Saturday, December 12, 2009

What's new



I know it's been a while since I updated. I wanted to leave those pictures of the "for sale" items up for a little longer so more people could see. Thank you so much for your response to these two ladies. It was awesome to see so many people wanting to help.

I felt a few weeks back that I should start praying for Chana, and that God wanted to heal her. She has been deaf since birth. This morning, she told me with hand signals and then her mom told me that she is beginning to hear in one ear the very loud noises. God is moving!! It's awesome to see God at work. Please join with us in praying for her ears to open for the glory of Jesus!

Here are some pictures from the feeding program. These are some of the kids who are helping me go around to invite other kids to come here the Word of God.
Along the way we ran into this sheep who was just chilling so I asked them to take a picture with it =)

We've been having a hard time spending time with the youth in our church. Most of them are busy most of the week, and our weekends are our busiest time. But the last two weeks we've brought them along with us to the feeding program so they can help and we can spend time with them. Working together brings people closer! So these are the youth that came and helped us on Saturday. From left to right, Clayburn, Ginger, Katia, Darliz, and Jorge.


Darliz is helping me serve the food.

This is one of the kids who always helps me invite. He's a cute little kid, always ready to smile!

Bryan and I ate out one Sunday night and I had a plate called Brocheta Mixta. Basically its kabobs with different kinds of meats. Well Bryan tried them out with a marinating recipe he found on the internet, and put them on the grill and they turned out fantastic. I just thought ya'll would like to see a bit of his creativity.


Last Christmas was Bryan and I's first Christmas married, but we were on our break from Mexico, so we were living with our parents. This is the first year we've had our own place for Christmas, so we went and bought our first Christmas tree. It's little, but it's perfect for us. We figure in later years we can use this even when we get a big tree.
Bryan took the job of putting the lights on very seriously. I think he did a great job.


Here is our beautiful tree!!!

We have several things coming up:

We will be giving out Christmas presents to children in the church and that have been coming to our children's program on Sunday morning. We will also be giving to some kids in communities outside of Maldonado. For the majority of them, this is the only present they will get this Christmas.

My parents are coming to visit and I'm super excited about seeing them and them seeing everything here. Pray for safety in travel.

We are having a get together at the church on Wednesday the 23rd to celebrate as a church. We're wanting it to be a time of fellowship and growing together as a family in Christ.

Thanks for your prayers. Christmas is less than 2 weeks away!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The more native stuff =)

So I said I'd put the other items on the blog that are up for sale. As opposed to Chana, Josafina is an older lady and she makes all her stuff by hand. So it takes a lot longer to make. I'm not sure if she's interested in making multiple items like Chana. I just know these are for sale. If i get multiple people wanting the same thing, I can ask her. But I know these will take a lot longer to make, so besides these I don't know what would be ready by the time my parents come. Please let me know if you are interested! First come first serve =)

Josafina is part of a family that lives just outside of Puerto Maldonado in a little town called Pastora. You can see parts of their houses in some of these pictures. They moved several years ago from up the river, but they travel frequently. None of them have a steady job. They take jobs as river guides and sometimes these women's husbands are gone for weeks at a time. Keep in mind that a day's wage for a job here is about $8. You can see why helping Josafina or Chana is a tremendous help!

Below is a native tunic that is the traditional garb of the Yene tribe. Remember they are all handmade so they're a little more pricey. The price of this is $135. It's a heavy material and really nice quality. Both of these tunics are for men.
This is $135 as well.
This is a woman's traditional garb. The pants are about size 4. The shirt is about a medium. The cost of these together is $17. If someone is interested in buying them separately, let me know and maybe we can do that. She just gave me a joint price.

This vest is $25. It would be great as a fishing vest for someone perhaps =)
These are placemats. It comes with 4 that look like this. They are $5 each. So for the set is $20.
This is a backpack type bag that Bryan is modeling haha. The cost of it is $12.
This is a bag or purse that has a long strap. So you'd wear it over the shoulder across your chest. It's a neutral and can be used by boys or girls. It's $14.
This is one of the same types of bags. But the design is just a little different. This also costs $14.

And this is Herman Josafina who made all of these. She's a very sweet lady.
Please check out the entry below as well to see Chana's if you haven't already seen them. Thanks for helping us help some precious sisters in our church.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Purses!!

Hey everyone! I'm sorry it's taken me a while to update. I've been waiting for some pictures I wanted to show ya'll. There is a girl in our church who is 19 years old. Her name is Chana and she can't hear or speak. She uses sign language (which is really tough to understand for me when she's signing out words in Spanish - like a triple translation!) and she does not let her disability get in her way. Since I've known her family, I haven't seen a father. She has three younger brothers and her mom that she lives with. Chana is has to work. There isn't any programs to help people with disabilities here. It's just a fact of life, but she has to work to help provide for her family. She is a very hardworker, and as you are about to see, a very creative and talented individual. I wanted to show ya'll some of her work:

This is for a square pillow. She designs these herself.
Another pillow except its a sideways picture with my foot in it too =)
These are the purses she makes. You can tell this one doesn't have the straps yet. It's in progress.
Another design
And another
And another with the added bonus of my feet again.

I asked her about sewing or putting "Puerto Maldonado, Peru" on them and she said she could definitely do that. She is just starting this business, but I know many of you have asked how you can help. This is a great opportunity to help a family of believers that we're working with here and get a pretty souvenir in the process. My parents are coming in December, so they would bring them back with them if you buy one. Please, please let me know if you'd like one asap because she will need to be working on them. I'm hoping this will help kick off her business really well. The prices of the pillows and the pink purse (or that material) are $10. The prices of the others are $15. Please consider ordering one of these to help her out. They would make great gifts =). Any questions please email or comment on the blog.

Just a few pictures more since I took the time to upload those others:

Moises, Octavio and Luz's grandson. He'll turn 3 this month.
Luz, Moises, and his mom Mari
Bryan carrying our "compras" for the Saturday morning food program. It gets really heavy.

Much love!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some New Pics


This is the church in Tres Islas where we go every Tuesday to have church there.
This is the outside of the church building.
This is the girl who made my card in the last blog. She's always at the church if the doors are open.
This is the lady we usually buy our chicken from.
On the top left is the ground beef that we now have in our refrigerator. Below that are fish.

Just some pics of around town I thought ya'll would like to see.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Grateful


The other night we went up to the church to do some publicity about the English classes we are hoping to start on Nov. 2nd. Everytime the church doors are open, our kids from Sunday mornings come running over (at least a few of them anyway). They sat with us and colored, but this is what they ended up drawing and coloring and giving to us:

Translates: A card for Professor or Teacher Elena (which is easier for the kids to say than Delana). Sister Elena, you have taught me very well and because of that I'm telling you you are very nice. I love you a lot and I want to go to Tres Islas. Thank you Sister Elena. Bye Sister Elena.

This explanation to the Tres Islas thing is that we were going to have church there one Sunday and we invited all the kids. But when we went to reserve a soccer field and spot to have it there, it was already going to be used. So we decided to do it in January instead. But the kids were really excited and are still excited. They had to bring their parents to us to give us permission to go, so I guess that work got them invested in really wanting to go. Haha they really are fun.


This is the one to Bryan: Thank you Brother Bryan for helping me to color and draw and all the other things. You help me in everything.

This is the front of both of the cards.
These are from a brother and sister that we've gotten pretty close to. Their mom and grandmother own a shop in the market across the street from the church, and their dad is a teacher in another town and comes and visits on weekends when he can. It is obvious they are both lacking in attention because they are always trying to get it from us. But most of the time, especially when it's one on one, we love to give it. It's cool to see how God is using the short time we have with the once a week to make a difference in their lives.

It's so easy to get bothered by the little things. I was thankful when one time this week in my time with the Lord, I felt a direct command to be grateful. That is our job. Thank you for your prayers this week. I don't know what it is, but I can feel the prayers this week. I know it is the joy of the Lord.

We've had two pastor's prayer meetings since I last posted, and they are going well. We've gotten to spend time now with some of the pastors in a more casual setting, and that has been a very good thing. It's hard to have actually unity and not just talked-about-unity when you're not really even friends. One pastor and his wife and sister-in-law are starting a television program for youth here in Maldonado. I guess because we are young, they asked us to help them with ideas and things. Neither of us have any television experience, but it seems like it might be a great tool to make connections with some of the youth around town. Some of our ideas include, candid camera, a talent show (like American Idolish), but each week a new person comes on and has to compete against the ones who stayed from the week before. Also for teaching, we want to show interviews from around town and also some documentaries to show youth that there is more to live for than just the moment.

Anyway, I guess that's most of what is going on. I mentioned the English classes before, but please pray that it goes smoothly. We've done a lot of preparation and work for them, and we're hoping it will pay off by giving us connections with new people and a new way to share the Lord by day-to-day relationships.

My verse of encouragement this week has been:
"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever - do not abandon the works of your hands." Psalm 138:8

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Electricity

It has been over a week since I updated. It's partly my fault, but we've also been without electricity frequently this past and current week, so that's my excuse. The rainy months have begun. It's not to much yet, but the other night there was a storm. I think that's a major cause of our electricity problems. Sunday night we even had church in a circle with a flashlight pointing up at the ceiling.

We came here really wanting to get to know the other Christian pastors and wanting to work with the pastors who were willing to work together. We found that there is a Fraternity of Evangelical Pastors that meets once a month. We've been going faithfully, but this week was really encouraging. Yesterday we met, and we spent about 3 hours with pastors just sharing about the city. Not their church or their activities. They were sharing about what God has shown them about strongholds or demonic activity and very serious stuff. It provoked in us, but I think in all the pastors, a seriousness of the condition of this city. We decided to meet once a week just to pray, not anything else. One pastor said a government official told him that in a lot of things the governments hands are tied. But then he told him, "You are the ones that can do something to change this city. The church can change the minds and attitudes of the people." It was very encouraging to see a desire to pray and dedicate ourselves to spiritually attack the oppression and idolatry in Maldonado. The first prayer meeting is tomorrow morning.

My friend Martha is struggling. My other friend I wrote about is doing pretty well. She is very busy, though. She has classes and then overnight shifts at the hospital some nights of the week plus taking care of her son in the middle of that.

English classes, we hope, are going to start November 2nd. We've been handing out flyers and have gotten several calls about it. We're just trying it out right now, but we're hoping we can get at least 8 people per class to make it worth our time. Thanks to God's provision, I will also be starting the process of getting my ESL certification soon. It's kind of exciting.

For those of you who receive our newsletters - Bryan has written two of them, but our friend Terry who has been doing them for us for so long got a new job and can't do them for us. We will be continuing those soon. You might even receive two at the same time. Bryan's updates are usually more general, but cover more things.

Hasta luego!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

slowly, but surely

I've realized this week that this is not going to be a snap and it's all better sort of situation. Things are going to take a lot of time and prayers and intervention by the Holy Spirit.

This morning as a team we were sort of brainstorming ideas about how to move the people in the congregation to be the "ministers" God created them to be. A mentality here is paying your dues. You come to church, sit there for a while, and then leave and get on with your business. We've started working with kids around the neighborhood of the church on Sunday mornings. One goal is to reach these kids, but another is to train people to share their faith. I feel like we've got to get this training people down. Not the "sending them to training conferences" type of thing, but them really being discipled. If it takes a conference - awesome. But, it's just something we're seeing as absolutely necessary. And this training will take a lot of time. I guess I see it differently, because I grew up in church. As I grew in age and maturity, I was also growing in the Lord. I guess I expect adults to be able to understand and change quickly.

I know we will see change here. I have felt so many promises from the Lord. But instead of coming through mighty waves of salvation and the Holy Spirit, I'm almost certain it will come through discipline - the every day faithfulness. I guess that's how it works most of the time.

So that's my thoughts on what's been going on lately. We had a great trip in Cusco, and the boys got to see their first professional soccer game. I unfortunately didn't go, because I hit my head earlier that morning and was feeling a bit dizzy. That's not that atmosphere you want to go into when you feel like that.

Cooking is becoming a more normal thing to me. I've found several things I can do pretty well that are cheap, so we've been enjoying that.

We're really trying to working on a business. We want to eventually be able to support ourselves and be able to use donations for other things besides our eating and living stuff. So we are about to start English classes. We want to open these up small at first, but we'd really like to start an institute. I think I've already written this on the blog, but I'm sharing it again - haha. I am planning on getting my certification for ESL through an online program that is accredited internationally and also here in Peru. I really believe that this is from the Lord, and we are excited about how this will advance the Kingdom through another facet instead of just through church services.

Anyway, I think it's about time for another post with pictures, but I don't have any new ones. I'm bad at remembering to take pictures. I would love to answer questions or take pictures of something if ya'll give me some ideas.

Love, Delana

P.S. It will be 3 months since we've been here next week. Crazy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cusco

So we're in Cusco. It's nice to have a break from the heat.

Today I think I'm going to write a little more reflectively.

It's been over two months since we've been here. I realized for the first time a few weeks ago that when we go back to the US, it won't be the same life we had before. I know this seems obvious, but it made me realize that this is my life - here - in Peru, and that this is what God has called me to.

Last night we met with the church here in Cusco, and David spoke on our calling as Christians. That we all have a call on our lives. And one of those calls is to run our race. I've been treating my time in Peru so far as a short time period of my life. It really hit me last night that I MUST live my life here on purpose. I can't just think this is a phase, and that things will go back to normal in a few months. I guess it's easy day to day to start seeing things as mundane and forget that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I think it's like that for everybody. Because day by day can be boring. So anyway, I want this to become the place I love. I want Peru to be my home, because by doing that I'm embracing my "race" or my calling.

Right now for us is obviously a preparing time. The 3 of us can all see that God is going to act here. But, if he started moving mightly right now, we wouldn't be ready for it. So I guess these times are just as important as when God starts to change people, churches, and cities. We have to be ready for it.

Pray for us to stay persistent in our times with the Lord. It's easy to get busy in ministry and forget that the real goal is to know Jesus. I know that's been a struggle for me.

So this blog was more emotional than usual, but I figure it's good every once in while. If anyone wants to come visit or bring a group from their church, please let us know. We would love to have anyone who can come.

Last thing - I sent out a message to the Facebook group, but if you don't receive our newsletter and want to, please send me your email address. Or if you receive it in the mail and you don't mind getting it in email instead, send me your email. We're trying to minimize the hard copies we send out so we can get them out faster.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Update

So I said I'd post pictures of the baby. Below is her birth paperwork and stuff. They had to take her to a near by village to get her registered. You can see her little feet in the picture, but it's hard to read her name. But if you look to the far right, you might be able to make out my name, her middle name =) They even spelled it how I spell it in English.


And this is the mom, and little Carolina Delana. The two little girls in the back are her two big sisters, Reina and Gabbi. I didn't get a picture of Isidoro because he shyed away from the camera, but he's sitting on his wife's right. They are one family we work with here.

Things have been going well. The most exciting thing has been the people closest to us. I've made friends with a girl about my age, and it's been so nice. We've had some good conversations, and she's started opening up to me about her life. She comes pretty regularly to the church, and has even been helping on Sunday morning with the children's church. Please pray for this relationship.

This past weekend, there was a church who hosted a group of 40 something people from Lima to do an evangelism crusade. They told all the evangelical churches about it, so we could invite our members, and they could invite friends. We were excited, but really surprised when we heard the message on the first night. Instead of just a traditional, "Do you know where you will go when you die?" he spoke on the restoration of the family. WOW what a timely message here. He told stories of testimonies of how Jesus had healed, transformed, and changed people's lives and families. One story was long so I'm not going to tell the whole thing, but it was the conversion and physical healing and changing of the first Peruvian who had gotten a sex-change in the late 70's. He was actually the 3rd person in the world to have the surgery done. But God used tons of events in his life to come to Him, and He miraculously changed his body back into a man's 7 years after his conversion. I was wowed by this story.

Seriously, it was really encouraging to hear and see the people respond to this message. But the main thing is, we must see transformation in this area of the family. This is one of our greatest prayers for this city.

This upcoming Friday we will be going on a trip to Cusco. We told the hermanos there we would visit every other month if we could, so we will be going for about 5 days to spend time with them. We also found this awesome Taco Sauce that we will be buying more of while we are there. =) Now that I know what we have here in Maldonado and what we don't, I can buy some stuff there. We'll be taking our car again for the 12-14 hour drive, so pray for us please.

Thanks for all you support and prayers.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Baby!

So we have a new baby!

I was hoping that would get everybody’s attention. A family in our church had a baby this week. The husband, Isidoro, works on the land that the ministry owns and we also provide him with a house to live in, but it’s kind of in the middle of nothing. From town you can’t get a car to go out there past 7:00 at night. So they happened to be out there, and Isidoro had to be “the doctor.” He even cut the cord once she’d come out. Pretty hardcore I’d have to say.

But for me it’s really special because her 2nd name is going to be Elena after me. =) I’ve never had anyone name their kid after me, so I think it’s really neat. The couple already has two little girls who are precious and I’m sure this one will be too.

We’ve been doing really well. This past Sunday was our 2nd Sunday to have a kids time in the morning instead of just an adult Sunday School type of thing. We felt we needed to do that discipling another time, and have some sort of outreach. The first Sunday we had 7 kids. When we drove up at 8:45 to the church there were already two kids there waiting, two that hadn’t come the week before. We don’t start until 10. So once we got the doors open, we had about 6 or 7 kids there. We told them we were going to clean the church, and I asked if they wanted to help. They said “SI!!” or “YES!!” and went to town. What usually takes us 35 minutes was done in 10. It was awesome. Then I told them that since we still had about 50 minutes until we started, they could go invite some other kids to come. When it was all said and done, we had 19 kids. Pretty amazing. We split the kids up and the adults that had come helped us by questioning the kids about what they had learned from the story. Thank you Life Church in Bryan for the material you left with us! It has been so helpful.

Our goal as we’ve seen it here is to raise up leaders. We’re starting to see individuals who would be great for certain things, but it’s a work of the Holy Spirit. Pray that we will have the wisdom with how to do this whole thing. We have more and more no idea how do get done what we know needs to be done. But in a way, this is a great spot because there’s not much room for pride. Anyway, that’s a little of what’s going on with us.

The other thing is that we went on Monday morning to the fraternity of pastors here in Maldonado. I thought it was funny that they’re called a fraternity. But anyway, it was good to see that there is already a group of pastors here that want to work in unity to see this city changed. It was encouraging for us to hear other hearts the same as ours. The pastor’s wives also meet for prayer every month. We were definitely the youngest people there, and the only Americans there. There was one Brazilian couple and one Swiss missionary. So it was neat to meet all of them.

Well that’s about it. I’ll post pics of the new baby soon.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

No Internet

So the internet we first had at our house was too low quality for the price we were paying. So for the moment, we do not have internet in our house. This has been the first chance I've had to update the blog, so you can see that my posts might be a bit less frequent until we make a new choice on internet.

But just one comment on my last post. That chicken-cutting, I discovered today, was nothing. Folks, as of today, I know how to completely decontruct an entire chicken. Head, feet, insides, windpipe, and rectal parts. SO yeah. If you need help with that ever. I can for sure do it. It was completely disgusting to say the least.

Anyway, things are going well with us. Pray for the children we've been working with. We're starting to see an attachment which is good.

Also, very quickly, I got to see Martha today and hang out with her for a little while. We didn't talk about much too serious, but I'm so thankful for your prayers for that. She's actually looking for a new job now, which would mean she might have a lot more free time. But just pray that she will find the right job. Love ya'll so much.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

no such thing as fast food

Last nights dinner:
No boneless skinless chicken breasts here. Here there's bloody bonefilled breasts. I took a while, but I eventually got it looking a lot like they sell at the store in the states.

Bryan demanded that we keep the bone so that we can make a soup out of it. We've been to a few restaurants that served chicken soup and had feet and liver and stuff in it, so he's wanting me to learn to make it. I think we'll just stick with the chest bone. I'm sure it adds enough flavor.

And I guess it turned out okay because it was eaten up.

So last night we had prayer at the church. Bryan and I bring our Ipod dock to play Spanish Christian music at the beginning, kind of like a call or something. Well anyway, we plugged it in and it wouldn't work. Then I remembered that the last time we'd used it, David accidently plugged it in without the adaptor and it popped really loud. I did this with my straightner the first time I came to Peru, and it completely ruined it. So we were bummed. But as we were waiting I asked Bryan, "hey do you wanna pray for the dock? maybe God will fix it" and my wonderful believing husband that he is said "Sure"

So we go over and lay hands on the dock and just pray in Jesus name that He would please fix it, cuz its all we have to play our Ipod on and stuff like that. Right after he started praying, it sounded like some people were walking by and we both turned around kinda embarrassed and then laughed at each other.

But nothing happened. It was still broke. So I was very surprised when Bryan woke me up last night right after I'd fallen asleep and said "LOOK!!" I didnt have my contacts so I couldn't see a thing, but I saw a light come on and made it out to be the dock. He said "I was praying and I felt like I should try it again and it works!!"

It was exciting for us. So we're hoping that God will start using us to heal people too. Thats a lot more important. But it was a great encouragement for me, because in my tiny amount of faith in the middle of all my feelings of ridiculous, God did it anyway. Amazing. And now we don't have to wait 6 months for someone to bring us another one =)

Love ya'll!




Monday, August 24, 2009

New Pics


We've started singing songs with the kids at the feeding program. I taught them one with motions and everything, and they all seem to like it and think it's pretty funny.




We got our bathroom renovated this last week. The owners of the house told us that they were going to do it before they rented it out, but we needed it really soon so we said they could do it while we were living here. Bryan and I had to move out of our room for a few days because of all the dust and stuff, but it was worth it. If you compare it to the previous post, you'll see the difference. We really like it.

We had been sleeping on the floor on our mattress, but we now have this great bed frame! Bryan ordered it and then painted it black. It looks great. It's actually the first nice bed we've had together, with a headboard and all.

We had our first youth time at our house, and we had four youth come. But they were actually from another church. There happened to be an older lady in the Sunday night service who usually goes to another church, and she told her son and he invited these youth. We had a lot of fun though. We met some nice people, and it was so encouraging to hear some good stories. We've heard a lot of negative things since we got here about how awful and sinful this city is, but it was nice to hear that other people are working to bring the Kingdom here.

David and Octavio are leaving for a river trip this week. It will be an 8 day trip, so keep them in your prayers.

Funny story... A man in our church gave us some Brazil nuts because Bryan said he'd never tried them. So we had a ton of them, and I wanted to use them for something. I found a bread pudding recipe that was really simple, but used Brazil nuts. So I put it all together and baked it. I actually had a friend over too, and I told her she should wait a few more minutes till it was done so she could have some.

So, I pull it out and it looks really good. But the taste was SUPER salty! Of course, I'd bought this instead of sugar:



But I'm not completely stupid because it does say sugar or "azucar" on it:


But then I got mad, so I mushed up half of the dessert and then threw it away:


It did look prettier than that. Maybe I'll try it again soon once I go buy some sugar =)

My project for the week... making a hymnal. Not fancy or anything, but the words of all the songs I know so far in Spanish. And then hopefully I'll just keep adding to it. But this is definately a MUST! Everybody has just been standing there during worship trying to understand me singing Spanish. so yeah, this will help.

Pray for my friend Martha I wrote about. She's in school and has a full time job which is a pretty full schedule, and also means she doesn't have a lot of free time. Pray that I'll get to spend some quality time with her.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Light's Out!

It's hard to believe we've been here for a whole month. We're slowly adjusting to every day life here. This past week was our first full week in our house.

So Mondays are our days off. We've gotten advice from many people who say, take a day to rest. So that day is Monday.

Tuesdays we take time to pray as a team with Octavio for the city and the ministry. After this we go visiting. Last week, we got to visit a few Christians who haven't been at church in while so we made sure everything was going okay. Today, we used the visiting time to invite people that live around the church to come. We are trying to use this time to encourage and meet new people.

Starting tonight, we will be going on Tuesday nights to a small pueblo called Tres Islas. The have a group of believers there, but they haven't had regular set meeting times, so it's hard for the to have church. It's also a place where there is no electricity, so we'll be having church about 4. It gets dark here SUPER early, like 5:45. Pray for this time. We feel like we need to disciple these believers who are mostly first generation Christians from what I understand. If you read our newsletter, this is the same place where two young people got saved.

Last Wednesday, the boys went to the land that Global owns here. They helped do some stuff around there, while I worked on Sunday music. This is the first time since high school that I'm leading worship, and my first time in Spanish. Playing, singing, and praying in Spanish all at the same time has proved a little challenging, but with God's grace, I'll get the hang of it. We are planning on buying a microphone stand this week, because Bryan has been holding the mic for me while I play and sing. During the songs, I can see his arm getting tired, and then he'll switch arms. Pray mostly that we will know how to lead these people into praising the Lord through song. We need wisdom in doing this. Wednesday nights we have a prayer meeting at church.

Thursday mornings, I am now teaching piano lessons =). A 15 year old guy named Jordin who really likes music hasn't been coming to church with his mom. Octavio said he grew up coming to the church, but it's like he's lost interest. When he heard I brought a keyboard, he was excited. He wanted to learn, so we had class for about an hour and a half on Thursday mornings after we all just sat around and talked. On Sunday, he was at church. I have a feeling that he is a crucial part to reaching young people in this city. Pray for him to have a hunger for God like he's never known before.

Thursday night we invited Octavio and Luz over for dinner. We actually cooked Mexican quesadillas. While David was in Mexico, some friends taught him to make flour tortillas from scratch. So we made a meal of it, and it was great to laugh with them and get to know them on a more personal level. In the future on Thursday nights, we are planning on another service in El Infierno (translate "hell" so pray for us please! haha).

Fridays we don't have anything offically planned yet for the mornings, but I'll tell you about that in a minute. But Friday nights, we've devoted to youth. This Friday, we're having youth ages 15-25 over to our house for some food and games. Usually the weekends get pretty crazy here so we've heard. We're wanting to offer a good alternative to those who want to have healthy fun. Last Friday we had a girl over for dinner who we've gotten to know a little bit. She's studying English so we only spoke English the entire night. She is someone else that I think is key in our making a difference with the youth here. We'll call her Martha on the blog. I'll keep you updated with her.

So we're almost through with our weekly schedule. Saturdays we have the feeding program I've written about on here before. Pray that this will translate into lives change for Jesus, and not only mouths fed. We're finding that a lot of kids won't come until late so they don't have to listen to the teaching. Pray for a hunger and thirst there, not only for food, but for the Word of God.

This last Saturday night, the guys played a game of futbol, or soccer, and the girls played volleyball. It was fun, and it was a beginning to forming relationships with youth and people in the church.

Sunday we have a teaching-sunday-school-ish time and then at night we have a service with music and preaching. I also aquired another piano student that's coming over to the house after church to learn for an hour before lunch. His name is Isidoro. He actually works on the land and has been working with the believers in Tres Islas.

So that's what it looks like our consistent weekly events will be.

For those of you who don't know me really well, my passion has always been to teach English as a ministry in a city. We joked this week that we should have made a flyer for piano lessons, but we made a flyer for English tutoring this week. Instead of starting classes right away, I've planned to offer tutoring to those who are already taking classes. The ultimate goal is to have a Christian English Institute where we can use the Bible openly, but train people to speak English to bring better job opportunities. Pray for wisdom as we try to sort this out and make decisions. In a town this size, repuatation is a big deal, so we want to be professional and do things the right way.

One funny thing, is that we've found out that the lights aren't very consistent. They've gone out 3 times this week. I guess this is why the only sell gas stoves here. So I've learned to cook with a candle.

Ya'll are great. I've gotten so many messages and comments about the blogs, and I can't tell you how encouraging it has been. In times where I've been down, it seems like there's been a sweet note or comment. God is so good. He knows us and looks after us.

Speaking of, one quick story before I end this, we found out yesterday that a bus had crashed and there were at least 8 confirmed deceased. This happened on the same road (the 17 hour trip) me and Bryan drove the week before last. It's a very dangerous road, and the buses go very quickly around curvy, steep roads. We know God's hand was on our car during that drive.

Thank you for your prayers. Much love!! Make sure you check out the facebook group for some of our new pictures!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We're Home!

Hey guys,

So we finally made it back to Puerto Maldonado. We heard from Cusco to here it was a 12 hour drive, but some were saying you could make it in 10. So we got up on Friday morning at 4:30, but by the time we picked up our car and got gas, it was about 5:30. So that's where we started our countdown.

This road is unbelievable. The view is so beautiful (of course our camera was still dead at this point), but the reason it's beautiful is that you're on mountain after mountain. The road goes round and round and round and round. Coupled with this is the fact that neither Bryan or I know how to drive a standard. That's pretty much every car here, so our new car is a standard. Bryan was learning to drive as we went. He actually did a fantastic job, and it wasn't too jerky after the first couple hours.

Of course there's another peeing story. We had to stop on the side of the mountain, because for the first 5 hours there were no places to stop. It was completely mountain. So we found a big pile of gravel that we could go behind. He went of course with no problems. I however chose to squat on top of some rocks which caused slashige. This caused my shoes to get a sprayed a little bit. Seriously, why do guys have it so easy on this??

So we pushed through and kept going. Stopped at the first decent sized town and got 2 cans of tuna and some crackers. Unfortunately we had no utensils and no hand sanitizer and crackers that broke really easily. So i just splashed a little water on my hands and dipped my finger in to load up the cracker. So went 1 can of tuna. Then we arrive at a spot in the road that has three foot long wood obstacles in the road with a few policemen standing around. A lady tells us that the road is closed until 5:30. We look at our watches. It is 2:00. So we turned around to go back to the town we'd been in to wait for 3 1/2 hours.

On our way back, we had a group of about 9 people flagging us down asking for a ride back to town. They had about three kids, but the rest were adults. So we piled in and learned that they'd gotten in a wreck and been waiting at that place for most of the day. They hadn't eaten so we gave them the other can of tuna and crackers.

We headed back and the pass cleared at 5:30, and we were on our way in the dark. It was now the 12 hour mark. All in all, it took us about 17 hours, because we finally pulled in about 10:30ish.

The cool thing is that we got to use the car the next day to go to the feeding program. We really believed buying a car was the first way we could bless this ministry. It was nice to see the results so quickly. We piled in the car with a gigantic pot of rice and another huge pot of this tuna noodle mixture. =)

Another blessing is that our keyboard arrived while we were gone! On Sunday night, I played and sang for the worship at church. They've been playing a CD with Hermana Luz up front singing. All the people loved the keyboard. Even a little boy, Rueben, who's 9 kept walking around it. You could see how much he wanted to touch it in his eyes. The only keyboards we've seen for sell here at all cost a lot more than that one did and are very dinky. I'm so thankful to have it. Thanks for praying for it to get here!

The last thing is that we got a stove! We are slowly adding to our belongings. It was really nice to have a cooked meal last night. We had baked potatoes and this meat. I say it that way because I'm not really sure what the guys picked up for me to cook. But it was a bit grissly, but we all just enjoyed sitting down and eating together. Plus we found some El Paso Hot Sauce in the Supermercado in Cusco, so we all just covered the potato and meat in that.

Today is Bryan's birthday, so ya'll wish him a good one!

Bryan posted the pictures of our car on the facebook group - Bryan and Delana in Peru

Thursday, August 6, 2009

CAR STORIES

So these past two week have been a little crazy. We came Sunday, the 26th to Cusco to spend time with the home church here. Cusco has a completely opposite feel from the jungle. it's very city-like and almost has a European feel (although I've never been to Europe haha).
So the pastor of the church here helped us look for a few days that week for a car. During that time we ate with his family a few times and got to know them a little bit. But, all the cars we found were too expensive for us. It's ridiculous the difference between used cars in the states and here.
When we couldn't find one here, a friend of ours sent us to a pastor/mechanic friend of his in Puno named Mateo. This is where our adventure really began. The first night in Puno, we went to the Plaza to eat with Mateo and his family. As we were crossing the street to get a taxi home, I didn't look at the ground as I was walking, and I fell right in the middle of the street. Laying there, Bryan ran out to make sure I was okay and block the oncoming traffic from hitting me. He and Mateo helped me to the side of the road. I knew it wasn't broken, but I couldn't walk on it. We were at over 14,000 feet and it was our first night there, so the altitude started getting to me. I started blacking out and I couldn't stand up. I sat down on the corner of the street, and finally the wave of black passed. It was kind of funny looking back on it. So I iced my foot most of the next day while Bryan went to look for cars.

He didn't find one that day, so we went the next day to a place called Ilave about an hour away from Puno. The bus ride to get there costs about 2.5 soles which equates to about 82 cents. It's great. But you go to the bus station and then stand in line as buses come around. It's like a ride at six flags, except the ride is no fun. But we pile in behind these people filling each spot. You don't pay for the ride until your almost there. I find that a bit funny, but I guess they are very trusting that you have the money if you get on.
So anyway, when they came around to collect money, the couple in front of us refused to give 2.5 soles. They said, "it's usually only 2 soles and we're not paying anymore than that." for a minute Bryan and I were scared we were going to be in the middle of a fist fight. finally after a bunch of yelling, they finally gave her the extra 15 cents or .5 soles. I guess that shows how poor some of the people are in this area. It was very interesting.

So we went the next day and Mateo went with us again looking for cars in Juliaca. When we'd finally found one we liked and made an offer for it, the guy told us he didn't actually have the paperwork and we were going to have to wait a few days for him to go to Tacna, several hours away, to get the paperwork. He said it would only take two days, but we weren't sure. We told him we would wait and for him to let us know when he got back.
When we got on the bus to go back to Puno, and Mateo called his friend in Cusco to see if he'd found anything. He had found the exact same car in Cusco, the same year. The price was negotiable, but it was already $500 cheaper. So we decided to leave the next day to return to Cusco.

To get to the good part, we got here, saw the car, and really liked it. It's in better condition than the other and we got him down another $350 from the asking price. We decided to buy it and decided with the owner to do the paperwork the next day. Just when we thought the stuggle was over...
The owner comes by our hotel and says the car is actually in his uncle's name. He says we will have to travel with him to Quillabamba, 4 hours away. He is very sorry. He will pay for all our expenses, only we have to go there to do the paperwork so his uncle can sign it. Ah the paperwork of a foreign country. It seems to be never-ending. So anyway, we decided to do it.
We got up at 2:45 the next morning to catch the 3 oclock bus. We got there about 8:30, a little longer than 4 hours I'd say. Then, they bought us breakfast, fried hen with white rice. Bryan and I laughed later why they can't just have eggs and ham or something haha. But then we waited around for the uncle until about 10. When we got to the notary, it took about 3 minutes and she said "ok, now just give us an hour to type this up." so we wasted an hour by getting these awesome cremalodas, which are fruit smoothies ish things that costed 33 cents. The owner of the car paid.
We returned at the hour and signed all the paperwork. So about 11:45 all was done, but the next bus out of this place was 1. So we wasted more time just walking around and sitting with the owner and his friend. At 1, we went to the bus station and waited. The thing about these "buses" is that they are 9 passenger regular vans. But if they don't have at least 8 people, they will NOT leave. So we waited and waited and waited. We had seven people, but they would not leave till someone else came and wanted to go. We finally left about 2. So the supposedly four hour drive started.
We pulled over about an hour and a half in with a flat tire. At this point Bryan and I both had to go to the bathroom. First, Bryan decided to walk down the road a few feet and turned the other way and went. Well I always carry toilet paper for occasions such as these, and so I decided to go to. I asked Bryan to stand guard and I squatted. The scary thing was that we were on the edge of a cliff and as I stood back up I lost my balance (being the graceful person I am) and almost fell over in the place I'd just peeed. Luckily, I didn't.
We got back in the van and with the curvy mountian roads and dirt-rock roads it actually took us 6 hours to get there, 7 hours from when we'd gotten in the van. We were so glad to get back and we went straight to mcdonalds (the only american-type food around here) and then straight to bed.

but the point of the blog, if you made it through all the stuff we went through, is that we bought a car!!! haha long blog for all that. but it's been an adventure. Our camera is dead, but when we get back to Puerto, I will take some and put them up soon.

Love ya'll. Thanks for everyone who's keeping up with us and praying for us.

The END

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

House Pictures

So we got a house!!! But I wanted to wait to post it on here until I could give pics too. It's a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house and we're paying $500/month. We're splitting that with David, so it makes for a pretty decent rent for this size of house. These were taken the day we signed to contract, so you will see all their stuff in the house. Unless I say otherwise, it's mostly empty. We did get mattresses that we set on the floor for our first night to sleep there, but that's about it. I also uploaded these in the wrong direction, so it kind of goes from the back of the house to the front. But ya'll are smart, so it's all good. Hope you enjoy. Let me know whta you think. Thank you so much for praying for us as we made this decision.

A picture of us in our new house, right inside the front door.
These are to the right of our front door and it leads you into the garage area.

This is inside our gate, but before you get to the front door. It's a little patio area. I think they left the plants, but they said if it gets to be too much trouble, they'll take them for us.


This is the tile flooring thats in most of the house. The floors are really nice!

The master bathroom - it is actually getting renovated to look more like the guest bathroom. Our renter wanted to have it done before she rented it out, but since we needed it so quick, she's having someone come this week.

The other side of the room. That door is to the bathroom.

Master Bedroom closet. This is what our bed faces

And this is the master bedroom.

This is what the closets look like in the bedrooms.

This is now David's room. It's across the hall from ours.

This is David's bathroom. It's in the hallway, and will also be used for the guest bathroom if people come stay with us.

Another picture of it.

This is what is looking out of Bryan and I's bedroom window. It's in the back and it's a place I could have a garden or something. It's really pretty.

This is the back part of the garage where our laundry room is. We'll hook up our washer and dryer there.

This is the garage with the laundry room behind me. It's plenty of room for a big car or van.


This is the kitchen. We'll have to get a stove.

The kitchen again. I love that it has cabinets. That's something that several that we looked at didn't have.

This is the dining room. And right next to it:

This is what the lady called a biblioteca or library, but we could actually put a curtain over those glass doors and make it a fourth bedroom. That's Mr. Cooper reading over our rent contract to make sure we didn't miss anything tricky.


This is the living room (sala) and they actually left those three maroon pieces for us, so we don't have an urgency to buy seating.


This is our garage from the outside. As you can see by the dirt road, it will get a little muddy during rainy season.


This is Octavio, Luz (his wife), Mr. Cooper, and Bryan in fron of our house. It's that little white gate that we go into. The gate behind Bryan is an independent entrance to the second floor, which is rented by someone else
Ok so that's it. Love ya'll and I'll update soon. We're trying to find an affordable car, but it seems like everything is a lot higher here. Really trashy cars are going for $11,000. The thing is we have to have a pretty big vehicle like a van or large SUV to be able to carry people for services nad stuff.
Hope ya'll are well, and thanks so much for praying for us.

The size of the baby right now!

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