Andre went across and climbed a hill and kept encouraging Hipolito to come on ahead.  Hipolito said he couldn't cross.  Well being the cockeyed optimist I am, when Pastor David reported this dream to me I was sure it meant Hipolito would be healed.


Hipolito, while in the hospital, always talked about his faith to others and as a result a number of his roommates have come to Christ before his passing.  Since Hipolito passed, a couple of weeks after his dream, I feel there must have been someone who needed to hear the good news more.  So, while I miss hearing from him by "Whatsup", I know he is looking into the face of Jesus...along with John, Mark and Andre.


The festival of Santa Ursula was postponed for a few days because of the National Census.  The census literally was done by having workers go house to house on a Sunday to collect this data.  While it is estimated that a million Peruvians have not been counted, the population that was counted shows that 1/3 of claim to be evangelicals.  This is a great encouragement to some of us.  On October 23rd I observed a first communion service as the God Mother for the daughter of a teacher with whom I have worked with for a number of years.  The child's father died earlier this year in July and I thought I might be a support to this family.  Reyna, the Mom, is the teacher with whom I work most weekdays with.  The classes are small in these villages and special needs students are not separated from the fast paced learning environment.  This can be a blessing or a curse.  For about five of my chiquitos it has been a mixed bag.  Some are beginning to excel in one subject that they were behind in, but others have fallen farther behind.  That's where I come in, working almost one on one with these students.  I got a late start helping, but some have shown improvement.  Next school year will be a toss up as to who I will be helping.


The festival of Santa Ursula finally started in full force on October 25th.  The opening consists of men dressed in army fatigues and whose faces are covered leading horses and mules up and down the hilly streets, ringing bells with a lot of shouting accompanying the procession (see picture).  The horse riders change up and some children are added to the group.  This goes on for hours.  The mules must be deaf by the time this is over as they are the ones who have the giant bells strung around their necks.  Some carry as many as 5 cowbells on their bridles.


This year it was planned to have 14 bulls and 5 bull fighters.  The town exploded in its population.  Besides the large number of road workers, the population increased to the point where uninhabitable (by our standards) rooms became prime property.  I was able to keep my tiny room at Carmen's Green Hostel because I am a long term guest.  I did however vacate my Viraco residence.  


Arequia is where Pastor David officiated a the 2nd Annual Service for giving thanks to Our Lord for his provisions for this past year.  This celebration coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the Christian School where the celebration was held.  It was an amazing night and our church's praise group was the absolute highlight musically.  This gathering, thanks to the believing Mayor of Alto Selva Alegre, is an event which can never be forbidden by other Mayors or Government groups.  Yaaaay!


Ok, I had better close.  We are leaving good internet reception.


Blessings in the name of our Lord, Jesus!!

Win Peru

lynn's peru blog

October 7, 2017

I'm sitting here in an open air school gym.  It's a wonderful 70 degree plus in the shade.  The elementary teachers of Viraco are in a seminar.  I was going to watch some of the older kids, but when they threw in an 18 month old, that's where I draw the line for dragging kids around town.  I did offer to buy tangerines (mandarinas) but when I got back, the kids had disappeared.  I may head back to the street.


Aplao is three hours down the mountain.  It's probably only 165.0 km away, but the roads are narrow and full of switchbacks, so it takes a long time to arrive there.  The draw is that it's an agricultural center and has much more selections in furniture, clothing and restaurants.  Interestingly enough, there is no movie theater, gym for exercise or bowling alley.  So some entrepreneur needs to come this direction and cash in!  Aplao is situated on the Majes River and besides the obvious fishing and crayfish trade, there is a river rafting resort a short drive outside of town.  For cyclists, Aplao is one of the gateways up into the Andes for those dedicated persons who want to cycle the Andes trails.  I learned all this last week!


The main crops are rice, onions, cane for weaving large mats which are sold for fencing and in some cases to make walls in quick houses.  The fruit that grows here includes grapes, bananas, mangoes, tumbo, tangerines and some of the largest avocados I have ever seen since I left California.  So, while food may be fairly economical, other goods seemed to be high, as the per capita income is high.  But today, in spite of the "no seeum" bites, I am enjoying my day in the sun.


So, prayer requests: please pray that the lessons spoken and unspoken will reach those who God has appointed.  Hipolito, the young man from Puno is back in the hospital and he is suffering with this chemotherapy.  Here they give them treatment for several days in a row.  My church here and I have been trying to help with the extra expenses of the Ensure and blood platelets and the other after treatment drugs.  Please pray for Hipolito who has little support from his 8 brothers.  His mom does what she can, but Puno is a 6 hour trip by bus and sometimes she can't come.  Once in Arequipa there is an aunt with whom they can stay.  Usually family members sleep on the floor or in a chair so the patient gets the care they need, whether it be corporal, emotional or to just guard possessions and meds.


Thank you for your prayers which uplifted us during the grieving time for the passing of our young friend, Andre.  I have been up to the house to visit his mother and we spent 4 hours remembering and chatting about her life with him and now her life without.  She is making strides to move on and knows she needs to keep on for her little brother, Daniel.  I am encouraged to see her continue to depend on Jesus for her strength.  Please continue to pray that she will grow in her faith.


So, as always, I need all the prayer I can get.  Life in a grade school classroom is never easy.  I have to say that the kids have made huge improvements since last year and their regular classroom teacher should get the credit.  Please pray for her and her two daughters.  They lost their husband, dad, in July and while they were estranged, his small efforts at taking care of the youngest daughter, financially, are missed.


Praising God for His love and mercy for my protection and for having placed me in a community of love and caring in Viraco and Arequipa.  While I still will have things to do in Machaguay, that mission is now passing to Greg.  I am so happy to have a co-worker in this area!  I feel like I can breathe.


Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement by whatever technology.  I am always glad to hear from you.  As I have said, many times the internet signal is faint so forwards and pictures don't always open while I am up above, but the words always come through.


Blessings on you all!


Lym

Lynn's blog

September 26, 2017

Well, as many of you know, when one comes to Peru on a tourist visa, as I have been doing for years, we can legally only stay for 180 days.  If we buy plane tickets, they have to fit in those parameters as well.  A costly lesson I learned a couple years back.  Sooooo, the solution is to apply for a resident visa.  I had begun that process with a large church in Lima, also a few years ago.  I misunderstood the process and didn't follow up properly and just chalked it all up to my being an independent missionary.  I continued to talk it up and cast about for ways to stay longer legally these past years.  Here are a few suggestions:

     1.  Just disappear into the Sierra and no one will            be the wiser...until you need to go home, then            you pay a fine.

     2.  Leave Occasionally and come back in from                  Bolivia or Chile and you will get a new visa                  and an allotment of days.

Some suggestions I actually tried.  The going to Bolivia was a total bust and cost more than if I stayed in Peru and paid the fine to leave.  The good outcome was I spent time with David and Joyce, seeing a part of Peru and Bolivia that I otherwise would not have seen.  It made me appreciate the good friends I have who would take time off and walk back and forth across the border just to squeeze a few more days out of my visa.  


So, Greg had getting a Carnet, high on his punch list and had done research on a couple of groups who could help the process along.  One was the group I approached earlier.  He, Greg, must have listened carefully when they gave instructions.  As a very nice surprise, they even credited me with the money I had previously paid and so the process began.  There is a lawyer and his assistant who filed paperwork, made appointment dates for us and who will continue to move paperwork to government agencies even now that we are back in Arequipa.  


Our stay in Lima was enhanced by the generosity of the Southern Baptist Mission House, which allowed us to rent rooms at a very comfortable price for the four nights we stayed.  Each room had a small cooking area and private bath.  Greg bragged that his room even had a water filter for refilling our drink bottles and for cooking.  My room had a full pitcher in the fridge and a 2 gallon bottle on the counter.  Clean, free water is something to get excited about, but hot showers in a clean bathroom really put me over the top!


A few blocks away, the Baptist administrative office secretary, Ada, helped us get paperwork notarized so we could get back to the proper people.  So now we wait.  We had to send copies of our documents by DHL to our own countries FBI.  With the tracking number, Greg determined that they received the docs in less time than originally predicted.  The wait on the Carnet is said to be 60 days so we are counting down the time.  


While the weather was cold and damp, even drizzly, some days we were able to visit a couple museums and wander around seeing the sights.  I got my fill of Dunkin Donuts and Greg enjoyed big bucks (Starbucks) coffee.  On one morning, he was treated to a free coffee by the barista!


Thanks to many of you for your continued support with prayers and finances.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve here.  This Carnet will make it much easier in other ways as well.  When one has a Carnet, more doors open for fair pricing on goods and services, in-country plane fare included.  So this truly is a wonderful opportunity.  Many thanks and blessings to you all.  Thank you for your continued prayers.


Many thanks,


Lynn

LYNN'S BLOG

September 2, 2017

Hey Folks,


Just wanted to share some of the news here is Arequipa.  The week started off with my own PowerPoint Presentation featuring some of the highlights of the ongoing work in Arequipa, Viraco and Machahuay.  I was invited to speak at the 10am service and again at the 5pm service on Sunday.  It was a challenge but with help from Greg and Johaida, the Granddaughter here at the house, the PowerPoint finally came together.


As you know, my home base family, the Medinas, have been active in a church that their family helped build and establish 35 years ago.  David Medina, one of the sons who lives here at the house, remembers when he was an adolescent, moving dirt to dig the foundation and the basement of the building using buckets to haul the dirt away.  They sometimes slept at the construction site to keep poachers and thieves from taking over the lot or its contents.  


Later his father would become a pastor there and later yet, his younger brother would pastor the church for a season.


It was my great pleasure this week to participate in the ordination ceremony of David and his wife, Noami.  They have been preparing for this honor and great responsibility for many years, but the process began in earnest last October, 2016.  Along with them were others from the church who were officially called to be missionaries and evangelists.  There was a couple from the jungle city of Iquitos who, as missionaries, have planted a church in Iquitos, Peru.  A woman who has served alongside of her husband for many years and had served the women and children faithfully was made a pastor as well.  It was a joyful and proud time for the entire congregation of Cristo Vive.  Pastors from Sweden and Brazil as well as Pastors from Lima, Juliaca, Qrequipa and Chincha joined us for the ordination ceremony and the missions workshops that proceeded and followed the Wednesday evening ordination.  In all there were 35 visitors and guests to feed each day.  


For my part, I helped clean the sanctuary as needed, dried dishes and by special invitation was asked to pray in English for Peru.  It was an emotional evening of praise and worship.  Pastor Berti from Sweden brought the excellent message reminding us of the awesome responsibility and privilege to be called as a servant of our Lord.  


I participated in the workshops on missions not only as an interested student but as a translator for our missionary from India who is just learning Spanish.  Funny, huh, I translated Spanish back to English!


It has been quite the week.


Blessings to all who have been interested in this work and who have helped further it with prayers as well as your gifts.


Many thanks,


Lynn