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.
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.