12 August, Saturday - left USA, late afternoon flight, will put us into Lima after midnight.
[Editors note - Well, we left in mid August and now it's mid September and I am just getting around to the blog. We have had one very busy first month down here, followed by some immediate construction needs and some technology challenges. But I will try to recap it and catch up.
First and foremost, our intent for this trip was to firstly join the Hearts & Hands San Diego ministry for crochet & knitting on their 2nd trip to the mission. Secondly, we were also wanting to finalize the 2nd building of the children's center and missionary housing, which we started about this time last year. Lastly, we desired to continue working along side our resident missionaries down here, be aware of their needs, and pursue new relationships in support of them and the mission's long term goals. That all being said, let me see if I can recap as best as possible. ]
13 August, Sunday - We were thinking that we would have to wait at the bus terminal for 3-4 hours waiting for an early morning bus, since we got out of the airport about 1am and to the bus terminal well before 2am. But there was a 3:30am “plush bus” to Ica! It was $10 more per person but was very plush, only 3 seats across the bus and they declined into almost beds with great footrests, wireless, air conditioned and private movie screen. We took it. Got some shut eye (bad movie choice helped) on a ride that promised only two stops in Ica region (at Pisco and Dunas hotel in Ica) before our final Ica destination at the Ica bus terminal. However, we ended up only stopping in Pisco. Nice ride.
We arrived at “La Misión” in time for more rest and Sunday services in evening. Caught a lunch in the village at what we like to refer to as ‘Burro King’ and ran into one of my ‘little friends’ who was glad to see me. Abel Quispe, our contractor of five years, came by to discuss work with us (wasting no time). Although we didn’t bother to go into Ica for services at El Shaddai, we did enjoy services that evening at the mission.
14 August, Monday - day of rest at the mission. We did a construction supply run to Ica to get Abel started with the 3 bathrooms that needed to be tiled. He was available to work, and could do that major chore on his own.
15 August, Tuesday – Shucked some garbanzo beans that we were given. Prayer with Angie at Santa & Moises home. Walking Angie home afterwards. In anticipation of some additional guests overlapping in the next few weekends, we went out and bought another double bed and mattress. We will probably get a 2nd soon. I anticipate getting some guests from World Gospel Missions, Daudi and Cathleen Strong, so with this bed we will convert a classroom temporarily into a bedroom.
16 August, Wednesday – Choir practice at the mission. Great to see ... We brought down some new microphones, mike stands and cables, as well as a rechargeable battery system since they have been going through a lot with the wireless mikes. Good to see all that we brought be put to immediate use.
17 August, Thursday - Lily returns to Lima to meet Hearts & Hands crew, coming from San Diego.
18 August, Friday – David ‘Daudi’ Strong arrived at the mission. Daudi and his wife Cathleen work with World Gospel Missions and we have been in touch with them, wanting to know how we might work together. Daudi coordinated his time (his wife will join him shortly) so that they could be here with the Hearts and Hands folks to see the mission at its busiest. He came up ahead of his wife, who stayed in Ica for a few nights to get some paperwork done. Daudi was able to get to know Julio and the local missionaries a bit, as well as myself. We did a few walks around the village and north to Altura, to give him a feel for the area and the need.
The Hearts & Hands crew arrived at Lima apartment around 2am, greeted by Lily, and rested the rest of the day. They got a full nights sleep Friday night, after enjoying some touristing in Lima during the day.
19 August, Saturday - Lily and Hearts & Banda crew caught an early 6:30am bus from Lima for Ica, getting down close to the mission before noon. With little chance to settle in, we got the entire group from San Diego, including the Strongs, to tag along with the local youth and missionaries to go to San Juan Bautista for their regular teaching session. SJB is about 7 kilometers (4.5 miles?) south of the mission, so we need to take a collectivo (or two or more) to get there .. Cost is about S./1.5 per person (50 cents) each way.
An enjoyable experience with a lot of fun playing in the village square first (Daudi and I handled two ends of the jump rope for all the youth to try their skill). After some outside enjoyment we all went inside for worship and study. A pretty full 90 minutes or so adventure before we headed back to the mission.
Jo Ann was still organizing for the training coming up during the week and she did some one on one teaching to Daudi and Cathlene Strong which was humorous.
20 August, Sunday - Lily, our resident missionaries and the Hearts & Hands crew, attended church services in Ica at El Shaddai, our regularly visited ‘sister’ church. William stayed at mission to prepare for evening sermon that pastor Julio asked him to do just 24 hours earlier!! While alone at the mission, we had a pretty major earthquake with an epicenter only an hour north of us. Everyone in the village went running out to the street during it. Apparently, the team that went to Ica to church must have been in transit when it hit as they didn’t feel a thing. But it was a 5.1 I believe. Life in Peru.
Later in evening, we had Mission church worship and services for youth and adults. Youth portion starts at 5 with exercise, worship and bible study all squeezed into an hour with some overlap having youth going to 2nd building in back or upstairs for some of their studies. Adult services start at 6 pm for worship and church. Later that evening Jo Ann had some fun with Daudi and his attempt to learn to crochet. He pulled his creation apart back to where the first mistake was made and that was pretty early on so he ended up with a piece of string when Jo Ann was done. Needless to say, Daudi avoided more advise later! ;-)
21 August, Monday - Usual day of rest at the mission EXCEPT for also being the first day of Hearts & Hands training for local residents. Carlos Moya, who came with his wife Gloria, spent a good amount of time helping William with electrical work on the new building at the mission. Daudi Strong also pitched in and the three of us got all the wiring pulled and quite a bit more this week.
These first 3 days are intended to show some advanced teaching for the crocheters here in the village, as a follow-up to the initial work they taught last year. One of the advanced teachings will be cables, another is squares. Jo Ann Hill will teach at one table, Grace Rosburg at another and Ruth Hoch at a third, all teaching different things.
Lily got engaged with our window and door man, to get the order going for the new rear building. She gave him a significant deposit so he could get underway.
Lily had made a run for construction supplies into Ica and came back in the evening with a truck load. Martin was a regular truck driver for her this time, who Is a good friend and a fellow Christian. He insisted that the delivery was free after we unloaded which was totally unexpected. It took a good bit of arguing to get him to accept payment, as we know that his fuel alone is an expense and he has a family to feed as well. What a kind gesture though. We got the load unloaded, mostly drywall, plywood, doors, bathroom fixtures and some door frames.
22 August, Tuesday – 2nd of 3 days of Hearts & Hands training at the mission. Plan is to do 3 days here, and 3 in San Juan Bautista. Being any day but Sunday and Monday, we started the day with 8am prayer. The Strong’s joined us and part of the San Diego team. We did some walking around the village to show the different areas, how people live. We showed the Strong’s the work we had done for Luciana & Jose’s home, and what we would like to do next with another home where the family has very crowded and unclean living conditions. Much that we would love to do here.
Later that afternoon, we spent some time with the Strong's and had some detail discussion of the challenges, desires, successes, and more of the mission and mission life so far.
Since the Strong's have been in the mission field for nearly 20 years (Bolivia and Peru), they offer some great perspective, background, and more. We encouraged them to also spend time with the resident missionaries, Julio, Yareni and Irma, as well, which they did. It was good for all to share and gain multiple perspectives from another missionary group that also has 10+ years of experience in Peru.
At 4pm, the 2nd Hearts and Hands advanced training got underway with a very enthusiastic group.
23 August, Wednesday – Morning prayer. Breakfast down the street. Abel continues doing the bathroom tile work. A 3rd day of Hearts & Hands, a final day at the mission. However, the Strong’s had to leave us before hand but were especially helpful the two days of translation that they were able to provide. We were so happy to be able to host them and get to know them. Now the resident missionaries here at the mission have a new missionary couple friendship up in Cusco, a reason to go visit if they can. Daudi wants to stay in touch with them so they exchanged contact information. We are so glad that they could spend the time that they did and to get to know the mission, and our challenges. Lily and I will be staying in close touch with them as we go forward.
The 3rd session of crochet skills transfer was very well received. Jo Ann decided to have a 4th session at the mission on Saturday morning to teach a special doll making skill that she has been asked about.
Also there was evening choir practice, something that has been going on for awhile at the mission. Although I don’t speak Spanish, I recognized some of the melodies and gave it a college effort, and enjoyed it.
24 August, Thursday – We had morning prayer again. After which we have been leaving for breakfast down the street at Mari-cucho’s place. She is sort of like a restaurant if she knows you are coming. No menu but always a good meal. Our construction team eats there all the time and she is not just a good cook, but also a good crocheter. She doesn’t like to teach, but she enjoys the Hearts and Hands visits and teaching and showed off some of her work. Mari-cucho and Jo Ann have developed a special friendship.
In honor of Jo Ann and her special like of Papa Rellena’s last trip, we had Mari-cucho make up a pot of them for us to take back to the mission for consumption. I personally loved them as did many of the gang. Served with a special salsa made for it, it was a great taste. Jo Ann was not as thrilled though. I think those first one’s she had last trip got built up in her mind over the year waiting to have them again. Oh well.
1st of 3 days for Hearts & Hands in San Juan Bautista. A different audience being that this is the first time. We did more first timer crocheting and knitting here, as opposed to the advanced training that they gave at the mission.
We met a beautiful Incan woman named Julia who was down from the mountains visiting her daughter. She was out gathering sticks for cooking when she came across the crochet training we were offering. She brought her grand-daughter with her who also was a beautiful young girl. Julia said she would be back for the next two days, but sadly we did not see her after this day. Hopefully we will again in the near future.
Grace Rosburg did some quick sample creations with her regular ‘speed crochet’ technique. I caught her on video this time for prosperity. Also it was wonderful to watch her, a very talented teenager, interact and teach an elderly slow to learn grandmother. There was something beautiful about the interaction. Short one minute video is on the right, including some moments with Julia, her granddaughter and Gloria Moya who accompanied Hearts & Hands on this trip. Different than at the mission, we did break out the looms for the children to learn some simple knitting as well.
25 August, Friday – Morning prayers, breakfast and then some quiet time. We missed Julia and her grand-daughter, but there were quite a few participants anyway. My sister-in-law, Ismelda, was visiting down here and got to know the missionaries a good bit by telling them stories of the area. She was only with us for a couple of days though and had to leave this day. Amazing how the one bed we bought, equipping a 3rd sleeping quarter, has been getting back to back useage. With this 2nd day at SJB teaching, we had a very good showing.
With all that is going on with the Hearts & Hands ministry, construction continues as well. Gloria Moya's husband Carlos, who came to assist, spent a lot of time doing wiring. I promised him a crack at drywall but while we had a crew starting that, we needed to finish the wiring! He was most helpful and we made rapid progress with his assistance. We also had the door and window contractor working at the same time.
Today, Juan & Sylvia Quispe of JUCUM (YWAM) Arequipa showed up, as part of a 3 couple JUCUM group we were expecting. The ‘temporary bedroom’ that the Strongs used, and my sister-in-law (and friend) used for a few nights (had no idea she was coming) was now going to be used by the Quispe’s. Someone appears ti be doing the scheduling and it’s not us! ;-)
We will get that 2nd bed tomorrow so we can accommodate the other two expected couples. These beds were needed anyway, in anticipation of the building we are finishing up for missionary quarters. We just got them a little early and put them to use.
26 August, Saturday – 3rd and final day at SJB teaching knitting and crocheting. Before going to SJB, a special session (by popular request) was held at the mission to teach doll making. This was widely attended and the ladies really enjoyed it. Many creations were produced in short order with the talent that was present. Marilu, one of our special ladies in the south of the village, was quite talented and quick with her creations.
We bought another double bed and mattress. On this date, we had nos converted the two classrooms and now the open community room into sleeping quarters. That gave us 5 sleeping rooms on the 2nd floor as opposed to just the 2 dormitories! Flexible we are!
Clark and Beth Barnard who represent JUCUM (YWAM) Peru/Equador/West Columbia, came down from Lima (with their dog Libby) and we also had David Vargas & his son Matthew who took a bus down from Lima. David and his wife (Yanira, who could not make it) run JUCUM (YWAM) Lima. We are looking toward building a relationship with all the YWAM folks in Peru going forward. Sylvia & Juan (who arrived yesterday) as well as David and his wife, and one other couple in Columbia, make up the elder representation for YWAM working together with Clark and Beth in answering questions, representing YWAM and helping each site that is part of the greater YWAM organization within the geography they cover.
All were able to participate in this last day of Hearts and Hands training in San Juan Bautista. Sylvia was in 2nd heaven … not only did she fill in beautifully as another translator but also loves to crochet herself.
27 August, Sunday – Morning at the Mission and we had a crowd. David and his son Matthew had to get back to Lima first, so we gave them our good byes after we went into Ica for a great Peruvian meal at a favorite restaurant we have.
Evening mission church worship and services for youth and adults. Clark Barnard volunteered to deliver the message, which was on the 'woman at the well'. Ir das well received by the audience. The Quispe’s had to give their goodbyes next and a lot of new friends were made, even though they were here for such a short time. Much in common was shared and many names and contacts were exchanged.
28 August, Monday – day of rest at the mission. Lily and our great friends from San Diego left very early in the morning by bus for Lima. We will miss them. After a wonderful week of Hearts and Hands ministry from San Diego, their 2nd visit in a year, we have to say good bye.
We hope we are maximizing all the talent that dear Jo Ann Hill has brought to our lovely villages and we strive to put it to the most use and productivity between her visits. It takes a village!!
Please check out our short summary video (3min) of this fantastic visit of Hearts & Hands on the right.
After the sun got a little higher in the sky, the Barnards were up and ready for their drive back to Lima as well. We spent some time together with coffee and discussed what’s to come with YWAM and our own future relationship going forward. We are definitely staying in close touch with Clark & Beth, who we only just met earlier this year in Lima on our first trip to Peru.
29 August, Tuesday – Lily is still up in Lima, seeing off our San Diego crew. Life at the mission, although a bit quieter, continues. Bible study with the youth, home cell bible studies, and construction, all continue.
30 August, Wednesday – The drywall construction gets well underway, as the window and door installations come to a conclusion as well.
31 August, Thursday – hmmm ... kinda quiet around here ..
(click part 2 to continue)