Monday, March 28, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Drinking Starbucks is a rare event here! I haven't had a latte since I was home for Christmas and these guys hadn't had Starbucks since the last time we were in Lima for our residency process.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
As we were sitting there, talking about the Bible, I was sad and frustrated. This man made an honest, heartfelt decision to follow Christ only a week ago. And now this week he admits to us that he had been drinking until late the night before and I assume this accounts for the pee pants. Puno is difficult. We just got over the Festival de la Candelaria a few weeks ago and now it’s the Carnaval, another excuse to party and drink. Guillermo admitted to drinking at a Carnaval party but didn't offer any more information. It’s not about drinking, or being drunk, or partying, it’s about falling back exactly where he was before the decision to follow Christ. It was about disappointment, about frustration, and about feeling responsible. I asked God, 'Am I not praying enough for our contacts? Am I not doing enough? Are we doing something wrong?' I felt like it was my fault (culpa, in spanish). But as I kept thinking and praying, I thought, maybe Guillermo felt bad that night while he was drinking, or maybe he thought twice before grabbing the bottle. Even though he still took it, and drank it and another one after that, the thought of him even making that small change from no thought at all as to whether this would gratify God to thinking about God. That's a baby step, but a step. And of course we all know, Rome wasn't built in a day. Being a Christ follower is a daily process, we are continually developing and it starts from the very, very bottom with these little baby steps.
After Guillermo and Petronila, Franci and I found a spot to eat our lunch with a beautiful view. There was a chill in the air but the view made up for it. After lunch we had to go to the bathroom. We walked about a mile to the public bathroom, a normal routine when we are out for more than 3-4 hours. We pay S/. 0.50 for toilet paper and the use of the toilet. Keep in mind it’s a unisex bathroom and there's no running water but big cans of water with buckets to "flush" the toilet and there is no such thing as a toilet seat. So we used the bathroom and walked back to another part of Yanamayo where we had a visit in about an hour. Since this week is the Carnaval one tradition, other than drinking, is to splash people with water or spray them with foam. As Franci and I were walking water splashed near us from the other side of the street. A young boy asked me if I had gotten wet; I thought he was concerned, haha, so naive. I told him no. Then he told me that he was going to get me wet! He started running after me with a bucket of water. I heard him getting close and stopped to turn around and face him because my camera was in my backpack and I didn't want to get my camera wet. At first he just splashed some water on me and I screamed. Then he dumped the whole bucket on me. The water was gone so I started running away again but he came back with a water gun. Again, I had to face him so he didn't get my backpack wet with my camera. I was soaked. Dripping and cold. Franci and I hopped onto a combi so I could go home and change. Three combis and a mototaxi later, we were back in Yanamayo and I was in dry clothes ready for the rest of our visits. I'm sure he soaked me because it’s a great story to tell his buddies, ‘I soaked a gringa today’. It’s ironic because on our walk to get a combi that morning, an older man passed us and bowed down to me and said his eyes saw a beautiful flower. That's not the first man that ha bowed down to me on the street because I'm white. I was thinking on our walk about how weird it is that sometimes it’s great to be a white person here. Some people treat you like royalty because you are white. But other people mess with you or over charge you or even don't like you because you are white. I got to experience both extremes in one day.
On to today. Today started out with tears and frustration as I dealt with my student loan company. Thanks to God, my mommy called me right as I was hanging up with the loan company. Perfect timing. I needed her right then to cry to and vent. So, the day didn't exactly start out well. But a bit later Franci and I went out to Huascar. We tried to visit a friend but she wasn't home. Then we tried calling three different contacts from our kids festival. Two didn't answer and one answered but told us for a second time that she is about to go on a trip. I've worked in insurance, I've done sales, I'm human.....that's code for 'I'm not interested'. Then we went to see if Janet was at home because she wasn't home on Sunday at the time she told us she'd be there. And, of course, she wasn't home again. That's more than 3 strikes! Franci and I were obviously frustrated. And the thought of culpa (fault), crept into my mind again. I thought again, 'Am I praying enough? Are we doing enough? Are we doing something wrong?'
I don’t really know how to end this. I don’t have a perfect verse or some awesome revelation. All I can say is that prayer, as always would be appreciated. Pray for Francisca and I. That we would be in communion with God, that we would let Him guide our every step. If He is guiding us, we cannot fail. And pray for the people in Huascar and Yanamayo that they would be open to hearing more about our Savior and His love and compassion for us. Pray for these names……Guillermo, Petronila, Teofilo, Carmen, Ana, Janet, Valeria, Nelly, Lola, Lucia, Paulino, Enma, and Candelaria.