Saturday, October 9, 2010

House and Hearts Hunting


We recently went to Puno to check out houses/apartments for us to live.  Above is the manner in which they advertise: boards and boards full of advertisements.  They have a deal here in Peru called anticresis.  What it means is, for example, we would pay $10,000 to a renter to live in a house for two years.  At the end of the two years we get our money back and the renter would get his land back.  A win-win situation because the renter gets a non interest loan and we would get a place to live, with only the loss of interest, for two years.

So this is the first one that we checked out with the anticresis deal, so you can see what kind of business we’re in.  This was actually in a pretty run down ghetto area but right in the center of town.  And we all know that location, location, location are the three most important things.  It was too small and still not finished, so it was easy to turn down.
Other than that, we couldn’t find any other anticresis deals that would be suitable for fourteen people.  We went to check for rentals, letting the pastor know that he has to keep his eyes out in Puno for an anticresis.

The leading candidate for apartment is the one pictured below.  It was two separate apartments behind the same gate.  One with two floors and the other with five.  I have various pictures of what would be the guys’ apartment.


Well that’s the business side of things.  We actually had a great experience while we were down here.  It reads as follows on the Extreme website…
“We have a praise from the city of Puno!  We recently traveled out to Puno to look for some prospective living places and to get to know the city better.  During some of our free time, we decided to explore the city.  From our explorations, we discovered the most authentic “Punonian” souvenir shop!  Garren and Roy initially discovered it, and then Kristen, Francisca and I met them there.  By the time we had gotten there, Garren, in an attempt to get a discount on a hat, had told the store owner that we were missionaries working in Puno to plant churches.
The store owner, Hector, showed immediate interest and started asking more questions about what we were doing there.  Francisca, being our only native Spanish speaker there, took the opportunity to share more about who we are and what we believe.  Then, she asked him if he was ready to make a decision to give his life to Christ.  There was no hesitation. He immediately said yes as he wiped away tears.  We gathered around him, and Francisca led him through the sinner’s prayer.  Afterward, we were joyful and shared more with him about our Christian walk and tried to feed him spiritually as much as we could in the short time we were there.
I think one of the most amazing things is how he shared how he had been looking for the truth in other religions.  He had gone to Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon, and Living Water churches, but he didn’t find what his heart we looking for there.  He told us that he could feel God’s presence with us.  Then, I think the most amazing thing is that he told us he never has his shop open in the mornings… and that he knew that that day he needed to open his shop.  I told him God had a plan and wanted him to come to him that day!
We gave him the address to the local Nazarene church in Puno, took down his information, and gave it to the Pastor.  Pastor Herman said he would be in contact with him!
We are all blown away with this blessing.  Not only was it awesome to see this man come to Christ, but also to see how God is preparing Puno for us before we are even there!  His hand is working, cultivating the hearts of these people. It is so encouraging to see the evidence.  Praise the Lord!  He is so GOOD!  Keep praying!  The Lord is listening!”
…what was crazy was how much God it was.  It was nuts because the shop wasn’t supposed to be open, and that for some reason I picked that shop.  I told Roy I wanted to go buy a hat, so we headed on our way to the touristy area of town.  He had a few suggestions for stores but I kept saying no, and told him I wanted to go around the corner and down a little ways to see the shops there.  I don’t know why I turned down those shops at the time, but obviously now I know.  It was also God that everybody else showed up right at the time I was talking to the store owner about missions.  Fransisca told me that she noted his interest in the subject and she took over the conversation. Crazy!
Quick note: They’re obsessed with slides in Puno, and I’m chillin with some kids who only know one word: Hola.
Click here, oh reader.

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