Monday, January 18, 2010


We're trying to get organized... okay, truth be known, I'M trying to get organized. Anyone who knows us well knows that I (laurie) am the one who cares about organization and Billy is happy with however things fall, literally. So I have taken advantage of the past couple of days (Billy has been gone to Lima) and I have cleaned and reorganized the mission office. It feels AWESOME! I am not so naive as to think that it will stay this way... in fact, I am pretty sure that by bedtime tonight, it will be a disaster again. But at least it feels really good right now.

My reason for working so hard to try to get organized is that we have A LOT on our plate right now and we can't afford to not be organized. We have several short-term teams coming this year and we have to be completely on-the-ball to pull this off. The first team of the year will arrive in four weeks and we are in the final stages of getting them here. While they are here, we will have a visitor arrive from the States for several days to work (yes, their travel plans overlap). Two weeks after the first team departs, the next team arrives. And so it will go until mid-August... teams coming, teams going, visitors coming and going, interns arriving to work for a few months, etc. And not much time in between. Therefore, we have to be prepared and organized:
  • reservations at hotels must be made anywhere from 30-60 days in advance and a deposit must be paid when the reservations are made (in person, of course) which means a trip to Lima to pay up.
  • transportation must be arranged (charter busses or tickets on bus lines, local transportation, etc). Again, deposits must be paid.
  • food - cooks need to be contracted, menus prepared, shopping at the market, reserves of gas ordered, etc.
  • translators must be contracted
  • ministry initiatives must be finalized and a Peruvian team must be assembled to work alongside the North Americans
  • Schedules must be finalized and ministry initiatives programmed
  • Water needs to be purchased in bulk, water filters need to be changed...
  • Who is going to Lima to pick up the team and accompany them? (that means at least 2 days of travel for that person) Who is leading devotionals and worship time? Who is responsible for the training and accountability?
And these are only some of the things on the checklist for a "regular" short-term ministry team. If it is a medical mission, you can add about 50 more things to the list!!!

In other words, organization is not a luxury - it is a MUST! And we still have on-going ministries that don't stop while short-term teams are here. For this reason, we always have Peruvian counterparts who we train and work with daily so that the ministries are Peruvian-run and will continue in our absence.

So I gave Billy a bad rap in the first paragraph... in reality, he likes the organization and he will be happy to see the office when he gets home today. He just isn't the one who LIVES for organization. Billy is happy with however things are. I, on the other hand, would be really excited if I get to heaven and find out that The Container Store has recently redecorated God's throne room! Or if Tupperware has a special section in heaven... wow! Just imagine it!!! That would be perfect!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Start

Okay - don't pass out! I know it has been a LONG time since I last posted a blog. Honestly, I just plain ol' got tired. I know that isn't a good excuse, but it's the truth. But recently I was guilted in to trying to give it a go again... a new start for the new year. So, I'll try to be better at posting regularly. I'm not promising that the posts will always be exciting or adventurous, because life just isn't always exciting or adventurous. But I will try to keep you updated a little better...

We just returned from taking Laurie's mom and both boys back to Lima to catch their planes for the USA. They spent 3 weeks here with us to celebrate Christmas. Of course, each person had a different flight on a different day, so this meant spending an entire week in Lima going back and forth to the airport, sleeping in a hotel, and finding ways to stay occupied during the day. Because the bus ride from our home in Huancayo to Lima is 7+ hours one-way, going home in between flights just wasn't an option. Needless to say, we know lots more about Lima now than before, as we have walked the streets and visited every possible museum or ruin imaginable!

Back in Huancayo now, we are getting back to work and starting the year in a whirlwind. We spent the beginning of this week redesigning the newsletter. This being the beginning of the 5th year for the newsletter (not our 5th year in Peru, but the 5th year since our acceptance of the call to Peru), we were getting a little tired of the "old look" and wanting to spice it up a little. We won't be doing that again any time soon.... what a stress! However, it is now done with a new look and feel and we have a new start for the newsletter now. The website and blog will come next, but don't hold your breath... they are pretty far down the priority list!

The rest of our time right now is being taken up by planning for the short-term teams that are coming to serve in Peru in 2010. The first team will arrive in a month, so we are in the finalizing stages of getting their registrations, reservations, bus tickets, food prep and menus, ministry activities, supplies, etc... lots to do to get ready for just one week of service with a short-term team! Less than two weeks after that team leaves, another one comes in - so we have to be ahead of the plans on everyone. And the existing ministries can't fall behind... we still have to keep the Kuyay Talpuy school running and the disciple meetings going and the Kid's Club moving... Thank goodness we have good Peruvian workers who can pretty much do everything without us!

Sarah has begun her "vacaciones utiles" (Useful Vacation) classes. Pretty much that just equates to "summer enrichment programs" in the USA. She is taking a package of classes that is offered at an art institute close to our house... piano, art, dance, and theatre - each class is one hour. She goes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for January and February. This is only offered during summer vacation here. Most Peruvian children do not take extracurricular activities during the school year, only during vacation time. However, Sarah will continue with the piano lessons when the school year starts in March. During the regular school year, piano is 5 days a week/1 hour each day. She is loving her classes. As I type this, she is upstairs practicing "Happy Birthday" on the piano (electric keyboard) so she will be ready for class tomorrow.

Laurie is about to start planning for Sarah's homeschool curriculum that will begin again in March. Because of the teams that are coming and the demanding time schedule that we will soon have, she needs to get the plans set and materials purchased so all will go smoothly when March arrives. Billy's mother is coming next week to spend a month with us and she is playing "pack mule" to 50 pounds of school books for Sarah's lessons! And another visitor in February is trying to bring in some science materials that we are hoping for.

Okay - enough for now. We are sharing a computer right now (hard drive crash on the desktop computer) and Billy is waiting to get back on here and get back to work on the team preparations. I promise to do better on the blogging... ~Laurie