Friday, December 9, 2011

First and Last

This Christmas marks the first and last Christmas we've been alone and in our home. We have always been visiting the US for the holidays or with family here visiting. This year, we will celebrate Christmas morning just the two of us. I know this could be one of the only ones like that for a long time after the baby comes!

We had a great Thanksgiving. We made the family recipe for brownies (which are non-existent in Peru) and handed out baggies of them to our closest friends. It was really nice because with each drop-off, we got to visit with each family and God really used that time to strengthen our relationships with friends. We really enjoyed the day despite being far from family.

Here, the kids are about to start their "summer" break. It's the most logical time for kids to be out of school because it's rainy season. Due to mostly unpaved roads in the city, a lot of people have trouble getting out of their neighborhoods when it's covered with mud. Actually, a lot of families go on a two-month-long vacation to visit family in other cities or to go work their land in the country.

Needless to say, all of those things really change our schedule up at the youth center. There are less kids, but they have more free time because school is out. We're in the middle of planning our changes for the summer. We're also planning for next year. As soon as the kids get back to school, we will be moving to Lima to wait for our baby's arrival. The latest I can fly is the end of March. Please keep all this planning and organizing in your prayers.

God has brought several people into our lives to start helping us at the youth center. We've known both of them since we moved here, so we know we can trust them. It's just worked out timing wise that they are available now to help us a little. One is a 24 year old guy who is passionate about music. He's really helping us teach the kids the instruments. We have bought an electric guitar and a bass! He's been helping us keep open the youth center when we are doing other things, like the feeding program on Saturdays. We're praying he can continue to be available to be a presence at the youth center as we are in Lima.

The other is a 22 year old young lady. I love her! She's been a good friend to me since we've been here, but she's always had very busy jobs. She's had very little time for helping or just hanging out. But we're so excited that God provided her just two weeks ago with a new job that leaves her evenings open! Praise Him! She's been coming to help with English nights. She's studied English formally, and did very well teaching her first English night this past Wednesday! It was so exciting for me to be able to hand it over to her and get to enjoy it with the kids. I'm praying that her job will continue to allow her presence at the youth center.

We know God has brought these two people in our lives for a purpose. Please pray for them. Pray for us to have wisdom in how to let go of the youth center to see Peruvians extend the Kingdom of God in their city.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

So much to be thankful for

This has been a crazy month, but we've had so much fun!

We've started back volunteering in the school closest to the youth center. It's called Colegio Milagros. It's one of the lower income schools in our city. I've been working with one of the two English teachers and helping out in her classes twice a week. It's been great to help, but we've seen so many new faces in the youth center because of it. This past month we've averaged around 3 new people each time we're open. It's been really great to share with some new kids, and encourage the "regulars" to be leaders and make the new people feel welcome.

We've also been playing sports every Saturday for the past several weeks. We've seen that this really helps get kids out of their self-conscious shyness and really start to make friends with the other kids. We usually play frisbee or basketball with them. I say we, but Bryan hasn't been letting me play with them. I can goof around, but he doesn't want me to fall or get pushed over or something. I guess that's wise. I can be a pretty competitive and aggressive player. But it's also been nice to just get time to watch them, joke around with them, and pray for them while they're playing.

We are also really excited about our increase in English students. We now have 16 students! And that number could possibly go up to 26 in the next week. Along with me teaching high school aged kids, Bryan has started a class at a restaurant teaching their waitstaff. It is a very touristy restaurant, so English is very valuable to them. He's really enjoying getting to make relationship with people in their 20's who aren't Christians. They've even come a couple of times and helped out in our Wednesday night English class at the youth center!

There's also an opportunity for Bryan to start teaching the staff at a local hotel that is very popular with tourists. We're hoping to start this next week. We do charge for these classes, but very little compared to formal institutes. The exciting thing is that this month we should have enough from English classes to pay rent for the youth center building. God is using ministry to pay for ministry! He is so faithful!

We also had enough money come in to buy one instrument. We bought an electric guitar that came with a speaker to plug it in to. We are really excited about the kids getting to use this to learn to play. We've been talking this up with the kids, asking who wants to learn to play an instrument. All but a couple are very enthusiastic about it. Our vision is to eventually have a youth praise team that leads worship in our services at the youth center. We also see this as a great way for some of the older kids to take a lead and some responsibility - to make it feel like it's their own. We should get the guitar in the mail this weekend. We are still hoping to buy a bass and a drumset in the near future.

Bryan and I personally are doing really good. We've both said to each other that we are in the most exciting time of our lives. At times this month during the dizziness and almost losing my lunch because of a weird smell, I've thought to myself that I wasn't loving this phase. But it really is true. The baby is healthy as of our last doctor's appointment, and growing well. We are so excited that in just a few more months we will have a new member in our family. God has been so good to us!

Please be praying as we seek God's wisdom for our lives in the next year. We have so many decisions and ideas that we want to do only what will bring the Lord all the glory. Thank you so much for your continued prayers, love, and support.

"For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." 1 Corinthians 4:20

Monday, October 31, 2011


Things are going great with the youth center. Friday night we had six kids give their lives to the Lord!! God is good. I want these kids that we are working with to know it more and more.

My purpose for this post is to let folks know about a need that we have. We really need music instruments for the Youth Center. We don't normally put financial needs on here, but I really feel like it is important. I am looking to raise about $1500 for instruments. The purpose would be so that some of the kids who are coming to the youth center could come and learn how to play. I know people who would be willing to teach them. I see this as an opportunity for kids who are growing in their faith in the Lord to have an opportunity to develop their musical skills. Most kids in Peru don't get the opportunity to learn an instrument.

Almost two years ago we were developing a worship band made up of members from different churches. After a few months a couple of the members of the team moved away. We still have in our hearts to do something similar to what we were doing. So I see this as a need in the youth center as well as a need in the city where we are working.

Delana is 11 weeks pregnant today. I (Bryan) am writing this by the way. I know it has been a while. I think like two years. There was a fiasco in '09. I will just leave it at that. I am really excited about being a Dad. Delana is doing well. She is a trooper. Please continue praying for her as I know ya'll are doing.

If anybody is interested in helping out with buying instruments let me know by sending me an email at God Bless.

This is a pic of the Bridge that was just opened that connects our city with Brazil. It is really going to change things here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We're Having a BABY!!

So time has flown by. And most of you have probably received the newsletter or read the news on facebook, but I want the blog readers to know as well. We found out a little over a month ago that we are pregnant! I happened to be in the US when I found out. I went for a couple of weeks to be with my parents while my dad was recovering from surgery. And while I was there, I found out this amazing news which I had to tell Bryan over the telephone. But we are super excited. In November we will complete 3 and 1/2 years of marriage, and so we were hoping to start a family about this time. Our baby's due date is May 22, 2012!!

Our baby's first picture!

Things are going great here in Maldonado. We have seen God's hand moving in some cool ways. We started a discipleship class a few months ago, and we have consistently had at least 10 high schoolers involved. We decided to dedicate one night of the week at the youth center to only high school aged youth. A lot of times the younger children can be a distraction to those who are really wanting to learn more about Jesus. So we decided to do that. We've taught on many different topics, mainly starting out with the basics of Christianity. But last night, we taught a lesson on purity, separating the guys and girls. It was very encouraging to see the girls understand that God wants them to choose one man who is godly, who respects them, and who will be faithful to them. They know all to well of what happens in most relationships here (infidelity, children out of wedlock). I encouraged them that they can be the ones to change the next generation!

We have also seen a growth in our feeding program in Laberinto. We have about the same number coming to receive food, but we have more that are coming to the lesson to be an active part of hearing God's Word. It's been encouraging for both Bryan and I to see the older kids sink in the lessons and start practicing more respect and obedience. We pray this continues to grow.

I've started up again volunteering in English classes in the school close to the youth center. We've already seen 2 new faces as a result, and I'm praying that continues. They really seem to like the free English class we give on Wednesday, and most of them return for the class on Friday or Saturday where we teach the Bible. Pray for more salvations in the youth center.

We are still meeting with Isidoro and Maribel once a week. We were so encouraged to be back with them this week. This couple is such a testimony of God's power. He is blessing them, their marriage, and their ministry as they obey and pass on the teachings they learn. Isidoro shared a passion of his with us this week - reaching the uncontacted groups up river from here. We are excited about the dreams God is putting in his heart, and we can't wait to see where it goes.

We have been trying since this summer to do an evangelism in their town which is about an hour away from Maldonado. The town's mayor or governing group told us not to do it. It is actually illegal for them to forbid us, but we don't want to force our presence there unless it is what we are supposed to do. We are praying for a softening of hearts, and a strategy to bless this town called Tres Islas. Please pray with us - that they would see our hearts are to bless and not to manipulate or benefit ourselves. Pray for courage and boldness in the church there, that they would rise up to testify and pray for their neighbors.

The last prayer request I'd like to leave you with is for leaders. We have been working with the kids in the youth center for a year now, and we have been praying for leaders with the same passion for youth in this city to come alongside us and work at the youth center. We are still praying for this.

I wanted to post a few pictures of the other day when we played Ultimate Frisbee with the kids. Even though the kids didn't even know what a frisbee was before they met us, Bryan is determined to play one of his favorite sports. So we've been teaching them, and they love it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I wanted to share a quick story.

There is young girl about 8 years old who comes to the youth center who I'm going to call Demi. While Jordanna was here, she was talking one on one with her and realized she can't read, and she doesn't go to school. When she told us, we decided we needed to eventually check into the situation.

So on Monday, while we were at the youth center, Demi came in. She asked what we were doing, and I told her that we were there to hang out. I asked her if she wanted me to help her read. She was excited and said yes! So I got out one of the books LifeChurch in Bryan donated to us to start helping her read. She was on such a low level that she didn't know her letters. So after a few minutes of struggling, I decided to help her with letters instead.

We worked on A-J and then I had her copy them a bunch of times while saying the letter. I told her she needed to memorize them. When she was done, Bryan and I decided to go talk to her mom.

Her mom, Paula, was hesitant to let us in, but we told her we like to meet all of the parents of the kids at the youth center so they know who they are sending their kids to. So we talked for a little bit and then Bryan asked her why she wasn't in school. After a roundabout conversation, we discovered that Demi's father and Paula's husband died 3 years ago. Since then, Paula has been working to rent out a little room for them to live. When an emergency came up and she had to travel, Paula took her daughter out of school and hasn't put her back in since.

She also said that Demi's teachers said that she acts up, won't listen in class and doesn't seem interested in school work. Paula didn't understand why Demi had changed so much after her dad died because she used to be so studious. We explained that sometimes after a tragedy in a child's life, they don't know how to express their pain. Paula looked like a light came on in her head when she realized that Demi was also suffering pain. Paula said she was going to talk that day to the director to put her back in school. We got to share a little bit about God's purpose for their lives and pray with them before we left.

Please keep this two in your prayers. We know it's not by accident that their little room is so close to the youth center. Pray for salvation and healing for both of them.

One other thing. I also have a personal prayer request. My dad is having surgery next week. Please pray for him and my mom. It will take some time to recover, so pray for him to rest and recover well. Bryan is staying here, but I'm actually going back to the US for a couple weeks to help them while he's recovering. I would appreciate your prayers surrounding my family right now. But our trust is in the Lord.

And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Crazy Summer

This summer has blown by. We have had so many great things happen, and it was an answered prayer to have so many people here helping us. In the last 3 months, we had more people here with us than we've had in our 3 years of mission work. It was such a blessing to see how much ministry grows with more hands working!

We started out with Cami and Jordanna, and then Life Church from Bryan came in July. Jordanna stayed until last week. With their help we were able to see 6 people saved, 3 people baptized, start a discipleship group, organize an outreach and ministry conference, and that's just the highlights. All that to say, we had a fantastic summer.

Here's some pictures of a few of the highlights:

We're excited about the next things God will be doing here!

One prayer request before I end this. One family in one of our cell groups had a baby girl who died last week. We are praying for them as they deal with this grief. Pray for their other 3 daughters as well. Dana had just had her 1st birthday. Even the things we don't understand we give to the Lord and trust that He will bring good out of this. Please be praying.

We love you. We can't say enough how much your support and prayers carry us through.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lovin the Help!

I know I keep saying that I'll try to blog more than once a month, but I failed again. Good thing ya'll are all nice people and forgive me!

We have been back in Peru one week, and we had already accomplished so much. We have two wonderful friends here helping us, Jordanna and Cami. God answered our prayers when these two girl contacted us about coming. They are a blessing! I'll post some pictures of them at the end of this blog.

Since being back we have gotten to see everyone and the fellowship has been wonderful. We've celebrated an anniversary with a fellow church, we've gone to our cell groups where they seem very encouraged, and even gotten to help with a medical team (translating).

I see more and more that God is bringing His church together in this city. This next week, our mission is holding a city-wide conference for churches to learn about working as the Kingdom of God as a whole. Please be praying for this conference and that many people would have new revelations of their callings.

We have been so excited to see the kids in the youth center. They were really happy to have Safehaven's doors open again, but we're praying for a new passion in their hearts for Jesus. With Jordanna and Cami here, it has opened doors for us to meet more kids and develop deeper relationships with others.

It's also been fun this week to share with the girls about daily life. They both came claiming they didn't know how to cook, but they won't leave that way. They have been cutting up and cleaning out chickens, and cooking some great meals! I'm so proud of them, and it has truly been a blessing from the Lord to have to girl to pray with. As I write, they are doing my dishes and sweeping my floor. God is so good!

Here's some promised pics of our first week back.

Check out our facebook page for more pics!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Texas, our Texas

Nuts! I can't believe I've already let another month slip away without writing on the blog. In all fairness, since we've been in the US we've been blowin and goin.

We are in Texas for about 3 more weeks. Next week my brother gets married and the week after we will have a welcome home reception for them. Our family has been very busy to say the least.

It has been a refreshing time for us, but also we have realized how much Maldonado has become home to us. We were talking last night about how much we missed our friends and the kids at the youth center there. It feels very strange to have two homes.

We have had several opportunities to talk with people this time back. We are excited to say that we will have some help for the next few months. We have more people visiting us in the next 3 months than we've had in the 2 years we've been there. And we've talked to many others who have felt God's nudging to come and visit us for a while. We are pumped about God's provision to connect us with people who have a heart to serve.

Please be praying for Octavio and Luz and the Peru mission while we are away. God can most definitely continue working while we are not there. And pray for us to enjoy the present and prepare ourselves to go back and minister with a full heart.

The Lord has been using this time in my life to remove some things in my heart that weren't pleasing to Him, and change mentalities that could hold back my effectiveness. It has been nice to step away from our every day activities there and hear Him guide me to a new understanding. Thank you so much for praying for us. It is the greatest blessing you can give us.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Month Update

So I realized today that it's been exactly one month since Bryan last updated. So I think it's time for a new post. I'll try to keep things short and just hit the highlights of April.

We have seen awesome things happen as a result of the basketball camps we did with Hoops for Hope. I'll just share one story. I decided to go meet with the coordinator at a school called Santa Rosa. It's an all girls school, and many of the girls that attended the camps go to that school. As soon as I sat down with the coordinator, she recognized me and asked if we were the one's who helped put on that camp. I told her yes, and she was so excited that I wanted to be involved on their campus. It was such a blessing that God had opened a door before I even went. I have since volunteered there a few times, and I'm really excited to keep going and working there.

We also made a big decision and sold our car. We had it for a little over 18 months, and it was such a blessing to us. We have felt the Lord leading us for a while to look for land to buy. We are eventually wanting to have a home of our own instead of renting, and also to have a place for people to stay with us. It would be great for our mission to have a "missionary house" or base here in Maldonado. We feel like this is the first step towards that.

SO... for our new transportation:

We are now proud owners of a motokar that looks a lot like this. Actual pictures to come. Some missionary friends of ours who left Peru last week sold it to us at a generous price, and we are so thankful the Lord provided for us through them. This will mean we will have to take taxis to the places outside of the city where we go every week, but we are excited for the opportunity to start looking at land with the money from the car.

I also celebrated my 25th birthday this month. It fell on our day off, which was also Easter, so Bryan planned a relaxing day for us and church that night. We had a pleasant surprise about 11AM! A group of kids from the youth center were at our door with a cake and juice that they'd brought to celebrate. It was a lot of fun! They sang to me, and then we all ate cake and played twister. It was really sweet of them to remember me.
They actually pushed my face in the cake, but I'm not going to post that pic =)

We have seen several youth give their lives to the Lord this month. It has been interesting seeing some of the kids come and go, but we are starting to have a very consistent core group. Please keep praying for these new Christians to learn to be bold in their faith, and to grow in their relationship with Jesus.

We just got back this morning from a short visit to Cusco. We were blessed to see all our friends there. It is always encouraging to sit with them and hear their victories and struggles.

We will be heading back to the US here in about a week and a half. We are going to be there for a good 5 weeks because my brother is getting married. We are really excited to see family and friends and celebrate with Brandon and Sarah. I'm excited to be getting another sister-in-law! Please pray for safety and a productive visit home.

When we come back, we will have people coming throughout the summer to help out here in Maldonado. Pray for these groups and individuals that will be coming.

Thank you for praying for us. My biggest personal request of all our prayer-ers is that we would be diligent in praising and listening to the voice of God. It can get so easy to get busy, which we all do, but I want my life to be marked by those 2 things. Pray that Bryan and I would remain sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit as we visit the US, and not get too wrapped up in all the indulgences. Thanks for your support and prayers.


P.S. Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful mothers in my life. Especially to Mom and Carol - we love you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

River Trip!!

So about a week ago I got to go up the Madre de Dios river. It is about a two day trip in boat to get there from Laberinto. I was excited to go because I hadn't been upriver for almost four years. It is a beautiful trip.

My main job was translating for Ken Daugherty. It was an honor to get to help Ken. He is the President of Cert International and he has been leading missionary medical teams to remote areas of the world since 1991. Cert stands for Christian Emergency Relief Team. We also had two ladies from the US Carol and Bonnie. Octavio led the group. Octavio has been leading the Jungle work for our mission for several years.

The places we went to were Shipiteare, Diamante, Boca Manu, and Boca Colorado. The word boca in Spanish means mouth. Boca Colorado is at the mouth of the Colorado River and Boca Manu is at the mouth of the Manu River. The Manu River leads into the world famous Manu Park. It is known for its biodiversity. It has lots of animals. In order to enter Manu Park you have to have permission from the government. Cert has been taking medical teams into the park for a number of years. There are still many unreached people in this part of the jungle that have never heard the gospel.

This is a picture of Ken, Tomas, Norma, and me walking through Boca Manu. Tomas and Norma have been pastoring a church in Manu for about five years. On Sunday I translated for Ken as he preached at the Church in BM.

This is a picture of some ladies in the church in Shipiteare. We were only able to visit in this village. We were not able to spend much time in the village.

This is me and Pastor Tomas in Diamante. He is awesome. Tomas loves to joke around so we had a lot of fun. I was glad to be able to encourage Tomas and Norma along with the church family we have upriver. Delana stayed in Puerto Maldonado running the Youth Center programs. God was really faithful to take care of us both while we were apart. Most of our work and heart is with the youth in the urban areas of Puerto Maldonado. However, God continues to put a desire inside my heart to see His Kingdom established in deeper parts of the jungle. I am glad that I am partnered with people who are committed to seeing that happen.

March flew by. Hosting Hoops for Hope was some of the most fun I have ever had on the mission field. I love getting to coach and play basketball while sharing the gospel. This river trip was a blast as well. Well that is all for now folks.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Amazing week!!

Hello friends!!

I'm am so happy to report that Hoops for Hope was such a blessing to us. One of the goals we set last year for the youth center was reaching youth through sports. I'm am so thankful for a group of servant-hearted people who came this week to help us advance on that goal.

We had about 145 kids and youth ages 8-25 that were impacted by the camp. We had four days of camp, with three different age groups at 3 different times. Morning was for 12-15, afternoons for 8-12, and nights for 16-25. It was fabulous. We had great weather that allowed the group to keep their energy up till the last day.

We had a large majority of the kids say they wanted to receive Jesus as their Lord. We explained that this is a start of a new life and only the beginning to knowing their purpose. Coach Wible, the director of the organization reminded us of the parable of the seeds. It was encouraging to think that we as a group had done the work and that some seeds will be prosperous.

We are excited about having some new faces in the youth center to start discipling. Please continue to pray that we would be faithful to this harvest.

Not only did the Lord bring us new faces, but he also brought us favor with our government. The local government requested the group's presence on Thursday after the morning session. The mayor, president of education, president of sports, and the president of our region (like a governor) were all at that meeting. The purpose was to thank the organization for choosing our city to invest in. They were so happy that the group had come. Bryan got to translate for all the dignitaries. It was a blessing. They didn't even focus so much on the basketball, but mostly on how events like this can make a difference in children's lives. It was awesome. Plus, people all around town were telling us they saw us on the 6:00 local news.

God is so good. We are so ready to see Him high and lifted up in this city. And it starts with us! So we give Jesus the praise - only He is worthy of the recognition! May Your Kingdom come and be manifested HERE!

Here are a couple pics of the camps and the group (I will post more on our facebook group - Bryan and Delana in Peru) :

Bryan is leaving this Thursday for a several-day river trip. He will be visiting several villages and encouraging several churches along with Octavio. Please keep them in your prayers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Strike and Other Things

So last week was a little crazy. There was a strike about the mines here. Mining is a huge job source for a lot of our city. But many of them are illegal. The machinery they use releases mercury into the rivers, which is a life source to many of the villages. Not to mention it has decreased tourism, because now there are not as many animals living near the rivers. Plus the work conditions are terrible. That's what I've come to find out about the mines just from here-say.

But the government decide to evacuate all the mines, legal and illegal and start bazooka-ing the drags that are illegal. So all the miners came to the city to protest. I tried to post a video I took, but the internet is too slow. But the government and the miners are now working to find a solution. We are praying that they would have supernatural wisdom in this decision because it is very important to our city.

A new school year began this week, so we are excited to have a lot of youth back in town. December, January, and February are the summer months of vacation here. So we are starting a new schedule up the week after next to have after-school activities. We're praying about what things we need to throw out from last year and what things to add. Please pray for us as we do that.

Like I said in my last post, Hoops for Hope is coming. It's only 2 days away. The local paper yesterday had this picture in it:

Bryan is famous! =) One of our friends called us yesterday and was so excited that she had seen Bryan, her friend, in the paper. It was really exciting to see how well our city and state sport's department have welcomed this group of basketball trainers.

This group is special to me because my cousin is part of the team. I'm really excited to see Bryce. And also because the president Hoops for Hope is Bryan's high school basketball coach. And his son is comeing (who was on of the groomsmen in our wedding) with his wife. So it is always nice to have a group of English speakers come to help, but especially when they are close friends and family. We're thankful that we'll have this time with them.

Thanks for your prayers. Keep 'em coming!

"I will go before you and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:2-3

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I have to admit, I've wanted to post for a while now, but it's seemed so overwhelming because a lot has been going on.

We are in rainy season, but some years it is worse than others. Well a couple weeks ago, we went to Pastora and it was flooded. They live close to the river, so they know this happens, so their houses are all built up off the ground. But the water all around their houses was up to my mid-thigh. I walked through it on the way to the cell group, but on the way back one of the boys took us back to our car on canoe. It was a new jungle experience of sharing Jesus =)

While the kids have been on summer vacation from school, we have had a free once-a-week English class. It was 5 weeks long, and we promised a prize for the person who had the highest grade on the final exam. The prize was a dinner with us and the group of Americans that are coming in a week and a half. Well, 2 girls won it, so we are taking them both. I think it will be fun for them to practice their English. They both worked and studied very hard.

We have had a few good activities at the youth center. The Saturday before Valentines we showed "Fireproof" at the youth center and had free popcorn and juice. We had a good turn out and several adults who we talked to after the movie. We had told the kids to invite their parents, and a couple showed up to watch it. It was good to meet some of their parents and show them what we teach their kids.

Thank you for your prayers. I mentioned the group that is coming. Hoops for Hope is an organization that uses basketball to preach the gospel. We are excited that a group of 8 is coming in on March 12th to hold basketball camps for a wide range of kids/young adults. We have seen a lot of favor in planning this trip, and we are praying for safety for the group's travels and a great touch of God in the kids that come. Please pray with us.

Much love!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Taking Ownership

When we first rented the youth center, it had only been used before as a place rented out for parties and gatherings. So because of that, it had a bunch of chipped paint on the walls from people putting up decorations. There was also a lot of dirt on the walls, I'm guessing from kids with dirty hands touching it and running around.

So this week, we decided to paint. Bryan wanted the kids to feel like it's their building to so we invited anyone who wanted to help us to come. The two guys below gave at least 2 hours of hard work and it would have taken so much longer without them. They did great and they were really proud of it when it was done.

These two other kids helped us sand, because their parents told them they couldn't paint. Probably a wise decision. They would have gotten pretty dirty. All four of these kids our part of our faithful regulars that come to almost everything we do.

We used some of the donations that were given to us over the break to by this chalk board sign. Many people with restaurants use them here to have outside what they are serving for the day. We decided it was important for us to list the things we have going on and what time they start. Below is advertising our English class we do on Wednesday nights. On the other side that you can't see, it's advertising for choir practice that we started last week.

Below are a couple pics from the classes that we had last night. They are really enjoying the classroom setting, especially since they are on summer vacation right now. So since they don't sit in class all day, they don't mind it once a week. That's why we are doing this class once a week during summer vacation. The person who scores the highest on the final exam actually gets to go out to dinner with the group of Americans that are coming in March. They are all hoping to win and get to practice what they're learning.

We brought back a couple games that we bought with a gift card I got for Christmas. We went to Target and one of the games we bought was Jenga. They love it! We like to have games like that to play before and sometimes after our weekly activities. Since it's part of the culture to always be late, we usually play a game or two before we start for those who come early.

We are really excited about the different things we've started since being back. We still really need your prayers for guidance and wisdom. We have some decisions we need to make and we really want to be sure what the Lord is wanting of us. Thanks for always remembering us in prayer.

I just thought I'd post a couple pics of our trip back home too. I was the matron of honor in December in my college roomate (and best friend)'s wedding. It was a lot of fun, and Bryan got to see me dressed up with my hair done. That just doesn't happen much since we live in an extremely humid place.

The Davis family, only lacking Matt and Julie.

Bryan with our brother-in-law Andrew at the Baylor Bowl game. It was really fun to take a family trip together to Houston (even though they lost).

Christmas with the Brewer's. My brother and his fiance, Sarah will be married by next Christmas!

It was so cool that several churches, even with their busy Christmas schedules, let us come and share our hearts for Peru and what God is doing here. This is at Mayfield Road Baptist Church.

These are some nice boys we met sharing at New Life in Covington. We really enjoyed getting to know this sweet congregation who treated us like part of their family.

So that's a little of our lives. Let us know how things are going for ya'll. Please email us or find our group on facebook: Bryan and Delana in Peru.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back Online

We had a crazy visit back! It was great to see everybody and be around friends and family for Christmas. Last year we got to see my parents and my brother, but this year we got to see all of Bryan's family and our extended families.

When we arrived back a week and a half ago, we discovered that our internet providers stopped providing internet. =) So we were really disappointed because they were the best internet in the city. Everything else is way below par, especially with video talking (Skype) that we use to talk to family.

But after a lot of researching and hassling, we got internet installed today. We are really excited, even though the video capabilities are still really low on it. At least now I can use the internet for English classes and other ministry stuff too - like this blog!!

Since we've been back we've seen a couple really good things. One thing is the cell group we do in Puerto Pastora. We had our first meeting last Wednesday, and they were doing great! They said they had started having services while we were gone in their home on Sundays. They plan to continue that. They all seemed so peaceful, and we were so thankful to see God's grace active in their lives. It's so nice that ministry does not depend on us! I'm so thankful that even when no one was coming to lead a small group every week, they started something themselves. Praise Jesus!

One other cool thing is the youth center. We've had a lot of kids since being back, and we've had some really good talks. We told the kids when we left that we would be back on the 15th of January and we would have regular meeting that night. When we showed up that night, we most of the neighborhood kids came and said, "YAY yall are back! i'm so glad to see you" and all that stuff. But then about 20 minutes after 7, our normal start time, one of our most faithful kids, Obe, came in. Obe lives about 5 minutes in taxi away from the youth center. He brought a friend. I said, "Hey Obe!! I'm so glad you knew we were here tonight!" He said, "well yeah, yall said you would be back on the 15th and i've been counting down the days." It was really nice to know that we were missed, and that these kids are ready to get going with us again. Since this is the kids' summer vacation, we are teaching a free English class one night a week for the next 6 weeks till they start school. The person who scores the highest on their final exam gets to go out to eat with the group of Americans we have coming in March. That got them all pretty motivated.

We are thankful to be home again. We are praying to find out what are the main things God wants us to accomplish in these next few months. Please pray that we will know where and how to focus our efforts and time so that we are obeying Him.

The size of the baby right now!

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