July 22, 2007

Christie's Peru 07 cont.

Hello from Peru! We´re having a wonderful time. We´ve visited the jungle churches and then today, three churches in the city of Iquitos. We´ve taken supplies for children´s ministry, for pastors´ families, and for some of the ladies. Today we handed out toothbrushes and toothpaste to the children. We´re doing dramas, skits, a children´s program, and preaching. Chucky and John W. have been taking turns preaching and have both done very well.

For those of you who sent money for offerings, I´ve had no trouble finding places to give. We visited the Linda Baker school our first day in Peru, and they´re still doing such a good work there. Today, I met a pastor´s wife who has some pretty serious illness that hasn´t been diagnosed yet, and they´re trying to get enough money to find out what´s wrong and get treatment.

Two of our churches have had fires recently, one of which is having church in the pastor´s home. Another is building a church because they´ve been meeting in the community´s hut. We had church in the hut (this was a village in the Amazon), and during one of the skits, a VERY large spider fell from the grass/thatch roof onto the floor. The beast ran toward me, and as we Americans all sucked in a large breath, Justin Adams jumped up and stomped it a few feet from my feet. PHWEW!

Then, while Chucky was preaching, another spider, even larger, dropped from the ceiling and moved a few feet toward me. (I was in an entirely different seat this time, so I don´t know what the spiders wanted with ME!) I kept my eye on this one, as did the rest of our team, because he was absolutely humongous, and he moved quickly. The little girl beside me told me not to let it bite me because it was dangerous. Nice. I didn´t want to get up and stomp it because the sermon was going on, so I waited. As we prayed, I watched and prayed, as the Bible says. As Chucky kept preaching, though, Mr. Spider moved my direction. I was trying to give Chuck a nod to alert him to the spider, which he kept getting closer and closer to. Finally, he spotted it and did a lovely dance, much to the amusement of the tribe. So a man stomped that one and service continued.

We left a ball and some frisbees at each village, and we got to play with the kids and young people a little before leaving. The ladies invited us to play volleyball with a net attached to a pole holding a hut up. It was great fun! We were also able to visit in some of the ¨homes¨ (huts) there, after an adventurous journey back into the bush with some rather large spider web canopies over our heads.

Last night, we met some young people in the plaza in Iquitos and talked with them until about 2 in the morning. It was super to share ice cream with them in an open air restaurant they aren't usually allowed to go inside. We told the staff there that they were our honored guests. We told the group where we´d be this morning, and they met us at the church. They talked with the people there and made a connection to the youth of the church, so we´re hoping that will be the beginning of new converts. They were definitely looking for something.

I did get to run once so far (not counting the running/climbing/walking we´ve done in the villages and on the streets here). A friend I´ve met here, Maribelle, took me to a large soccer stadium with a great running track. And today, we saw a big group of bicyclists in uniforms on some really nice bikes. I was ready to jump out of the mototaxi and ask if I could join them. Ha, ha!

Well, I hope all is well with you all. Thank you for helping me get to Peru. I can´t wait to tell you more details of this wonderful trip. If you see my little people, give them a kiss from me, and a hug for Ken would be nice, too! Thanks also for your prayers. I am holding up well in this 31 degree C (don´t know what that equates to in F right now) heat. I even got roped into eating a whole plate of cebiche (a local raw fish specialty) from a lady at one of the churches, and my stomach didn´t fail me. I smiled and thanked her as I ate it, because it was a gift she specifically bought for me. I´m sure that somebody´s prayers got me through that one!!! Keep it up! :) --Christie

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