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!

The size of the baby right now!

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