Once again the speed of life has begun to wreak havoc on the amounts of sleep that I am able to obtain each night. With our next project coming up this week, our entire team is feeling the crunch of making sure the details are done. It is exciting, but also can be very tiresome. God does have everything under control and I cannot wait to see the outcome of our next project in Puerto Maldonado. As the group from the US arrives in Peru on Thursday, our family will be traveling by bus to the remote jungle city location. Along with a handful of others from our group, we will be partaking in an epic adventure. This adventure is nothing less than a bus ride through the mountains and jungle of Peru. The road is riddled with all sorts of unknowns. Mostly unknowns for us, but this will be our first type of bus ride of this sort. The girls, or at least the children, are excited. Teri for some reason has not bought off on the idea that this will be an fun adventure. There is supposedly a bathroom on the bus! To me, I am wondering if the trip will be 15 hours or 24+ hours. Depending on which Peruvian you ask, the trip could be a piece of cake, or it could be your last. Hopefully when they used the terminology about being the last, it was in reference to the comfort of the bus being so bad that I would not ever do it again. The other alternative is worse, so I’ll opt for life and discomfort. Like I said, it will be an adventure. Please pray for us as we are planning at the moment to return via the same bus. Hopefully it won’t be so bad and we can endure two journeys, to and fro.
These pictures are from our first project just a few weeks ago.We will be finishing up a housing building that is designed to house our 40/40 missionary pairs as well as the missionary support family. In addition, there will be work to complete the church building as well. On November 3rd, the people are moving in. We had better get it finished.
As far as impact goes, there are a ton of things going on. Just yesterday, we were working on some plans to do a big push into one of the darkest and most evil places in the area. The name is Lamal. It sits about 2 hours drive out of the small city of Puerto Maldonado. I have yet to visit, but it sounds like there is a little spot in the road that they drop you off at, and then you have to walk for about 20 minutes to get to the town. There is a little moto trail, but not big enough for anything but a motorcycle. Well this town apparently h
as 56 prostitute bars. That may seem like a lot, but if you consider the population of the town to be at about 1000 people, it really puts it into perspective how terrible this place is. We are excited to do some work there and possibly plant a church. The pastor is excited about it and so are the church people.
With this project, there are some very special people coming down. First of all, my parents are making the journey to Puerto. I cannot wait to see them. We are taking our entire family for a couple of reasons, but one is to spend more time with the folks and give our daughters the opportunity to see G
randma and Grandpa. The other is that I have promised that I would take Kayle and Emma to the jungle. I can’t wait until they see a real live monkey. Better yet, maybe we can eat one. That would make it a real adventure. Either way, the folks and the kids are sure to have a good time. My wife, well that might be a different story. I think she will like it. However, it is up to her. Not sure which way she will go on this one. Someone please pray for Teri! She is a tough woman and I am sure she will survive; I just want her to have a good time as well.
Some other people that are coming to Puerto Maldonado are the Moen family. Jerry and Debbie are old friends of ours from my younger days as a youth in the Oroville Nazarene Church. Jerry was our youth pastor for a number of years. In fact, he took me on my first mission trip. He planted seeds in me that after a couple of decades started to sprout and now I am a full time missionary in Peru. How amazing is that?
The other thing about Jerry Moen is that he was the pastor the conducted our wedding. Jerry has always held a place in our hearts as he was a great example of Christian living. He was never one that made Christianity boring. I gotta love examples like that. It is partly his fault that I like to have so much fun. I learned it from
my old youth pastor!
Here is a picture of our old youth group on a trip to Yosemite! Good times with Jerry!
The other people that are going to be there are the Smith family and the 40/40 missionaries that left Arequipa about 6 months ago. We have had contact with them while they have been in their intense training in Iquitos, but it will be great to see them in person.
So there you have a quick rundown of what’s coming. If you want to keep track of the project, check into our website as we will have updates with pics and possibly video of the things that are taking place. Just go to www.extremenazarene.org and there you will find all sorts of good stuff. I gotta get packing so I better sign off.
Love you guys,