Itís been a long time since Iíve written. I want to catch you up on all that weíve been doing.
Mid-September Shirley Anne Jacobs came down from Maryland, and we picked her up around 5 AM at the Lima Airport. That afternoon, we took two taxis to two different English-language Christian schools (Monterrico and La Molina) that some friends of ours are directing so that we could expose Shirley Anne to some teaching ministries in Lima. Both schools are reaching out to the business class/upper class in Lima. They teach all in English in the lower grades but switch to Spanish in the upper grades to prepare the students for university level. Later that night, the kids all went to a youth group for missionary kids.
The next day we had to fly to Chiclayo so we could help with the Buddís ministry for a month while they are on furlough. At the airport in Lima, the gentleman who helped us with our luggage was named Luis. He really opened up to us while we were waiting in the long line at the ticket counter, and he told us that his wife has uterine cancer and he wondered whether we could pray for her. I gave Luis our e-mail address, and after we arrived in Chiclayo, Luis e-mailed us. It was then that Andy had a great witnessing opportunity with him via e-mail. Pray for Luis and his wife.
When we first flew over Chiclayo, all we could see was the Pacific Ocean and tan, sand-like buildings. Everything looked very old and bland, surrounded by a desert with some high hills here and there. The weather was cool and the sky was gray. Some of the kids immediately reacted very badly by assuming that God had brought us to a place of despair and poverty. It took us over 30 minutes of driving through very poor-looking neighborhoods with trash everywhere before we finally reached our destination, the Buddís home.
The Budds share a compound with two other families. One family runs a deaf school, Harvest, and has a young teen girl. The other family (also has a teen girl) is very involved with two of the Buddís three ministries: the business class Bible studies (couples/singles and ladies) and the pregnancy center. (The Budds also have a ministry with folks that live in the mountains about 6 hours away.) The compound seems very secure, and to help, there are 6 dogs that protect the property. Once the kids saw the compound and entered the Buddís home, they felt so much better about being here.
The Buddís home is very comfortable and gives us enough space to study and play. The kids have been really improving on their piano playing since we have been here. They all want to get a piano now. The Buddís two dogs, a German shepherd and a Cocker mix, have been great sources of fun too. The girls and I have really enjoyed baking cakes and cookies. It has been 5 months since we last baked anything. We are anxious to buy an oven when we get back to Iquitos!
We have been having the business class Bible study for couples/singles here on Sunday nights. We have had an average of 6 people come (other than our family.) Normally there are more people on average, but the study has not been well attended since the Buddís left in May for their furlough. Andy has been talking about stress, crucial conversations and Moses. He has one more Sunday study to go. I, along with Shirley Anne and Allison, have been attending the ladiesí study on Wednesday night in town. I was able to give my testimony in Spanish last Wednesday there. The ladies are very sweet. One lady, named Jesus, is not saved. I had her read Ephesians 2:8, 9 out loud. I hope to speak again with her tomorrow night.
Our family got to visit several times at the deaf school and church, Harvest. I was able to share my testimony in the ladiesí Sunday school class last Sunday. The leader was very teary-eyed and said she related personally to what I had shared. God is good! Guess What??? We know 2 of the deaf guys! They are from Iquitos! What a blessing! They recognized us from our time in Iquitos (2004-April 2006) when we, as a family, would help out with the deaf ministry at EFATA. That was over 5 years ago! Sosimo will be graduating soon and wants to work with the deaf ministry in Iquitos. He will be a joy to work with. Erick will graduate later but would also like to work in the ministry. He has some healing to work through before he goes back to Iquitos, though. The deaf are typically abused in the worst ways down here. Pray that they will be used mightily by God. These two guys are the only ones living at the school. (All the other students  live with their families in town.) We were able to help supply some of their needs once we learned of them. What brave young men they are to be here without their families!
Two of our girls and Shirley Anne are helping out with an orphanage down the road from us. The orphanage has three young lady volunteers from Great Britain, (London, Scotland and Ireland.) Our girls are not only making friends with the kids but also with these young ladies. These volunteers are not saved, and seem to have no concept of spiritual things. They plan to visit Iquitos in November for their break so we plan to continue our relationship with them. Pray that God would open their eyes and soften their hearts. Our girls plan to volunteer at the orphanage until we leave for Lima next week.
Some fun things we have done while here is to walk to the beach, go to an ostrich farm and visit Moche pyramids in Sipan (older than the Incas.) The kids have gone to youth group several times at two different churches and plan to attend a banquet with young people this Saturday. Some new friends invited us over for chicken, salad, ice cream and a movie in their home. I am always so amazed (and grateful) when a family invites our large family over for dinner!
Chiclayo has a Starbucks (with internet!) at the shopping center in town so we plan to go there tomorrow (Oct. 5th) and Skype Emily to wish her a happy 19th birthday and to hopefully see how much Weston has grown in his first 2 months. While there, I also need to buy some spices I havenít been able to find in Iquitos yet. We only have another week here so I hope also to get to see one museum outside of town and possibly a stone house that is close by.
We have had several very nice families invite us to stay in Chiclayo and minister here. The kids have adjusted very quickly here, even more so than in Iquitos. Pray for their adjustment back to Iquitos. Iquitos is very difficult for our kids to live in, and itís even hard in some ways for Andy and me, but we want to be where God wants us, and right now, thatís Iquitos.
Next week we will be in Lima for Paul Diamondís wedding. We are so excited to see people from Faith Community Church! Also, I want to give a big thank you to Micki Bowers for all the books/Paces that she has sent us through Shirley Anne and Paul and for the school books Micki will be sending us next week. THANK YOU!! We love you all!
In His hand,