Thursday, July 16, 2009

And the projects begin...

I just wanted to let you know that our first project with Extreme starts tomorrow! Everyone is very excited to meet the people who have given up their time and money to join us here in Arequipa to minister to the people here. There are 35 people coming in the first project for almost two weeks. Then a about a week after they leave around 80 people arrive for the second phase. Please pray that God is glorified in all of the project's events and that Satan doesn't have the chance to wiggle his way in.

Brad left yesterday to start working on improving the housing of our 40/40's in Iquitos. He will be living there in the guy's bunkhouse and working during the days for three weeks. Tyler and I already miss him but are very proud of his commitment to this ministry. Please be in prayer for our family as we are separated for this time. We know that it is a very tiny piece of time compared to the time some of our family have spent apart because of their jobs in the military so we refuse to whine about it! We have very good friends working with Extreme that have already stepped up to help me with Tyler. God is very good in working out all the details.

We will get some pictures posted of Brad's work in Iquitos and the Arequipa projects as soon as possible.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Trip to Lima and Iquitos (June '09)

Better late than never, right? We wanted to add a post about our trip to Lima and Iquitos in June but have had a few other things going so here we go...

The first stop we had to make was in Lima to finish our residency process. We had bus tickets purchased already to go to Iquitos when we received notification that we could pick up our cards in Lima to finalize our residency. So, we ended up spending a few extra days in Lima waiting for our appointment. The first night we stayed in a "clean" but "old" hotel in Lima. We weren't sure about the safety of this place so we decided to find something else. I looked online and looked for familiar names and found a Best Western! We were excited to find out that the hotel was in walking distance from the ocean and a shopping center with American restaurants.

This is the view of the coast from the shopping center. You can click here to see all our pictures from our long weekend in Lima.
After a few relaxing days in Lima we were off to Iquitos. Our jobs with Extreme are to support the 40/40 missionaries. Brad and I will travel to each location to research the community for resources for the team there. In case you don't know about 40/40 it is the church planting system where 40 people from outside of Peru are paired with 40 people from Peru to work to plant 3 churches per pair. So, in total they will plant 120 churches in Peru. The first group of 40/40 missionaries is currently in Iquitos attending training and then will move to Puerto Maldonado to live and work there.

While in Iquitos we stayed with the Smith family in their apartment. We had a wonderful time visiting with them and the 40/40s. We had the opportunity to meet and get to know the Peruvian counterparts and were so impressed with each one.

Here is a picture of the Puerto Maldonado team of 40/40 missionaries. You can see more of the team and where they live here.

We both enjoyed the city of Iquitos. It is a city of around 400,000 people but the city had a small town feel. The heat is incredible and forces the people to hang out on their porches visiting with neighbors. Iquitos is completely surrounded by water and jungle. The only way into the city is by boat or plane. We took a boat ride to the Amazon River and visited a local tribe and animal conservatory.

Here is a picture of the edge of town.

While visiting the "native" tribe that came from Columbia to live on the island for tourism (this is what they told me) we were painted with war paint, danced in the meeting hut, and the guys took a try at blowing the dart gun. The boat ride there and back totaled three hours but was very beautiful. We visited a jungle animal conservatory on the way back from meeting the tribe and got some fun pictures. You can check out all of our pictures from the Amazon boat ride here and here.

Here is Brad using the blow dart gun. He actually had a great aim!
It was a fun and productive trip. It was hard to leave our friends but are so proud of the work they are doing even while in school. Please keep them in your prayers as they are still feeling the effects of culture shock with the addition of very intense training. They are an amazing team handpicked by an all-knowing God. It is our privilege to serve them while they are serving the people of Iquitos.