Friday, March 19, 2010


My experiences with animals IN ONE DAY...
  • During my quiet time, Sarah rocked the rocking chair onto the dog's foot. The screaming and crying and whimpering that followed was WAY less than quiet.
  • The cat came running into the house after we found him trapped in Sarah's playhouse. We chased him down to make sure that he went outside for awhile to take care of his morning business. However, he refused to leave the porch because the ground was wet from the rain last night. He just sat at the door and meowed.
  • I dodged several piles of animal business taking Sarah to and from her morning lessons.
  • The parrot is depressed... don't know if she is sick or cold or what, but she isn't speaking today and won't leave her cage. Great - nothing like having a depressed parrot! Are there parrot counselors?
  • On the way to Iscos, we had to change cars and get into a collectivo. Although the animals were not present at the moment, they had obviously been VERY CLOSE to the people who were riding with us!
  • Arrived in Iscos and was immediately met on the path by two bulls, a donkey, and a sheep. The donkey and the sheep didn't particularly cause me any alarm, but I'm from Texas and you don't just go walking down the path head-on with two bulls! And, by the way, they both had big horns! I survived and made it into the building to see our students.
  • Left the building to walk to the park for recess, only to again meet the donkey in the path. However, this time he was rolling around on his back in the middle of the path and there was no getting around him. So we waited for him to finish his roll. Then we passed him and headed to the park.
  • On the way back from the park, with 20 children in tow (ages 3 & 4 years old), TWO MORE BULLS, a cow, two pigs and several sheep turned onto the path directly behind us. The bulls were being pretty vocal about who should have the right of way on the path, and I was agreeing. But have you ever tried to herd 20 preschoolers??? It's like herding cats! We managed to get back to the classroom without being trampled, butted, kicked, or tossed - but we were a little muddier than we wanted to be.
  • While we had Kid's Club, the guinea pigs (cuy) sang along with our songs in their high pitched squeeling voices.
  • After Kid's Club, we left the building to catch a car back to Chupaca. Guess who was outside the door??? The two bulls, the donkey and the sheep! We did our best to quietly and casually walk by.
  • A dog fight ensued while we waited to catch a car. Then one of the losers in the dog fight came toward us and decided to take out his sore-loser complex on Sarah via some ugly barking and threats, but she was saved by her faithful steed (she was riding her stick horse).
  • We changed from the car to the combi in Chupaca and headed back to Huancayo. We were detained at one point because a huge passenger bus (think Greyhound or fancy tour bus) was stopped in the road. When we could finally see what was happening, we had to laugh... the entire luggage compartment below the bus was filled with sheep. They were trying to offload the sheep in the middle of the road and herd them toward the market area - tomorrow is animal market day. Amazing! An entire luggage compartment filled with sheep!
All of that before lunch...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Prayers needed

A dear friend sent me this poem last night, and I thought it was perfect for the start of this very difficult day:

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;*
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My morning - goodbye UGA...

4:45 a.m. Look at the clock and silently curse that my body clock has been reset to wake up at the time that the cooks have been arriving each day - except they don't work today, so I'm awake for nothing. Roll back over and try to sleep a little longer.

5:50 a.m. Open my eyes and bolt out of bed. Tell Billy that it is 5:50 - he says that he set his alarm for 6, to which I remind him that we are in charge of breakfast for the team this morning and it is at 6:30. Now he jumps out of bed, too. Both of us run downstairs in our pajamas and scramble to make coffee and get the breakfast buffet (continental breakfast) out in the dining room and make sure all dishes/silverware/glasses, etc are out and ready. Run back upstairs to get dressed and ready.

6:20 a.m. For the first time all week, the Peruvian translators are here EARLY! They have come to say goodbye to the team. They are amazed that they are first today.

6:30 a.m. The team arrives at the front door with all of their luggage in tow, ready for their last breakfast before they board the bus for Lima. Tears flow again as the team sees that the Peruvian translators are here to see them off.

6:35 a.m. The boys on the team break into a spontaneous BackStreet Boys song and serenade the girls. Hysterical! Laughter flows for quite a while afterwards. Sarah wobbles down the stairs in her Hannah Montana jammies and says that the singing woke her up, but she is happy and in a good mood about it.

6:50 a.m. I cannot believe that we have already drained two giant thermos push-pots of coffee! College kids really put away the java!

7:00 a.m. Billy flags down two taxis and loads all of the luggage. He and Ritchie take the luggage to the bus station to begin the check-in process while the team finishes up breakfast and says their goodbyes. I realize that he left without saying goodbye to us... I know he just forgot, but I'm a little sad. I'll call him later on his cell.

7:15 a.m. I give the "10 minute warning" for last-chance bathroom stops, water, etc. The team starts taking last minute photos with us and gathering their things. Tears begin to flow again. Johana escapes the sadness by doing breakfast dishes in the kitchen for me.

7:25 a.m. Rosa appears with Abel. They are here to say their goodbyes to the team and to pick up empty plastic bottles for recycling. The team begins to file out the door. Lots of hugs and kisses and tears. Aaron and Leah stand at the door and count heads.

7:30 a.m. They're off - walking to the bus station with their Peruvian counterparts. Audra and I begin to straighten the house and picking up breakfast things. Ash and Arthur have a conversation about leadership training and mission things, then they begin to move the tables back to the McEuen's house before running off to a local leadership workshop.

7:45 a.m. Phone rings... Billy realized that he forgot to tell us goodbye. He talks to me, then Sarah. We'll see him again tomorrow morning.

7:50 a.m. Audra and I finish with putting furniture back where it belongs and separating dishes. Mary Alice disappeared into thin air... where on Earth did she go? Maybe she went to help Ash and Arthur???

8:00 a.m. Mostly done... Audra goes home. We assume Ash and Arthur have gone on to the leadership workshop. Never did find Mary Alice again. I piddle around a little more, putting small things away and carrying things back upstairs. Darwin calls to tell us about two meetings Monday - says he'll call again tomorrow when Billy gets home. Rosa sets a meeting for Monday morning with Billy to discuss Kid's Club. Sarah wants to play Candy Land or Barbies or horses or stuffed animals with me when I finish. Charlotte and Oreo (dog and cat) are running around the house like crazed beasts - excited that the furniture is back to normal and they have space to play. They find a SuperBall and begin to bounce it and chase it around the first floor. Jackie (parrot) is yelling that she hasn't been fed yet. All I can think about is the leftover pizza in the fridge, a cup of coffee, and a nap.

It's only 8 a.m. Can I just turn the rest of the world off, or at least on pause, just until tomorrow? Please??? No, I guess I'll just blog for a bit and then go play a riveting game of CandyLand... I'm hoping to draw the double purple card right off the bat :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Teams, Open Doors, Relational Ministry

Okay, okay, okay... I KNOW it has been over a month since I posted. Honestly - I'm terrible at this! Sometimes I think I have something good to write about, but by the time I actually get home and have time to post it, it just doesn't seem so interesting anymore... at least not interesting enough for other people to read. And then there's my "awesome team members" that keep bringing up the fact that I haven't posted in so long... Thanks, Guys, for being my constant accountability partners and reminding me of how behind I am in the blog world! :)

So, what have we been up to??? Well, we had a couple of awesome teams come to Peru to do some short-term mission work over the past few weeks!

The team from McDonough UMC, Georgia came down and spent a week doing a two-part mission -- they spent their mornings working in a local orphanage leading Kid's Club and loving on the children, and they spent their afternoons working with the pueblo of Cochas leading Kid's Club and helping the town to open 3 new Kid's Clubs of their own. To say that it was an incredible week is a gross understatement! It was beyond incredible and they really opened many doors for us "full timers" who will now follow up on their work and further the ministry via the groundwork they laid.

We also had a team from the University of Georgia - Wesley Foundation. They spent a week doing various ministries... they worked with a local Christian school leading chapel each day and teaching in the English classes, they performed in several concerts during the week, they helped with small groups, and they helped us work with a new ministry to local prostitutes. One of the things that this particular team did that was a real treat and treasure to us was they came with the desire to pray over and speak blessings into the lives of the Peruvian workers that work with us in the ministry, and to encourage and pray for us - the full time missionaries on the field.

Both teams spent time learning culture and working to understand more about the ministries here, the people here, and how God is working in lives here in Peru. Relational ministry is all about building relationships with EVERYONE... with your team, with the missionaries, with the locals, with the cooks and translators and neighbors, etc, etc, etc. As short term team coordinators, we feel that a VITAL part of our job is to facilitate and foster these relationships.

We have had a wonderful few weeks and God has opened many doors for us. Now we say goodbye to short term teams for a while (until mid April) and we work to walk through those doors God has opened and build upon the work that the short-termers did while they were here. It's a full-time job, but we are so happy to have "part time team members" that come in and help us... they round out our team and our lives. Thanks, McDonough UMC and UGA-Wesley!!! We loved hosting you and we truly love what you have given to Peru and to us! Rest assured, we are watering the seeds that you planted! Thank you!!!!!