We were blessed to have these two awesome ACU students with us over the summer. Yesterday they left Curahuasi for the last time, and today they are flying home from Cuzco. We are thankful to both of them for coming and sharing a summer with us. We learned a lot about being willing to help in any circumstance, even if it is not exactly what you may have imagined or thought it would be. Both Austin and Lydia are pre-medicine students, but they probably spent more time working with the school and with kids. Yet they did it willingly, jumping in wherever they were needed. Their service demonstrates a lot of humility and the heart of the greatest servant of all, Jesus Christ. Austin joined me in many board games, giving me a worthy and fun challenge playing Hive. Lydia helped Allison as well as many other of the missionary wives serving wherever and whenever she could. Basically they were friends to us, our kids, the other missionaries, and the kids in town; everyone can always use more friends! Thank you both for coming, and I hope and pray that the upcoming year will be a great one in Abilene, God’s country! You will be missed by us all.
Thank you, thank you to all of you who prayed for Peter and to those of you who checked up on him too. I am happy to report that Peter is doing better. It was a long road to wellness, but he started eating again about two or three weeks ago, pretty soon after I had asked for your prayers. Bacon was his turning point. In an effort to up his protein, I started cooking bacon. After lots of bacon, we noticed that he had his appetite back. Praise God! He has been eating his usual small amount and doesn’t suffer from stomach upset like he had been for months.
Since we were concerned about his being so far off the growth curve for his age, we had an x-ray of Peter’s hand sent to Lima for evaluation. We got the best results for our concerns: he has the bone age of a seven year old. This means that all his measurements are just delayed, not that he is ten years old in some measurements and not in others. His mother was a very late bloomer, so this news is comforting. Please continue to pray with us that he will grow and develop normally in his own time and that God will protect him from other stomach troubles/ parasites/ infections. Thank you so much for carrying our burdens.
We celebrated the Independence Day of Peru today. As you may have seen on a previous post, the kids have been practicing a lot, six sessions of 2 hours over the past two weeks. They were glad to finally show what they had been working on so hard. We were at the Plaza de Armas at 8 AM, getting ready, making sure the uniforms fit well. The kids marched after 11, so there was a lot of waiting. I went to the hospital to see a patient in between the time the kids marched and it was my time to march with the hospital staff. I think it is a story best told in pictures. Click on the pictures below to see a slideshow of the parade.
There are many small groups associated with the hospital. These groups are intended for the mutual encouragement of the missionaries, and in general people go to small groups where their native language is spoken. Most of the groups meet on Wednesday nights, but our group, full of young kids, has its meeting on Friday nights so that we are not worried as much about how much sleep everyone is getting before a school day. We share a meal, laugh and talk, sing songs, pray, and usually study a book of the Bible. It is a blessing to have this time, and even though often on Friday afternoon, I am thinking to myself “Please, lets just cancel so I can rest.”; I am always glad during and afterward that we have pushed through. I think that God uses this time to encourage us all and to remind us that we are not alone as we feel like strangers in a strange land. Here is an article from the Diospi Suyana Hospital website regarding the small groups. The pictures are from a primarily German speaking group.
Exchanging ideas and enjoying fellowship in a Bible study group
Many of our staff meet weekly in small groups where together they laugh, prepare a meal, sing, share and, of course, pray. The language spoken depends on the mix of those who attend i.e. there are home Bible study groups taking place in Spanish, English and German.
If this concept of a home study group appeals to you, why not contact your local church? Maybe a similar Bible study group is already waiting for you to join them.For everyone it’s a time to relax, to get rid of frustrations, and encouraging one another. All of that is possible in a home Bible study group. Together we spend time thinking about how to live out the truth of our faith in daily life.
The kids have been doing hours of band practice in anticipation of marching for Peru’s Independence Day celebration. Six hours of practice a week for the past several weeks, and Sarah marches the entire practice with her classmates. Monday is the big day, and I am looking forward to hearing them in action as they march through the Plaza de Armas of Curahuasi.
Our friend Nolan Wright, working in physical therapy, has an interesting point in his blog about the gaps in knowledge of some of the Quechua people, and also the assumptions we make regarding what people know and how it may affect our care of them. We are working in a different culture, and it is good to remember this very important fact. Click the link to their blog, WrightsinPeru.
This cool kid is 10 today! Yes, double digits for Peter! He has been preaching about his birthday for over a month, making sure we ordered presents in the US in time that they could come with my mother on her visit. Peter is a very smart kid, and musically talented. I never have experienced the trumpet like I experience it now. He is also thoughtful, sensitive, and fun. We are glad to have him in our family. Happy Birthday Peter!
This is Dusty, our newest pet. We’ve had mixed luck with pets, you know. Our second batch of cuys (guinea pigs) weren’t very fun and when they escaped into our neighbor’s overgrown yard, we said goodbye without tears. A couple of weeks ago, John and Viola started a backyard project. First order of business was to burn the weeds that had grown up. Two familiar-looking cuys escaped the flames and the workmen caught them. The Lentinks offered them back to us, but we said the workers could feast on them instead.
Our dog Inka had a mysterious swollen knee. We took him to the next town over for a vet visit. Ol’ Inka was pretty pitiful. He didn’t walk and no longer barked. He just sat in one place and wagged his tail feebly when we came to talk to him. We were prepping the kids for putting him down when a shopowner I have befriended offered me one of her dog’s puppies. It turns out they were pretty cute and I thought that it might ease the pain of losing Inka. I’m a sucker for fluffy curly hair. The owner said that the puppies needed another week to finish weaning. In the intervening week, Inka made a miraculous recovery with the steroids the vet had given him, although he limps a little. So now we have two dogs. Dusty is very much a puppy, chewing on everything, attacking Inka, digging up the garden, and wanting attention. Welcome to the family, Dusty!
Austin and Lydia are part of the World Wide Witness program at ACU, which entails taking a class on missions, cultural sensitivity, and spiritual discipline, and then going live with missionaries or another- culture Christians overseas for the summer, a semester, or even a year. As a joke, Will started calling them “the witnesses” and everyone has kind-of taken the nickname and run with it, as in “Can I get a witness… to help with this?” Sometimes David calls them “the victims.” Both nicknames are apropos at times, but I’ve been thinking about their being witnesses. First of all, the fact that they wanted this experience, sought it out and worked for it, witnesses to God’s calling on their lives. Their parents’ faith and trust to let them come witnesses that their confidence is in God and that they have raised their kids to follow Him boldly. The fact that people from their churches back home have given to them financially witnesses that God is generous and that He has provided faithful saints to hold them up and encourage them. When they go out and meet people in town and help with different activities, they are witnesses of the love and care of Christ.
On the flip side, I feel very “witnessed” this summer. Someone is observing how I treat my kids and my husband, how I take care of my home, how long those breakfast dishes stay beside the sink, what I feed my people, how we spend our money, what I say after a school meeting, how I listen in church, the words I use when I am frustrated with a child, how I prepare for my school classes, what I do at night to unwind, how I talk about other missionaries, how we act when we are tired, how long our family stays in its pjs on a Saturday. You name it, someone outside of our family sees it. It is a good exercise for anyone. Just imagine someone is there watching you as an example of Christian behavior wherever you are and see if you change things. I really do love Jesus and I want to demonstrate something true about Him. I have certainly failed time and again. This is not the first nor the last time that someone has been watching us, or you in your daily life. Please pray for God to put a guard over my mouth and my thoughts and for Him to shine through in some real way to encourage these witnesses.