So we had a short week of school last week, we only had class on Monday and Tuesday. What a great break and relief it was! An because we had time off, some of us went with our cluster Dad, Chad, to Puno to hang out in our future city and search for a house for all 14 of us. We left early Wednesday morning, (before the butt-crack of dawn!). Francisca and I overslept our alarms for 3:30am and Franci (as I now call her) woke me up at 4:07am. All the boys were practically ready and waiting for us since we were planning on leaving at 4 . So I threw on my clothes, went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth and ran downstairs with my backpack ready to leave. When I got downstairs I noticed my jacket was inside out. I told Chad, "I'm not wearing my contacts so I can't see and my jacket is inside out but I've got clean teeth and my clothes on so I'm ready to go!" haha! But we made it to the bus station on time, especially since the bus left an hour late at 6am!
We got to Puno, had lunch at a "Menu", which is the cheapest way to eat out, usually S/. 3.50 (about $1.25). A Menu is a restaurant that serves what's on the menu for the day, usually two different main dish options and a large bowl of soup. Like on Wednesday, the options were cow tongue or chicken. Obviously, I ordered the chicken, but I tried a bite of Chad's cow tounge! I did not like it but now I can say I've tried cow tongue!
About half of us explored the city while the other half went looking for houses. We walked about 5 miles that first day and 8 miles the next day. There is a lot of walking to do in Puno but I love it. Except for the hills at 12,500 feet, I run out of breath quickly! So basically we just hung out around town, found some new slides, walked, and shared time and conversation together.
I do have an exciting God Story from Thursday. Franci, Trevor and I were walking around town and were heading to meet up with Roy and Garren. Roy and Garren had been walking around and had just passed up two touristy tiendas and instead went into one specific tienda to check out the merchandise. They entered and while Garren was chatting with the owner he mentioned he was here as missionary and that we would be moving to Puno in a few months. Just about this time Trevor, Franci and I walked in to meet up with the other boys. As we were looking around Franci heard the owner, Hector, ask where are our church locations to Garren. Franci turned around and began to talk to Hector about our beliefs and that we are all born sinners and need to repent to live in Christ and have a relationship with our Creator. Next thing I knew we were praying with Hector a prayer of repentance and acceptance of Christ in his heart and life! He was very touched and crying during the prayer and after we prayed he told us he felt peace! He also told us this must have been the Will of God because he normally doesn't open the store before noon and it was about 11:30am. Also the fact that Garren and Roy had just specifically passed up a few tiendas before entering this particular one. And that we arrived and Franci heard The Spirit urging her to speak to him. This was not coincidence, this was the work of God!
We haven't even moved to Puno yet and God is working in this city! This experience was very engouraging to all of us that God is working through us and that He is preparing the city for the 20 months of evangelism on which we are about to embark in January. Our God is awesome, merciful, mighty, amazing! He is preparing the people in Puno by opening hearts and clearing roadblocks; we were able to see this first hand on our Puno trip.
Isaiah 57:14 NIV
And it will be said: "Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people."
The LORD Helps the Helpless
Isaiah 57:14-19 CEV
14 The LORD says, "Clear the road! Get it ready for my people."
15Our holy God lives forever in the highest heavens, and this is what he says: Though I live high above in the holy place, I am here to help those who are humble and depend only on me. 16My people, I won't stay angry and keep on accusing you. After all, I am your Creator. I don't want you to give up in complete despair. 17Your greed made me furious. That's why I punished you and refused to be found, while you kept returning to your old sinful ways. 18 I know what you are like! But I will heal you, lead you, and give you comfort, until those who are mourning 19 start singing my praises. No matter where you are, I, the LORD, will heal you and give you peace.
Also......Here is a link to Engage Magazine where Trevor's take on the story has been published! And Dad, please note the title!!! I am going to use this as a justification for shopping for the rest of my life! ; )