Monday, August 18, 2014

Thinking Back

I really did mean to do a sort of final Peru post.  Starting back work plus busy weekends has slowed me up on that.  But I decided to sit down this eventing a go ahead and do that.  After our thankfully uneventful flight home and landing in Houston we drove back to Vidalia.  On that drive home I spent time thinking about our time in Peru.  It was unavoidable because there was so much to think about.  So much to sort out.  So much that I never want to forget.  I remember thinking about the people we met.

  • Parts of our team 
Dan and Charla

Aaron and Marla


 Amber (On the right)

Very sweet people wanting to make a difference.  Wanting to share Gods' love.

  • Abundant Life Ministry Team

Trent (Matias) (In the red "jacket" cause its WINTER!) 

His wife Shawn and their children.

His nephew Nathan

Courtney and Andrew

(This is Courtney leading the way)

(And Andrew with sweet Teddy)

Nedi (On the left)

Michael and his wife    (He was our very capable interpreter)

Rudolpho and his wife   (Thats not her...)

and many others

They have given up their lives.  They literally are living new lives for God in a new country away from the ease and riches we have here, and have made an entirely different life now with orphans and others who they know are so important to God but who society seems to be able to throw by the wayside.  

  • The safehouse guys

Todd called them the Safeway guys  :)
Former addicts who have been rescued from the streets by God through Trent and his team.  They have been loved on and shown the love of God.  Their lives have been made NEW.  Now they are serving God and the people they previously lived among.  Addicts, prostitutes, and the poorest of the poor.  They are showing them how God can change, and save, and rescue, and love, and protect.

William the Chef
  • Jessica House Girls
Johnnie  (Thats Johnnie beside me in the yellow)  What a story she has.

A new place of hope for them.  A safe place to go and bring their kids where that team will show them Gods love and forgiveness and help them find freedom in Christ from all those things that have kept them bound for so long.  A new world for them so different, seeing people who really care about their lives.

  • The Peruvian children

Their dark beautiful shiny eyes
Their dirty faces and clothes
Their little hands reaching for yours a little hesitantly - not accustomed to seeing a white face.  Not used to seeing an adult smile at them or want to play with them.

And so many names I couldn't understand.

Pastor Danny asked us a few times what we were bringing home from Peru.  It was a lot to think about and couldn't be answered for me simply.  I still may not know it all even at this point months later.  But this I know
  • Showing Gods love is KEY.  His love, his kindness brings the needed change.
  • What Trents ministry is doing is important.  It touches many and requires a lot of energy, time, money, people, effort, and love.  We should help.  
  • We need to open our eyes to see the hungry and hurting around us.  Don't turn a blind eye.  Smile, speak, get out of that comfort zone.  Put an arm around someone.  Talk to them.  Love them.
  • Love is an action!
  • I certainly have a comfort zone.  I have never denied that.  I like it there. It's, --well, comfortable.  God though, doesn't really call us to be comfortable.  He calls us to lead those he loves to the only one who can bring real comfort.
" Love looks like something.  What does love look like?"
 Trent Rolfzen

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Last Day

After our tour at the Ruins we loaded up in taxis.  That was interesting.  The traffic is crazy there.  Like CRAZY!  One taxi even had an accident on the way.  It wasnt ours but it was some of our group.  However we all did make it safe to Mira Flores and the Pacific Coast.

 I have never been real good at Geography and I admit I didnt even know we were going to get to see the Pacific Ocean.  I should have, you know, maybe looked at a map or something.  What a wonderful treat for me.  If you know me, you know I love the ocean.  Something about the waves that just continue to splash against the shore over and over and over.  Continuously.  Without stopping.  Always- since the beginning of time.  Wow.  Then of course there is the beauty.

This day it was pretty hazy out.  It was still gorgeous though.
 I loved seeing the hills there at the Coast.  Never seen that before.

We had lunch there in Mira Flores.  There was a mall and restaurants.  It was a very nice place for tourists and everyone really.  Again some of our group wanted to stick with Peruvian cuisine.  My husband however was not one of them, so we picked TGI Fridays.

Then after lunch and a little bit of time there we headed back to Inca Frog and quickly off to the Market.  Shopping!  I met this little woman there who kindly (although) apprehensively let me get my picture with her.
We got some T-Shirts and souvenirs there and then rushed back to Inca Frog hoping everyone was there.  We had split up and did not have cell phones.  Thankfully we were all there.  We grabbed our luggage and got back into another taxi.  (I decided to call them death taxis!)  Trust me just close your eyes while riding.  Seriously.
We had one final stop before the airport. Parque De La Reserva  PARK OF THE RESERVE

There were beautiful fountains there.  

They would do laser light shows through the water.

 Images projected onto the spray of the water.  Music and dancing in the mist.  Fascinating.  It was really cool and the pictures DO NOT do it justice.

This is our Taxi driver.  SKILL HERE   SKILL!

Lance about to jump in.

Our group photo!
 It was really enjoyable.  I am glad we got to do that.  

Then we got back into the death taxis.  That driving was NUTS!   Really it was.  Not kidding. Several even used their phones/ipads to video the ride. :)   By the grace of God and the skill of our Taxi drivers we made it to the airport for our midnight flight.  The flight home was quiet.  We thought a lot about our experience and we slept a lot.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Huaca Pucllana

Sorry I took so long to get to this post.  I started back at work, so there you go!  :)

The next morning of our trip I heard Todds voice in the hall, woke up, and got ready.

We went down to Ciabatta bread and butter, Fresh squeezed Orange Juice, and coffee.  Mmmmmmm

While we were waiting on some of the others to get ready we grabbed a small Chocolate Eclair from a bakery near the Hostel.  It was sooo good.  Wish I could have one right now.

Once everyone was together we started our day of sight seeing.  The first thing we did was go Huaca Pucllana - Pre Incan Ruins.

It was very interesting.  There was a museum of sorts there where they had some of the things they had recovered from the ruins.  Huge pottery, tools, all kinds of things.  That was so neat knowing how old those things were.

This is actually FOOTPRINTS from the ruins.  I cant remember how old they were but they were OLD!  You cant really tell in the photo but you really could tell they were footprints, toes and all.

I look pretty rough in this picture but it is what it is...   For some reason I woke up on this particular morning with my eyes really swollen.  I looked awful.  I dont know if it was just exhaustion or if it was an allergic reaction to something I ate...   Anyway I looked like that, or worse all day long that day.  I was just thankful I didnt wake up with a stomach thing like Katlyn did.  I'd much rather have puffy eyes.  Thank you very much.
 We did a whole lot of climbing there.  Lots of steps and hills.

This is a few architects doing some digging.  I thought that was so interesting.  I bet they are some excited when they find something.  I would be!

They explained to us that the bricks were laid this way to help prevent it from falling in during an earthquake.

We enjoyed our tour and were thankful to have an English speaking guide there.  She did a good job.

Todd and little man enjoying each other here.

Monday, July 28, 2014


On Day 8 we had another early start.

Out to the airport to fly to Lima where we spent a couple of days.  As I was looking out the window on this flight I was amazed that we had been there.  I was intrigued by the great landscape of the Andes mountains, the Amazon, the clouds.  It was different than when we came in because we were sooooo tired then.  I took it all in.  I just kept thinking.  We really did this.  We really came all this way.

 It was a great flight.  A little bumpy, but no big deal.  Not for me anyway.

We landed safely in Lima and drove along the coastline which was so beautiful to our Hostel where we spent the night.  This is Calley waving to us from her room there at the Hostel The Inca Frog!
Once we got settled we walked around a bit there in Lima and grabbed a bite to eat.  We kinda went our separate ways for lunch.  A few of us ended up at Pizza Hut!  A nice change of pace. It was great. Others wanted to stick to Peruvian food, so they enjoyed that.  After lunch Danny and Calley along with one from the Kansas group went to an orphanage.  They would not allow the entire group to go so the rest of us stayed back.  Todd and I kept Salem for Danny and Calley so they could focus on their visit there.  We had fun with him.  He was great.  We walked all around with him checking things out.  Once that small group got back from the orphanage we went out to dinner.   We walked and found a place to eat.  I wish I could remember the name.  I didn't write it in my journal.  :(  They were known for their sandwiches.  It was so hard to order.  I couldn't understand the menu.  No habla Espanol!  We no longer had our interpreters.  I ordered something with Charlas help.  It was good.  It was CRAZY busy though.  The employees were not too thrilled to have all these non spanish speaking customers slowing things down.  Their other customers didn't seem really thrilled about us slowing things down either.  YIKES.  One man in particular was very nice and helpful though.  He was great.  We did our best to hurry and get out of everybody's way.  It was an experience.  Then on to another experience.  We took our food and walked over here.
 This is called "Cat Park".  Do you see the cats?  Yes there were cats.  And plenty of them.  Tons of cats stay there and the visitors feed them their leftovers.  In return the cats take care of the rats!  Which is -- great.   Must work.  Didnt see any rats!   Totally gross though.  In my humble opinion of course.
 I wasnt too crazy about the whole idea but the cats seem to think its great.

As we were there talking about our day I found it interesting that most of us really would just have rather been back in Iquitos doing a little more of what we had  been doing all the time we were there.  This was nice but switching the focus back onto ourselves was a bit weird.  It didnt quite feel right.  It seemed like having one more day in Peru yet not doing specific mission work was a miss somehow.  I cant really explain it.  
We walked back to Inca Frog and headed off to our rooms for the night. Todd was in the guys room and I bunked in a room with Becca 

and Denae.  It was great too.

I remember Becca as a Pre-teen and teenager.  She was so full of energy and had such a love for God.  She was always the one to rally the group up to get excited about the things of God.  She was such an encouragement to watch as she grew in the Lord.  It is so great to know that now she is serving God alongside her husband.  She still has that same energetic personality with excitement for God!
Seeing her and the way she interacted with the children of poverty and special needs was so moving.  She completely loved on those kids.  There was nothing fake about it.  I am so glad she went with us.  She's great!

I have only known Denae for the few years that she has been a part of our church.  She has a very sweet spirit and tender heart.  It is so wonderful to see young couples seeking to serve God in such a big way.  She gives of her time, talents, and love daily.  I am glad I have gotten to know her and her sweet growing family.
Seeing her heart for the Jessica House women was moving to say the least.  She jumped at the chance to do the night ministry.  The fact that it was dangerous did not deter her in the least.  When she got the chance to go out again with just a couple of others on another late night thing she literally jumped and ran to do it.  She's great!

I wrote in my journal that night from my bed in the room where the three of us were sleeping.

     Lord, I pray that I wont lose what you have done in my heart this week.
     Only allow it to grow and not fade away.
                       In Jesus Name