Sundry updates from the end of 2009, including the Smiths' house being robbed, the team combi breaking down, and more.
Last year, we had only been in Peru for a few months when the holiday season rolled around. We were able to get our homes decorated and a few American-style treats made, but we were still very early in the learning curve to knowing what we could and could not do here. We also had very little exposure to a typical Peruvian family’s Christmas celebration. However, this year, we know quite a bit more about the culture and have been able to learn from our friends as we go.
In our first full year in Arequipa we have tried hard to integrate ourselves in the communities of Alto Selva Alegre and Miraflores. Through ICDU we have opened libraries and taught seminars on urban gardening. For Christmas we decided to take the advice of our Peruvian friends and throw two parties, one at our library in A.S.A and one close to a new library up in Miraflores. These traditional holiday parties, called chocolatadas, were mainly for the kids, but it gave us a great opportunity to meet more of our neighbors and spread the word of what ICDU is about here in Arequipa.
We’ve enjoyed the girls’ experience of our first baptism. On the way to the water, Shaye was very curious about Jose Luis getting “babertized.” Most often since that day, when Ana prays she thanks God for “Jose Luis and bapteezy in the water.” The ritual made quite an impression on the kids—and on us as well.
During our time of preparation for the field, our team studied several different books in an effort to better clarify how we would approach the mission here in Arequipa. Some things we knew wouldn’t apply culturally, but we were able to glean quite a few pearls of wisdom in how to approach church planting, cultivation, discipleship and outreach.
Often we find ourselves using the newsletter to recap the month. In fact, Greg’s article is aimed at keeping you updated with our work. However, we also have a number of things that we are planning and preparing for right now, though they have yet to come to fruition, and we want you to know about them. What I hope you all do with this article is make a list of our upcoming projects and begin praying for them. We are still in the early planning stages with some of these and could use guidance. These are in no particular order, which is my favorite way to handle things.
God designed relationship with a great purpose in mind. He wants to be in relationship with us, and we are to spread his kingdom by forming relationships with others. That is what my life is about no matter what part of the world I am in. I have had many frustrating times here in Peru because of my inadequacy with the language and learning to juggle my duties of mother and evangelist. I am an extrovert by nature, and I decided this past month that I would dive in to this Peruvian relationship thing full force. I feel like God heard my prayers and blessed my availability.
When I’m pushing my Mac’s processor, a little rainbow hued circle appears, spinning where my cursor should be. It lets me know that the computer is working, but it’s going to be a moment before I can do much else. Sometimes I have the feeling that little icon is hovering around my head. We have a couple of things in the works here that are just waiting for the processor to catch up.
God likes to work with water. He used water to flood the world, he parted the waters to deliver his people from slavery, he produced water from rocks in the desert, he parted a river as his people entered the promised land and Jesus’ first recorded miracle shows him turning water to wine. It seems fitting to me that we would choose, as our first project in El Naranjal, to help provide clean water to people who have none. This month we have made some exciting progress that we want to share with you all.
We have so much to tell you regarding the libraries! This past month we hosted several different school groups from the ASA community in our library. The intention was to teach them a lesson (on honesty) and to invite them to come and use the library. It is surprising to us that many of them are surprised to learn that library access is free.