Monday, July 21, 2014

Bread for the Hungry

Day 7 started bright and early with our last mission project while we were there in Iquitos.

From my journal:
     We walked through the market into the worst of the worst, down into the slums of Belin.



     We brought bread and gave it out to mamas with no food
     to children on the way to school without breakfast
     and to little ones who heard our drums and singing and came out hoping to get bread.

     They were hungry and bit into it immediately.

Some moms turning us away and pointing to others homes where they knew of hungry children.  None of them rushing to us to grab something before it was all gone -- like you would expect here in the states.  I have seen that when something is being given away.  A rush.  Or some wanting more than their share...  Not here in Belin.  It seemed they all stayed at a distance until you reached the bread forward.  Only then coming near to take the bread offered to them.  None asking for more.  Only thankful to receive what they were given.  That was something that stuck with me.

After we had passed out all of the bread we brought with us, we played with the children there.  Right there in the filthy streets outside their homes.  We played for a little while.  

From my journal:
     It took a definite decision on my part not to break down in tears.
     Hungry kids
     Living in a stinky smelly slum
     With drug addicted parents
          It isn't right.

At that moment more than many others while we were in Peru I was so thankful for The Abundant Life Ministry.  Those people there in Belin, the children there-  at least have this one constant.  In this unsteady, even stormy life that they live,

                                    

they have this ONE THING that they know.  That Daddy Matias (as they call him) will show up once a week.  He will bring bread, friends, and a smile.  




Thank you Trent (Matias) and Shawn.  Thank you Rodolpho.  Thank you Michael.  Thank you Courtney and Andrew.  Thank you Nedi.  Thank you Safehouse guys.  Thank you Jessica House women.  Thank you Abundant Life Ministries.  Thank you to all of you for doing what you do.  Thank you for continuing to go back and back again.  Thank you.

Then our time there was over.

It was time to go up ALL those steps and walk right up out of Belin.
 So we left there, me in tears.  It was heart wrenching.   I was feeling sad, bewildered, and even angry that they must live that way.  Then also feeling thankful and hopeful knowing that Matias and his team will be back.  They will bring bread for the hungry.  They will bring more than that.  They will bring the bread of Life.  They will bring Jesus with them each moment they are there.   They will bring with them the love of Jesus and that hope.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Transformation

After we got back from the Special Needs school we had a supper of Chicken Noodle Soup with boiled egg.  (Not Todds favorite, however he still ate with a smile)  After supper we went down to the Square in Iquitos.

We gathered together and set up some sound equipment and got busy with some ministry.  A few of our people gave their testimonies, sharing with the people there how God had transformed their lives.  I was very blessed by that part hearing a few of our team sharing parts of their own lives and how different their lives had been before the change that God made in them.

After that we performed our drama there in the square.  You can watch it if you go to my wall on facebook.   It is a little hard to tell on the video the story, but basically it tells of life there in Iquitos where they do what they think they have to do to survive and how Jesus can bring total transformation through his love.

The Iquitos team did a dance they had obviously practiced a lot.  It was great.
This may or may not have been Jonathan "practicing" for the dance earlier at the Special Needs School. (And Charla helping him out)



There was a message as well there at the Square once again talking of Gods Transformation.

After all of that was over, we went around and talked to the people there, with an interpreter.  We asked if they would like prayer for anything.  I talked to a man and his wife and baby daughter.  He was very receptive and nice.  He was open to the things I talked with him about.  He said that he would like prayer for a job.  At first I assumed he was unemployed thus asking for prayer for a job.  However after more conversation I realized he did have a job.  He was asking me to pray that he would get a different job.  One where he could be home more with his wife and daughter.  The job he had, required him to be away for long periods of time.  Maybe something like a 28 on, 28 off type of thing.  I did pray with him about that.  He was very appreciative.  He also talked about needing to get "back into church".  He said that he used to go to church regularly but that he had been away from God for some time.  I talked with him about how God would not turn from us and that He was always waiting for us to turn to Him.  I also told him how important our relationship with God was and that it was even more important than us just getting "back to church".  He seemed to understand what I said and he talked to his wife about it while we were there.  I was very blessed to have been able to talk to and pray with this sweet family.  I pray God will, or already has helped him find a new job so he can be home with his family and I pray that he will continue to seek God and all God has for him, his wife, and daughter. I know that the bible says that we will find Him when we seek Him with all our hearts.

All the talk that night of transformation and how God can make such huge and wonderful changes in our lives when we allow him to, made me think of these faces.
 And how God loves them and desires for them to seek Him.
 How He desires a relationship with them, his children.  How he wants to bring change in their lives.


It was a very long and busy day.  From the rising of the sun until well after this sunset.

 I fell asleep that night praying for the little ones with those faces I kept seeing and seeing.  The ones I still see.


 

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Special Needs School

At the end of that night we stayed up LATE talking of the many things that we knew God was showing us through our experiences there.

In my journal I wrote:
          Lord change our hearts,
            Fill us
              Use us God.

The next morning, Day 6, we had Scrambled Eggs, Toast, and Oranges for breakfast.

That morning we went to a Special Needs school.  Once we got there God had a little surprise for one of our team members.  Not one I can talk about though.  I KNOW!  SORRY!  This trip seemed full of those little surprises all along the way.  God is so good.  All the time!

The kids were very receptive to us.  There were lots of smiles, & hugs!

We sang with them.
Some of them sang to us.



We danced,
played games,


and had races.



Denae and Lance did their thing again.



We just basically loved on them.  It was great.



At the end of our time there Todd and I both decided to stand in the doorway to make sure we spoke to each child as they were leaving.

 

As we were doing this I noticed these three little blind children.  Their caretaker had brought them over to a corner while she was finishing up and they were waiting on her quietly there by themselves.  I went over to them and "talked" with them until she came back over to get them.  They told me their names, I told them mine.  I told them they were beautiful and a few other things that I could say in Spanish.  They seemed very pleased that I was there speaking to them.

They were given the toys we brought for them.  They turned them over and over in their hands smiling.    It was a sweet time there in that corner with them.  I  hope they remember it and I pray they got to go home to loving parents and tell them about their day.

Then we headed back to the mission for lunch of Garbanzo Beans and Rice, with that Tomato and Cucumber Salad.




Thursday, July 17, 2014

Who Will Tell Them

At supper we had some kind of potato salad with beets in it and that cucumber tomato salad that was so good.  I was surprised I liked the beets in the salad.  I havent had beets in many many years.  As a matter of fact I think the last time I had them was in an elementary school lunch!  So you know they were not so great then.  However I gave it a try  :)  They were not bad at all.

After supper Denae and Lance geared up!  or MADE up!  They did this for the kids we were about to go visit!



Seriously I could not stop studying Denaes face.  And then there was that time when Lance snuck up behind me and popped out in front of me making me scream.  I know some people who may not have survived that.  :)  But I wasnt scared!  :) Well, just a little.

As soon as we got to the orphanage the kids ran up to us and were giving out hugs.  This orphanage is the one where the sweetie we know well,  Camila lived until her family came to get her.  I dont think they would mind if I shared this part with you since Calley shared it on her own blog.  Almost as soon as we got there the caregivers told Danny and Calley that Camilas sister and brother were now there.  Right there in that orphanage, right there where we were.  They were floored by this news as they did not know of her siblings.  We were all pretty shaken by that news.  I dont know how Danny and Calley held it together.

This is Danny hugging Kiara just after they learned the news of who she was.

 She was so much like Camila, running from one thing to another, and loving to JUMP and JUMP!  She sounded so much like her too.

This guy loved to cut up and play.


All the children LOVED the clowns!
 We played games with them.



Many of them were very interested in Lances' tattoos.


Todd was blessed to be able to speak to the children with Rodolpho interpreting for him.  He did great. They listened very well.


 After that we got to pray for the children.  That was very moving to me.  I am sure it was to all of our team but I can only speak for myself.  The kids stayed seated as we went around and each one did whatever God showed them to do as far as praying for the kids went.  For Todd, I believe he said he put his hands on every child there.  For me I started in one spot and took time with each child that was in front of me.  Therefore I moved kinda slow and probably prayed with 6 -10 children, maybe.  This experience was once again not really what I thought it would be.  I dont really know what I expected.  What happened though, was that each child waited so excitedly.  They were eagerly waiting their turn for prayer with smiles.
 And with giggles in anticipation.  When I turned to them their eyes showed me they were ready and excited at the thought that I was about to touch them and pray just for them.  And I did.  Sometimes with tears, sometimes with smiles.  This was not something that was interpreted so they did not know how I prayed except for when I could use the teenie bit of Spanish I could during the prayer.  (Gracias Dios)  (La nina es muy bonita)  However wrong it may have been.  :)  I prayed and they bowed their heads and closed their eyes and let me pray.  I was moved by their anticipation and eagerness.

After our prayers we passed out toys to all of them.  They loved them.  So excited over puzzles, and tiny stuffed animals and small dolls. & bubbles.  Then we had to leave them.  There were tears on the way back to the mission.  And not just mine...

In my journal that night I wrote,
          "God hear our prayers.  God protect them."

We really enjoyed our time there with them.


Oh my, how sweet they were.  How special they are.  Do they know?  Who will tell them today?  I pray someone will.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Love and Backyard Bible School

Day five was full yall!  After we got back from the last activity I told you about we had lunch which was RICE with a Chicken Cream sauce over it and sliced boiled eggs on the side.

After that we went to what we would call here a Backyard Bible School sort of day.  When we got to this play area some of the team went around calling for the kids to come play.  Once we had a group of kids together we did just that.  We played!    Todd played soccer, tug of war, and race (with kids on their backs).




I played jumprope, hula hoop, and "flip the kid" until I couldn't do it anymore.





Then I called for backup! :)






I love this picture of these little guys watching jump rope.  They watched soccer...  Then Chelsey brainstormed and figured out something to get them involved in play themselves!  She's GREAT!







Dan took lots of photos with his Ipad.   The kids and adults alike LOVED looking at their pictures and videos!



 Tonja built things with these guys.



After I "retired" from "flip the kid" I pulled out some fingernail polish I had brought with me and we painted ALL the girls nails.



After all their nails were done, I let them paint mine.  It was all a HIT!



This little guy in my lap stole my heart.  His name is Christian.  He got hurt at one point and I held him for the rest of the time we spent there.  He let me.  I was blessed.  I told him Jesus loved him and I loved him too.  He squeezed me so tight.  It squeezed tears right out of me.

After our play, time there was a Sunday School type lesson taught by the Safehouse guys.  The kids were so well behaved and participated and answered questions.  They got prizes and snacks and juice.

When our time was finished we left them.  Once again they ran after us wanting one more hug.

Me wanting one more picture.
We said "Chow" and away we went.