Sunday, February 28, 2010

Taxi Tales

One of the really wonderful things about life in Lima is that a person can get into a taxi at whatever moment, and launch into a conversation about practically whatever topic you like, and you will find a willing conversation partner. Enjoyable for most, but a jackpot for those of us who like to talk about Jesus!!

One day, I was on my way to a meeting with my pastor’s wife, and met a taxista with whom I had a great conversation. I have found myself, in the last 6 months or so, speaking strongly about the nature of salvation to those I witness to. I have gotten the rather strong impression from several people that they got that whole holiness thing confused—that they somehow have the impression that they have to get their lives together first, and then they will be good enough to go to God, do the church thing.

It is easy to talk about the Lord here—and even more so, because I am a missionary. When I get into a taxi, I often get asked, “Why did you come here from your country?” My reply is almost always “The call of God!” That leads really easily into a little history of our call, and talk of spiritual things.

This particular day, I found a taxi driver who had gone through some difficult life challenges recently, and we talked extensively about the nature of salvation, how no one is good enough to merit salvation-how we are all sinners, in need of a savior. He began to weep, and as he drove, he asked if there might be a prayer or something he could pray to make a decision for Christ. I honestly thought he was joking, or had done it before, but he assured me that he had never prayed a prayer of salvation before. I couldn’t believe it! What an awesome moment.

We made arrangements to take him to church, but as happens often with follow up, that was the last I saw of him. Of course, the best is if we can manage to tie people into a congregation, but we must leave these things in the hands of the Lord when things don’t go according to plan, as we would like. But what an awesome moment! Makes a missionary girl all smiley inside!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What I can't abide

There are many cases of injustice that cause my blood to boil. For example, we're currently helping a boy from the jungle, named Eber, who cannot walk well. Eber had meningitis when he was an infant—an illness I also suffered from. Unlike my family, Eber’s family had no means for treating the fever; as such, he was left crippled. He cannot straighten his legs; so, to get around, he hops. The doctors say that if he doesn't receive treatment, his knees will deteriorate to the degree that he'll be completely immobile.

Thanks to Latin America ChildCare, Eber will receive surgery that will (by God's grace) enable him to stand up straight and walk. The fact that the family was so poor that they could not even treat a child with a fever makes my blood boil. But that's not all. Another thing I can't abide is fake Disney character trash can lids--like the ones at the Children's Hospital in Lima!

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Thanks Speed The Light!

SUV's make you feel powerful and secure. Sports cars make you feel young and alive. Minivans make you feel ... useful. Here, our mighty Kia Carnival (Sedona in the States) is being filled with sand and rocks. We were Shipping the sand and rocks to the jungle where it'll be used to make water filtration systems. Here's a quick list of what you can find in the jungle:

1. Moskitos the size of your head. -Yes!
2. Flesh eating minnows. --Yes!
3. Fossilized monkey dung. --Yes!
4. Rocks. --Nada!

The problem is that the jungle is all rotting trees and fruit. So, in order to make the water filtration systems, we had to buy the pebbles (and a higher grade of sand) in Lima and ship them to the jungle. When we loaded our mighty minivan, the rear end nearly hit the ground, while the front end was facing the sky. It was a fun ride.

I want to thank Speed the Light and the youth groups from Ohio that enabled us to have this incredibly useful tool. Children in the jungle will have clean drinking water because of the sacrifices all of you made. Thank you!
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Monday, February 08, 2010

What's in a name?

What's in a name? A lot, when the name is in English. Peruvian ice cream is, ironically, overly sweet--at least to North American taste buds. Americans also tend to prefer a higher fat content. As such, we're excited when an American brand can be found in a local store. Turkey Hill is just that brand. Imported all the way from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, it's a little taste of home.

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In the Desert

Lima is in the middle of thousands of miles of desert. I was out driving last week and snapped these two pictures with my cell phone. The picture, above, is of two adobe houses. I'm often perplexed as to why why someone would build a house where there's no water. Many people here have their water trucked in. Obviously, that's what the people in these two houses had in mind. Yet, they didn't stay. Like many homes in the desert, the families were only here for a while. Perhaps until the roof blew off.

The shot, below, is of a small town in the desert. It's near a highway and mostly serves as a place for thirsty travelers to stop and buy a Coke. Driving through the desert is a little like driving through snow--it's very bright and you go through a lot of windshield washer fluid.
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