You’ve seen what it looks like on a day to day basis, but you don’t really know what I’ve been reaping overall. The big picture if you will.
My partner and I have had our ups and our downs. There have been times in which I would’ve liked to punch him in the mouth. There have been times where he would have liked to see me trip and fall in the mud and laugh at me. But also there have been times where we knew we were supposed to be working together, a Divine kind of thing.
Since coming to Puno, I’ve been depressed at times, missing my family, my friends, my fun, my house, my room, my car, my life in my country. Something that never happened to me in Arequipa. A looming depression at times; no time for fun just time for work and pressure. But if we analyze the first sentence of this paragraph, we may be able to spot a word that appears more than a couple times: “my.” Well, I have come to realize that’s where the problem starts, and also where it ends. It’s hard not to think of back home, it’s hard to be focused on the here, now. But I gave that to God when I came here 9 months ago. There’s no reason to try and take it back now. Sigue adelante.
So I’d like to give an update by each district and what’s going on…So we’ll start with Jayllihuaya. We’ve got a bunch of contacts there. We eat lunch with the same people every time that we’re there. We’ve made good friends with them, and we actually set up a visit at their house to make some Mexican tacos. We also know a professor who lives there. We’re coordinating with him and the mayor in order to set up a conference to teach about being clean as a community. We’ll be able to make a bunch of contacts through that.
In Salcedo, we’re really progressing. We’ve got a bunch of contacts there, and they’re all forming around the same area. Some people have called the police in that area, because we look suspicious. But we’re continuing on in that area.
We also had a lady accept Christ in Salcedo. We were in the middle of a field just talking with her. We asked her if we could pray for her and she excitedly said yes. We asked her if she was ready to invite Jesus into her life. She said yes to that. She’s 85 and we’ve visited her twice since. Each time she’s been so happy to see us and she gives us hugs (something unheard of here.) We do nothing with her except converse, pray, and read the Bible to her (since she can’t read.)
Also, yesterday we went and talked to the mayor of Salcedo and he’s all on board with what we’re doing and he wants to help us help the community. He plans on having 5000 trees getting shipped in soon and wants someone to organize and help. That’ll be a great way to get to know people.
In Rinconada de Salcedo, we have English classes/Bible study at 4:00PM on Saturdays. We’re going to use this to our benefit as much as possible. We have a nice huge place to do it, so we’re going to start inviting people to join on in with us with this family. They actually asked us if they could invite people and my partner and I looked at each other, then looked at them, the we said “yes!”
In each district we’re planning on doing and impact in the month of March. We’re planning on showing a movie in each place, along with conferences in Jayllihuaya and Salcedo (Rinconada de Salcedo is too small, and technically a part of Salcedo.) The pastor here has told us that the Passion of the Christ works well here, because the people are so desensitized. But the Jesus film also works too. I went to a showing of the Jesus film here and the response was really great. In my personal opinion, I think it’s all about the follow up, and showing people you really care.
Pray for accepting hearts of the people. Pray for my heart, and the heart of my partner. It’s really hard to be down here, and I’d love to go back to college. Pray for unity between Geremías and I. It’s so easy to want to punch the whole world, including my partner, in the mouth, but that’s just another attack.
Thanks so much for your prayers, and listen to this.