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2014 (Sept/Oct) return to mission? Final Floor

Wednesday, August 27 – After nearly running over a poor young girl with my poor visibility caused by an overburdened luggage cart at the LAX airport, we eventually got loaded with no hang-ups (we are always concerned because we maximize the luggage limits on every trip.)

We were quite blessed to partner up with “Beautiful Feet”, a wonderful ministry, that equipped us with hundreds of sandals for our giving to the people at the Mission this year.  We had at least 3 of our 4 checked bags full of them and have two others joining us with 4 more sandal loaded duffle bags in another few weeks.   We did zip right through customs though, with some minor questions after seeing our three duffle bags full of sandals about ‘is this all for personal use?”  (I was thinking of some snappy comeback about Emelda Marcos of the Phillipines and my wife having similar love of shoes, but avoided the urge.)  We told them what they were for, that we were a Peru based charity building a mission in Ica, and showed them our charity papers.  no problem, zip right through.

Monday, Sept 1 – Well, we’ve been down here quite a few nights so far.  We left last Wednesday from Los Angeles for Lima and have spent all this time in the metropolitan Lima area primarily in Miraflores.  Spending as much time down here that we do, we invested in an apartment in this part of Lima, finding a good buy but never really being apartment dwellers, this is a different thing for us.  We are furnishing the place, which is only a two bedroom, as a stop over for traveling missionaries.  We have one room able to sleep 5 right now with dual bunk beds, bottom bunk of one being a double.  We will add some sleeping capabilities to the other bedroom as well. In the meantime, we are following up on some re-plumbing that a local contractor did for us (hence the great buy) giving us two complete full baths. We are putting up light fixtures and adding some furniture.  Still have a good deal to do with it before it’s done, but that has been what we have been doing this week.  Lily’s off finalizing a tile purchase with our contractor who will install it, while I just finished working with the furniture delivery folks … You should see me communicate in sign language, I’m getting so good at it!  Time for my Pimsler training CD’s again

Had a great week, running around shopping, sight seeing, enjoying the people, the beautiful area of Miraflores, the proximity to the beach, although it is very foggy and cool this time of year and not ideal timing for beach visits. 

Tomorrow, we head south to the Mission, our bus leaving at about 10am.  We have our morning ride all set, and we are overloaded with luggage to take.  We plan to stay down there 6 days, returning the following Monday, inspecting some of the contractor work then, and greeting Scott and Matt from San Diego Branch Church who are joining us on this trip.  They get in pretty late, so we will let them sleep in and then spend one more night here with them and back to the Mission.

Tuesday, Sept 2 – Had a lot of luggage to get by cab to the bus station and it all weighed in at 86 kilos (190 pounds), with an allotment of only 20 kilos per person (less than half of what we got by air) we were more than double our weight limits.  So we had to pay an additional S/.58, about $21.   I think we will fair better when we come back next week for Scott and Matt and divide their luggage amongst the four of us on the return ride to the mission! 

Anyway, met with Nancy at the bus terminal about 4+ hours later in Ica.  Nancy runs the youth program at the Mission with her husband, Augusto.   Nancy had one of the three keys we forgot in Lima (silly us).  Lily and Nancy caught up quite a bit on happenings, plans for this weekend and next, and other current events.   When our regular driver, Lecha, arrived (and after regular Latino hugs and greetings) we drove to Maestro (Peruvian Home Depot) to buy two new locks (for the other two keys we forgot), and contacted our door welder to meet us at the mission (oh, the messes we create some times).  We said goodbye to Nancy until Saturday.  Finally arriving at the mission, we got in one of the locked rooms and found keys for both, so we will return the locks we didn’t need to replace and re-assemble the door we unwelded! 

Got caught up on recent events (neighbor demolished the rest of their house, etc.) with our resident care-taker Raymundo, and went visiting about El Carmen.  Found Maria, who regularly cooks for us while we are down here, who was working at her 97 year old mother’s house who has a gas stove.  She usually cooks over sticks burning in an open fire but her doctor told her to stop doing that.  Lucky us, she had some rice left and heated up some chicken and had dinner for us.  Must have known we were coming.    Headed back home, played with the projector to see how it would work with my new computer, and played the first DVD of the Bible series.  I’m glad I waited to buy this DVD set until later as it finally had Spanish dubbing and close captioning, both were missing when the DVD’s first were offered.  Raymundo and I enjoyed Adam and Eve through Moses & Jacob.

Wednesday, Sept 3 –   Abel, our regular contractor, showed up and we started talking about what to do on this trip. 

  We are short of funds, in that we went well in debt with the building of the 2nd floor last trip and really can’t afford yet to finish that with the needed tarajeo (concrete stucco), electrical, and plumbing.  But there is so much to do before all that is done.  We walked off the roof and discussed the parapet (low rail height brick wall) that will go all around, also the corridor on the ground level that will be an exterior walkway from the front courtyard to the back.  This should be a lot easier now that the neighbors house is demolished.   We are also thinking of making a 2nd floor walkway above this corridor (probably accessed by a spiral staircase in the front) so that one can go to the upstairs dormitories or classrooms without having to enter through the downstairs first.  This would be a major design change but of good merit.   We also discussed the enclosure of the stairs already going to the roof, the laundry room that is needed up there, the relocation of the water tanks, etc.   As usual, there is never enough funds or money to do what is needed to be done.  

Not knowing what we will do in total, as Lily has some drafting work to do for the roof discussions, we are certain on the corridor.  So, today we got started with demolition work on the old temporary wall we put up 2 years ago.  Two guys need about 3 days to have it all demolished, we need to run to Maestro and get a brick/cement/rebar order delivered, and Abel will be able to start on the actual wall building work next week or even Saturday.  With a sledgehammer, shovel and wheelbarrow, these two hard workers put in a good hard days work with much done in a matter of 4 hours, worn out but ready to return tomorrow.

hursday, Sept 4 – primarily demolition all day.  Large effort removing the temporary brick wall we put up in a rush in 2012 when we acquired the expansion to the property.   It was needed then, but we did not put it on the property line intentionally with an attempt to work with our neighbor providing access.  That apparently was never appreciated or needed, so now we are demolishing and building a permanent wall a half meter to the north of this old wall.  It’s foundation will become the floor of our cooridor that will be a passage from the front of the property to the back without having to come inside.  

Friday, Sept 5 – was an off day for both the wall demolition, as well as main contracting since he won’t start until Saturday.    

Saturday, Sept 6 – Much work was spent finalizing the removal of the wall, clearing debris where the wall stood, as well as all the debris that was taken out to the street for removal pickup.   Abel, our contractor showed up in afternoon to start the crew on assembling columns for new wall construction.   While this was going on, since this is ‘political season’ down here with elections next month, we constantly have cars with loud speakers going up and down the street stressing why their candidate and party is the best one to vote for.  With all the noise, we also had the children coming today for their weekly meeting.  It was so good to get reunited with them.  Some changes, some new ones, all great.   This is what is all about.   

We had a great session with the children.  Many were new, some are missing, basic headcount about the same.  Much discussion with Augusto and Nancy about next week, and the weeks to come.  With Scott and Matt joining us in a missionary capacity next week plans are to do some door to door recruiting on Friday before our Saturday gathering, with the incentive of getting some moms to attend as we equip them with new sandals!!   The following week, Augusto and Nancy are planning a Zoo trip, and a BBQ/movie at the mission the week after.   Also some mention of a music weekend which ties into Augusto’s work background, and I am excited to see what that will turn into.   Plans are forming … great!!

After all this, we had lunch and prepared to go to Maestro for another material purchase of brick, concrete and rebar.  But, looks like we will hold that until after we go to Lima to fetch Scott and Matt.   Tomorrow we go to town for our own church fellowship at El Shaddai.  Afterwhich we will return in the evening for church services at the mission.  We will need to be packed that night for a very early bus departure Monday morning to Lima .

Sunday, Sept 7 – Went to Ica and enjoyed church services at El Shaddai, our partner church.  Did some grocery shopping, and prepared for our trip to Lima tomorrow in preparation to meet Scott and Matt late Tuesday night.

Monday, Sept 8 & 9 – Headed to Lima to meet with Scott and Matt and get some more items done with the construction up there as well in Miraflores.  

Weds, Sept 10 –  The guys came in close to 2am, and they were beat.  Had a rough time with customs who were not buying the truth about the 4 suitcases of sandals being for the mission, even with all the missionary paperwork we have.  Guess the difference is that when Lily and I did it, Lily’s spanish made the difference.  So they lost an hour with customs and to fork over $68 in tarriffs or fees.  Next time, I guess we are told that we need to clearly declair it on the form. time, I guess we are told that we need to clearly declair it on the form.  Guess it looked like they were ‘smuggling zappatos’! No loss really, considering they were bringing in about 100 pair.

Just sorry for the hassle factor and getting to bed so late, and the wait time for Clemente our driver.Oh well, today’s a day of leisure for the four of us, not leaving for the Mission until tomorrow.  So after the guys got enough beauty rest, we took them to Larcomar in Miraflores and then we did a bus to downtown Lima, some photos at the Presidental palace, some sovenier shopping, etc.  No bus home as Matt and I didn’t want to stand, we got a taxi.  Fun day.

Thurs, Sept 11 – Off to the bus in the afternoon.  4.5 hour bus ride south to Ica.   Then met by Leche, our local driver, who carted us all out to the Mission, another 30 minute drive.  While getting settled in, and in conversation with Abel, our contractor, it was apparent that they needed supplies and now was a good time so Lily and Scott went in to town to make a buy.

While Scott and Lily were in town, and in anticipation of their return, Matt and I did a little tour of El Carmen (after a little soccer practice with the contractor crew and a few local kids).  I showed Matt the old church (built in 1790 and destroyed in 2007), as well as other homes, streets, cemetery, and more.  We had left Abel at the house charging his cell phone, along with Raymundo our caretaker.  We did run into Abel’s crew who were working a smaller other job while waiting for more material from Lily’s trip.  By the time Matt and I got back to the Mission, Lily was there with the truck wondering where we were.   She needed help to do the unloading so Matt and I went back and got Abel’s crew, and helped them hussle back to the mission.  We spent most of the rest of the sunlight hours unloading 1500 bricks and 40 bags of concrete.  Matt pitched in and got a good workout with the unloading.  We put about 650 bricks up on the 3rd floor and that took some interesting handoffs on shaky scaffolding, then the rest of the bricks and all the concrete we offloaded to the first floor.   We went to bed early. 

Fri, Sept 12 – Did a lot of setup this day, in preparation for the major outreach we were going to have tomorrow.  Hanging a lot of balloons, putting shoes and clothing packs together, working with Augusto and Nancy, as well as Scott and Matt.   Later that evening Scott and Matt were able to assist with Jose putting some left over concrete from the Mission crew to use at his front walk.  Jose is a regular Christian who attends at the Mission that we have brough a new bible for earlier on this trip and he is very supportive of what we are doing at the Mission.  Scott and Matt

Sat, Sept 13 –  We had a really busy morning, last minute setup chores, running around with a clown in my first Peru driving experience using a megaphone to round up the kids for our outreach at the mission.  Great time had by all.  Here’s a video of the “road trip” as well as the actual “outreach“.  Excellent experience and definitely shows how quick we can gather these kids for an activity.  Fun time, and a great biblical message was heard, even though it was from a clown!   Augusto and Nancy, who are our youth coordinators, had put a lot into this and got a lot of participation from El Shaddai church.  We had a lot of give aways for the family in the capacity of shoes, clothing, and love.   What a fantastic event. 

Sunday, Sept 14 –  We went to Ica on this day, attending church services at El Shaddai.  Seeing some of our regular contacts again.  Had an opportunity to introduce Scott and Matt to Pastor Martin and his wife Coddy.  We spent some time after services discussing the plans for improving work in El Carmen, between the Mission and El Shaddai church.   Pastor was most agreeable with all that we discussed as far as plans and strategies, and also we extended an invitation to come to San Diego to meet our senior staff at the Branch Church.  

We took time out to go shopping for a refrigerator which Scott and Matt wanted to provide the Mission as a gift from the Branch church.  What a fantastic gift.  We picked one out and it will get delivered on Thursday.  Thank you Branch church!!!   One more stop before heading home for a last night at the Mission, we took Matt and Scott to check out Huacachina, a popular tourist stop while in Ica.  

Monday, Sept 15, – Took a very early bus (6am) from Ica, to Lima with Scott & Matt.  We had a short taxi ride to Mirafloris, and lunch across from the apartment at Vivanda.   The apartment is located close to plenty of places to eat, shop, buy groceries.  Hopefully it will be helpful for visiting missionaries.    I also did some video edits, uploads, some blogging while Scott prepped for an internet class.  Plans are to go out for a late dinner afterwards.   What’s really bad is that I left my video camera on the bus.  This has really been the only downer on this trip so far.  I am so mad at myself (needless to say, my dear wife is too.)  

Speaking of wrong turns, So much for plans.  We just realized that Scott and Matt’s  flight was at 1:30 am, not pm the next day.  Pays to make a closer look at your tickets.  LAN airlines uses 24 hour miltary time on their tickets and if you are not used to it, you don’t catch it till almost too late.  Anyway, we called Clemente and had just a few hours before they had to run to the airport.     We did some more time together, made sure that Clemente was here on time and they got to the airport in plenty of time.  We will miss them both.

Tuesday, Sept 16 – Poor Matt and Scott where supposed to be gone by now are still sitting in the airport area.  Apparently they got out about 3am, already 90 minutes delayed, and in about an hour of their flight some passenger took ill and they had to return.  They are back in Lima, the airline putting them up at the Sheraton until they can get them out.   Will stay tuned with them, desperately wanting them to get home safe obviously.

While our last day in Lima for a bit, we met again with our local contractor about the work so far (nice reworked bathroom) and what we need him to do next.  We then got a good nights sleep in preparation for a mornng bus ride (10am) south to the Mission.  

Wednesday, Sept 17 – Caught our bus, headed south to Ica again.  Heard again from Scott and Matt near the end of the day and they apparently got out to the airport for a 3am flight, but after a long nap on the plane they woke up at 8am and they were still waiting to depart!!!   They landed about 3pm PST.  Wow … Now they have a ride to get to San Diego yet.  I think we will be back at the Mission before they hit San Diego, poor guys .. 31+ hours in transit.

Leche picked us up, quick stop at a glass store, and headed to the Mission. Light afternoon.  Saw the column work, and other construction that was done in our absense.

Thursday, Sept 18 – Light day, had lunch at Maria’s mothers house where there was a birthday party for her.  She’s 97 years old!!  Lots of family members.   Touched base with our contractor about next steps, material needs, etc.  Also, received the Refrigerator that the Branch Church of San Diego purchased for the Mission.  What a fantastic gift that we will put to immediate use.  It is our first major addition to our yet to be built church.  Looking forward to when we will have counters and more.  Thank you so much to The Branch!!   This will be put to use daily!!

Friday, Sept 19 –  Went back to Ica to get some glass recut, looked for a printer to do templates for our donation wall work but found out we will have to do that in Lima as there is nothing like that in Ica.   We went to Maestro to get another 1000 brick, more rebar, 40 bags of concrete and assorted other supplies (electrical boxes, tubing, styrofoam, etc.).  Got some popcorn and groceries at Plaza Vea and then road back to the Mission in the truck arriving about 4pm.  We were pushing it close as the kids were supposed to arrive at 5pm. 

Kids were showing up the same time we were unloading the truck.   Children’s ministry was adjusted to start at 6 pm and we had a movie (RIO 2) at 7pm.   We had a lot of popcorn made, and cheecha for drinking, so we built in a few intermissions.  We had 49 people present, about 10 of them being adults (including us)!  Big crowd.  With our new computer, I am having sound problems also probably due to the crowd and the amount of kids that were making a lot of noises.    We need to invest in a speaker system before our next movie!!   And definitely more chairs as every available chair, and stool in the mission was taken with some folks standing.  Need another 20 chairs, next trip to the market.Oh, the life of a growing mission! But overall a good night …. We could NOT finish the movie though since we started so late and there were a few really small kids who couldn’t stay for the whole thing so we saved half of it for next weekend.

Saturday,  Sept 20 –  Had some more dialogue as well with the contractor who will be continueing the work on Monday while we head back up to Lima for 4 days.  Our contractor loaned me his compressor so I could start on the sandblasting touchup on the donation wall. It is a small compressor and not the easiest to work with for sandblasting since the small tank has it stopping to recompress a lot.I can experiment with it, and perhaps get some work done but I think I may need to borrow or buy a bigger one before this is done.   Got a couple of the done brick re-touched up and painted them before the day was done.  I brought down some expensive sand for this sandblast work, intending on catching as much of it I can with a plastic drop cloth, but our contractor suggested I try the Terajeo sand as it is a lot cheaper per pound.  It works well, for cleaning, and some light blasting .. might have to change to my sand later.We had our adult church service later at 6pm, actually not starting until 6:25 when the leader arrived.  There were only 5 of us, as this has been a struggle with time slots, leadership, local desires, etc.This may need a restart.

We are strongly thinking that the best way to the adults is through the children and we may just go that way more aggressively in the future.  Anyway, it was good to have our first adult service on this trip.  Tomorrow we head to Ica for our own church attendance at El Shaddai and some more errands. 

Sunday, Sept 21 – first time I can recall since coming here that we did not go into town for church services on Sunday.  We just had services yesterday here at the mission and decided to have a lazy day in preparation of going to Lima tomorrow morning early.  

Mon-Wed, Sept 22-24 – Off to Ica for a bus to Lima on Monday.  We have to continue the progress up there with the apartment that will be used for arriving missionaries hopefully.  While away we have the contractors here planning to complete the exterior corridor with the supplies we purchased.  Further discussions will be had when we return on the next projects, most likely some work on the third floor as well as building a cisterna, an underground holding tank for water built of concrete and rebar.   We will return Thursday. 

Thurs – Sept 25 – Returned to Ica, came immediately back to the Mission.  Met with Abel, assessed work done so far and what is needed to complete.  Lily was a bit upset at the amount of dust/sand that had accumulated in the Mission, and felt that the construction crew was taking advantage of our being gone and using the Mission too much as a passthrough to the construction areas.  It appears however, per Abel our contractor, that there was a sandstorm that made it pretty dark one day in El Carmen.  We had someone send us a picture of when this happened one other time since we were last here, but never encountered it ourselves.  Anyway, the construction crew helped Lily and I with the cleaning so that’s the story we’re sticking to! 

Friday, Sept 26 – Detailed planning discussionsn with contractor on third floor, and cisterna, and materials needed for construction. 

 Bids finalized on labor.  The cisterna is a rather large water holding area that will be in place underground in the back yard of the Mission.  It will hold approximately 10.5 meters.  At present we have been operating with a 1.1 meter water tank, with a second tank purchased but not yet hooked up.   Before we can move the current water tank from the 2nd floor up ‘above’ the 3rd floor where it will be permanently installed, a cisterna is needed that can pump the water to that height.  We will need to buy a lot of concrete and rebar (and eventually a pump as well).    This is a major job that will excavate about a truckload of dirt to be built.  But when it is done, we will not have the occasional water outages that we currently encounter with construction, watering the trees and plants, our own use and visitors, all off of a single tank.  

Friday evening we had a great session with the children.  It was admittedly a much smaller group as many of the kids were pulled away by their parents in support of the candidate of preference running for mayor of San Juan Bautista.  Lots of noise, horns, parades, banners, balloons, etc going on in this little village as well as the rest of Peru.  This will end after the October 5th elections, hopefully.Well, have to play catch up now, as it’s now October 6 and I have fallen behind on the blog …

Saturday, Sept 27 – We did get our last load of building materials from Maestro today, getting the crew to unload it to the third floor.  We spent a lot of time moving the load before out of the way before being able to put the 1000 bricks and 400 ceiling blocks up there.  The concrete was left on the ground level.  Later that evening we had church services at the mission.

Sunday, Sept 28 – Quiet day at the Mission, we did not go anywhere, since we already had church services yesterday.  Did some catching up on other chores.  

Mon-Thurs, Sept 29-Oct 2 – Off to Lima early in the morning, returning early Thursday afternoon.  Looking forward to seeing a newly painted apartment.  Will meet with the contractor up there for next step items.  We did find a printer downtown who does templates!!  Hallelueh.  We had him do a few samples, different thicknesses, and are bringing them back to Ica to try out.  

Thurs, Oct 2 – Back to Ica, and out to the Mission to see what progress.  Looks great.  They completed the 2nd floor exterior walkway, knocked out a 2nd floor door to it, did a good amount of brick work and columns. Continued work today through Sat Oct 4. 

Fri, Oct 3 – More construction work on the framing, columns, extended 3rd floor.   Youth group meets. 

Sat, Oct 4 –  Saturday had a good amount of construction work going on with the third floor extension.  Ran out of block.  Will have to use the ‘reserve’ block that are currently holding our water tank up on the 2nd floor.  Will also need to make a first of the week materials trip for more block, brick and cement.   We also had our church services in the evening.  

Sun, Oct 5 – Again, since we had church here at the mission yesterday, we stayed at the Mission, finishing up a chore here or there, but with no construction.  We did finalize the attachment of the wall panels in the first floor meeting room.   This was election day as well, and Lily and Raymundo went to San Juan Bautista to vote.  Late in the evening, we had a lot of commotion on the street and apparently the party won that our neighbor is part of.  Same party that I spent a good amount of time talking with the Mayoral candidate on.  Hopefully now, they will get around to actually having some sort of sewer plant built at the end of all the sewer pipes instead of what I am told is just a big cesspool.  Progress through the democratic elections … 

Monday, Oct 6 – Construction resumed, with hopefully a pour of the floor on the 3rd floor extension today.  Time will tell.  We needed to move the water tank off a lot of block we needed, so we did get a water tank up to the roof for eventual final hookup in it’s final destination, but we continue to use the originall tank location on the 2nd floor in the interim.  We did a tank swap only so we could free up the needed block.  Lily headed to Maestro for the supply order while I stayed and helped out.  I also need to finalize some brick template designs and email them off for our new template maker in Lima.  Also got a new door for the kitchen installed today. 

Tues, Oct 7 – Left early in morning for Ica to catch a bus to Lima with Raymundo.  Need to meet with Raymundo’s lawyer who is finalizing the ‘declaration of heirs’ on the land transfer from Raymundo and 3 of his siblings to the Mission.  There will be some powers of attorney created.  We also need to keep the work going forward on the apartment and will meet with our contractor in Lima to see how that is all progressing.    Good day in Miraflores, short time with our contractor as he was there and finalizing some painting but wanted to give us space.  He came back later in afternoon.  

Lily and Raymundo met with attorney after lunch, taking the bus to downtown area, while took a long walk back to the apartment doing some mindless tourist shopping on the way.   Bought a cheap clock with a map of Peru on it and 3 boxes of Coco-tea to take back to the USA.  Avoided all the other trinkets for sale, as I found them a bit pricier in Miraflores area compared to downtown Lima.  Anyway, got back to the apartment and had some quiet time on the internet and with a book.   Lily and Raymundo came back and apparently Lily also had a dental appointment that she was 90 minutes late for but did get both items done.  Hope to meet with our printer contact who is doing templates for our donation wall on Thursday, since tomorrow is a holiday and no one is open. 

Wed, Oct 8 –  A holiday today, although some places are open.  That Peru clock turned out to keep lousy time so Lily and walked back to the tourist shops (of course they were open) and haggled with the guy who wanted to do an exchange instead of a refund … but he had nothing else we wanted, and I really didn’t want to get THAT clock again having lost all confidence in its mechanisms.  So Lily held strong as they had some heated spanish discussions … we left refund in hand.  We did get to Maestro for a few items that were needed for the apartment, and also went to look at more beds trying to match the bunk beds we already purchased.  Problem is she bought them on her last trip in Callao, near the airport, as she was not staying here at the apartment having just purchased it then.  We could not match the same beds but we did buy a nice Peruvian village painting for the wall in the apartment.  The walls were all freshly painted and needing something on them.   Getting this painting in a frame that we liked turned out to be a long ordeal.  I wanted to let it go, but Lily felt sorry for all the work that the store owner put into the process so we did buy it … it looks good.

Thurs, Oct 9 – Long day in Lima, Lily had a 2nd visit set with an attorney, with Raymundo.  After which she tried to meet with the template printer downtown Lima, but he never showed up.  Guess we won’t have templates to finish the brick wall on this trip .. frustrating. 

Got hold of him by phone and he had an emergency and will try to meet us with templates at the bus terminal.  Never showed at the bus terminal, caught in traffic, said he will put it on a bus for our Returned to Ica late in the day

Fri, Oct 10 – Another day of brick construction on the third floor … I am struggling with a borrowed underpowered compressor trying to do some sandblasting engraving on our donation wall.  Too many problems with compressor, wet sand, dried out templates that we wrongfully let bake in the sun for six months, and more.  Have to turn this around.  Going to put some plastic out and capture the special sand I brought with me from California, as I have been waiting on doing that, but also need to fix the compressor problem.  Will see if we have the budget.

Sat, Oct 11 –  Had a half day of brick work upstairs, and then evening church services.  One of our attendees. Maribel, is in her third trimester of pregnancy so we had a little ‘shower’ at the end, with some gift giving, a pineapple upside down cake and some tea.  Good fellowship, good worship, scripture study and church, followed by letting a sister in the Lord know she is loved.  THe next week we found out she delivered, but as usual when expecting one gender you get another .. she thought it was going to be a boy and it was a healthy girl.  Hallelueh for a healthy baby.

Sun, Oct 12 – Wanted to get to Santiago today which is about 30 minutes south of Ica, and since we are 30 minutes north of Ica, we need to take two different collectivo’s to get there.  While in Ica, I finally got my locks clipped and Lily decided to do likewise!  We were both starting to look a bit ragged, me especially!   We also need to stop at Maestro for a few minor items and I want to buy a compressor to get this donation wall done once and for all.  We had a great visit in Santigo with Jaime and the church pastor.  We had a fabulous lunch and then a very spirited church service. 

 They are a pentacostal church, formerly affiliated with the Assembly of God which is now it’s own denomination (IEPP) in Latin America. IEPP stands for Iglesia Evangelica Pentacostal de Peru.  A very charismatic group that we were first in touch with last year.  They are a church in need of a building, and now have some very extensive plans (no funding yet) for a four story building where they currently worship .. so having the flock, the pastor, and the land, they are on the right path.   Anyway, we had a great visit and then headed to Ica for our Maestro visit.  After reviewing the prices for buying our own compressor (a few hundred dollars at least) we thought we would go back and borrow a bigger one from our welder contact who has one.   If that doesn’t work (as I hate borrowing tools) we will then buy one.

Mon, Oct 13 – Did a great deal on the donation wall, still struggling with the little compressor that I am using .. have to stop too often.  Hope to borrow a bigger one tomorrow.  Our welder came over and put new glass in our new kitchen door.  (He said we could use his compressor, Halleleuha!!)   So, now our kitchen is starting to take on a little security, since we have a new refrigerator in it, and as we plan to equip it further, we will not want it accessable for just any event that may be going on in the main hall.

Tues, Oct 14 – Got to use a larger borrowed compressor today to do more new donation bricks for the wall.  What a difference.  Now to time my work when the sun is not too high in the sky and when it’s not too early in the morning when it’s still a bit chilly … weather in Ica, always fun.   Did get 5 of them done though today.  More tomorrow.  Winding down upstairs on the brick work as we have decided to just use up all the supplies we have, since we are just out of funds again.  So doesn’t look like we will get a roof on the third floor work, but should get quite a bit of brick done (not all) and a good number of columns poured.  Cement is the one thing that doesn’t last until our next trip, but extra ceiling block or brick can.  Should get some columns poured tomorrow.

Wed, Oct 15 – Our last delivery from Maestro (really this time) of 1,000 brick, 42 bags of concrete, and 180 sticks of rebar.  We held off doing it as we were a bit unhappy with the labor quote for this but we need to maximize our time down here and get what we can done.  So, final week push to complete the brickwork and the roof of the 3rd floor rooms.  

 Took a bit of time to get all of this brick and rebar up to the 3rd floor but that was accomplished and column pours and brickwork moved to bet finalized. Got an interesting visit from a lady named Berta, who came to the Mission in the evening.  She was very bruised on her entire left side from falling off a burro and was seeking prayer.  She had this fall a week earlier and was black and blue and swollen on her arm and leg and having trouble moving her arm.  She had gone to the clinic and they said nothing was broken, and after giving her a cast to immobalize her arm, she had it removed because it conflicted with the swelling.  She was greatly troubled but apparently she had done all that she could do medically with the local clinic.  We were thinking that perhaps we should taxi her into Ica for the major hospital but she insisted that all she needed was prayer.  

So Lily got me out of the office and translated all of this for me as they were talking for a great while in spanish.  We both prayed with her for awhile seeking God’s healing grace and a miracle with her.  She was very appreciative at the end and then looked at me and asked if I remembered her!  She said (and Lily translated) that we had met earlier on this trip when I came to her house looking for the construciton crew.  I recalled doing so, when Matt was here.   She said that she knewthen that I was Christian because of the Spirit she sensed in that short meeting.  She blessed me with that short recollection and it reminded me of how much more blessings we can do here if we would stay, and not have to continue to return to the US.  This town is in need of permanent Christian presense.   Anyway, it was getting late but Berta was going to come back tomorrow so we can give her a pair of sandals.  

Thurs, Oct 16 – Construction crew arrives about 8 am and gets back to work upstairs, using  all the brick we bought and pressing toward our final week down here to get as much done as possible.  Berta returns about 10:30 and we equip her with sandals, and she is elated over how much better she feels but wants more prayer … that we can always do.  She had leaves all over her swollen arm, at first from afar I thought she had a lot of tatoos!   Apparently these leaves, whatever they are, do a good deal to lower the swelling.  We had a good discussion with her, and sent her home with a few pieces of clothing as well as the sandals.  She did leave some leaves behind!!  Very sweet lady. Hallelueh, the Donation Wall in the front courtyard is completed!  Well, as much as I can do on this trip.  I still want to continue to do some touch up on the original bricks, and have re-ordered some templates to use but I won’t get them in time to use till next tirp.  But overall, the wall looks pretty good.  We got a Peru source for our templates now (no more working with an unreliable San Diego guy who thinks our order is too small), the borrowed larger capacity compressor actually did the job.  If I was to buy one in the future, I would still want a little bigger still if possible.   The sand we brought down with us from the US, although a little expensive compared to just ‘sand’ actually worked quite well.  As long as we had the plastic down to ‘recycle’ it, the expense was not really an issue.  OK, I am now a professional sandblaster! Anyway, hope to add many more engravings in the future, to help offset all the debt we are accumulating on this project.  Now if we could just sell 400+ brick we might break even!!    Anyway, I created a separate album for the Donation wall that you can peruse by clicking on the photo on the right.

Fri, Oct 17 – Lily has me install a long curtain rod for the kitchen with the intent of a little privacy from the major meeting room.  Column framing goes up, on those 7 columns that have all of their brick done.   Youth group meets in evening.  Finished up watching Narnia, again, after the youth meeting.  

Sat, Oct 18 – Final column work completed.   Finished up the brick and noted we needed 180 more brick to actually complete.  Church services in evening. 

Sun, Oct 19 – Day of Rest.

Mon, Oct 20 – We were short on the last order we got by about 180 brick, so Abel got Lache to bring it in the back of his taxi with the crew this morning.   Too small of a load for a regular truck, so bricks by taxi!  So the final brick gets installed today,  Framing is taken off of completed columns, and the last 3 columns are framed and poured.

Tues, Oct 21 – Last 3 columns get their wood forms removed and work starts on framing for the roof pour.  Lots of lumber and nails go into this.  Construction crew arrived about 9am (little late) and apparently their regular lunch chef (a few doors down) they forgot to put their advanced order in, so she didn’t have food for them.  So they finished early at 3pm a bit hungry.

Wed, Oct 22 –  Workers arrived … more ceiling framing.  By the afternoon, the bulk of the ceiling block was laid in place.  The construction team gets additional help when these sorts of big jobs need it, running block and concrete for pouring floors and ceilings.   Now a lot of rebar work is needed, manufacturing and placing iron beams horizontal to the columns, and attached to the existing column rebars.  This is a long process of cutting, bending, shaping, assembling, wiring, etc.  That will most likely take all of tomorrow, putting off the actual concrete poor (another expanded team) till Friday.

Thurs, Oct 23 – Today was pretty much all ‘beam assembly’ day with the construction team.   A lot of meticulous work.  after which, the electrical conduit and fixture boxes will be put in place, and then the concrete pour which will assuredly be not until tomorrow.  Hard working crew.   

 A lot of cleaning up of the 2nd floor work area, the 2nd floor balcony and the 1st floor corridor was accomplished.  A lot of former concrete bags are now filled with debris that will have to be towed away eventually.

In the morning, we had a visitor of a friend of Lily’s family, Adel, who lives in the village to the north, Los Olivos.  A lot of reminesing and getting updated on each others family.  Adel is 81 years young and still works every day.

In the afternoon, we had a visit from a young mother, Mercedes, who is the daughter of Jose, nearby Christian friend.  She brought her own daughter, Angela, and was seeking prayer.  Her mother asked us to pray for her and her parenting, and she was very receptive.  We gave Angela something to color while Lily and Merceded talked, and then we found her a stuffed animal.  Enjoyed a little cake and tea, finally we had a good prayer session with the two of them.

Lily said she got the estimate for the spiral staircase that will be manufactured and installed in the rear (on another trip).  We need to first finalize the water holding tank underground (cisterna) and then the stairway would sit on top of it.  She and I did a little walking outback with a flashlight to inspect where it would go and my desire that the top of the stairs also provide some sort of ladder access to the roof for utilities.  

During this ‘walk about’, as well as inspecting the work done on the roof, Lily just realized that today was Thursday and we basically have only a few days of worker time left before we depart for Lima early next week.  It’s wind down time!  

Fri, Oct 24 – Construction finali.   Youth group has final meeting while we are there.  Helped Nancy and Augusto resolve their transportation expense issues for continuing to run weekly youth gathering.   Just to look back on our construction accomplishments this trip:  

  • Completion of ‘party wall’ on property line, dividing Mission property from neighbor and claiming corridor space, 1 meter wide. 
  • 2nd floor exterior corridor – While building and completing party wall, it was thought it would be a good idea to have a 2nd entrance to the 2nd floor as well, from an exterior stairway (yet to be built).  Although this corridor is half the length of the 1st floor, it also gives a nice addition of a balcony to the 2nd floor that wasn’t there before.  
  • Widening of 3rd floor – With utilization of the now completed party wall on the first floor, one meter north of the actual mission, and the adding of a 2nd floor corridor on top of half of that party wall, it was also deemed a very practical idea to take in the extra meter ‘airspace’ for the 3rd floor, preserving that much space for a large ‘event room’ area.  
  • Completing the 3rd floor ‘brick shell’ that encloses the stairway, as well as a hallway (over the corridor) going back to a small kitchen/bathroom for use for events on this floor.  Also, the addition of a laundry room, private bathroom and bedroom apartment for either a caretaker, classroom, or dormitory suite.  
  • Finalization of donation wall.  Having learned the craft of sandblast engraving since the last trip and bringing some tools with us, we also found a Peru based template maker in Lima.  We were able to cleanup the existing brick engravings that we placed last trip (and mistakedly left the templates on them, allowing them to curl in the sun .. bad idea).  We added a good number of additional donation brick engravings.  We ordered some replacement templates to re-touchup some of the originals on our next trip.  
  • Many minor items of importance: acquisation of refrigerator (thank you San Diego Branch Church!); installation/purchase of kitchen door; creation of sound deadening/bulletin board wall hangs (4×8) for main room; hanging of curtain and rod to separate kitchen from main room; etc. 

 Sat, Oct 25 – Saturday adult bible study/church group has it’s one year anniversary gathering with a great meal and fellowship.  We pray that this group will continue to grow weekly.  Sun, Oct 26 – We stayed at the Mission and had a light day, knowing it would be our last full day at the mission before returning to Lima tomorrow.  

Mon, Oct 27 –  Final day of running around the Mission making sure we don’t forget anything.  Had the crew come by for some minor cleanup items, and they sqeezed in one more card game! Had a great send off picture of so many of our Mission friends.   Left for Lima in the evening. 

Tues, Oct 28 –  First full day in Miraflores, did a bit of shopping, running downtown to pick up templates for our next trip to touch up the donation wall on the bricks we installed last March.  Couple of other stops, then some touch up of items in the Apartment.  

Wed, Oct 29 –  Last full day in Peru.  Had a great meeting to go forward on kitchen cabinets and counters, which should be installed before end of November.  Bought a small table for kitchen nook, and a TV.  Our contractor came by for some final instructions late in the afternoon.

Thurs, Oct 30 – Left early in morning for airport.  Had a noon flight back the USA.  Another great productive trip, primarily construction but also a great outreach, engagement of our San Diego church, many youth and adult mission meetings, initiation of our Lima location, some problems resolutions and looking forward to returning early next year. 

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