Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Today, right now, a group of 6 from Mid America Nazarene are heading back to the States after two busy, fun filled weeks of work with us here in Puno.  This team came to help us strengthen our relationships with our contacts and show them the importance of community and fellowship in the body.  So what did we do with this team?  We planned events to get the body together, to have fun and fellowship, to show our contacts here in Puno how much we love them, how much God loves them, and how Christ formed the church and the body as a means of encouraging, teaching, supporting and loving on our brothers and sisters in Him. 

So, like I said, we planned some events to get our contacts together and spend time with them.  And let me tell you, Huascar showed up every time!  I’m so proud of these ladies and men who are willing to set aside time to spend in the Body, to fellowship.

The first event was a field day and volleyball tournament.  We had lots of ladies and kids and one man from Huascar come into the city center and play games with us all morning and then share a traditional Peruvian lunch, one of my favorite dishes, aji de gallina.  We had a Huascar team play in the volleyball tournament and they lost in the first round.  But, when the group of North Americans won, they gave their prizes to the Huascar team so they didn’t walk away empty handed.

DSC_0406 DSC_0453 DSC_0456 DSC_0615 DSC_0633

The second event was a Mother’s Day celebration in the new church building that the last short term group constructed for us.  This meant another trip to the center, another combi fare, another morning of putting off the daily chores until later.  But, Huascar showed up again and the Mother’s were rewarded with a special gift of gratitude. 


And the last big group event was the one year anniversary of the church in Salcedo that Garren and Geremias are planting.  Contacts from Salcedo came to the inauguration service in Huascar a few months back and so I explained to our contacts in Huascar that it was now time for us to celebrate with them and support them.  And, Huascar showed up.  We filled up a combi with men, women and kids and went all the way to the other side of town to celebrate with our brothers and sisters. 

DSC_1042 DSC_1056 DSC_1092 DSC_1187

God is working in Huascar!  The way He is moving hearts and changing lives in this place is incredible!  The physical effort these people are making to get together on Sunday afternoons or for special occasions like this is an indicator that they are beginning to put fellowship with God as a priority in their lives and that shines through in their fellowship as the Body.  And that is real life change, that makes my heart leap for joy.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Connect the Dots……

I feel like I’m playing connect the dots in Huascar.  Why?  Because everyone we meet, every conversation we have, we are connecting the dots. Let me explain, I will start with our strongest contact, Manuel.  Manuel lives next to Josefina, who is also his sister.  Josefina is a Wawa Wasi daycare provider who watches Rogelia’s son Rodrigo and Rosio’s son Davis.  Isabel works as a supervisor for the Wawa Wasi daycare’s in Huascar, she knows Josefina as well as Elisabeth, a new contact who is a Wawa Wasi provider and Mery who was a Wawa Wasi provider.  In the Wawa Wasi where Mery worked, she watched Lydia’s son, Bruce.  Mery is also connected to Yolanda, her cousin who we have recently met and Lydia’s neighbor Filomena is Mery’s mother-in-law.  Filomena’s neighbor is Dominga and her husband , Jesús.  Recently from the contacts we got from the short term group, we have met Teodora and her daughter Gladis, well, Gladis’ husband is Dominga’s brother.  And Dominga’s good friend, Rut is the daughter of a another contact we just met, Dionisia.  And Dionisia’s son, Willy, helps Estela in her tienda from time to time, and Estela’s sister, Adela is our friend and contact who has a tienda right in front of the church. 

So do you get the point?  It’s like connect the dots!  And that’s not even all the dots!  Franci and I feel like a part of this community, Huascar.  When Mery’s mom fell last week and broke her ankle, Franci and I knew right away from Mery’s cousin, Yolanda who was walking in a hurry to go help.  Or when Adela had to go on a last minute trip to Arequipa, we knew about it.  Huascar is a little community of family and friends and these people are letting us into their family.  They still rarely let us into their home, but, that’s okay, because while we are out on the rocks while they let their ducks waddle around, or out in the grass while the sheep graze, we see the rest of the Huascar community passing by and most everyone we see, we know. 

Everything in Huascar is fantastic.  It’s not without it’s problems, it is not without spiritual battle as these people start a real walk with Christ.  But we see fruit in our older contacts and we see interest and desire to know God in our newer contacts.  And we see a good group of people getting together on Sunday afternoons to be in the Word and prayer.  That’s not how I measure how the work is going here, but it is a sign that God is moving in hearts and lives and it’s exciting, especially since we thought only 8 months ago there was no hope for this community.

DSC_0202 DSC_0204 DSCF1562 DSCF1593 DSCF1609

Oh, and, not only is God teaching me to plant seeds and harvest fruit spiritually, I’ve also had a few chances over the past (almost) two years to go out to the field and work in real planting and harvesting.  Last week, Franci and I went out with Isabel and her husband to harvest oca, a sweet, long, potato-like vegetable.   And as a passerby walked past the field where we were digging and filling a bag with fresh oca, he looked at Isabel and said, “Hola, Vecina”, (hello neighbor) then his eyes went over to me and at sunset he said, “Buenos días.”, (Good Morning).  We all had a good laugh after he finished walking by.  At the sight of a ‘gringa’ working the field, he lost track of the time of day. 

DSC_0283-001 DSC_0285-001 DSC_0282-001