Archive for October 2016

I’m a Hexagon   Leave a comment

In mission training, I was taught to leave my culture “the square” as best I can and enter the other culture “the circle” as best I can. So now I’m a hexagon!4788aa0e-dfb3-4c7c-8a2e-43ca4708b36b The good news: I have some of both cultures (language, dress, food). The bad news: I never fully fit in with either culture. Perplexing.

Truly I love Iquitos. I love my calling. I want nothing more than to serve God and proclaim His love and salvation to as many as I can through building relationships with the youth and kids and their families. It’s a long, hard work. And eternally rewarding. And hard (did I mention that before?!).

In the past month, for the first time in over a decade, I haven’t spoken Spanish for most of the day. My kids and I have improved in our English–I’m remembering vocab words I haven’t used in years, as we normally speak Spanish (except to each other) (even in the US, with Josue); in fact, my girls just started speaking in English to each other.  I love speaking Spanish and translating, but my brain gets tired.

For the first time in 10 years, I haven’t eaten white rice every day. My girls are getting exposure to other foods, although we do miss Mama Luz’s cooking! And this is the first time ever that I have had 100% care of both of my girls, plus household chores, shopping, and homeschooling (with help from our hostess/friend of course)…and I continue to do the US-side of the ministry work as well.

I struggle with fibromyalgia—fatigue and so much pain all the time everywhere: migraines, hyper-sensitivity, stresses; as well as back, hip, and leg problems. Exercising and eating healthier help. Still I’m tired. The good news is I can walk—in April I could not.

Some amazing privileges in the US (things one might take for granted living here permanently): car, dishwasher, hot water (not having to boil water for a bath or to wash an oily pot), Wal-Mart (everything in one place), quiet (in Iquitos, it’s always so loud with motorcars, roosters, music, and shouting), electricity that doesn’t go off daily for hours (I’m not constantly worrying about the food in the fridge), not dealing with bugs and heat rashes so many jungle illnesses every moment of every day, not shopping daily for food (although that’s probably healthier), not sweating profusely all the time (A/C is great although we’re usually too cold here), being able to go to a library, museums, gardens, and the pool (there are pools in Iquitos, but it is either so hot or raining, so it’s not easy to go anywhere), or just take a walk (in Iquitos it’s so hot (or raining) and there are a lot of bad guys so I can’t go out alone, ever.

Some amazing privileges of living in Iquitos: people focus on people (not technology, TV, shopping, or stuff), at the grocery store there is only one option (if that) so shopping is fast, we sit down and eat our meals as a family every day, we have access to the Amazon river and jungle less than half hour away, we see real life all around us—poverty, death, addictions (drunks pass out on our doorstep, beggars are abundant, thieves are a constant threat)—not pretty but real.

For me personally, it’s good to come to the States to rest and re-focus. It helps me to be more grateful for my house in Iquitos (fully paid for), a blossoming ministry—churches are seeking out Josue for his advice!, a motorcycle (saves on gas!), a school room and the opportunity to homeschool, a family (I’m a bit of a social misfit, so I praise God every day for my husband and daughters), Internet (slow as it is), a pharmacy and clean hospital with qualified doctors. It’s not a lot but it’s the basic necessities. You really can be content with less (and we have so much more than most people there), and it’s actually hard, in some ways, to come here where there is an over-abundance (and a lot of waste). And truly I love the sky there—it’s big and colorful; my favorite is when the heavens open and it pours down such a heavy rain on our tin roof—like salve to the soul (and the reason we had to re-roof!).

Josue is a hexagon in his own right. He has to balance caring for me and the girls and our American culture, and the Peruvian-based ministry. I really admire him. While I am the bridge between our ministry in Peru and our friends and supporters in the US, Josue is the engine, the battery. He has great vision, creativity and energy. He’s the starter, I’m the finisher, he’s the people person, I’m the planner, he’s got the idea, I’m the realist. Together, with God’s leading, we figure things out and make them work. It takes wisdom, communication, and understanding the other person (language, culture, heart).

Please pray for us. We need God’s guidance, wisdom, health, and calm. We need more help–staff and financial support (we need $1,400/month to meet our budget-this is apart from the sponsorship of children).

We cannot do this alone! We count on you to help us! Thanks for taking a stand! With you, many kids are coming to know Christ. For most of them, many of whom we’ve ministered to since they were 5 years old, we are the ONLY Christ they have. Their parents are poor (making an average of $3/day); many are addicts; and most do not care about the spiritual side of life. Some kids have to BEG or even escape to go to church. It is not easy for them, but most of our kids have accepted the Lord. They are soooo happy, growing in their faith, and now some of the older ones are learning to lead! Hallelujah!

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Posted October 6, 2016 by Seeds of Love in Uncategorized

Pray for Josue   Leave a comment

As you can imagine: with the construction going on the last 2 months (backyard and roof), Josue’s faithful work with the youth group and children’s ministry, and the planning and celebration of the youth group’s anniversary, Josue is bushed!

Josue and his brothers will be working to fix the ceiling over the next couple weeks–it’s a $3000 repair job), plus painting the guest room. Josue will then travel to the US (yea!) –traveling standby on his own, so pray for him!

Posted October 4, 2016 by Seeds of Love in Uncategorized

Youth Anniversary   Leave a comment

dscn7249The youth group celebrated 13 years of ministry this weekend. In 2003, they began with about 3 youth and are now about 33 strong! Praise the Lord!

Anniversary Conference: Josue spent the month of September preparing for the Youth Anniversary Celebration.He visited about 20 churches, sharing about the event and inviting Christians to participate.

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Carlos from Colombia: A good  friend of ours Carlos, from Bogota, Colombia, is the manager of well-known Christian bands throughout Latin America, including Rojo (google “No Me Soltaras,” one of my all-time favorite songs). He came to lead a three-day conference with our youth, encouraging them to walk strong in an evil world. The kids were greatly encouraged and blessed by his visit.

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Omarh and Church Unity: One of the singers Carlos manages, Omarh Herrera, also from Bogota, joined him in Iquitos. Josue organized this city-wide event, which turned out to be spectacular, as a time of worship and also of the unity of churches that had never worshiped together before! In fact, the pastors have asked Josue to continue to coordinate “peace-making” events and youth camps for the churches in Iquitos, including bringing in musicians and evangelists. We hope this concert, which included a catered meal, will open many doors for Seeds of Love.
A note on Omarh: When I attended YWAM’s “Children-At-Risk” school in Bogota in 2007, my friend Carlos presented me to Omarh and we went to a few of his concerts, and I got to hang out with him and his crew. He has a great heart. If you are friends with Seeds of Love or our youth group Jovenes Kadesh (Iquitos, Peru) on Facebook, you will see a greeting and song he sent our youth a few weeks ago. You can also google “Omarh Herrera” to hear him sing—check out his most famous song “Dulce Compania.” He has a sweet voice and great lyrics; he’s a transparent and godly man. He sang “Linda” (written for his wife) to me and Josue once (now it’s “our” song!).

Omarh and Seeds of Love Club: Omarh led Club on Sunday morning! He sang a little, played games, taught a lesson, and just hung out with the kids. What a special time for all of Seeds of Love, our youth group, and the city of Iquitos! What an incredible blessing!

For all the photos, ask me, and I will email you that Newsletter.

Posted October 4, 2016 by Seeds of Love in Uncategorized

Can I share with you and a group of your friends?   Leave a comment

We will be here for a few more months. It was a good choice for us to stay, with the construction going on in Iquitos—what a mess! (Praise the Lord the girls and I weren’t in Peru for all that!)

While we’ve met with a few friends, my daughters and I have kept quite busy with homeschooling (including reading and speech therapy), church, park, and library. I go to the gym once a week, am trying to diet with the Daniel Plan, and am seeing a chiropractor. I deal with constant fatigue and pain, so the girls and I are content to read books and spend time together in this cooler environment.

While I am here, it would help Seeds of Love to be able to share with your friends, church, Sunday school class, or small group. Let me know dates I can come, and we will set that up! Thanks.

Posted October 4, 2016 by Seeds of Love in Uncategorized

Proposal Anniversary   Leave a comment

43342d21-8ed6-4735-b4e0-1d003fcd4f88On September 26, 2006, Josue came to my apartment in Iquitos, and kind of nervously tossed me a T-shirt. I opened it and it said, “Will you marry me?” He got down on one knee and, with a ring in his hand, said, “I love you. So….will you?” I happily said, “Of course!” He put the ring on me, I put on the T-shirt, and…we are still in love 10 years later!

I am so amazed at all Josue is doing in Peru–this weekend is the huge anniversary celebration for the youth group, including a city-wide Christian concert that Josue organized. Check out next week’s post!

Plus Josue continues to work on the house–he’s been going non-stop and doing a great job. I am blessed to have such a faithful, hard-working, and cute husband!

Posted October 4, 2016 by Seeds of Love in Uncategorized