Saturday, December 22, 2012

Belen fire thoughts

Here are a few random thoughts about the fire in the neighborhood of our LACC School in the Belen district of Iquitos.

1) Ironically, Belen is Spanish for Bethlehem. As I shared previously, I was in Iquitos to give Christmas gifts to the kids in our LACC schools. The gifts were supposed to arive four days prior, but were still on a river barge when I landed in Iquitos. The shipping company said they wouldn't be available until Monday (Christmas eve). We begged and prayed and the gifts became available on Thursday. We were at the shipping company when we got the call about the fire. If the kids in our school in Belen had received their gifts that morning, as was planned, the gifts would have burned in the fire.

2) The day before the fire, I took photos of the street because we were in negotiations to buy some of the houses next to the school. Then the fire struck. After the fire, I took hundreds of  photos and various videos of the site. I wanted to show everyone the before and after shots, but they were all lost. Something happened to corrupt the files on the card (perhaps the security X-rays in the airport?). I was (and still am) really upset. I've never had anything like this happen before and feel doubly frustrated by such a loss at such a critical time. By God's grace, I had copied photos from Pastor Jose's camera and also had photos on my phone. I definitely feel that the enemy does not want to bless the people of Belen. Destroying my pictures was just one more way to hinder our mission work there. May the Lord turn their ashes into something beautiful that gives Him glory!

3) Since we didn't have the gifts to give out on Thursday, I took some of the High School Seniors and teachers out to lunch to celebrate their graduation. When we got to the restaurant, I saw that some of the Seniors hadn't come. It was because they didn't have 30 cents for the taxi ride and they were too embarrassed to tell me. I would have paid for their transport, but they don't have cell phones so there was no way to tell them that. I felt horrible. Nonetheless, with those who did come, we had a great lunch at a Chinese restaurant. I sat with the Seniors and talked with them about their dreams for the future. It felt great getting a chance to talk with them personally. I've watched them grow up over the past five years. We had no idea what was about to unfold.

4) For those who are able to help, donations can be made payable to "Peru ChildCare"
in the check memo line, please write 8481046 Class 46
Send to: Assemblies of God World
1445 Boonville Ave.
 Springfield, MO 65802

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