Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Matthew!!!

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I know most of you are going to get sick of so many photos and videos...but I don't care! Matthew is great in this one...he is starting to do some facial expressions and his curiosity of being able to see things is capturing his attention. Enjoy!

Monday, December 28, 2009

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Happy New Year Matthew!!!

We will be celebrating the new year a little early this year with the arrival of Matthew.

After more than a day of contractions, 20 hours of pain, and 14 hours in the hospital, he finally decided to come out. Chiqui was unbelieveable the way she handled that much pain for that much time.

He came out at 52 1/2 centimeters (20 3/4 inches) and 3.710 kilos (8.2 lbs). But you don't want to read about him...you want to see him!





Saturday, December 26, 2009

X-Mas Peru Style


I choose coffee over hot chocolate because the milk here kind of makes me sit down on the porcelain throne too often.


It is a little different in latin countries...but I like the the reasoning.

Here the families get together and hang out until midnight when they all greet each other with a Christmas kiss on the cheek and have a big meal (kind of our Thanksgiving). A big turkey and the whole family together, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. In the Nativity scene Jesus is covered with a small cloth until midnight and then they remove the "veil" and reveal baby Jesus.

After all of this it is time for presents, hanging out late into the morning and then sleeping in on Christmas day.

Christmas morning everyone usually has the typical Christmas breakfast of Paneton (kind of like a Peruvian fruitcake) and hot chocolate. This year we actually woke up in time to have it for lunch...a 12 o'clock hot chocolate and paneton...

Christmas was nice and relaxing. Unfortunately, I was working on Christmas eve until about 10pm so I missed out on some of the family time...but it was in order to open the School Supply store so it was something else we could celebrate on Christmas.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Matthew's Future?


Most people thought it was a ball when they saw this photo.

Who knows what will be of our son? But if Chiqui and her friends are any form of prophetess', he will be doing something in missions. Here are some photos of what they did with her belly the other day.

Very creative!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

School Supply Store



Edwin and Livia are two of the four people who will be employed through the School Supply store. Here they are happily posing for a photo in the first couple of hours that we opened.


It has finished!!!

Most famously quoted by our savior, but also appropriate today.

I have been at the School Supply store almost every day getting the last details (which the list never seems to end) taken care of so we can open up the school supply store. Well the day has finally come, Christmas eve 2009.

We will officially inaugurate it on Saturday or Sunday, but it is good to go and Edwin has decided that he doesn't want to wait until Saturday or Sunday. He said he wanted to work tonight and tomorrow. He has been there everyday with me at some time or another and he just kept asking when we were going to open.

It is a good way to finish of the year and a good way to prepare myself for Christmas.

It is finished! Now it is time to remember Him who came to finish it all, our Savior Jesucristo!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ciudad Nueva - 6th Anniversary



We were very excited after months of planning to finally celebrate our anniversary as a church. Here in Peru it is a custom to celebrate everything. We planned on having an all day event like we did in September, but this time with all three churches. Our goal was to unite and celebrate...and it was accomplished. To finally sit back on Monday and thank God for the way he moved on Sunday was great. The church continues to grow and be more and more united.


Another one of our goals is to raise up a new generation of leaders. Here are two of the youth from the youth group that are learning to serve. Edwin, on the right, also is helping in Sunday school and AWANA's and he is learning guitar to be one of the first worship team members to come out of Ciudad Nueva. He is one of the fruits that makes all the difficult moments and times of depression worth everything. Please pray for him and the other youth and adults who are being brought up as future leaders.

A good time for food and laughs while we watch a video compilation of the 6+ years of the church's history.


Typical clothes and dance outfits displaying some of the beautiful typical parts of the Peruvian cultures. Yvan (on the left of the photo above) is also helping out in AWANA's and learning to play guitar.


We love you all and thank God for your participation in the ministry in Tacna through prayers, encouragement, and financial support. May God continue to bless you and others through you.

School Supply Store


Things are underway and on track to meet our goal. From the start of the year we had planned and hoped to open up the first micro-business by years end, and at least one more in 2010. We are on track to open up the School Supply store for mid-December.

Thank you all for your prayers and financial support for making this happen. You are all a vital part of God's work in progress here in Tacna.

Baby Shower 2



Baby Shower




So we had our first baby shower...and unfortunately here that means that WE had our first baby shower. Even though I tried and tried to tell them that baby showers are for women. In the end I was still there at the families baby shower and at the church's baby shower. In the end it was great to see all the things we will be saving money on...lol!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Man of Men




You ever have one of those days that make you feel like a man. I spent over half the day fixing little things on the truck (windows, door locks, alarm, etc)...but it was about a half hour during the day that was something special.

I had to drive fast to make it on time. Within a minute of my arrival the sacrifice began. Our little friend above went from a pet to lunch real fast. My reaction was actually none at all. At first it startled me a little, but then it just became an act.

My thoughts went immediately to how the Levites would have had to remind themselves that the sacrifices were holy acts to the Most High. How often do we forget that in our daily lives? How many times do I forget that to give sacrifices and offerings should not become routine for us, but rather something done in love. Then my thoughts go on towards how we do and do and do...and always forget that we are COMMANDED to rest; to take at least one day in the week to restore our energy, restore our family, and restore our hearts and minds with Him.

I can't wait 'til Monday!


ps - if anyone wants any more graphic photos send me an email.

The Truck Situation



Juanita...that's her name. She has been good to us for about a year and a half now. She has taken us to the mountains to bring clothes and medicine to poorer communities. She has brought many children and youth to their houses when it is late after church. She has helped do more construction for the church and community than we can even remember. She has carried gringos everywhere while they came on short-term trips. The only she won't do is bring Chiqui to the hospital to give birth to our son.

Yes, the time has come for us to depart with our truck. The government has begun to change the laws so that our truck can no longer be here in Peru with us. If all goes as planned, in a couple weeks we will be taken her to Arica to try to sell.

It was a good run. Worth every moment.

But on a serious note, we bought the truck in Chile because it has been very very necessary for the work we do and we simply cannot afford to buy one in Peru because they are almost twice as much. Thanks to an aunt and uncle of mine (thanks George and Charlene) we were able to have enough to buy the truck. But now with the new laws we will have to sell her and get something here in Peru. Unfortunately, we can probably only get a car with the money we have. So we are looking into and praying over three options: 1) a very nice and giving gringo or church would donate a lot of money or a truck less than 4 years old, 2) we could purchase one in the states for under $7000 and under 4 years old and ship it over here, or 3) we get a car here that won't serve as well for the ministry.

Please keep these things in your prayers...starting with the quick sell of the truck within a month.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pollada


Whenever we go somewhere in Latin America they always ask us, "What is a pollada?" Let me tell you all what a pollada is...it's like a kid selling lemonade or a football team having a car-wash...it is the main way Peruvians raise money for special events or needs.

If you have a family member who needs a surgery and you don't have the money...you plan a pollada.
If you get in a car accident and need to fix your car...you plan a pollada.
If you are planning a children's Christmas party in poor areas in Tacna...you plan a pollada.

We were able to sell 200 polladas and raise over $150. That is about 10% of the total we hope to raise. The Internet Cafe micro-business brings in on average an additional $25 a month just for the children's ministry and we are awaiting answers from some businesses in Tacna that are looking into possibly donating the gifts for the children. We are on our way to meeting the goal and we would appreciate your prayers and support in this cause. Also, we have recieved some responses from you about supporting and we thank you. As of now there is an additional $180 pledged and others praying about possible financial support. We are hoping to fully support the Christmas party with Peruvian fundraising so that any additional support can be used to provide $50 educational scholarships for a years worth education.

There will be plenty of polladas in the future so if you are ever in the Tacna area let us know and we will try to plan one around your visit so you can partake in this integral part of the Peruvian culture.

ps - the beer bottle in the photo was the beer used in the seasoning of the chicken...we weren't selling any beer (though beer selling would raise a lot of money!) j/k

Night of the Stars!!!!






We had our first ever Talent Show in Ciudad Nueva and it was a hit. We had a big audience of neighbors, the youth group, their parents and classmates, etc all in the church to see what they could do. Their was a variety of dances, singing, a magic show, choreographies, and lip-singing (seriously). It was fun. We had our three judges (three young adults from the previous youth group) critiquing their perfomances and the crowd going crazy all night.

What we want to encourage is their abilities and desires to be able to foster them into a life ministry not just inside the church, but of course including the church. One of our goals was to have musicians in Ciudad Nueva by years end and three people from the youth group are learning guitar and hopefully will play in a service by the end of the year. One of them played guitar and sang with another girl from the group.

In all it was a success and we were able to enjoy seeing small fruits of this years work with the youth group.



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CCV Update


After a long wait, a lot of prayer by all of you and us, we finally recieved news from our home church CCV. It is a long review process so it has taken some time. We were told that no missionaries will be cut in 2010, but will be reduced in financial support. Also, there will be a yearly review, and based on the review and the yearly budget we will be informed about further support.

This is good news. I think that the church is trying to make amends to their prior decision and I know God has used it to prepare us as missionaries to take financial support in perspective. While we hope to have supporters interested in our work and faithful in their support, we need to also understand that in any given moment we might lose financial support for no fault of our own. I know I had begun to be a little less informative than before, and this time also helped to encourage me to get back to informing all of you more.

Thank you for your constant emails and concern. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. We love you all and God has used you greatly to help us day after day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Talk about Embarrassing!!!

Have you ever just done something really stupid and couldn't do anything but laugh about it?

Today I was shaving, and as usual I was playing around with my beard and mustache. As I was finishing up showing Chiqui different "looks" I was having fun with, the battery began to run low. I decided to leave the shaver charging while we ate lunch and then shave off "the stache" afterwards. As life goes, we finished lunch and I washed the dishes and was hanging out the clothes to dry when we noticed we were running a couple minutes late. So we hurried out the door and went to church.

"What did you do to yourself?" was the first greeting I got at the door. Immediately, I lifted up my hand to "the stache" and said, "Awe man! I forgot to shave it off." The rest of the afternoon in the church was mostly filled with people laughing and me explaining my absent-mindedness. The best part is that almost no one said a thing until I mentioned it.

In all it made for a funny afternoon and a great story...and those of you who know me know that almost anything is worth a great story in the end.

The End!

Busy Weekend - Part 2 Nueva Jerusalen





October 11th we celebrated in Nueva Jerusalen. It was there 2nd Anniversary as a fully running church. The day before we had our 2nd OANSA championship (AWANA) and the home team won. Nueva Jerusalen took 1st and we took second in Ciudad Nueva.

Similiar to what we did in Ciudad Nueva on September 20th, this anniversary in Nueva Jerusalen was an all day event. The difference is that this was three church event.
In the morning we had a special service which including a typical Peruvian dance presented by the youth group from Ciudad Nueva (they are the ones dressed up in the 1st photo above). Afterwards we shared a plate of picante (the most typical dish from Tacna) and then off to finish off the last leg of a three-week soccer and volleyball tournament.


Busy Weekend - Part 1


The first part of the weekend was a party for the children. Since it would be crazy and impossible to have birthday parties for all the children during the year, we have one special day when we celebrate all of them. This year was very special. The kids from the youth group did a musical sketch to Chavo el 8, a famous and very popular Mexican comedy program. Also, for the first time ever we were able to get a clean payaso (clown). It was a great time with each of the kids from the church.

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During the party the clown had me do the gorilla dance and put a mask on me. Aparently it is a well-known dance I never had heard of.