Sunday, December 21, 2008

Four Peruvian Angels

Hannah and I were in one of the Peruvian markets, and were looking at some sweet little ornaments, when Hannah said to me, "Mom, we need to get something Peruvian for our tree! I agreed, and we bought four adorable little Peruvian angels (two girls, two boys), complete with chullos (the Peruvian hats that are popular even in the States now). I started thinking about how the children have taken Peru into their hearts and have started to grow a place in their hearts that will always belong to Peru. The rest of their lives will not be the same for having lived here, having seen both the beauty and extreme poverty of this place. They will always love Lomo Saltado (awesome Peruvian-style beef stir fry) and remember the many churches we visit that meet in tents with gravel floors, and they will never see their own culture through the same eyes again. I don't have to explain to them that there are people who don't have enough to eat or kids who live in just one little room with the rest of their family. They have met them, and some of them go to our church!

I recently had a conversation with a wonderful German missionary who grew up in Africa. She shared with me about how the African people sang in every event, happy or sad, and how they danced and expressed whatever they were feeling. She also spoke with pride and affection of the old hymns from Germany, and how wonderful they were, but remembered being surprised on return to Germany how differently the Germans responded to music and emotion. I saw in her eyes that she was not completely one or the other-- how she loved both cultures from her heart, longing for a place where both were loved, understood, and appreciated.

Hebrews 11 tells us of the fathers of faith and how they knew they were strangers and aliens on this earth. Their hope in eternity made their lives different. They made different choices, took huge steps of faith, and obeyed God against all logic because they had their eyes fixed on another country that they have yet to inherit. Living between two cultures makes one feel like something of a stranger in both. You love both, see the strengths and weaknesses of both, and know that you don't fully fit in either! Our prayer is that this helps us to live like our ancestors of the Hall of Faith-- that we keep our eyes on the heavenly citizenship that awaits us in heaven. For those of you who support us in prayer and offerings, we can't tell you how grateful we are to have your confidence and your heart as we sojourn here in Peru!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Surfing Adventure

Surfing is a big sport here in Lima. Therefore, in honor of Sarah's 24th birthday, we went on a surfing adventure. Here we are, doing what everyone does when you put on a wet suit, pretending to be super heroes.

The water was about 50 degrees and the waves were not so big that we were scared. Nonetheless, as beginners, it was still a challenge. Getting out beyond the waves is the hard part. If there was something like a ski lift, I'd vote it one of my favorite sports. As it is, it's still a great sport. The only problem is the amount of effort involved. That's what makes skiing such a great sport ... there's so little actual work involved.

Abi playing on the beach. Note the rocks. They're tough on your toes when you get out of the 50 degree water.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Cockroaches and Coffee

This bad boy is living in my coffee pot. We've been hit with a roach infestation. When we open the overhead kitchen cabinets, they fall out onto the counter, us and the food. The other day, I turned on the microwave that's above the stove. The microwaves began to cook two roaches that were hiding inside. They ran out and fell right onto a nice hot casserole of Spanish Rice. They're favorite spot to live is in our coffee pot. Apparently, they like coffee. They also love dark, damp places. Frequently I've poured water into the pot and chased out roaches from the water reservoir. All I can say is that I'm really glad for coffee filters.

Friday, December 05, 2008

What's in a name?

People here have difficulties with my name. Ironically, they prefer William over Bill. There are even Peruvian guys named Willy. But when it comes to Bill, they stumble. I mentioned this to a Peruvian friend and he said, "They don't want to say your name because it means despicable."


"In Spanish, when you say Bill, it sounds like Vil, which means despicable or really bad. That's why people stumble. They can't figure out why a missionary would say, 'Hi, my name is despicable,' or 'Hi, I'm really bad.'"

I went home and looked it up. Here's what the dictionary says: From the dictionary:
Vil (adj) vile, despicable; el vil metal filthy lucre. It's obvious now that we can add to the list:
Devil -- which means from or of the vile, despicable.

People have asked me what my name means. Now I'm starting to understand why they're so interested. Ironically, one of the meanings of William is noble. As such, I'm thinking of changing my name to No-Vil.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dr. McGee and a salvation story

Gary McGee is one of my favorite professors at the Assembly of God Theological Seminary. He's an expert on Pentecostal History and theology and is a truly inspiring person. Currently, Dr. McGee is fighting for his life, combating cancer. AGTS has set up a web site with information about Dr. McGee’s progress ( Here is an update that touched my heart:

Last Thursday evening Dr. McGee's condition was quite fragile. Family, AGTS leaders and pastors from the McGee's church, Evangel Temple, gathered in the ICU waiting room to pray. Pastor Charles Arsenault led in a prayer which was overheard by a man visiting his wife in the ICU. The next day this man approached Alice (Dr. McGee's wife) and her sister in that waiting room and said that when he heard Pastor Arsenault's prayer he was overcome with emotion. He relayed that he was one of 15 children and was the only one not serving the Lord. He had just retired from a job with the railroad and his wife was in the hospital fighting cancer. Alice's sister, noticing his brokenness, pressed him about his spiritual condition and after conversing for awhile led him to faith in Christ. He told her that his 93 year old mother had been praying that he would give his life over to Jesus for many years. She said he should call his mother immediately, which he did. The last few days have seen a marked change in this man. Although his wife is facing very serious health issues, the man is visibly changed; there is a glow on his face and a confidence in his countenance.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Lester's Giblets

Abi and I (Lena) were on our way back from our friend's apartment, having retrieved our turkey (which was too big for our freezer) which I had been calling, "Lester." I thought I was quite funny.
Abi started to ask me about Lester, asking if he belonged to someone. Having been down this pet vs. yummy food to eat road before, I easily handled this one. I told her that some animals are pets, and some don't belong to anyone, and we don't eat the pet kind. She seemed satisfied with that answer, and I congratulated myself on having been matter of fact about the whole thing.
When we got home, I went about getting Lester ready for the oven. I got him out of his nice plastic jacket, just like they have at home in the States. I always get a little bit of pre-turkey jitters, as cooking it involves things called "giblets," and the stakes are so high. I reached in to get the packet of "giblets." Success. There seemed to be quite a few things inside there. Maybe some "niblets," too? Now for the neck-- I saw a little bit of neck sticking out, pulled, and--OH MY. THE HEAD WAS ATTACHED!! Lester was a real turkey! With a head! And there it was! I let out a tortured yelp and dropped the Lester head. And his feet were in there, too! I had to leave for a while to gather my bearings. I left them all in the utility sink, and the little ones kept slinking in to take a look at the CSI: Turkey Edition. Sarah got disgusted with all the morbidity of them skulking around, and told them to stop, but too late. Will could barely down Lest-- I mean the turkey. Lesson of the day: never underestimate the power of a styrofoam tray (or plastic jacket in a turkey's case) in making you think that it never had a head. I know. It's a gem.
A side note: Bill was my hero and cut Lester's head off the neck so I could use the neck meat and the "giblets" to make my first real gravy. It rocked.