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2016 (Aug-Oct) 2nd Mission Trip (5 of 7) – Sanchez Family Returns!

16 September, Friday – Just waking up in Miraflores (suburb of Lima Peru) the Sanchez’s have yet to depart for the bus terminal. Hopefully we will have a nice breakfast first, before seeing them off, but good news is we will follow them in two days. We have a couple of things to do up here before doing so.

We prepared this property primarily as an arrival and departure location for missionaries and visitors headed down to the mission. Usually, like the Sanchez’s, people arriving in Peru have had a long journey and need a rest (at least for one night) before continuing by bus for 4 hours to Ica and then a 30 minute taxi ride. Also, more often than not, people arrive in afternoon so if they wanted to continue, they would get to Ica very late and since taxis’ out the mission are harder to come by than in the daylight, this is one more reason.
Anyway, this facility offers sleeping up to 10 people and it give the travels many options to also launch side-trips adding a little tourism on their mission trip. We continue to work to make peoples travels to the Mission as comfortable and economical as possible. Please check out our discussion on this in greater detail on our website <link>.

I’ve been having a sore throught and a cough for a few weeks now. Boy, would I like to get rid of this. Hopefully soon. Lily’s been giving me some honey and lemon mix, sort of a homemade cough syrup concoction.

The Sanchez’s are almost in Ica, last texted in in the Pisco area. We had Leche lined up to meet them about 4:30pm. Had a great lun

ch in a small cafe that Lily apparently took the Hearts & Hands ladies when they were here. Had a liver & onions dish and boy was it cooked well .. very tasty indeed.

Had a meeting today with a photographer, Marco Simola, to take pictures of apartment. Lily made a purchase for bed covers, and then we had a visit from a solar energy guy, Heinrich Berg (CEO of DeltaVolt) who was quite knowledgeable and has done a lot with energy systems all over the planet (Solvenia, Camaroon, Chile, USA, Europe, etc).

Fascinating German fellow who is married to a Peruvian woman (I can relate) and is based down here. We had a great conversation over coffee mainly about solar systems, but the guy is also a medical doctor .. what a diverse background. We wanted to explore solar and I started a dialogue with this fellow by email prior to our coming down here, primarily in that our pastor in Ica has a terrible energy bill with his tin roof but large church with a dozen air conditioners and flakey and expensive and unreliable Peru electricity. We would secondarily like to think of our own mission for a future system, but our energy footprint is nothing compared to our pastor. This guy has a resume that is absolutely amazing, to the point where I asked him if the new Peruvian president (who is very pro fixing a lot of the failed systems in Peru) has him on his staff yet and if not he should!! Fascinating webpage (link) he had on solar systems. A lot of experience putting in universities, large business’s, stand alone off the grid systems for agriculture, etc.

17 September, Saturday – Not so busy of a day for me, but Lily was running around making some store visits while I continue to nurse killing my cough that won’t go away. We had our handyman come by for some discussion and a look-see of a small water leak in need of attention. He will be doing that tomorrow after we depart. Lily then left me for some meeting with her girl friends and I continued to lounge!Lily also had to pick up some templates we got ‘printed’ for the donation wall at the mission. We will be adding four more bricks to acknowledge some kind donations, two from our crochet and knitting ladies who were here last month. Thank you all so much.

One thing I had come up here for was to install a new lock we brought down from USA but turns out it won’t fit as currently configured. We will ask our handyman if he can reconfigure the door at all and if possible will try again on another trip. Otherwise, i will have to simply use it elsewhere and buy something smaller in the USA.I did ask the Sanchez’s to take some pictures of the OANSA gathering as well a the current construction. When I get them, I will post here.

Lily came back around 6 pm, we had a great meal, I enjoyed the internet with a few episodes of Agent Carter (cinephile that I am) and we went to bed early since we had an early bus.

18 September, Sunday – Got out about 8am to catch a 9am bus, and a 4 hour bus ride. Lecha picked us up in Ica. We did bring down one more duffle bag that was left in Miraflores by our son-in-law who never made it all the way to the mission, but was able to bring us a bag.Was surprised to see that the construction crew was working on Sunday.

When we got to the mission, sometime around 1pm or so, the Sanchez’s were there. They did not go to church this morning in Ica, since Julio is still recovering a bit from some operation he had in Mexico, so taking the schedule light at first.

We did have a great evening service though, that he and Yareni orchestrated. So good to see a good showing at the Mission and a warm welcome to the Sanchez family from their 6 weeks in Mexico.

19 September, Monday – Today was pretty much a construction day. Although we did squeeze in an internal meeting and a movie later in evening. As of yesterday the construction crew had completed framing and pouring 6 of the 16 columns in the new structure and wall. Today, they completed one more brick wall and 3 more columns, also pouring a new footer for the bathroom/kitchen counter area as well.As usual, they were pouring concrete well past dusk. Had a crew of four today and hard they did work.

We had some discussion today on sourcing water for the 2nd floor. It didn’t make sense to me that we invested in a water system to get water to the top of the front building to bring it to the first floor to then run it back up to the second floor of the new building. Seemed like we would loose the pressure we built the system over.

So it was agreed that we would build some sort of trough (aluminum?) to source water from the 3rd floor of the primary building. I chimed in that would be a good source for low voltage wiring as well (internet, television cable). Now, to envision where that trough would be.Had a meeting of the minds with the Sanchez’s to get update from them on families, personalities, village topics as well as events from our perspective, recent visit, planned visits and more.

Lily ended up taking Luciana and Kelly into town for their ortho-donics visit. When they came back the internet was down, as it has been most of the day.

Somehow still later, when the contractors finished (which was after dark) we ended up making a ‘late night buy’ in San Pedro of some straw bundles, that Palily needed for fencing in the creek garden that he is building us.

It was an odd meeting off some dark dirt road in San Pedro, a small farm worker hamlet, at a creek pump house to meet the caretaker.We made our ‘buy’ with 50 soles (about $16) to get 10 bales of straw. (Palily tells Lily that he thinks the guy will gamble the 50 soles away tomorrow!).

Anyway, it was an interesting side trip to make an odd transaction. We came back and dumped our ‘take’ on the side of the building (outside) for Palilly to use, since he is working on our ‘garden’ after his normal day job.

Luciana & Kelly were still hanging at the mission, tinking with Luciana’s computer and wantingn to watch a movie. The four of us watched Narnia 2 (Prince Caspian), a regular mission favorite for the girls (of which I was the only non-girl there). During the early part of the movie our internet provider, ‘Franchesca’ came with her tech and fixed the internet. She did it so fast I enquired as to what was the issue. They changed the passcode lastnight about 10pm and didn’t get around to coming over to fix us till now (groan). Ended another day after Lily and I walked our two ‘daughters’ home.

20 September, Tuesday – Construction continues, Lily burned the beans,

  • I got to work on a villagers computer that I ordered a new keyboard for but it’s the wrong keyboard (groan) but made it work!
  • Another villager, Luciana, who won a laptop last year at the harvest festival (and hardly uses it since she has no internet or printer) brought it for me to resolve expiring virus software issue .. that was successful.

More framing going up for pouring new columns. Yesterday’s column pour has an operational problem for us now in that it does not give us a flush wall inside where we want to project. So now we have to buy a screen to project on. Didn’t have that option in the front building. Hazards of constructing without solid plans and blue prints.

Palily’s efforts of  corraling off an area behind the mission next to the creek bed are taking notice. Looks like he’s putting all the straw to work to finish up the fencing in of the leveled area he first installed posts and barbed wire around. Will need to finsh the straw work, and fashion a gate with lock, before starting to garden in it. Will make sure the local residents are fully aware of it when he is done.

Had the youth knitting and crochet group today. Always love the young ones and their enthusiasm to learn and enjoy what the mission has to offer. Not sure what the headcount was for today, it seems to be lost in the log somewhere as we switched from two days per week for the ninos to one. Will ask. In the mean time here are a few pictures.

21 September, Wednesday – A lot went on but I need the photos to jog my memory …

Well, looks like the primary work was just more construction finished up many additional columns as well as got the brick work started in the small kitchen and bathroom in the first floor of the new building.

Most importantly, a lot of brick work was completed on the challenging end of the building.

Further, Palilly started putting the straw bales that we bought the other night to work as well. His ‘garden’ with barb wire next to the creek bed is taking shape nicely.Also, Lily and Yareni took a ride to town today to get a lot of yarn. We had a wired purchase from San Diego, Jo Ann Hill, and we went to get it immediately since we had another session tomorrow and yarn has been an issue.

By the end of the day, the brick work for the 1st floor was done. They guys will do some columns tomorrow, and then we will start to work on the ceiling.That will get delayed until Monday though do to another commitment the crew has up in the mountains. But they will be back on the job next week, I am assured.Near the end of the day, Yareni held a choir practice. This was new to me and great to see. It would be really nice to have a church choir. Will follow the progress of this closely. Love it.

22 September, Thursday – Today was last day of construction until next Monday since the ‘guys’ are headed up to the Sierra’s to work at Edwin’s family home. They have about 26 hours drive round trip and not sure what sort of construction they will be doing but they tried to entice me to go with them. They said that they would be doing some shooting, as if that would be my incentive. These guys are funny, in that they have a one shot pellet gun, and actually took out a few doves the other week and had our neighbor (Deysi) actually cook them up (good for them). I was very tempted to go with them but it would be for four days, quite an adventure, but maybe next time. Would be interesting to go off the beaten path a bit with some locals rather than just the tourist visits to the areas that we have done a lot of.

Anyway, before they left for the day, they did get the two columns that were remaining in the new building framed and poured. This onl leaves two columns for the open section of exterior property line brick wall which will be done last since we are leaving that section open as long as possible since the sand, gravel, and cement mixing is done in the vacant lot next door.

While two of the guys were doing the two columns, Abel and one other worker were  doing the terajeo (exterior cement plastering) to the front of Maria’s home. I took some pictures of the exterior and interior.

Didn’t know when they did the terajeo to the new bathroom, but looks good. There will be no further terajeo due to limited funds, and that will leave the 3 brick walls unfinished, no big problem .. but the rest of the ‘non-bathroom’ ceiling will also be ‘raw’. Next step is to do the plumbing and electrical and then pour a floor. Terajeo will be done to the window and door frames, after which we will take measurements and get her two windows and one additional door ordered and installed.

End of the day, we had our 2nd crochet meeting for the week. With all the new yarn, there were many happy attendees. Many displayed a lot of their creations and the group was at 18 strong. We have incorporated prayer into the meetings, and ask the Lords forgiveness in not doing this more regularily in our prior meetings. This is one of a few changes we will be making now that we have our missionaries back to take on a lead role. The Sanchez’s really want to see this knitting and crocheting group grow further and help to build the church body as well.

23 September, Friday – Time flies when so much is going on. We have only one week left before we switch to a new blog, and less than a month left before we leave this wonderful place. So much accomplished but at the same time so much more to get done. We will be absent of construction until Monday and no more knitting until Tuesday, so other than OANSA and Church service, and perhaps a bible study, there will not be a lot to report on until then.

I told my wife last night that I think I was missing an opportunity of going with the construction guys up into the ‘sierras’, to get to see how the locals live. She said they aren’t leaving until tomorrow (Friday) so she texted them. THey returned the call this morning and it was true, they were catching a bus at 2pm with a planned 10 hour bus ride up into the mountains, reversing the ride on Sunday to return so that they had all day Saturday to work.

My wife then started to talk me out of it, saying ‘this ain’t the bus you are thinking it is’, travel at night in mountains for 10 hours in local commute buses, etc. She had horror stories .. I basically gave in thinking that she would just worry about me (in reality riding for 10 hours upright, and doing it again on the return, was the turnoff). Oh well, it would have been an adventure.

So today Blanca & Elvia stopped by in the morning. They were invited to do a entertainment event at the local school, not sure what it was about but we helped them figure out their electronics, and Yareni, Lily and I joined them (wearing our matching Mission tee-shirts for full propaganda purposes). It was in the older kids (10-12) classroom where the two of them did some sing and dance and tricks to entertain the children.

Later they got to work with a still larger group downstairs. It was interesting to be at the local school while it was open, and have so many kids come running up to you and call you by name and give you a hug. Fun times for sure.

Let me see if I can pull some mini video together from all that was taken with the interaction with the children. Good opportunity to let the youth know about OANSA and the mission.

Later today, we are alledgedly headed to San Pedro to take some clothes to the needy. But going back and editing this blog, that didn’t happen .. the intention was there though! First we need to sort the clothes .. so this will occur soon but not today.

Later on in the day, after school got out (about 4pm) many youth showed up for choir practice, this time lead mostly by Julio but later joined in by Yareni as well.  I think I may have a short video of this to post.  [video link]

Yareni and Lily were up stairs sorting clothes for giving away. Never made it to San Pedro. Items brought down to give away to the villagers are important at the mission. A lot of time is spent sorting and matching by gender and age, and wrapping up outfits.

We always stress the importance to our visitors to maximize their luggage allowances (usually 2 checked bags of 50 pounds, 23 kg, each) as getting stuff down here any other way is just way too costly. Please bring any good clothes, shoes, linens, towels that you can .. as we will find a home for them.

Dntist also called and cancelled on Luciana & Kelly until Monday, which Lily was actually releaved to hear. Was able to finally get Hanley and his cousin Denzel together for a photo. I am always catching myself calling Denzel by Hanley’s name when I see him by himself. Now that I see them together for a rare occasion, I don’t know why I do that!!Two great boys. Hanley has been with us a long time and is active in most things that the Mission sponsors. Denzel came too us a little later and also has been recently a regular.

24 September, Saturday – Even though we had no construction today, we had a pretty full day, the five of us, doing chores around the mission. We had a lunch together and late in day, OANSA started. Before that we got in some cutting of Yareni’s ‘Banco de La Mission kids’ money. She is coming up with an incentive for children to learn bible verses, attend OANSA, come to church on sunday, participate in a mission sponsored event and other things by having th em earn ‘mission bucks’ … hmmm. She has a vision of having a store here at the mission with other items that we may get from town or bring from the USA (more chinese watches?) and have the kids incented to earn the ‘mission bucks’ to purchase. This might get real interesting. Rosycela already told Yareni that she was going to buy a house with her ‘mission bucks’! 

OANSA got underway. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it is the Latin American version of AWANA, which is a great program for kids. It has different manuals for their respective age group to help them grow spiritually.

The program is focused in three parts usually., totaling about 2 hours. 40 minutes together in some sort of exercise preceeded by group prayer and probably one worship song. Then 40 minutes of age group related study or activity as directed by the OANSA workbooks.

Lastly, another 40 minutes focused in a few more worship songs, often a short spiritual video and a definite well looked forward to treat or snack.

We are in our 2nd year of OANSA and assessing what we do to continue next year. The team that comes up each week from El Shaddai church in Ica to run this program are such a blessing to the children here, and their need for getting to know the word, the fellowship with Christ, to see Christian leadership, and to be active in learning more about life as a Christian.

We are in need of a program that definitely expands to the older ages so we don’t just abandon the over 12 year olds who are the most important age to us as far as in need of guidance, spiritual, moral, parenting, etc.

We love OANSA and what it does and just want to broaden it even further. More leaders will also be needed for all the youth we are uncovering that are in need of such a program and presense here. Julio & Yareni whipped up a great Mexican burito treat for the OANSA group at the end of the night. The burito’s with Horchata drink made me wonder if I was in Peru or not!

25 September, Sunday – Another Sunday, woke up to hearing the bread truck offering tamales and thought I would go buy 5 of them for breakfast .. problem is, Lily was up ahead of me with the keys somewhere and the power was off to the whole mission so I could only exit if I had a key.

Hmmm … also, wasn’t sure if I had enough soles on me for the purchase, and by the time I got dressed, found Lily and got the keys and money together .. Tamales gone!! Oh well .. next time. Lily was lamenting that she can’t get any shower hot, and then when I informed her that the power was off .. that made sense all of a sudden to her!

So, the Sanchez’s got off to church normally (El Shaddai in Ica), having had the wisdom to have showered the night before, but Lily and I took a bit longer to get our morning acts together without electricity, relying on some hot water from the stove, to get adequately bathed before stepping out looking for a ride to Sunday church. Our neighbors said the outage was scheduled until 6pm. This happens a lot down here, with the utilities taking everything down on Sunday. This puts the additional headached on malls, stores and churches that do a lot of their business on Sundays, to have to come up with a generator or alternative source of power when they need it. Life in Peru.

We got to church much later than the Sanchez’s, but did enjoy Pastor Martin’s message although missing all the worship. Got to fellowship with Pastor, his wife, and two children. We will get back to see them mid-week for a meal when neither of us are so rushed. Talked to Josue, who loves to practice his English with me. Sarai, his younger sister is very good in English as well. Both have been getting great English language experience at YWAM (Youth with a Mission) attendance in Minnesota over the years.

The whole family has a standing invite to San Diego from us, but of course we would love to be there when they come!!They were planning a trip in October for two weeks which is now pretty messed up with the visa hassle that little Sarai has going on. Hope they can get this resolved. What a great spiritual family that is so involved with Christ, fellowship, YWAM, Missions, and the Word of God.

After church, we got to the bus station and made another followup call on the planned short trip to Pisco which we postponed from yesterday. Wasn’t sure if it was still on or not. We got ahold of our contact and it was, so off to the bus we went. Pisco is only an hour ride north, still in the Region of Ica, but the next province north. Lily was born in Pisco and we visit it often as it is refreshing to be so close to the coast. The Mission is inland a bit, with a National reserve that sits just south of Pisco where the Pan American Highway also takes a turn inland as it goes south toward our Mission and the border with Chile.

Anyway, we got there an hour or more early before we were to meet Lily’s cousin and enjoyed an excellent meal that actually had electricity (all of Ica having a planned outage apparently did not get scheduled this far north!).

We had our meeting, drove south to San Andreas, the beach community that had the worst tsunami damage during the 2007 earthquake and is still recovering. Had a meeting with some people and then huried back to town so that we could catch a return bus in time for Mission services later.

Got back after worship had begun but still early. We were there before many others started to show up. Excellent showing actually, and a great message by Julio.

After services, we had tea and crackers for a few that stayed. We were saddened to hear about a bad poisening by a father of a few of the children we see regularly here. We know little of what and how but we have new reason to pray for another community member of our service.

At the end of the service, as always many youth stay and want to enjoy the mission. We had fun watching little Pia and Fabio challenge each other in ‘Twister’ and then we also cracked open a new jigsaw puzzle we found on the shelf unopened and we just found a new addition and skill for a few!! Kelly and her brother Luis seemed to be naturals for jig saw puzzle challenges. By the end of the night we had trouble booting all the youth out, to finish the puzzle another day!!

26 September, Monday – Well we were glad that there was power on last night and still this morning, and even the internet works. What would be a perfect day would be to hear the contractors ‘Buenas Dias’ and their starting to work. Our schedule is going to be tight with our remaining time here, and it would certainly be great if we could have this back building ground floor functional at the end of our stay. Sadly, no workers so far this morning. We can only imagine that they got stuck in the mountains on the project they went up for. We attempted to reach by phone but no answer. Hope they show up later today.

Just found out that I will be teaching English starting tomorrow at 9am for an hour, and I believe it’s set for twice per week. Time to brush up the teaching material and handouts.

Did some chores today, mainly mounting a computer monitor in the office. Light day of work today. Still no word from the missing construction crew although Abel’s wife said that he left his cell at home. I would imagine that she has talked to him and he’s safe, but not sure. Hopefully more news tomorrow. Every day wasted puts us severely behind schedule.Lily let Yirani take the girls to town for Orthodonics today, since we won’t be able to do this once we leave. She also had one of the mom’s ready to do it, but thought it would be good to have Yirani do it at least once as well to get the process and location down. After they came back from the trip to town, they saw that I couldn’t fight the addiction on the jigsaw puzzle and had a lot done .. so we all together finished it, Fabian, Luciana, Kelly & Carlos, taking to about 1030pm. yeah!! big accomplishment of the day. Good night all !!!

27 September, Tuesday – A new day, hopefully our construction crew shows up!!! I am up early to do some English class preparation.Just finished morning prayer. Apparently our construction crew had trouble finding a return bus and will be coming back from the Sierra’s today, so no work until tomorrow. Lily said she’s glad I didn’t go!! Is that a way of saying she would have missed me? hmmm .. I’ll take it as that! 

Preparing for class .. Apparently we only have two students today so didn’t take any pictures but did a full 90 minute class. Hope we get a better showing tomorrow. No construction crew today … stuck in the mountains apparently. I was exchanging emails with my Chinese computer parts contact who supplied me with a replacement keyboard for a young 13 year old’s computer down here. Apparently I gave up too soon on the keyboard that they provided me, as I didn’t separate the old keyboard from the necessary overlay which serves to lock it in. I was frustrated and was communicating with them about their providing me the wrong keyboard. After reading their email, I went back to Jubilee’s home with Julio to ask for her computer one more time. Popping off the keyboard cover worked and was able to later fix it for her. Can’t wait to tell her  We had the youth crochet group at the mission at 4pm. We didn’t have any leadership initially so I had Mariana go run and get her aunt who is a leader but only comes when we call her as a backup apparently. 

Things moved well when she got here. Later, Deysi showed up, apparently tied up with her two daughters for a bit. As adults we need to teach these kids the importance of time and communication. We don’t always do a good job at that and wonder why they learn bad habits. Oh well, we had a good gathering. Had a few grandmothers helping out that we haven’t seen before and they exhibited some great crochet crafts (see photo). There is some hidden talent in this village. Hope to tap these two grandmoms in latter weeks as volunteer leaders!!

There was a delayed plan to take a bunch of clothes and shoes to San Pedro, a neighboring village of about 500 people that is in walking distance to the mission. Since we have this second hand car we acquired (long story), which I like to refer to as our ‘Fiat fiasco’, and since there were many bundles of clothes, that it would be wise to take the car. They also wanted to stop the crochet session a half hour early. I thought that last decision was not wise since we just moved the youth from two days per week to one, and that we started the session late, we would not be very good if we then cut it early, so I volunteered to stay even though I was looking forward to the outreach.

Anyway, Lily, Julio, Cecia, Yareni & Kelly all fit in this little Fiat along with a large suitcase full of clothes and three large bags. Unbelievable. A few pictures were provided and apparently it was a very good reception that they got with the clothing and shoes. We also handed out some Mission flyers on what we are doing, with weekly schedule of events, with the hope of getting some San Pedro folks to make the walk to the mission during the week. We already get some traffic from el Olivos which is a much larger village and a greater distance away. Kelly was such a blessing in that she lives in the village, has a very hard life with her three brothers and parents in a very crowded delapdidated house, and works with her mom running the small retail sales from their home, selling candy, produce and chickens. They both used to clean streets for the government but that was temporary apparently. Yet she has the heart to join us in this clothing give away to the needy, like her, in a neighboring village. We try to make our retail produce buys from her home. We are also helping Kelly with Orthodontics and we continue to work to lead her closer to the Lord. She has a heart for God.

Back at the mission, I ended the crochet session and got the place quiet for a bit before the crew returned from San Pedro. We had one visitor who came by for a scheduled bible study, but he came by earlier than the start time. When the Sanchez’s, Lily & Kelly got back, we got ready for this study. It was a blessing. Luciana stayed and participated, as the youngest member and was quite involved. Although I don’t speak Spanish, I could hear the sincerity through her volunteered testimony of how Jesus has affected her life, and how kids in school make fun of her for being open and vocal about her love of Jesus. I remain impressed by this young lady. She is our other receiver of Orthodonics that we started on this trip. Hoping for two wonderfully improved smiles in a few years from these two fine ladies.

28 September, Wednesday – First thoughts of the morning were ‘will the construction crew show up today?’ but even those thoughts got interrupted by a return of our new parrot friends that seem to have taken a liking to the high landing points on the mission and the current construction. I lost my parrot yesterday, found out from a call from our daughter in California that he passed away. He has been with me for 31 years. Before getting that call, we had these parrots show up at the mission that we have never had before squawking up a storm. It’s more than a coincidence to me since we have been here for 5 years and never saw any and yesterday only hours before getting the sad call from our daughter, these two or more parrots are all over the mission. Today, they were back. Hope they stay awhile. It certainly is appealing to feel that my 31 year companion sent them to find us.

Bad news today is still no contractors. Apparently their ride back from the mountains was not only delayed by an absense of buses in that rural mountain area, but also by rain and dangerous road conditions. Per Abel’s wife, he is on the way down but the normal 10 hour ride may be many more hours due to this additional situation and danger. One more day lost. Praying for construction tomorrow.

Spent some time today working on some needed chores. A major one showed up on Sunday with the projector not showing it’s whole screen. We have bought a backup projector that we used once before so Julio and I reinstalled it, having to build a few wooden parts for it’s special holding mechanism we made the last time we used it. Anyway, we have a full projection screen now, less high definition abilities but hopefully it will help us limp along until we get a new projector for the mission, which is badly needed.

Had a choir practice session today run by Yareni. Later Lily came out and joined in assisting. Had a pair of girls to start with that expanded to 5 girls and 1 boy not too much later. Our regulars  and one more. Luicana, who wasn’t in the initial choir group showed up before the training was over. She joined Luis, Mariana, Estrella, Rosycela and Natalie. Luciana asked if she could give a short testimony and she did. She is one blessed girl.  Lily told me later that all the kids said that they accepted Christ before, but Lily and Yareni had them go through the sinners prayer as a reminder and we are building up to a point soon of having a mission baptism. We have some great youth and this short session just reminded us of it.

Later in the evening, we had to hustle out about a half dozen kids from the mission when we left to the neighboring village of Invacion for a bible study. Apparently Estrella lives quite near to where we went as she was outside when we were finished. Great to start to understand where all these great kids live and to meet their families. The bible study was a blessing with a great deal of participation and fantastic leadership by Julio Sanchez. Thank you Lord for bringing this wonderfully blessed family to the mission.

29 September, Thursday – We had our morning prayers and worship. Before starting the English class, we also had Abel, Edwin and crew show up, finally returning after their adventure in the Sierra’s. Lost 6 or so days of work, that they committed to working Sunday to help amend but not sure that we will get this building’s first floor completed on this trip now. We will do all we can. Anyway, good to get construction to resume again.

Now we need to remind Edwin, with his pellet gun, to not look at our new parrot friends as a potential meal as if they are doves. I will leave that communication for Lily!

Around noonish, Lily & I headed to town to meet up with Pastor Martin and family for lunch. They had a new Around noonish, Lily & I headed to town to meet up with Pastor Martin and family for lunch.

They had a new place in mind but since they didn’t serve Ricoto Rellena, we went back to our regular dive. Had some fun with their two wonderful children, Josue & Sara, who both speak fluent English. Gave Sara one of our youth wristbands that say “Yo Soy Segundo” and harassed Josue for not having his on (says he takes it off for school, and he goes to a Christian school … bad excuse), so I gave him a youth one as well. That way they can’t be saying that it fell off or something. While doing all that exchange, Pastor got interested so I gave him mine and his wife Cotty got one too … That left Violeta, Pastors aid who is always with them, so I gave her my last one but it was all English and black instead of pink for girls. She was most receptive to wearing it though .. Will have to get her a regular one on Sunday.

We ended up at our favorite restaurant, Huarango, over near where El Shaddai used to rent space and we first met Pastor and his great family. We ordered early the Ricoto Rellena  as it takes time to make it. Josue, who was born in Peru, said no thanks ‘I’m not Peruvian enough’ (loved it). While were waiting we had a roasted chicken, salsa salad, popa fritas and Chica punch, a great Peruvian lunch, as Lily and Pastor Martin primarily cross talked in spanish while Josue gave me key translations. Anyway, we had a great lunch. A family that we have learned to love over the years as we continue on our spiritual partnership between their urban church, and our rural mission.

After the great lunch, we went to pastors house, did some dropping off of Josue with his mother and then us to find a Notary for some legal papers. We bid our goodbyes till later.

After the notary we walked about 6 blocks to a local mall and did a little bit of shopping. We picked out about 4 balls (soccer, basketball and volley) for the mission as our old ones (other than one new soccer ball Lily bought a few weeks ago) have become pretty bad. We then started to work our way home. We were supposed to head to El Shaddai to join the Sanchez’s in decipleship training, but I told Lily that I was just way too tired and she agreed so we headed back to the Mission.

Meanwhile, while all of this was going on, the Sanchez’s hosted the adult crocheting group in our absense. They took some pictures which I will post and i will get some update from them later as to attendees and the apparent discussion at the end that Julio led. Seemed like a sizable group though. Julio informed me that he simply closed them in prayer, which is great. Headcount was 15 I believe, still verifying.

After we got back to the mission, the Sanchez’s were gone to El Shaddai for decipleship training (perhaps we will catch the next one with them). Got to respond to the banging on the door later by some of the kids with a new ball and they were elated, returning it over the wall about an hour later.

Took a few pictures of the construction for the day as well. Looks like they got about half of the support timbers in place, which is far less than half of what has to be done before we get the concrete pouring in place. A lot more wood needs to be put up, we need to make a run to the store for a good number of ceiling block, electrical tubing, more rebar and cement. Much to do, and that’s just to get the ceiling done. Then we wait for a minimum of two weeks for it to dry before we can even think of doing the electrical, plumbing and pouring the floor. All this has to be done, before the windows and doors are ordered and installed, and then we can think of advanced things like paint, furnish, etc, all before we can use it. This lost week of contractors will prove to be rather costly in getting anything useable from this construction on this trip. Hope to be proven wrong, but I think it will take next trip (Feb/March) to actually finalize this 1st flloor while starting on the 2nd.

30 September, Friday – Last day for this particular blog, starting a fresh one with the new month tomorrow.

Didn’t have any showing for English classes today, probably from a great reason that so many people have spent money to go celebrate “Chicho”, a boy that died in the 2007 earthquake aledgedly playing video games and even further ‘aledged” to have been seen coming back a few times since. His picture can be seen hanging or pinned or taped in many taxi cabs and on many walls of residences.

It is amazing how many of these alledged ‘miracles’ or ‘ghost stories’ become part of the culture down here, and the actual idolotry of their faith. It is sad really. So much of it is superstition encouraged by the Catholic church with this fiest, or that holiday, honoring a painting of Christ that didn’t fall during the earthquake, or a statue that aledgedly was spotted once crying or .. you get the picture. Yet someone will pay S./50 (~$16) to for travel, lodging and meals to go to some small town in the Sierras to celebrate such an event. In our village a family of five (with infant) went, who live in not very good conditions, but will end up paying S./200 (~$65) which is in fact a small fortune. Oh, well, that’s why we are here.

Construction resumed, working on completing the framing to hold the poured ceiling with all its block, rebar and concrete. Lily left about 2pm to get a long list of supplies that the guys were hoping to have by 4pm, but we will be lucky to see her by 5pm based on the list. We all hope she returns before dark as there is a lot to unload.

Before Lily left, Julio and I worked out some placement of monitor and operational table placement for running sound and video from. We passed on our desires and recommendations to Abel and Lily, and got many items added to the list. We will need to do a drywall back wall for projection due to the placement of a column in the middle of the wall. This will though make it easier to do sound speakers, simply by putting them in the drywall and running the tubes for the wires through the floor, versus the ceiling as we did the other projection room. Yesterday we also discussed where to place a baptismal that we may construct once the first floor is completed. Excited how this is all turning out, but so much to do and it will take a few more trips to see it to a workable conclusion.

Work continued on the roof supports, while inside the mission, Yareni lead choral practice, still building on the local choir dream. Love the dream, and last Sunday they actually did a song. Now to get their vocals tuned, their numbers expanded and their songs they can sing increased as well.

Construction continued while we waited for Lily to return with the construction material delivery. Although Abel wanted Lily to be back by 4pm, it was obvious that by 5:30, he was still not ready for her as far as actual placement of the roof blocks if they arrived.

Lily did show up with the items not much later. A truckload of 500 ceiling block, 185 sticks of assorted sizes of rebar, 70 bags of cement, 50 pounds of wire, a couple of cabinets for internal linen storage and assorted electrical tubing, all totalled about S./7,000, or over $2,000. Just before the truck arrived, I took a picture of Antonio (our mission grounds keeper) chatting with one of our less friendly neighbors. Everyone has a role, thank you Antonio.

We spent well into the dark of night unloading. The rebar took a great deal of time initially. Once we got to the block, that worked like many congo lines do, and all block was placed on the roof, just not in final placement position. Lastly getting off the cement bags, the truck was free to go.

For the rebar and block, Lily and I stood like statues of libertys holding lights for the workers. I got to participate in the concrete bag unloading (fun fun). Another day.

Not sure if tomorrow we will pour, but we will definitely be doing a lot of positioning and rebar work, making beams, and positioning everything for the final pour. The crew said they would be working on Sunday as well so hopefully we will get this done this weekend. Then we get to wait for two weeks before we can anything else since the ‘trees’ that are all installed to hold the heavy pour for the ceiling will take that long to dry.

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