Saturday, March 14, 2009

2 1/2 months on the field and going strong

It is definitely time to give some updates. There have been a lot of things happening all at once. To begin, I have to tell you that Kayle and Emma have made it through the first two weeks of school. The first week was extremely challenging. The second week was so much better. I am not sure we are out of the woods yet, but they are both doing really well. I must give out a big thank you to all who have had this heavy burden on their hearts. Thanks for your prayers. They are working.Another huge thing that we have accomplished was the purchase of a car. Here in Arequipa, it is relatively convenient to get around in a taxi. However, since the girls are in school and it takes 4 taxis each day just for school (there and back in the AM, and there and back in the PM). We have done the math and have decided that a car is a better option. Cars here are not cheap. We have searched for a car that would fit our budget. I found many different options, but quickly found out the difficulty of buying a car here in Arequipa. First, I had to figure out where to look. There were a couple of options. The first was to visit Avenida Dolores, which is a street with a lot of used car lots as well as many private sellers who park their cars on the side of the street for the entire Saturday. This is a good place to start as I was able to compare prices. However, buying from a used car salesman in Peru is quite a risky proposition. I figured out the type of car I wanted to buy and began looking at private ads in the newspaper. One problem-How am I going to call these people and ask about their cars for sale? It is one thing to do that in a language that you know. It is another to do it in Spanish. There are no hand gestures, facial expressions, or other visual communication over the phone. Needless to say, this was an intimidating process. Good for my Spanish, bad for my self esteem!Well, after looking at a number of cars, I finally found the one. It had to meet a lot of parameters as time was ticking and the taxi fares were adding up. We found a 94 Volkswagon Golf. It is a perfect size for our city as it is small enough to drive around, yet big enough to haul our family and possibly a few others if need be. It runs good and is in pretty good condition. The price seems really high when you compare to the US prices. This car would cost about 1/2 of the price of the same car in the same condition in the US. However, after 3 years, I should be able to sell it for about the same price as I bought it. Sounds crazy I know.Another thing that I want to pass on is that our event planning is really taking off. We have been putting together some amazing God sized events. I cannot spill all of the beans now, but just know that when this project is completed, the world will know about Arequipa Peru. It is so exciting to see how everything is coming together. Our team is mostly on site now. Most are still in language school right now. In fact, Teri and I have about 5 more weeks of language left. It will be intense, but God will provide a way. He always does.With everybody in the last half of language school, there is a lot more activity going on around here. Event planning is a big one. We have been putting together meetings with local pastors, laypeople, other Peruvians, and many more. We are trying to hit home runs on every one of our events. It will surely happen.One thing that I am super excited about is our 40/40 missionaries. We have our first group of 4 American missionaries on site and going through language school right now. It is amazing to see how our first group of 4 missionaries and their support family, the Smith's, are bonding. I can tell you that God has provided us with the right team for this important church planting mission in Puerto Maldonando. They have connected so well. There is great chemistry. They are already like a tight family. God is blessing their relationships and I cannot wait to see where this adventure will steer this awesome group of young people.Another thing that is getting me so excited is the fact that I am seeing a lot of names on our project rosters. The most exciting part is that many of the names that I am seeing are names of old friends and people that I have gone to school or church with in the past. That is exciting to know that I will be reconnecting with old friends on a project that will surely change all the lives involved.So there you have it - another update from the Englund family. We are doing well, our health is good, spirits are high, excitement is flowing through our veins, and God is so ever present that we can feel His protection each day. I must admit that we are not suffering. We have sacrificed some, but God has blessed us in a way that makes it very difficult to dwell on anything that we might have sacrificed. His blessing is all around. It is an honor and privilege to be here doing His work.Thank you all for your prayers and financial support. May God shower you with an abundance of sufficiency.

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