Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Yesterday after breakfast Vicki and I went into the city. I needed to take out money for our busfare, and wanted to get gifties for the kids. We went to the station first to check schedules and also see if they took plastic...which they did not, so I HAD to get cash. Vicki assured me that what I had would be enough to get stuff for the kids, so we went to the Artesania. Sure enough, I was able to get tee shirts in the right colors, as well as some cute barretts for the girls and cute pens for the boys. The clerk gave me a discount for the multiple purchases.
Then we went to a "cajero" (ATM) - no money. Tried another - still. Vcki told me that the patoras' meeting we'd be going to later was in a center near a bunch of cajeros so we could try then. So, home again.
I lay down a bit. When I got up, the sun was beaming warmly, and I was all by myself. So, I scrounged a small sheet to wrap myself in, grabbed the shampoo, and had myself a bath - especially after having had drips from my chamberpot experiences! As I was dressing, Vicki returned, explaining she had to go with her brother Hilario to Emergency. I wasn't surprised, as he had not been feeling well. Glad to say he is doing better.
Vicki whomped up a quick lunch of fried pork with a side of yucca and the ubiquitous rice. Then off to the meeting, already in progress. They were discussing the first interdenominational pastor/leader couples retreat in August. Love and Unity! Perfect! I thought of the Koinonia weekends in Rochester. Anyway, I told Psa. Paquita, who was heading things up, that I would like to donate something towards the retreat, so they could have nice little "detalles" - little mementos of the event. Well, Vicki got up with one of the pastoras and left, I assumed to help her with something or other. While she was away, Paquita invited me to share something, so I shared from Esther.4:14 "And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” - that each of us have passed through a number of experiences, trials, to arrive where we are today. That each of us has a DIVINE PURPOSE. As pastoras, they have a great calling to minister to their spouses, and to their congregations. Anyway...I encouraged them, and then there was a little time in which I was able to share some of my own experiences.
Then along came Vicki and the other pastora with a huge box - and Vicki announced that I'd be having a birthday soon, and so they had cake, and would sing me happy birthday. The little sneak! But what a pleasant surprise! And Paquita even presented me with a little hand-made bunny jewelry box and a frammed scripture! Another pastora gave me a key ring with a scripture, and I told her I'd think of and pray for the Chiclayo pastoras whenever I looked at it.
Pastora Paquita on the left; the one who gave me the key ring on the right
The cake suffered a SLIGHT mishap, rubbing out "Feliz"...and they DO have such a hard time spelling my name!
Vicki tries to get the pastoras together for a group shot - and then my batteries died!
Afterwards, the same pastora accompanied me and Vicki to a cajero where I was finally able to take out some cash. We went home. Now, earlier on our way downtown, a sister from Yenny's church greeted us and asked us to come to church again that night. But I've been having a lot of late nights, so we stayed home this time. I was playing Words of Wonder on Facebook when I was called to dinner - bits of fried pork, rice, and yucca. Afterwards, I was going to finish my game, when suddenly we lost power. So I went to lie down and pray till I fell asleep. And so ended another day!
Monday, July 21, 2014
Yesterday we only planned to visit Vicki's father, Papito Maximo. So, I spent some time on the computer. When I got up to walk around a bit in the garage I was surprised to see a little dog had wandered in and made himself comfortable under my chair.
After a bit Vicki called me in to lunch - OOO, crab, shrimp, fish, a version of Johnny Cakes, rice from Vicki's own farm...
Usually I don't eat a lot of rice, but I did have some of Vicki's with the broth from the poached seafood.
Then the pastora called, and the pastor (who'd been out of town) wanted to meet me, so I was asked if I could go to the service that night. I asked Vicki if I'd be preaching, and she said "maybe." Well...I prayed to be prepared
A little later we went to Papito's. Yenney and Meme were there with their THREE sons. The eldest, Christian, gave me a warm greeting, as did Papito. Papito wanted to discuss scriptures with Vicki because some Jehovah'sWitnesses had left one of their magazines with him. So, among Christian, Vicki, and myself, we pointed out errors in their doctrine.
Later Elmer also arrived, this time not all covered with mud from working at brickmaking.so he was able to give me a clean hug!
Rambo's sister Pantera lives with Yenny's family. It was fun to watch her playing with the youngest son.
Papito brought home an order of pollo a la braza. As Elmer served me, I asked if it would be a bother to have ketchup. He gladly went out and bought a packet for me (stuff we usually see in jars or bottles usually comes in packets there), so I was able to enjoy ketchup with my fries. Meanwhile, not being much of a rice eater, I gave Vicki some of mine, and sneaked a bit on to Christian's plate as well while no one was around except Vicki.
We all had plenty to eat.
Then Vicki and I returned home until it was time to return to the church. The pastor greeted us, asked me a few get-to-know-you questions, and asked if I would just greet the church and share a brief testimony. "Like, not 30 minutes long!"
I pondered what to share, and it was when the pastora led in the song "Donde esta el Espiritu de Dios, Hay Libertad" (Where the Spirit of God is, there is Freedom), I decided to share about how God set me free from the fear of rejection. "God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them...There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear." (1 John 4:16, 18)
God's love set me free!
Sunday, July 20, 2014
I don't know how many people in the neighborhood Vicki invited, but yesterday afternoon 4 adults and one girl arrived. We served crackers with strawberry jam and some with what they CALL mermelada de leche - milk marmalade - which, if you ask me, is CARAMEL. Or maybe butterscotch. That, and a bit of coffee. We sat and chatted a bit first, munching.
They were all believers so instead of addressing the issue of salvation we discussed walking with Christ. I started with Col. 3, setting ones affections on things above, but we covered other scriptures as well. Then Vicki invited them to go through the clothes we brought from Lima. The brother stayed to talk with me, asking opinion/advice on things he was facing, and I was able to speak encouragement as well as exhortation. All were blessed according to their need.
Later we got a motokar to the church Maranatha for the youth service. I think it was the largest group I've ministered to so far! After some praises, there were some games (really fun to watch)
and then I shared a bit about the question Is it boring to be a Christian.
I invited them to think about how it would be to be best friends with someone who was rich, famous, and influential. I gave some examples - athletes, actors...and then softly sang a little chorus, in which others joined : "Yo tengo un amigo que me ama" (I have a friend who loves me), and pointed out that Christ has been famous for a LONG time, and the benefits of having known Him, using personal testimonies. At the end, I read from Rev.3:20 "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." and offered the invitation to receive Christ.
The youth pastor expanded on it, and 5 came forward - 3 to receive Christ, 2 who wanted prayer for the peace that only God can give through Christ.
Then a little more singing, and a light repast of sandwiches (a roll with lettuce? I think I tasted a little chicken and mayo when they passed the platter around the second time) and coffee. I chatted with the youth next to me.
Afterwards, the pastor invited them all to give me a hug, then we all began to leave. While Vicki and I waited for Segundo to retrieve us, a couple of girls sat with me and one of them practiced her English. I gave them my facebook info. (Pastora on left; her son the youth pastor on right; the English student to the right of me in the white sweater)
And finally we headed home.
A fruitful day!
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Last night Vicki's bro-in-law Meme picked me up and took me to the church service at a pentecostal church called Mas Que Vencedores. Vicki arrived a little later - delayed as she was picking up an order of pollo a la braz (with fries and salad) for our dinner after. After the pastor read a passage from 1 Sam. 13 about how only Saul and Jonathan had swords, I was invited first to introduce myself, and then to share from the word.
I spoke about how as believers we are ALL supposed to be missionaries - doesn't mean we have to go far, nor that we have to stand on the corner shouting condemnation. Basically, What Would Jesus Do - What would Jesus SAY? He came showing the Father's LOVE, and if we want to be like Him, we have to do likewise. Afterwards, he expanded upon it, and invited Vicki up, and she put it succinctly - love and unity.
Then home again, and Meme and Vicki's sis Yenny and their 2 younger sons came in and joined us. Vicki manage to tear that bird apart to serve NINE people (she opted for more of her soup from lunch; her ex, Segundo, had already eaten...)
I went to bed afterwards, as it was already well past 10. She said the others left after midnight - and that it had been a good 3 years since she and her sister had shared a table, due to some relational problems. I hope I had a little to do with the reconciliation!
This afternoon: a meal and clothing distribution to the neighbors, along with a message about salvation, and tonight, a youth service: "Is the Christian life boring?"
(I'll give you a hint -NO!
Oh...we also had ice cream at the Mall in Chiclayo!(I offered her son Walter, who was with us, but he declined)
Friday, July 18, 2014
So, yesterday Vicki gave me a little tour of some of the farm. The sun is pretty intense here, so I cut it short, having left my sunblock in Pucallpa. This morning Elmer presnted me what at first I thought was deodorant, but it's sunblock, SPF 100! What a sweet guy! Anyway, after the tour Vicki and I went into town to meet one of my sons. I treated us to lunch at a place Vicki recommended. They had goat (Vick gave me a couple bites of hers) and I ordered Chupe de Cangrejo (chupe is from chupar, to suck - you suck the meat out of the shell) a crab chowder. It was luscious, though labor intensive (reminds me WHY I so seldom eat crab!) I had them help me finish the huge portion.
After a little stroll in the plaza nearby, we went home, Paul coming along for a visit. Later I took a little nap and then prayed in preparation for ministering at an AOG, Ejercito Celestial. Vicki felt checked about making supper, and sure enough we were given a meal of chicken soup, sweet potatoes, and cheese before going in to the service. I preached about the FATHER'S love,
we had some prayer after, and on leaving the pastor pressed the offering ( 20 soles, about $7.40) in my hand. This will go to our various traveling expenses!
Well, little Rambo the puppy gave me a fond greeting when we got home
after 10:30 and I tossed myself into bed. I'm about to have (late) breakfast - more ministry tonight.
I'd post more pix but Spark doesn't always let me. You can check out my Facebook albums though.(Shelley Saffer (Nina) )
Thanks for prayers!
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