Friday, March 9, 2012

A Prayer for Rosio….

Rosio is a mother of three in Huascar, Maribel age 5, Davis age 4 and a baby boy not quite 5 months old.  Franci and I first met her last year because we would visit the Wawa Wasi daycare where she took her eldest son, Davis.  We played with Davis in the Wawa Wasi on a weekly basis and through this connection we were able to get to know Rosio a bit when she picked Davis up in the afternoon.  We built a relationship with her and started discipling her in the street outside the Wawa Wasi in the afternoons.  But as life goes, things changed in Rosio’s life, she wasn’t taking Davis to daycare anymore and we rarely saw her around.  Occasionally we would see her hiking up the hill to her house and would have a chance to chat with her a minute here and there.  And just a few weeks ago, we saw Rosio walking up the hill to her house with her new baby boy on her back wrapped in a bright pink blanket, her two older kids in tow, and her husband by her side.  Rosio stopped as we said hello and Franci and I met her husband for the first time, a young man who looks exactly almost like their son Davis, just an older version. 

Today, walking around in Huascar, we saw another contact, Rogelia, with Rosio sitting outside in the sun warming up.  (We’ve been freezing here the past few weeks and any chance to warm up in the sun is rare and therefore welcomed!)  As Franci and I headed up the hill heading toward Rogelia’s house where the ladies were sitting, Rogelia and Rosio’s kids came running down the hill to give us kisses and hugs.  And Rosio’s daughter Maribel started calling me tia (aunt) out of the blue.  Adorable, I thought.  I had no inclination of what was going to happen next.

Franci and I arrived at the top of the hill and greeted the ladies.  Right away Rogelia told me Rosio was sad, of course I asked why and what was going on.  Rogelia informed me that Rosio’s husband passed away.  Shocked and saddened, Franci and I sat down on either side of Rosio and attempted to console her.  But what do you say in a time like this?  There are no words.  I asked if we could pray with her and so Rogelia, Rosio, Franci and myself, sitting on rocks with the sun beaming down on us, prayed for Rosio and this incredible tragedy she is facing.  It brought tears to my eyes as I prayed for God’s hand over her life and the lives of her three children. 

With no words, after the prayer I held Rosio’s hand as I sat by her and she told us what had happened.  Apparently, two weeks ago, her husband started acting weird, he didn’t know who anyone was and in this state of mind, he left to climb the mountain by their house, alone and was gone, for how long, I’m not sure.  Apparently, he made it back home, the family quite worried yet glad to see him.  But, by the time he arrived home, his condition was worse, he had lost all memory of his family and who he was and complained of a headache.  His family took him to the hospital and he passed there. 

Rosio continued to tell us that she has nothing and no one here in Puno.  She and her husband with their kids had been living with his mother and now his mother, the grandmother of these three kids, is telling Rosio she’s going to kick her out.  Rosio’s own parents have passed and her siblings live in northern Peru.  Literally, she has no one here other than her friends like Rogelia. 

Although saddened by this story and the reality Rosio faces now, we were able to share in a few laughs as we continued to chat and it was precious to see a smile on Rosio’s face.  Then, when Rosio got up to talk to another neighbor who had been passing by, Rogelia told Franci and I that just before we came, Rosio asked her if we (Franci and I) were still coming around to teach the Bible.  She told Rogelia she hadn’t come down to see us like before and she wants to begin studying the Bible again. 

God is so incredible!  He works all the pieces together!  Franci and I had no intention of visiting Rogelia today, we had no idea we would see Rosio, we just happened to be walking up the hill and saw the kids running down to us with their mothers above in the sun.  God gave us sun this afternoon to warm our spirits and our bodies, but He also gave us sun which in turn brought the ladies outside to warm up and brought us to them so we would have the chance to pray with Rosio and reconnect with her during this difficult time. 

Please help us in prayer for Rosio and her three children.  Pray for His peace in her heart, for His comfort in her soul.  Pray that she would seek God during this time, that from this tragedy, she would experience God in a very real way.  And pray that God would provide everything this single mother and her children need from shoes to food to a house.

Here’s where we sat with the ladies today, on the rocks between the green door and the blue door, where Rogelia lives.DSCF0463 

Davis, age 4.  Dad made a special connection with Davis while Mom and Dad were here visiting in June.  Dad and Davis were pretty much inseparable while we were in the Wawa Wasi daycare.  DSCF1068DSCF0671

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Real Life Change

Things are going great in Huasar!  Truly, God is working in this place and its exciting.  Franci and I have been able to start discipleship with four new contacts in the past two weeks thanks to the hot chocolate we served on Christmas Eve and thanks to our evangelism outing with the guys in February.   We also have another eight contacts we are trying to meet with and get started studying the Bible with them as well.  But it’s not about the numbers, its about the stories, its about the lives that are changing.  So let me tell you a couple of these stories, these stories I get to see unfold before my eyes.
Manuel is a father of three and his oldest daughter Rosio has a three year old daughter who also lives with Manuel and his wife.  We first met Manuel when we presented the Felix Vargas film, From the Darkness back in March last year.  So we’ve known Manuel for a year, we’ve been working with him, studying the Word with him, and praying with him for a year.  And we are seeing results!  When we arrive at Manuel’s house on Sunday afternoons to continue studying the Bible with him, he always starts off telling us about what he read that week or what questions he has from his personal Bible study during the week.  I love it!  I love the questions, I love hearing how amazed he is at the miracles of Christ in John, I love seeing his little notebook where he rewrites Bible verses so he can have them with him all the time without carrying the Bible.  Seeing immense growth in him in these past few weeks has been a joy to watch, an encouragement to both Franci and myself.  His life is changing, he’s praying and reading his Bible daily, he’s a new creature in Christ.  That’s what I’m here for, that’s the desire of my heart, is to see true life change and in Manuel, I see it and it’s awesome!  That is real life change.
Iris is the daughter in law of Lucia, Lucia is a little old lady who has a tourist shop near the plaza and lives in Huascar.  We’ve never been to Lucia’s house but we always visit  her in her shop, we sit on little benches while she sits on the floor and knits while listening to the Word as she cannot read.  Lucia has six children and she prays frequently for her children, that they would be able to walk with the Lord.  It was Lucia who sent us a street over from her tourist shop to her son’s tourist shop.  There we found Iris, a former Adventist who admittedly has left God to follow her own path in life, including, living with Lucia’s son, Jhon and their son.  Iris was a little timid when we first started visiting her about three months ago.  She said she wasn’t ready to commit her life back to God because she knew she would fail.  But, God has touched Iris’ heart, he has softened her to Him and she recommitted her life to the one and only God of the universe, she gave Him her heart and made a decision to walk with Christ.  And I see evidence of this rebirth in her.  Iris is sharing the Word with Jhon, her fiancée.  She has invited her friends Edwin and Roxana to come and listen to the discipleship lessons with her and Jhon.  She is learning and understanding that this walk with Christ is a process.  Seeing Iris and the change in her heart is unbelievable.  Seeing her reaching out to her fiancée and friends is incredible.  This is real life change. 
I met Dominga on Christmas Eve while Franci and I held a ‘chocolatada’ out on the street in Huascar.  Dominga was one of many ladies I met that morning.  I took down her name, address and phone number and she said Franci and I were welcome to visit her during the week.  Franci and I went to her house multiple times and knocked, we also called her, no response.   Then, two weeks ago, Franci and I where walking around Husacar and we saw Lydia, another lady we disciple and chatting with Lydia was Dominga.  Dominga asked us why we hadn’t come to visit her.  We explained we could never find her at home or get a hold of her by phone.  So we set up an exact day and time to visit her so she would be sure to be home.  And now, two weeks in a row, at 2pm on Friday afternoons, Dominga is home, waiting for us to knock (by throwing rocks onto her roof, a common way to knock here in Puno).  When she hears the falling rocks on her roof, she comes out and we sit on the dirt in front of her house and read the Bible.  You may think, two weeks, big deal.  But it is a big deal.  It’s a big deal that two weeks in a row Dominga has made a conscious effort to be home at 2pm on Friday’s, its a big deal that Dominga has set aside time two weeks in a row from all that she has to do, in order to sit on the dirt and read the Bible and pray with her neighbors walking by.  That’s a change of heart.  That is real life change.
So I could tell you, we are discipling 16 people in Husacr, up from 11 in January.  I could tell you that we were able to walk four people through a prayer of salvation in February.  I could say we have another eight contacts in Huascar we hope to start discipling this month.  I could throw more numbers out there.  But it’s the stories behind the numbers that touch my heart, its the real life change that God is navigating that gets to me, that excites me, that reminds me of why I’m here.
Here are some photos of Manuel at his baptism in January.  Unfortunately I was still struggling with pneumonia the day of the baptism and couldn’t go.  But, I’m so proud of him for taking this step to declare he’s serious about this walk with Christ.
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