[Last revised 6/22/2012] March 4-April 12, 2012 Peru trip - This trip was the longest that we have taken to our supported mission in south Peru. Three of us went on this trip, which we allocated 6 weeks for, Margaret planning to only spend 3 weeks. Our first 3 weeks, with the three of us together, we had a pretty full agenda. After that we thought perhaps we might get a little downtime at the end, however at the same time, we had a lot to get done, with our plans to completely demolish the old property and hopefully be able to pour the foundation for the new building.
We left on a red-eye from Los Angeles on March 4th, arriving the next morning in Lima/ Callao airport. After some delay with customs, we spent our first night in Lima, staying with a wonderful host family for the night. We left Lima on April 6th, for Ica by bus. While at the bus station in Lima, we made a new Christian friend named Ivette, who was heading to Ica to join her husband. She is an American from Puerto Rica, speaks excellent English and was most interested in our ministry. She helped us out on one of outreaches, more on that later.
When we arrived in Ica (a 2.75 movie ride, you always have to guess on the ending of the 3rd movie! ;-), we still had a good half hour drive north to get to El Carmen in San Juan Bautista district, our destination. Our regular host and driver, Rumundo, picked us up and we made it to El Carmen about 9:30pm after doing a little shopping trip in Ica before the drive. Had a wonderful evening getting acquainted with our El Carmen host family which conveniently lives next door to the property we are building on.
The next day, March 7th, we set out to get re-acquainted with the area and set our plans for what we had in front of us. Besides the property work that we planned, we always do a lot of evangelizing. We also brought many donated items which we were planning a few different outreaches for.
- Our first outreach was working with items provided by OneSight, an excellent company. They provided us with a good supply of reading glasses which we structured one outreach around. We were only able to bring 120 glasses this trip and they went fast .. there is such a need. Glad to know that 120 people that were not able to read well before this trip, now can! We hope to bring many more glasses on our next trip, still this year, and the balance in 2013. [2012 Eyeglass Outreach photos].
- We had another major donation from a company that provides women brassiers for cancer sufferers in the USA. Although we didn't have the cancer sufferers, our women's outreach (March 13) had a great many women who benefited from this clothing donation. Many of them went home with fresh garments, bibles and some eye glasses, but mostly knowing that Jesus loved them!! [2012 Womens Outreach photos]
- One of the most rewarding parts of our trips to El Carmen is always the children. Our children's outreach on this trip was no different. We initially scheduled it on a Wednesday at 5pm but since they all started showing up by 3pm and we were obviously understaffed based on the numbers we had to cancel and reschedule for March 15, a few days later.
What fun it was for our trying to get organization out of chaos! But we never seem to have enough of what these kids want and need the most, and that is the spanish bibles we bring on every trip. They are constantly in demand, appreciated verbally more than any clothing, candy, toy or other item we bring, and many times we get people of all ages coming by and asking for them. (As a non-financial gift to LAMA, please considering purchasing spanish bibles and witness tracts for us. Here are many that we use on this link.)
The children of El Carmen are our special incentive to keep moving forward with the building of this missionary activity center. We look forward to having this "Jesus centered outreach" building right in the village square and always being of service to the youth first. [2012 Childrens Outreach photos]
As we started the 'demolition' one would think that the earthquake damage was so severe (see 2010 & 2011 pictures) that it would be simple .. however, this took a great deal of manpower and time. We completed pretty much all of this demolition in the first 3 weeks we were there. At the end of the three weeks, Margaret returned to the States and we had a good visit to Lima sending her off, and getting some other business done as well. [2012 Demolition / Construction photos]
Returning to El Carmen, we had some interesting challenges before we could even think of pouring a foundation, since our neighbors earthquale damaged wall (10 feet high and 2 feet thick adobe) was directly next to the property line. Even if we left the wall intact and built next to it, three different contractors were 'afraid' of it falling on their workers due to the earthquake condition of it, and were reluctant to dig the necessary footing.
This problem was resolved divinely!! When it happened it was very evident that God had a hand. Out of the blue, our same neighbor who was insisting that the wall wouldn't fall, decided he wanted to donate his 'share' (one fifth) of the property, which was directly adjacent to the ministry! [Property plot map] He also had one of his 4 siblings (all owning one fifth of their family's property) who also wanted to sell her portion. In doing the math (two siblings = two fifths of the length of the donated/sold property), this new property extension just exceeded the length of the planned new building structure by almost a meter! So in an afternoon we now had enough property to move the wall entirely out of the way! Thank you Jesus!
Now that we "informally" own the wall, down it will go and our building can have a few side windows that weren't possible before since it was right up to the property line! To add a further blessing, before we left El Carmen one more sibling also expressed his interest in selling his rights to the property, making us 60% (majority) owners of the entire strip of land adjacent to the mission. We now have much more than we need for the immediate building plans, but definitely more activities (outdoors, etc.) can now be accomodated as the property enlarges. This additional land piece will definitely help us with our activity plans for the children of El Carmen.
While this informal handshake arrangement was in place and only a week left for us to be in El Carmen, we got to work immediately (April 3) on putting up a new wall, both inside and outside on this adjacent "newly acquired" property. We had two different crews, one working the brick, concrete and rebar construction inside, and the other working the adobe wall outside. By April 10, we had everything pretty well accomplished, and we headed to Lima one last time.
While in Lima we left some items to be completed by the contractors, traveling with our neighbor on the bus from El Carmen. On April 12, we had signed agreements in place, meeting our neighbor and his sister for getting our informal agreement on paper. They were also excited about what our plans are for the property and felt this was a great cause. The same day we did this final business, we were off to the airport for our return trip to USA. Arrangements were made, and coordinated by some of our local caretakers, for much of the 10x2 adobe wall to be reduced, as well as the finishing of the new brick interior wall and adobe exterior wall. A very productive trip indeed. Next trip, September/October - time to pour the foundation and get the walls up! Anyone want to join us?