Friday, July 27, 2012

Buenas Dias! Just a quick post to let you know we are all feeling better today (so far). We are headed back to Santa Rosa in a few hours and everyone is looking forward to that....tho this time it will be harder to leave knowing we aren't coming back in a week.

Yesterday was exhausting but really good. Word Made Flesh had a celebration for all the kids who are sponsered to attend school. I don't know the number but there were A LOT of people and A LOT of kids! They have this celebration twice a year. All of moms of these kids used to be on the street. Many of the kids were on the street for years before they were elegible for the program (which is to be living in a home). Still most are not in homes like we consider homes and they need a lot of prayer.

Thats really all I have time to write. We pray all our families and friends in the states are doing well. We heard it is VERY hot there :( SO we will just stay here a few more days and maybe bring the nice weather home with us!

Blessings - Julie for Rachel

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday and Wednesday

Greetings from Lima Peru. We have been busy and we are really tired. Several are sick and could really use your prayer. Some of the youth are feeling pretty green. Riley seems to be the worst and can't seem to shake it. Sydney stayed home one day and bounced back fine. Courtney stayed home today...I think Allison has to stay home tomorrow. Riley too. 

I can't even remember how many things we have done since Santa Rosa. 

A group went to the music store. They bought strings, a cajon and shakers for the team in Santa Rosa. This is a picture of a panflute. The boys play these at the same time as playing the guitar. They make a beautiful sound. 

We went to a fabulous Peruvian restaurant called Mango's that was right on the ocean. We are all in agreement that Peruvian food is the best we have ever had. Many new flavors and dishes. Lydia and I are planning a trip to the world market to see if we can duplicate anything close to what is here. Being the adventuresome girls they are, Sydney and Cara especially enjoyed french fries.

The view from the restaurant was out of a post card. You would never know that Peruvians don't swim in their ocean. For the most part the ocean is part of the sewer system. We did see some people surfing...but also signs about red boils and warnings not to get in. We didn't need any more warning than that. The weather was beautiful and it was a fun refreshing time. 

I can't stress to you how much this group has blessed me personally. We have SO much fun. Wherever we go together we laugh until we cry. This photo is on the way to the car in the parking garage. Whoever said being a Christian wasn't fun....never met this team! 

We met several of the youth boys last night that live on the street. They went with us to a hamburger place that is out of someones home and only a few blocks from Geoff and Reachel's place. It was a great ice breaker for us with the guys. They came back and played authentic Peruvian music. I am proud to say that Lonnie could keep up with them! This is the music they play on the streets for money. They live day to day. We were told it is a problem for the young men here...that they don't have a desire to get off the streets because they do make enough to buy a meal or a room for the night. Lonnie got to speak to them some about this today at the music camp. The camp went really well considering we had people who had planned to teach out sick. Everyone moved around and God really moved there today. The youth were is becoming personal now. They are our friends and we are theirs so they listen when we talk to them about Jesus. Which I had the honor to do today. 

Introduction to the streets -

Jason and I were given a true gift yesterday after all the work at the center was done. We walked the streets with Geoff and Anna the director of Palabra Heche Hombre (Word Made Flesh). We also had another staff member (Samuel) because we actually needed the protection of a group. I have to take a deep breath to even know how to convey to you what we saw. 

To start,  we had to get out of a taxi because the driver was afraid someone would break his window to get to Jason's camera. So right in the middle of an intersection he says GO. There is no doubt in my mind that God protected us during this walk. These were the real streets of Peru. The inner city streets where the kids live. Not many get to see this and we had a hard time dealing with emotions and conviction that rained down all around us. Jason is actually filming for Word Made Flesh, the church, and the Ingrums. A sort of multi functional documentary for anyone who wants to see what the program is about or what brought Geoff and Reachel here...or anyone who wants to know what a mission trip is all about. What being Christian is all about. 

We talked a lot about this on the way home. The fact that we all KNOW about poverty. As Christians, or even as American's we have been educated about what is out there. Even tho we easily forget. We get caught up in our own culture...which is buy more, have more, do more. SO it's not that we didn't expect to see bad things. Filth. Urine. Hunger. Babies in places I would literally not let my dog or my cat go. Babies we held and kissed. Beautiful babies and little girls and boys left unsupervised in places where anyone could hurt them. Young mothers who's hearts are hardened because they don' t know their worth.  Most of them are already living with hurt, abuse and neglect. Most of them have never known anything different. We realized that even if we spent our whole lives here...we wouldn't be able to help everyone. But some have been helped. A few. A few have found Christ. A few have returned to their homes. A few have found new homes. That is why we keep trying. Because even one is precious to God and we can't forget these people. We can't forget that God loves them as much as he loves you or me. That he commands us to be his hands and feet. The world has proclaimed that it is acceptable to forget these people. God has not. All four of these kids live on the streets. I could describe it but...I'm sure you already know and yeah, it really is THAT horrible. Please don't forget them. We sure won't. 


Monday, July 23, 2012

Santa Rosa - What we found.

Sorry for the late blog. We have been very busy here plus having technical difficulties. This is Julie H. by the way, I kidnapped the blog post.  Now that it is time to write I don't know where to start. God has worked IN US in a hundred ways since we have been here. He has opened our eyes and our hearts to this place, these people, and even each other.  Santa Rosa has become dear to all of our hearts. SO instead of trying to convey my heart in words that are nowhere near adequate I will try to show you.

We found Majesty here. Standing amidst extreme poverty we stand in awe of this beautiful view that touches our souls so deeply. A constant reminder that this is also God's place, his people. That He is here and He is sovereign. This view is from the front of the church.

We have found new friends here. So much in common that we didn't expect. An added blessing. This is Jason standing with Eric as they discuss the best setting for the camera. In the field to the right we are playing soccer with the local kids. Eric is one of our translators and just a great guy to know. Next week we will get to spend time with his wife.

As expected we deepened existing relationships.
 This time is so sweet because we know there will never be another one just like it.  This time in history, this place, these people.

We found lots and lots...and lots of dirt/sand. Some of us appreciate that more than others. (Malachi) Next week I plan to play in the dirt too because we found...oh wait I'll tell that last.

We found beautiful children. We were happy to love on them. And it was easy to not be afraid to talk to them. We did ok with some adults but plan to be better next week. We aren't used to being foreigners...and it is very good for us. (this is Lydia with her new buddy)

Lily blessed us. What a sweet mature young lady. Also VERY talented. There are really SO many pictures I want to upload and show you. However, since it takes so much time to upload I had to chose only a few and tried to let everyone see how their kids are doing!! Otherwise I'd have a book on here.
We are a musical group and this has been SO much fun. We worship CONSTANTLY and it is an extra blessing that our new friends in Santa Rosa also play. Worship bridges the gap in the language barrier. We often play the same songs and sing in our own language. We have literally worshiped on rooftops. What a blessing! We are in South America worshiping the same God and he his HERE with us.
We would love to bring these sweet babies home with us...or stay with them. SO many emotions. Such love. So much we have to leave in God's hands but we are grateful for the time we have. We are grateful that His hands are bigger than ours. We will come back again. Syd is ready to stay! Oh how we need more time.
The kids were a little shy at first but it didn't take long for them to claim us.
And to do what we do. We are trying to be a Godly influence in the very short time we are here.
They bless us. Over and over again.
This is their home. But we will leave our hearts here with them.
We hope that they will remember us. The gringos, that is what we are called all the time...and we start referring to ourselves that way LOL below is play time that was lead by Gram and Riley. The church here has a children's program weekly. They could use more hands. Permanent hands.

Ok so I could really sit here all night and upload. It is so hard to chose photos because we have so many and a story for each one.  Graham and Riley constantly entertain us along with Jason. We laugh ALL the time. We have constant music and fellowship. Good food from Reachel here and Aleta in Santa Rosa.

A few stories...we are STILL laughing about. I will share a few sweet things first...then the really funny one that I know Allison's mom is waiting for...then I will have to close.

First on Friday night when we met with the church this older woman named LaLa had bought bracelets for the entire team. That touched our hearts because no one here has "extra" but they are sharing what they have.  Another night we are sitting at the table eating and a family from the community walks up with fresh baked bread for all of us. They heard missionaries were in town and just wanted to bless us! They did. Hearts and stomachs.

We have plenty of these little God moments. For one meal Aleta ran out of hamburger buns. She sent us to the store (bodega) to get more but the bodega was closed. We tried to tell her we didn't need buns but she was really upset. She is our host in Santa Rosa and our cook (we really haven't sacrificed much here). We were debating what to do and the fact that it would take over an hour to get more buns. All of a sudden we hear a horn and this man is coming down the street selling fresh bread in a big basket. It was so small but so big because God provides.

Ok so we saw this sign when we came in...BANYOS DE VAPOR and even Reachel wasn't sure what it was. So we found out that it was a vapor bath. About 10 of us gringos walk up the hill and find this little place and knock on the door. Thankfully Geoff translated because even if we spoke Spanish we were laughing to hard to get thru it. So the three dirtiest of us...which happened to be Riley, Allison and Graham could get ...well...vaporized. Riley was REALLY scared but he was a trooper after Jason said he would only announce it on the airplane intercom if he backed out. Anyway I don't know who was more surprised the "Doc" or us. LOL I have more pics but again can only upload two. SO you will have to get the full experience from one of the three. We had a ton of laughs and a few of us plan to get vaporized next week. They came out of the experience none the worse for the wear and smelling a bit Herby.

Wish I could say more but a picture is worth a thousand words.

Blessings from the Peru team 1. We are thinking of you all. Please pray for us this week as we minister to the youth that come to the Word Made Flesh progam. They are street kids and we get intimidated. Their hearts are more cautious than the kids from Santa Rosa. Please help us to touch their heart and share the love of God. It would be the greatest thing we could ever leave with them.

Blessings from Julie for Reachel who is seriously way to busy here to blog so take it easy on her. They really weren't on staycation for 3 months.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Music, testimonies, soccer, volleyball, and lunch...Day 2.  Stay tuned...More on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

They're here!!!  The first team from First Baptist Church of Columbia arrived late last night.  They will be with us for close to two weeks.  Keep us in your prayers and we will keep you updated...Really!!