Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fire


For the first time in Tacna's recent history we had a large building fire. In one of the main mini-malls, 28 de Julio, there was a fire that burned three quarters of the place. Many people lost thousands of dollars in merchandise.

The stores are a block away from the downtown church, Local Central. It is going to make a big impact on the local economy because over a thousand people are dependant on the sales there. We have a young woman in the youth group in Local Central that her family owned two stores there and one completely burned down and in the other they were able to retrieve half of their merchandise.

One of the main problems is that Tacna is a desert region and there just wasn't enough water. Another was the very poor quality of the building. It was a sad day for many people.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Weddings

We have a few busy weeks ahead of us. The next two Saturdays we will be celebrating a couple of weddings in the Ciudad Nueva Church. We are excited to see couples taking such an important decision that God instructs us to take. It is a testimony of what God is doing in these couples and we are proud to be able to celebrate this special day with them.

Then once the weddings are over we begin two non-stop weeks of work with a short-term team that is coming from Tustin, Hope Christian. They are a great group that comes every year with mime and puppet skits prepared to share at schools and in plazas. They also will be dedicating their first week to doing construction.

Pray that we survive these strenuous weeks.

Quinciñera


Thursday was a first for our church...we celebrated our first quinciñera (celebrating a girls 15th birthday). It is a very important day for a young girl, because it is the day that she becomes a young woman. We had the honor of holding our first fiesta in the church.

Her name is Daisy. She has become very close to one of our interns, Stephanie, who is staying in Ciudad Nueva. It was a hit. The kids danced. Daisy felt like a queen. And the young men in the youth group acted like true gentlemen. It was a day that made us very proud. The youth leaders were amazing and did everything. It is a true testament to the wonders God is doing here through the leaders he is raising up here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's a...


Yes!!!! Believe it because it is true. 12 weeks this Friday...so, yes the whole time we were in the states and everyone was asking us and bothering us, it was already true. Now the suspense begins if it will be my little princess or champ.

We love you all. Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

National Protests

Sometimes things in Peru can be pretty complicated.  In the jungle these last few months there have been protests over some indigenous land that will be turned over to foreign investors.  Indigenous people groups have had problems with the government and foreign investment for decades.  Usually what happens is foreign investors come in and promise all kinds of economic benefits and social projects, but the government gets paid off and never enforces the conditions of their investments.  This has led to most indigenous groups flat out negating any foreign investors with interests in their lands.  This particular case is even more complex.  The land that the government had decided to give over was a burial ground, land considered sacred by the indigenous.

The way most things work in 3rd world countries is you strike and use violence until the corrupt are forced to stop.  It is unfortunate and it makes things very hard for us as a church to preach non-violence because we are basically saying let them stomp all over you.  I know that is not what we are teaching but that is what is understood because they know no other way.  

There is suppose to be a national protest tomorrow and all public transportation will be shut down as well as most businesses.  We will see what happens tomorrow, but be rest assured that none of the violence has been here in Tacna.  

To know more here are some recent news articles.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8094304.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8093729.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8092453.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8088350.stm

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Back in Tacna

So we are back in Tacna for about a week now and finally getting back into the swing of things.  Things went well while we were gone.  The church went through some tough situations, as churches always do, but each one is a growing pain that God uses to make his bride stronger.  

This blog will be a new way for us to stay more informative with all of you who are interested in Tacna and what we do on more of a daily and weekly basis.  Please pass it on to whomever you think might be interested.  So here we go with the first one.

We will be getting together some papers to present to the church in the next week or two explaining what we do and where we would like to go.  These are crucial for our home church's understanding of who we are and what our plans are for the future.  Please pray with us so that the words will be clearly understood and touch the hearts and minds of those who will read them.  Much of our future will be depend on the decisions of a select few.  

I don't think that we are too stressed out, but my body seems to be telling me otherwise.  I am not sleeping very much and am having a hard time thinking and concentrating.  Your prayers are always needed and appreciated.

Our arrival in Tacna was great.  We were recieved by a few of the church members with masks on and a sign that read "Bienvenidos Gripe Porcina!" (translated "Welcome Swine Flu!").  And that night the church we focus most of our work on prepared a nice dinner for us with all the adults.  We were very excited to see how the church continued to grow without our presence because it shows how God has raised up the leaders in the church to continue forward with Him.

That is it for my first Tacna Life blog.  I must finish my sermon for tomorrow morning and afternoon and then I will get to test my knee (I tore a knee ligament in February) in soccer after church tomorrow night.  If all goes well we will be very happy.  Then after soccer Chiqui and I will go across the border to Chile on Monday to celebrate our 4 year anniversary (it was June 4th) because we have to pick up two interns early Tuesday morning anyway.