This is week 7 of this mission trip. Click for other weeks:
Monday, Oct 14: Today was a pretty full day. Abel spent most of the day preparing the site for tomorrow's pour in the main room. We had to finish the tubing and then the wiring that was going in the floor, both 220 and low voltage.
Another primary accomplishment of this day was to finally make the electrical box 'hot'. Together we installed all the circuit breakers and even re-routed the main power through the mission. Prior we had a wire going all the way back to our casita, now it routes through the main circuit box. Notice in this electrical box photo the only switch that is on so far, is one, our casita! Soon, they all will be.
Abel did some leveling to properly mark where the floor would line up. Pretty full day but tomorrow will be even fuller!!
Tuesday, Oct 15: Our long awaited front doors arrive and get installed, in time to help line up with the concrete pour in the front room. Hope to get the two large front windows installed by Wednesday!!.
Concrete pour went well, we have floors and doors!! ;-) Still two more exterior doors and 6 windows to go after the two large front windows are delivered and we haven't got those yet. Winding down with still a great amount still on our plate. Only a little over a week before we leave for Lima, on our route back to the USA.
The concrete pour, although equal in size to what was done already, seemed to go a little faster. This is probably due to it being one large room, instead of so many corners and walls to worry about.
We are glad that the floor got down today since Pastor Martin Laos, with his wife Cotty and a few others from El Shaddai church will be here tomorrow, to pursue our joint plans to plant a church here. The Mission will be the primary role of this building, but we are so excited about seeing it used for growing God's kingdom with regular weekly church and outreach services.
Wednesday, Oct 16: Most of the morning was spent with electrical work, more outlets, switches, figuring out our only '3 way' switch in the hall. Allthough the outlets we have are 'nice looking' they are rediculous to assemble and install. It can take you as much as a half hour making each one ready for install as they are way too 'modular' and less designed for large quick installs. We are rethinking using them, and perhaps exchanging the rest of what we have, rather than making a second purchase. With a total of about 30 outlets, it is just too time consuming to install these type. One more hurdle. We are also shifting now to being focused on the completion of the brick wall in the front courtyard. We will have to go buy about 500 brick, 40 bags of concrete, as well as many other miscellaneous items, so we will get the new outlets as well.
Highlight of the day was our visit from El Shaddai church. Last time they were out here was last year before we placed our first brick, and all we had was our little casita in the front of the property. Looking forward to their impression of the progress we have made with 6 productive weeks out of two different 8 week trips this year. A lot has been accomplished, hopefully when we wrap up in a week or so, out of a total of twelve working weeks of 2013.
Cesar Escate, one of two church leader, also came. Pastor is planning to commit both a married couple as well as Cesar to initiate the weekly church services at the Mission. Needless to say they were rather impressed with the difference in what they remember from last year and what we have done. Since the building is basically nearly finished for the first floor, with electrical and water soon to be on, services can definitely begin when we depart. We plan to get the one bathroom functional, as well hopefully have the building totally secured with the windows and doors, although we are running out of time on this latter item. Cesar, coincidently enough, happens to also be a rought iron specialist, and took a copy of all the measurements that we would love to get completed. He will be in touch with Lily tomorrow on a bid and he is also fully aware of the rush of the job. Would be very interesting if that can be done.
Our work crew that did the floor yesterday, other than Abel, mostly worked other jobs in the neighborhood today. There was a lot of clearing and preparation of the brick job site done today, but we didnot take out the rought iron and columns yet, since that will open up the property a bit and Abel wants to keep it secured until the brick arrives. We sprung for an ice cream treat for the six of them, four of which are in this picture. We have another major supply run to do tomorrow.
Thursday, Oct 17: We left for Maestro not long after the workers showed up and started working on the front courtyard. Job for next few days is to replace the wrought iron fence with a brick wall. This brick wall will provide more security and sound barrier, as well as a great place for putting our donor wall up. First step is to remove all the old concrete columns with a jack-hammer, and then build a footer. That will keep them busy while we run to the market for supplys and figure out how to get them to the mission with the ongoing road/sewer work going on in the village.
We bought 500 brick (ladrilla), 40 bags of cement, another two packages of electrical tubes (never seem to get enough of them), a lot of new electrical outlets, switches, and other minor screws,anchors, etc. We took back most of the other electrical outlets we bought as just being too difficult to setup, way too time consuming. Maestro is not very welcoming on returns so we were prepared for some push back. However we were buying replacements, that were easier to work with, so not a big deal. But Maestro, owned by Ace, is no Home Depot ... that's for sure!!!
We had a good reunion with our two christian delivery men, this time Jaime would be bringing us back. Roads closed on the south, then on the north, had to make our own road through on the east ... but we did it, and the brick, rebar and cement got delivered!! Probably our last delivery for this trip.
We got it all unloaded, and actually able to feed Jaime and his helper as there really are no restaurants for lunch that we know of in El Carmen. Our favorite little hamburger haunt apparently is an evening only eatery. We had plenty and it was good to spend some time with Jaime and get an update on his church down in Santiago, south of Ica. I gave him one of the 'Yo Soy Segundo' wristbands that I often witness with. He was very appreciative.
We went pretty late into the night with the footing pour, and I continued to wrack my brain on the 3 way switch in the hallway! Electrician I'm not but I'm trying. Which reminds me .. I made a real bonehead move by plugging in my water-pic 'direct' to the 220 outlet and fried it .. I usually use a converter but for some reason my mind was elsewhere ... see, no electrician here!! ;-) Another day.
Friday, Oct 18: Started the day with a new estimate on the windows and doors since our first guy (who did a nice job on the main door) has just been unreachable and time is something we simply do not have. We have someone else now going to finish the front, and will also do the rear three pieces after we are gone, taking payment through Agida, our neighbor. Oddly, our original contractor for windows and doors came by and apologized for messing up. It was largly out of his hands as he had a major traffic accident with his taxi business, not his fault but the other driver was NOT insured. He had a young female passenger that got hurt bad and his responsibility was to get her to the doctor, hospital, some tests, etc. Even though he was insured and not at fault. Hmmm, wonder if I want to own a car down here! ;-) Anyway, he is now going to do some smaller iron work jobs for us, mainly to use up the materials we bought for him. We want to get a few interior items done, and he will try to do so before we depart for the USA.
Brick work got underway this morning, although they got a late start. This brickwork will be done more methodically as it is intended NOT to be covered (as all the other 7000 bricks were that were installed last March/April). This brick will have a recessed mortar line and a very clean front, so that it can be engraved (on the inner walls) with whatever our donors want to say, a memorial, personal message, personal name, etc. We sincerely appreciate all of our donors and this is a way to leave their mark on the mission for decades to come.
The day pretty much disappeared and the brick work was still underway. Lily tried to help with a little light, but with no where to attach it, she did a statue of liberty imitation for a good while to assist the workers.
While our workers were focused on the brickwork, and Lily was away to market again, I was focused on the electrical lights and outlets. The 3-way lighting in the hallway really challenged me for a good while .. I must get a 4th color wire next time!! ;-) Anyway, one by one, each outlet and overhead light and wall switch needs individual attention. There is always a lot of concrete to knock out of the ceiling or wall electrical boxes and I have been showering in concrete dust for a few days now!! Anyway, after the wiring is pulled and you figure out the routing of the wiring (which I have no idea how an electrician could have done this without a detailed roadmap from Abel), you then need to attach the fixtures to the ceiling. I am finding that I am a bit challenged on that area mostly as I have a few 'redo's' to do!! ;-)
The brickwork continued, after cleaning the interior, making sure all the mortar was recessed just right, and the bricks were clean, they had to do the same on the exterior after they finished the interior. The interior is most important to us not only since that is what we will mostly be looking at, but also since that is where the donation engraving will be done. The exterior also needs to be nice as that is the facade of the mission, the first thing that everyone sees.
It will also be so much better when the building on the right of the property is finally removed, and a duplicate brickwall for the courtyard will be placed there, on opposite sides of the dual iron gates. Raymondo P is still living in that adobe building, and acts as a cartaker as well. Soon he will be moving on and then that will come down and the full courtyard wil be finished, as well as the one meter corridor that will run the length of the entire building on the north side. Anyway, that's at least a year off so, until then we have plenty to do with the interior, plans for the second floor, etc.
Finished the day with more to do tomorrow than I even attempted or completed today, in the electrical department. The crew will most likely pour the columns for the brick wall, adding electrical tubing for interior spotlights and (my idea) some sort of lights on the corners and each side of the gate to accent the property. The brickwall will also get a header with rebar, primarily for stabilization and safety but also to run the electrical through it. There will also be a header that goes over the gateway, and Lily is planning to get our engraver to put "Central Missionaro" on it. Not sure if we can do that until the north end of the brickwork is done, but that is the up todate plans for the front facade.
Well, Lily wanted to walk down to our orginal window/door man who is now doing a much smaller project for us on the interior. She bought an internal door lock that he needed, so we took the walk to his place to give it to him. All the way down there and he's not there but we gave it to his step-father. On the way back we saw a street vendor who was making hamburgers and 'pappa fritas' (french fries). I was hungry enough to want one and so was Lily but we had to run home to get our money and come back. When you get a hamburger with fries in Peru, you need to tell them that you DON'T want the fries in the burger cause that's where they go ... I have learned to just accept it ... makes it easier to eat anyway!! Enough for one day ... home to eat our hamburger/frita sandwichs and go to bed!
Saturday, Oct 19: Pretty full day. Abel stayed focused on the column pours to go with the brick walls; I continued to work on electrical lights; Lily did a lot of odd things as well. Nothing to really provide any photos on. We did stick to our promise to the kids in the neighborhood and had one last "Cine night". This was our fifth time, but it was far different. No more dirt floor, no more construction boards for benches, real chairs, and a real concrete floor and even the Mission had power! This time we watched "Ice Age - Continental Drift". Real floor, real chairs, new door and actual electricity in the mission - moving on up!! We did discover some problems with the electric tonight, maybe a bad connection or just some dirty power from the city, but I think I need an expert advise. Probably might be a good idea to get the whole thing grounded as well. We ran that line outside but have not yet installed the lighting rod. One more item to see if we can get done before leaving.
Sunday, Oct 20: End of week 7, and an interesting 'non work' day. We started the morning not able to take hot showers, since our heated shower head would pop the breakers on us when we used it .. we have an electric short or something to trace down apparently. So showers were courtesy of the heated water on the stove.
Off to catch a collectivo a few blocks away due to the road construction, then we piled in with three others and the driver (total of 6) in this mini form of transport for our 40 minute dusty bumpy road ride to town. We ran a few errands while in town, wanted to get a few large water containers to pair up with water4life filters, for our next few recipients of the filters we have yet given. While in town we also got our bus tickets for Lima for next Thursday late afternoon, so we have 4 more nights at the mission and a few in Lima before we fly home. We met an interesting group of old testament focused bible based christians from Lima, dressed very biblically. We had to inquire as to who they were. Lily did the talking (she speaks the local tongue) while I took a few pictures. There was one gentleman, with flowing robe and beard (who reminded us both of Moses) and he was accompanied with about 4 women in habits, but they were obviously not nuns. There tract says their group name is AEMIMPU which stands for "Associatcio'n Evange'lica de la Misio'n Israelita del Nuevo Pacto Universal". Apparently there are very Israel focused, 10 commandments focused but also new testament preaching (at least their tract is full of scriptures from both old and new testament). We exchanged tracts but would love to know more about these people, their doctrine, etc. Will study them more. Would love to ask Pastor Martin, who we will see shortly (which we forgot to do, maybe when we see him again on Wednesday next week).
Headed to El Shaddai for our final attendance at their church services on this trip. Beautiful blessed worship services with a wonderful stop for the congregation to understand actually what they were singing. Pastor pointed out II Chronicles 5:14 "So that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God." There is no greater way to hear God than via sincere worship and study of his word. Even though I don't speak the language, the service was definitely blessed this morning. There was a great guest pastor from Lima that was very animated and lively on stage, with a wonderful message as well (per the translation tidbits my spouse gave me). After which, and on benounced to Lily and I, Pastor anoited our church plant in El Carmen by calling Augusto and Cesar (who recently visited the mission this week) as operational and leader for this 'new church'. Plans are being laid rapidly for the property we have just opened for God. It was a beautiful anoiting, calling both men's wives up with them to the stage. I will have the video to add to our website this week.
During this service, and annointing, Pastor called the two of us up to the front as well, to highlight LAMA, the mission, the effort that has been put forth for the community of El Carmen, and that with all this, what we both pray for is many many saved souls.
After service, we stopped by Maestro and got some more electrical and plumbing supplies having much work to complete in those two areas before we leave Peru. We ran back and forth from Maestro to Radio Shack and back to Maestro, looking for a good electrical tester. Finally found one in Maestro. We then took our buckets and Maestro purchases to catch a collectivo back to El Carmen, trying to make it well before our scheduled 4pm church service that we were having ourselves at the mission.
Our last Sunday in El Carmen, we had our own small 'church' gathering. Our purpose was to have a small anointing of our new soon to be operational mission, to introduce it a bit to the community, to discuss and introduce the new church plant group from El Shaddai Community church in Ica, and to also talk about our community outreach with El Shaddai at the mission this coming Wednesday. We had an excellent gathering for our first meeting, of 56 people!!
We demonstrated the water filter that we have given to a few families, and made a gift of our demonstration unit at the end of the meeting to a local farming family. We did ask people to write us a short paragraph about their family if they would like to receive such a filter in the future. We may have opened another door for donation help here, but the community certainly needs it. A local family of eight, the Vizarreta's, that boils water daily for drinking, will no longer have to do that because of the filter that our mission provided at the end of the service. Thank you 'Branch church' of San Diego for your donations to make this possible. Two of the family members, the father and grandfather, were working when this picture was taken, as were two of the older kids who were at school. The family is a farming family and this water filter and bucket will go a long way to reduce heating fuel and bottled water costs, as well as giving them much more water to drink which is always healthy.
We have a big schedule ahead of us for the next 4 days. Much to do.
This is week 7 of this mission trip. Click for other weeks: