May 1, Monday - Quiet day at the mission, usually is on Monday with the resident missionaries taking this one day a week off. However, due to car problems, Abel and his crew also took the day off. Not a lot going on. However, we did get a chance to show off some of the knitting works that we will be bringing back to the USA made by some talent here at the mission. Looking to build their skills and bring their creations home to share. (Yes, my model is 'headless' at her request .. she wouldn't model without my promise to cut off her head ... shhh .. it's a secret who it is).
May 2, Tuesday - Busy day, starting off with a great morning of prayer first with many village visitors. The Mission is getting to be known as the house of prayer. A blessing in itself.
The construction crew showed up and had a lot to do for preparation for the big pour on the first floor. Many electrical tubes to run, sewer hookups, water lines both hot and cold, some work outside on the wall for the lights to be able to hook up and support as well. A lot of items to cover.
While doing all of that, they also did a bit of clearing and relocating a half dozen very heavy logs we have on the mission groups, in preparation for the building of the 'south wall', the dividing wall between the mission property and our neighbor, Agida. At present much that divides us is either adobe or a straw wall. For us to go to the expense of adding the patio with the new building, it would be a shame not to replace that wall so we decided to do so. Challenge is that we need to do all of that before pouring the patio. So much preparation.
May 3, Wednesday - Continual finalization preparation for the big pour. A lot of earth to move to bring the floor up to the level it needs to be. Some final pipes to be placed as well. Lily and I at the end of the day pointed out some items we did not see, and they committed to correcting in the morning, or at least talk about it! ;-)
I initiated the sandblasting on the donation / memorial wall for many of the templates we had to cut in. This trip we had 10 to do, a good number. Didn't get but 4 finished, and a few more started before running out of daylight.
Irma went on her own with many volunteer young ladies to do the bible study south of El Carmen in Cabildo. After she came back, the Sanchezes were preparing to do the 2nd bible study of the day in Invacion. Lily and I could not join Irma due to the contractor activities still underway but did join the Sanchez's for the 2nd session.
May 4, Thursday - Big day today in construction, we poured the first floor. Same time we have torn down the straw and adobe wall between us and our neighbor (ageda) to our south, in preparation to raising a brick wall and foundation to preceed the pouring of a patio. Great progress, and yet much to do.
Today we had a good number of attendees for Hearts & Hands Crocheting & Knitting experience. We have had a big drop in attendance after announcing new rules. We had to cut back on 'free yarn' since there were many attendees that were coming just for that, not even coming on Sunday to be part of the church. We announced a new plan to have free yarn for those that donated the finished item to the church, much like what San Diego Hearts & Hands does. In other words we will subsidize the material cost for the labor. Free yarn is still available for new people who are also church members, and exceptions can be made for long term members if there is a hardship case. Yareni and Irma did a variation on the plan to offer free yarn after 3 items are worked and donated to the mission, so make three things and donate then you get to make something for yourself, and we will provide that yarn as well. So, we are still at a subsidized roll but doing much better.
I also finalized the sand-blasting and painting of 10 new memorial / donation bricks for our front courtyard. Lot of work that was help up mainly until we could borrow a compressor. Now complete. Get your name and message on the wall for all to read. It takes a village!!!
Yareni, Julio and Irma all went to El Shaddai in evening for Discipleship training.
May 5, Friday - Busy day today, took pictures of all the new sandblasted donation wall bricks, to share with our donors back home. If anyone has interest in adding a lasting message or memorial to our mission wall for the mission visitors to read for decades to come, please visit our brick page. We would love to accomodate you and preserve your message forever.
Irma, Yareni and Lily spent time wrapping gifts for mothers day at the mission. Or should I say the week before mothers day (this Sunday). There is an event that we will be taking many mothers to the following weekend and many families have plans of their own so we wanted to give a small gift to the mothers of the mission ahead of time.
May 6, Saturday - San Juan Bautista day for Samaritan's Purse, and Cine Night. We crammed 6 of us into a single collectivo to get to SJB for the Samaritans Purse weekly training. Got there a bit early so there was some wait time to get the building opened for us.
After an initial slow show up, the headcount did get to about 22. That's a good number from the 40 we were ready for, that were there for the gift at the first night. You don't get all of them to be committed for the 12 weeks of Christian orientation, so we were happy with 22, greater than 50% number. Just wish we knew which would show up week after week, so we wouldn't need to carry all 40 books! But such is the ministry ..
We had some dedicated young boys and girls, a few who are asking more about the missionary field, who we are, where is the mission, etc. Love getting to know all new children and their families. After initial worship and fun, we broke into four distinct groups based on age and gender. Julio took the older boys, Yareni with a few helpers took the older girls, Irma took the younger boys with a helper and the rest of the Estrella, Rosycella & Angeles helper crew took the younger girls.
We got back so late from San Juan that we omitted Cine Night this week.
May 7, Sunday - Went to Ica for church services. After which we did some construction shopping at Maestro ( a few shower switches to fix made it of some urgency, but bought a few more outlets and switches knowing we would be installing them soon in the new building). We then went grocery shopping next door before returning to the Mission via collectivo. We did ride to church together, the six of us, finding 'Leche' one of our regular drivers going that way ... But we split up after church, with everyone else beating Lily and I back.
Big day for Samaritans' Purse today as well as church services later.
Yareni delivered the gospel message today, after worship which she also does an awful lot of leading in. We are so blessed with this couple here at the mission.
After services, we had a special recognition of all the mothers that were there, and then we also gave out our token gifts to each of them.
We then also prayed out Irma who was headed to Chile later this evening to refresh her visa. A good friend from Ica was going to make the commute with her, which is a nice thing to do .. Always better to travel in pairs, but we have found many single back packers doing quite well on their own. We are happy though that our dear Irma will not be doing so. They both are supposed to be back by Tueday late.
May 8, Monday - Important construction day with the adding of the surface footers to the in ground footers. So a lot of framing had to go on first and then the pour. Tomorrow, the bricks start to go up on the perimeter wall. We came to agreement on the placement of a couple of lights, couple of electrical outlets and a couple of water spickets today ...
Lily and Abel took the Fiat in for some electrical work in that we had some problems with battery retaining power and the manufactured taillights (locals did a great job) needed more bulbs or wiring checkout as well .. Soon, we might have a vehicle for the missionaries to use for village to village commuting. But not yet ... we found out that the engine needs some more looking into as we have a gas/water leak ... groan.
Anyway, just another day at the mission - Mondays are light in that the missionaries take today off and Irma is traveling. I did re-engineer a florescent light in the kitchen to work now with LED bulbs. That entailed taking out all the ballasts and rewiring the bulbs directly. Interesting economics that might help reduce our electric bill where we use florescent. Will have to keep an eye on the bulb costs, but working beautifully with only one bulb, and very low consumption, better light, no flickering, instant on, and able to add a dimmer if need be. I like it! So many little projects here to keep busy.
May 9, Tuesday - Morning prayer, all day construction. Lot of work going into getting this wall and patio done before we leave next week for the USA.
Had a fun evening bible study at the mission. At the end, Moses stayed to practice his singing of a few mothers day tunes he's going to perform at services this weekend. Should be enjoyable. He has a great voice and is quite animated. We posted a short practice video of him on facebook. I will see if I can include a link here of it.
May 10, Wednesday - Big day of construction today. Julio helped me with the electrical wiring work for the children's center. Hopefully we can make it useable for them when we leave. It won't have windows and doors or paint until August when we return, but it is a large enclosed building with new lights and electricity, so that will be a start. Lots of progress on the brick property wall on the south side as well.
Got a pleasant visit from my two friends who are cousins, Luce and Juancito. They love the mission and come by often in that they live so close. Juancito is my miracle boy and I love him a lot. Luce loves to try her 'ingles' on me as often as possible.
End of the day, all the ladies of the mission (Yareni, Lily & Irma), together with another 8-10 ladies of the church, all went to Ica for a mothers day event that LAMA paid for. There was a meal, entertainment, comradere, among 300+ women of all the El Shaddai branches. We are a border line branch, but it was a nice function for the women to be appreciated at.
May 11, Thursday - Prayer in the morning and the weekly interruption of prayer when the garbage truck goes by with it's loud horn and everyone looks at each other and simultaneously says 'BASURA' and we all run to our respective homes or trash-cans to put our stuff at the curb. Guess if we could count on that truck horn every Thursday morning, we could be prepared .... funny weekly exercise. Disruptive, but funny.
Reminds me. As I posted a month ago, the mayor of our district came by and this is what he is asking for a garbage truck for. Using a flatbed requires too many stops and delays in service, scheduling, reliability, etc. So, everyone please find us a charitable donation of a used but in good shape garbage truck. Mayor will pay the frieght!!
Good day of construction today. Julio and i spent a lot of time doing wiring and some switches and outlets. The construction crew worked all day on formwork for the columns and overhead beam on the new brick wall. Abel, construction supervisor, and Lily left to buy some wood to create an arbor much higher up for the grape vines, so that the current supported arbor and pilars can be removed before the concrete pour of the patio tomorrow. Big day.
Closed out the day with knitting and crocheting, with a growing group of women and children again. Even with the rule changes, we seem to have met our valley and the room was full! More to teach. Will be great when San Diego Hearts & Hands comes back down and works again with the locals teaching them even more.
May 12, Friday - Prayer morning. Construction did a big day today in preparation for the pour tomorrow of the patio. Installed a high lattice for the grape vines, against the 2nd floor, did a lot of plumbing until they ran out of pipe, electrical routing, etc. And a lot of earth movement.
Lot of work to do to make the last pour schedule for the patio. Tomorrow is the big day for that. Lily is also rushing getting an emergency order in on a welded fence to end the patio to keep the kids from going any further back in the property.
Also Mary Lou, one of our home fellowship leaders, had a nice mothers day gift for each of the missionaries. All home made chocolate creations by her own hand. We have some great volunteers down here that the Sanchez's and Irma have done a fantastic job of finding and building relations with.
May 13, Saturday - Morning prayer, still reading in Job which is pretty fascinating. Lily and I will have to finish reading that together on our own since this is the last prayer session we will be in attendance at.
Today was a big construction day, where the actual patio got poured. Before doing so we needed to finish exterior plumbing, and electrical. Installed a few housings for plumbing valves that I brought down from the USA. Can't find those sort of things down here.
Anyway, looks great .. they worked late, long after dark on it. Lily and I stayed with the workers while a large crew went to San Juan Bautista for Samaritan's Purse training, I think week 4 or 5 of 12. While Irma and Yareni were with Julio and crew doing God's work, Lily had a raffle ticket as well as Yareni & Irma's that was part of a gift from Ageda (I believe), which Lily attended with the hope of finding a winner of the 3 tickets ... no luck .. but wow what a crowd raffling off some household bowls will bring out! Hmmm ... Maybe we should add bingo to church services after all! ;-)
They were doing a lot of crafts all day as well, in preparation for youth church services tomorrow, which is also a samaritans Purse group. Busy workers here. Enjoying Moses all week doing trial songs in preparation for his upcoming performance at church tomorrow for Mothers day.
May 14, Sunday - Lily and I stayed at the mission while the Sanchez's and Irma went to El Shaddai church. We were leaving on Tuesday morning and too much to do to go to church twice. We did head to town later to pick up some lights and a few electrical parts and wire. Wanted to move the first floor closer to useability for the missionaries after we leave. We have a quote on the windows and doors, and will get a quote on painting tomorrow. How much of that we can have done while we are not here is the question.
But I did personally finish a good deal of the lighting today, making an effort to see if they could use the room for today but it needed a lot of cleaning so perhaps next week when we are gone, they might put it to it's first use. Lily had someone come by to give an estimate on a security fence at the end of the new building to keep the kids from going further back in the property. So we have a fence bid, window/door bid and soon a paint bid ... no way we are going to finish these before we leave early Tuesday morning.
May 15, Monday - Day off at the mission, that is for the missionaries. However, missionary Julio worked hard today to assist me in completing the light installations to make all that wiring work we did these past few days shine. Julio installed 4 of the 8 interior lights, and 3 of the 5 exterior. We also got the power cut over to the main wiring, not running the building on an extension cord anymore ! ;-) Lily did some pecan harvest of our single producing tree, and we all worked till after dark but with the patio and building now being useable, we are very excited.
Later in evening, Victor and Mirelio stopped by, our OANSA leader of last year (as well as painter and door carpenter as well). Victor gave us a paint estimate. Looks like we may have him committed for Saturdays for the next few months, to get this building painted. Lily, Abel, Victor and Mirelio, all went into town to get a lot of paint supplies, some electrical items that we still needed and some items for Abel to get a sink added. They came back pretty late, after 10, but a lot is now committed to be done in the next month or so.
Lily and I did not get to bed until after 2am for a 530am wakeup .. need to catch a 7am bus to Lima!! good night!
May 16, Tuesday - Didn't get much sleep the night before, and caught an early bus so we slept on it. Got to the apartment about 12:30pm or so, and had a few hours before we had an arranged visit from Scott & Beth Bernard of YWAM (Youth With A Mission), known as JOCUM in Spanish countries. Scott is the head of YWAM Peru, and a contact we had with YWAM in both Baja Mexico as well as another in Columbia, both directed us to get together.
Having visited the YWAM location in both San Diego & Baja Mexico, and talked to many US locations of theirs, our interest was three-fold:
- hopefully source additional "long-term" missionary candidates;
- to attract more YWAM team "short-term" mission trips to our mission;
- Pursue a long term goal of making the Mission site an official YWAM/JOCUM location, fully staffed, and sending out missionaries to the surrounding areas.
We learned a great deal about the history of YWAM, which is a missionary organization that is very decentralized but yet, at the same time, everyone involved in the program has a consistant training core that they go through.
We headed back to the apartment and gave our goodbyes, with many plans between us to pursue building our relationship even further. We caught a red-eye flight home to San Diego and then took two days to recover! Amen! Until August!!