Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Peru- Part 6

The evenings after camp each day were spent in various ways. One day we went to the beach and enjoyed the Pacific Ocean! The water was pretty chilly, but of course Ronnie took a dip!

Each night a different missionary family hosted us for dinner. This was quite the task as they had to feed 26 very hungry "campers" but they did a wonderful job and the food and hospitality couldn't have been better. We enjoyed lots of fresh mangoes, avocados, and tres leche cake!

One night at supper we even had live entertainment. A group of musicians from one of the churches came and performed some traditional Peruvian music for us! This was so fun and there was even some dancing!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Peru- Part 5

Tuesday through Friday were spent running a camp for children from the 3 churches, the orphanage and a bunch of missionary kids. Each day we took "Bob" the bus out to a facility in the Moche area of Trujillo. This area was the center of the ancient Moche empire that was defeated by the Inca Indians. The facility we rented was actually at the base of the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon, two ancient sites of pagan worship and human sacrifice.

The children were divided into 5 groups based upon age. Each group was assigned several Peruvian volunteers who acted as their counselors, as well as translaters at each activity. Each group did every activity each day. The activities included:
Super Fun Games: Parachute, inflatables, and games
Horseback riding





We also had snack time with plenty of ice cream!

and lunch time with...

lots of Inca Cola!

At each activity we had object lessons that taught a Bible lesson that related to the activity and then the day wasn't complete without assembly time with lots of fun songs and then teaching about Creation and the book of Genesis.

Here are some more pics:

We welcomed the kids each morning with a tunnel!

The Titanic in Peru!

Picture frame craft...we gave them a group picture at the end of the week.

"fishing" for treats

Camp was a blast! It was a great time of playing hard, learning about our great God and building relationships!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Peru- Part 4

"In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace." Ephesians 1:5, 6

Our afternoon spent at the Hogar de Esperanza (Home of Hope) orphanage was a time that I hope I will never forget. Blogging about it is a daunting task. Hogar de Esperanza is a private Christian orphanage that has opened its doors to children of a variety of backgrounds, including extreme poverty, abandonment, and abuse. They have a very nice facility that is clean and spacious. The staff seemed to genuinely care for the children there.

The outside of the orphanage

The playground (notice the background...shows how truly desert Trujillo is)

When our bus pulled up to the orphanage children began to appear from everywhere eagerly greeting us. We brought treat bags of candy and lots of stickers for them and they couldn't have been more excited! Words can't really describe the faces, so here are some pics:

These are the faces of children who love to play, they eagerly reach to be held and they yearn for a family of their own. It was somewhat of a heartbreaking afternoon...both Aaron and I fought back tears as we considered the lives of these precious children. But it was also a sweet time as we were able to love on these kids, see-saw, swing and run around with them!

I was able to spend sometime with some little girls and they were eager to show me their rooms. The children live in rooms of four and each have a cubby/closet where they keep all there belongings. One girl eagerly led me to her closet and pointed out what she had taped to the inside of her door...a photo of parents here in the States who are adopting her and 4 other orphans next month! How wonderful to see the joy in her eyes as she anticipated her adoption. What a beautiful picture of Christ's love for us and our adoption as children of God!

Have you considered adoption? There are 41 orphans at Hogar de Esperanza that would love a family! Pray for one in particular. Her name is Yuliana and she is 13. She needs a family and in July she will no longer be available for adoption. Pray that God would raise up Godly parents who will love her and welcome her into their family.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Peru- Part 3

Monday we head over to the third church, Arevalo, where we met the Peruvian camp staff and prepared for the week ahead. Many college age Peruvians from all three churches volunteered their time for the week to be "counselors" for the campers. They were invaluable translators as well!!

Arevalo Church

We went over how camp would run each day, some fun camp songs, and how to share the wordless book. We paired up and practiced together.

One thing that impressed us greatly about Peru was how welcoming and generous the people were. They couldn't have made us feel more welcome at Arevalo! We were treated to an AMAZING lunch that I can only imagine that they worked all morning to prepare! It was made about a block away at the Pastor's house by his gracious wife and some other women. We then carried the pots over to the church and enjoyed (in my opinion) our best meal in Peru!

Lomo Saltado with Aji sauce

Our meal was a beef stir fry type dish. It was served with rice and over french fries (french fries are a staple in Peru!) There was a VERY spicy Aji (pepper) sauce to put on the dish that was excellent! We also had vegetables and then ice cream for dessert. Oh and I can't forget- Inca Cola to drink. Inca Cola is the drink of Peru. If you ask me it tastes like bubblegum flavored soda. I prefer to stick with good ole Coca Cola!

Some more pics from Arevalo:

work on the church

Later we visited the camp site and set up. Before returning to the hotel we spent a couple hours at an orphanage but that deserves a post of its own!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Peru- Part 2

On Friday night we flew from Lima to Trujillo. Trujillo is a city in the North of Peru and is located on the coast. It is the 3rd largest city in Peru with about 1 million inhabitants. Trujillo is known as “La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera" or the city of eternal spring. It certainly lived up to its name while we were there. The temperature was in the mid 70s all week, the sun shone brightly, yet there was always a pleasant cooling breeze. Trujillo is located at the foothills of the Andes mountains and the this provides some wonderful sites. It is a very desert region- VERY dry and sandy!

Upon arriving in Trujillo, we checked into the Hotel Paraiso (Paradise). I didn't take any pictures of our room here, but it was perfectly comfortable, even with the lack of air conditioning.

On Sunday we ate breakfast in the hotel (lots of breads, yogurt, tamales, and cold cuts) and then departed for church. This was a big adventure!! The team piled into about 7 taxis and the race began! In Peru traffic lines are merely a suggestion and horn blowing is essential. It was a bit scary at times but we safely made it to the Wichensaw Church. This is one of Peru Mission's church plants in a very poor section of Trujillo. This was a sweet and memorable time of worship. We sang, read responsively, heard preaching from a Peruvian seminary student and celebrated the Lord's Supper (all in Spanish). It was so neat to see the church global worshiping together.
Each church plant has a garden to symbolize growth and fruitfulness.
Outside the church

The areas surrounding the church.

After church we enjoyed a picnic in the park outside some of the missionaries houses. They were very gracious and hospitable to us and provided wonderful food!

One of the missionaries houses

After lunch we returned to the hotel and took over the hallway to sort camp supplies and items bought for the children and orphanage. Each team member brought one personal suitcase and one with supplies. The amount of stuff was amazing! We had bows and arrows, craft supplies, medical supplies for the mission's clinic, clothes and toiletries for the orphans, lots of school supplies, candy, and treats for the children.

We closed the day by worshiping at the Larco church and then eating supper at Allen and Sandi Smith's house.