Thursday, April 26, 2012

Catch Up

It has been sinfully too long since writing my experiences and thoughts here on the ol' blog, but I have been altogether waaaay too busy with the churches and work. As of writing this, I have a little over 2 months left here in south Perú. I have a variety of subjects to touch upon in this blog since I wrote the last, so buckle up!
As most of you dear readers know, my parents were able to come and visit me/ construct the new temple in the center of the city. Everyday we split up into two groups: construction and impact. For various reasons I was chosen to be the construction site at all working hours (as translator) except for my two impact days when I was in charge. It was a change of pace for me because I didn't just translate, I worked my rear off. I'm not complaining because I loved every moment of it, but it definitely was a physical and mental change of pace for me. At first I was trying to let all the short termers work, but then they started handing me bricks. Then the animal inside me grew haha. I'll never forget Monday the 2nd of April as there were few of us at the construction site and it would be our hardest day pouring cement into the walls of the church. Shout out to the guys on my team hauling gravel and sand uphill in 5 gallon buckets: Randy, Tom, Hayden, Dad, and Tyler. 6 buckets of gravel and 6 buckets of sand in the cement mixer per bag of cement. We did 21 bags of cement.
Unfortunately my father had to leave early for about a gajillion factors affecting his health, but he did get to stay a week and see Puno and see both my church plant sites and the construction site and the moto! Then I did get to hang out with my mom, and she was a trooper on the construction site and even afterwards when everybody had left she did whatever I had planned! DSCF1512DSCF1419-001
The inauguration service at the new temple was very special for our family as it is dedicated in the name of my great-grandparents. The church was about 90% done construction wise, and it was filled to the max with people. There's something about inviting people to an anniversary that makes them want to come! My mom and I had the privilege of christening the church (and got champagne all over us) and overall it was a great success as a short term trip.
As far as our churches, from the impact in Salcedo we've been able to contact 3 people as most of the contacts that we made that day were from other places in the city, not from Salcedo. But in Rinconada we did a kids festival and we have been able to contact almost all of the people that we met and we've been able to disciple them. It has been a great success.
DSCF1547This Sunday the 29th of April is our last Sunday in our church in Rinconada. The people there are very poor and we don't have enough income to sustain the price of rent in the building we're in now. We are looking at many options that are free, but it looks like we will have a cell group church in the house of one of the ladies who attends the church faithfully. Her house has recently been put up for sale by the owner, who is her brother-in-law, after she's been living there 16 years. We are praying that she can take ownership of the house legally by having lived there for so long, as that's how the law works here in Peru. She just doesn't have good lawyers, or as good as the ones that would be one the other side. By faith we're going to open up a church in her house, faith that God will let her keep it and that the church will grow into multitudes. Please join us in this fight and pray for Viviana (the mother), Paulina (the grandmother), Ines, and José Luis (the children).
I also had the glorious opportunity after our 2 week spat of nonstopness to go to Arequipa, which has turned to a little ‘merica. Starbucks! McDonalds! Dominos! T.G.I. Fridays! It was a really great time with Trevor and Kristen to go and relax and do stuff that normal twentysomethings would do. I got to sit in Starbucks and read on my Kindle, walk around in shorts, be out at night, and have free refills at T.G.I. Fridays! Time of my life :D
But I still have to remember that I have only two short months more to make the biggest impact that I can. Please pray for me personally that I have strength and that I also have willpower to "leave it all on the field." It's hard and I'm so excited for many things about my future, but the goal here is to be here in the moment and to take advantage of every moment.
So that's the month of April. Until the next blog, take a listen to this.


  1. Garren, I missed your blogs! You made me cry, AGAIN!

    Loved hearing from your mom how the trip went. I could've listened a lot longer. She is one awesome momma full of love for you and her Lord Jesus! We were quite fearful back here when we heard of your dad's early return but Praise God he is ok, and he was able to do some work there.

    God has been faithful and has used you to further His kingdom in more ways than we will see this side of heaven. Praying for you! for your safety, for God to let you see the fruits of your labor, and for your smooth transition back to college life.


  2. Garren, it is so great to read your blogs now knowing what I do about you and about the city of Puno and the areas you work in. God is working through you in some pretty awesome ways. I am so thankful that I get to experience some of God's diverse, powerful work through your experiences. Count me in as one of those praying for you as well as for Viviana, Paulina, Ines, and José Luis.

    My grandma sent you a message on FB, she's hoping for a response before Sunday. I'm excited to hear how God will work through that. We serve such a good God!

    Dios te bendiga