Last weekend we had the opportunity to visit Puno where we will be evangelizing and starting cell groups and churches. I am so grateful God put me in the Puno group for many reasons. While we were in Puno I got so excited and scared for the work ahead. I realized yet again how unequipped I am for this work I have been called to. I go back to the verses I found while preparing to leave the states: Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth...It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus who has become for us wisdom from God - that is our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:26 & 30 Actually, every day I notice how unprepared and inadequate I am for what God has called me to. But I am grateful we serve a God who fills in our shortcomings with His overflowing capabilities. I'm glad I can't do this on my own otherwise I would try to do it without God and fail.
So let me tell you a little about Puno. It is so beautiful! Not as magnificent as the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, of course, but Puno has a different beauty of its own. The altitude is over 12,000 feet so I will be over two miles high! And to get anywhere from the city center you have to walk up some steep hills. But once you get up the hills, you get a beautiful view of the city and Lake Titicaca. I actually got to row a typical boat made from the Uro people on Lake Titicaca! Here are a couple photos from our trip to the Uros......
The need in Puno is huge. Puno is a huge party and drinking town. In February there is a major fiesta in Puno and the statistic is that there is more beer in the Puno area in the month of February than in all the rest of Peru for a whole year. We did see a drunk man falling down and knocking on doors while walking in the city central at about 4 pm one day while there. And another sad fact about Puno is that their beliefs include more Incan rituals than many other cities in Peru. They still hold onto beliefs from their ancestors and there is one that particularly saddens me. Many of the people in Puno believe that if they need money or want to be rich, they will kill their youngest child and rip out the heart and present it to the spirits in return for money and material possessions. My partner Francisca and I have been praying for God to prepare Puno for our team and our team for Puno. To begin opening the minds, ears and hearts of those in the city for the work we are about to embark on in 4 months. Please join with us in prayer that the people would be ready to turn their lives around and spend their lives in communion with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We want to saturate the city in prayer!
But overall, our trip was great. We had a fun time getting out of Arequipa and being able to see where we will be living and working for almost 2 years. The Uro Islands were beautiful and interesting and as you could see above, I had fun dressing up in typical attire. Also, just walking around the city, getting to know the pastor in Puno and experiencing the city made for a great weekend trip!
And as promised last time, here is the English version of my Spanish story from last time, Tres Deseos….
I was walking by a lake in Colorado. This lake is very close to my parents house. I always walk to this lake because there is a beautiful view of the mountains. But, one day my walk was different. When I was walking this day, I fell in the street. When I was lying in the street, I noticed there was a lamp beneath a tree. I got up from the street and walked to the tree. I took the lamp and this lamp was very pretty.
I had a headeache and was thinking the lamp was a dream. But the headache went away and the lamp was still in my hands. I carried the lamp to my house and put it on the table. En the evening I always wash the plates after dinner. When I was washing, I heard a noise. The table was shaking and the lamp was missing. The noise came from the living room, so I went to the living room. The living room had a lot of smoke. When the smoke left, there was a Genie in my living room! The Genie told me, “You have three wishes, what do you want?”
When I was a little girls I wanted a white horse so a white horse was my first wish. In one moment the Genie said, “white horse!”. And there was a white horse in my living room! Later, I told the Genie, “I want an airplane”. Again, the Genie said what I wanted and there was an airplane in my garden! I only had un more wish. I thought a lot and finally decided. I told the Genie, “I want all the colors and patterns of high heels in all the world.” One more time, the Genie said what I wanted. I ran to my room and there were all the high heels of the world in my closet! I was the happiest girl in all the world! The Genie told me, “You don’t have any more wishes”. He went back into the magical lamp. I took the lamp with me to the lake and put it beneath the tree again for the next person.