Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Month passes...

Is it really October? It's hard to imagine the chilly weather and falling leaves. We are living in July weather! Well, sincere apologies to all you who have been faithfully checking for updates, and find nothing every day! De verdad, oops...Spanish is overwhelming my English. =) Really, we will try harder to update at least once a week.
After Team Two left, we had one week without an American team here. The work on the project continued though, in order to catch-up and be prepared for the next team. Meanwhile, we received a surprise visit from Carlene Pepper, who started the Mission with her husband. It was a blessing to meet her...she brought us to a little village called Independencia to visit a church that was recently built. It was quite a hike to get there though! First, 30 min. down the river by peki peki, then up a nearly vertical staircase, then a hot hike up the hill. Just imagine...the workers who built that church had to do that with concrete bags on their back! Whew!
Another day that week, we went to the "Marcho por Jesus" (March for Jesus). Most of the churches in Iquitos gathered together for a grand parade around the city... for 40 blocks we marched, sang, and proclaimed the name of Jesus. It was an inspiration to see so many people united for such a cause!
That same week, Lindsey cut three of her fingers open playing a turns out she fractured definitely one, probably two of her fingers. After 3 weeks, the cuts are finally closed, but the fractures are still healing. She has had to learn to eat, write, and SPIKE left-handed!
Team Three arrived the last week in September. All ONE of them! Mr. Ray was a blessing, as all the teams have been. He hired his own team of 5 Peruvian guys, and they finished all the trusses and roofing in no time.
Lindsey's birthday was celebrated in Zungarococha, the home village of the president of Mepi and his family. We visited their home church and stayed at their house for the night. Mom called it a "camping" experience, complete with hammocks and mosquito netting! :) In the morning, we visited a little church further in the country. After, we visited a beautiful little lodge by the lake, surrounded by jungle woods. It was so nice to go to the country, after being in the city for so long! Peaceful and quiet...and the smell of nature! Ahh.
Team Four arrived two weeks ago, and was again a one-man team! But with the skills of even just a one man team, and the tremendous help of the Peruvian laborers, the building is making great progress! Barry was in charge of the brick-laying...almost finished! Barry is Kentuckian, so we got to hear a Southern accent again! ;) He will be remembered for the tricks he would share after lunch. Truco! The Peruvians loved his tricks, and they beg to know how to do them. =p

Our days are filled with school, and of course studying, hearing, learning, and talking Spanish. Yes, we play volleyball almost everyday. Watch out, we'll be coming back addicted, and hopefully better than when we left! For the last month, we've been visiting a different church every Sunday, where we girls will sing and an American from the teams will preach. :D This last week we've been preparing for Ivone and Winquer's wedding, which is in less than 2 weeks. Ivone is the daughter of the president, Pastor Gehinor. All of us girls are standing in the wedding, imagine what a sight that is going to a Peruvian wedding no less!

Today we had a big dinner together with both the families that live here, as a goodbye for Barry (Team 4) and a welcome for Team 5, who arrived yesterday. Six guys...biggest team yet! We had a good time of fellowship, prayer, and singing.
Continue praying for health...I think just about everyone has gotten sick in the last two weeks. Usually lasts for 3 or so days. Dad is sick for the first time...enough that he had to stop working today, first time stopping! Thank you for your prayers, they are needed now more than ever!


Saulo singing with the children in Independencia.

Independencia's "jailhouse".

This doesn't look as steep as it really is...

Marcho por Jesus!

Fun times.

Zungarococha means "Catfish Lake"

In Zungarococha...

"Camping" :D

Peruvian birthday party for Lindsey!

A big house in Zungarococha

Water tower...

Bungalows to rent.

Complete with swimming pool...who would swim in a pool with a lake right there?!

Lindsey's fingers after about a week.

Trusses going up...

Tying in the new roof with the church.

New roof for building and church!

Just a little view of Iquitos.

A man moving a GLASS cabinet by way of bike-cart.

Team Three, Brother Ray. Roger, the interpreter, and Kitt.

The whole family with Roger, our awesome translator. Added to our big brother list! :)

A stray pig digging in the garbage. :-p Surprisingly, this is the first pig most of the little girls have seen!

We eat watermelon almost every day...still! It's October! Just reaching peak season right now.

Brick laying...

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Month

One night, as I was thinking about the events of the day, I suddenly realized something seemed strange. Then I was quiet. Completely silent! Just then, a motocar buzzed by. Ahhhh, that was a relief. After one month of living next to the street, we have grown accustomed to the buzz and rumble of constant traffic. Without it, something seems wrong! When we go back to living in the country, the silence is going to be deafening! ;)
Well, we said goodbye to Team One 2 weeks ago. They were a huge blessing to us with their translation abilities, and we had a lot of fun with them. Team Two arrived the next day (with peanut butter and chocolate chips! Amazing how we take those for granted...literally made us squeal to get them! =p ). Four guys and one who brought his wife and son. The family stayed for a week, and the 4 other guys left last Friday. With such a great team, the project has whipped into shape and now we can see something getting done! Almost all the pillars and footings have been poured, and now they are working on filling and compacting the dirt so they can pour the floors. They had to build the foundation 2 or 3 feet above ground so that when the river rises, the building is not damaged. Dad is having a good time 'playing in the dirt' of his favorite things to do, and much easier than concrete! :) Now that Team Two has left, there is a one week break where there won't be a team coming from America, but Dad and the Peruvians are still working.
We started school last week, with a heavy emphasis on Spanish. So now our mornings are spent doing school, and after lunch we study Spanish. In the afternoons, we play with the Peruvian kids, who still come every day! We play volleyball with the Peruvian guys (workers) and older girls (we taught them speed volleyball!), and the little kids love anything new we teach them, especially hand games. After a month, our girls are beginning to understand Spanish more every day...sometimes they can understand it better than I can! Hopefully by next month, they'll be talking away! :)
We celebrated Renita's birthday with cake for all the workers. When the ladies found out Renita was turning 15, and that in America they don't have a big celebration, they decided to make Renita's 15th birthday in Peru memorable. So they surprised her with a last minute quinsanera! It was quite interesting...all the elders shared their advice for her, and then prayed over her. Then we had popcorn, chifle (banana chips), yuca chips and sandwiches and played some games. It was very fun, and helped us bond more with the Peruvians who live here at MEPI.
We met another missionary family, and found out they lived right down the street from us! Connie was a God-send to Mom...she takes her shopping and has just been a big help for Mom. They have a little girl Charity's age, and so the girls are glad to have an English-speaking friend to talk to! For Caitlyn's birthday, they took us swimming, and we had yummy homemade pizza.
Sunday, we went on a 2 hour drive, with 18 people squished in a little pickup truck...quite interesting to say the least, but what a hilarious memory! We left after lunch, arrived in the city of Nauta in time to eat a delicious supper, couresty of a Peruvian family we visited. We also bought 12 watermelons, yes, 12! The city is right across the river from a watermelon plantation, and so they are dirt cheap...1 sole, which is about 30 CENTS! What a feast. After dinner, we visited a little church, where us girls sang, and the pastor who was with us preached. By the time we got going, it was 9pm...I think we all got cold for the first time while riding home! It was a good experience though. We are probably going to start visiting different churches every Sunday now.
Thank you all for your prayers...they are very much needed! Pray for strength for the guys working (in the merciless sun)...that they will be ready for Team Three...and that Team Three will get here safely (this Sunday)...for protection, guidance, and wisdom. And that Spanish will come quickly! :) Only 4 1/2 more months. The time has passed much too quickly.

Team One

The building is coming along...all the columns poured, now for the beams!

Pouring the columns...

Sock wrestling on the ground in 3 inch thick dirt and sand...dirty and fun! We are not typical girls.

Ryan giving Bethany a big hug after not seeing her for 2 days! Best buddies!

Dad taking a siesta on an amazing Peruvian rocking chair (made from rebar)

We traveled like this in this little truck for 2 hours...good times! :)

Linz practicing for her Peruvian license...or dreaming anyway! ;)

An sloth we saw...they move so slow. I think God made them as an object lesson! ;)

Team Two and the Peruvian crew, along with some of the people who live here.

Ryan enjoying fresh coconut

This is crazy...that's concrete there.

Epanglish! :D

Opps! Dad had a little too much fun! ;) It turned out fine though.

Bethany studying hard. She'll be the first to know Spanish! ;)

Dad cutting Renita's cast off with tin snips. Haha...

Renita's cast tan...

Renita at her quinsanera

Everyone celebrating Renita's 15th, Peruvian style!

Team Two

Bethany eating rice, chicken and egg cooked in banana leaf (I don't know how to spell the name!)

What's for lunch? Fresh rooster!

Caitlyn...I don't think I'll eat lunch today! ;)

Guido, an interpretor, and his band came and played for us.
I'll try to update sooner next time. :)