It went something like this: We started on Saturday night by spending the night at the café/guest house. On Easter morning, we were going to have a sunrise service in the plaza outside along with the congregation from The Meeting Place Church.
You must understand that we live in a very Catholic city. On the eve of Christ resurrection, Catholics like to celebrate. Not a bad thing, in fact it is a very good thing. We all should be partying like it’s our last opportunity on earth. Christ is alive! However, when it comes to the timing of such party and celebration, it can become a clanging cymbal. At 3AM, the processional outside our window was riddled with numerous people chanting, singing, dancing, flailing, moaning, crying, celebrating, and any other verb that you can think of. It was not designed to keep people in their slumbers. In fact, it broke into my deep sleep that was needed to make it through the next day. How dare they!
Morning, or what some might call morning, finally came. It was dark and cold. However, our family arose to the sound of other church members outside in the plaza hanging out in the dark anxiously waiting for the sun to rise. What a beautiful morning it was. The sun started coming up, the guitarists started jamming the music and then it became our time to celebrate the resurrection of our savior. What an experience! I had not done such a thing in a foreign country before. Not that it would be any different. Christ died for Peru as well. In fact, there wasn’t even a Peru at the time of His death. That is a cool thing; He died for those that were in existence at the time as well as those to come. We are blessed!
The sunrise service was beautiful. It was a great time of praise and worship of our Lord. We sang some old time hymns as well as a few contemporary ones as well. What a celebration!
After the service, we treated the congregation to a waffle breakfast. About 40 crispy waffles were devoured. Then it was time to get the Lunches prepared...We had planned a community outreach to minister to the local people that live in the San Blas area around the Café and Church. We had prepared about 200 plates of scrumptious chicken and potatoes and salad. The people from the church jumped in and prepared for a large crown to join us for a lunch at about 2 in the afternoon.
They came alright. While the festivities began, we started meeting and greeting. The food began to be served. A local Peruvian evangelical church began doing praise and worship in Spanish with their worship team. We brought in a partner church in order that we could send people to a good church that spoke in their native tongue. We have a great connection with a local church that is really close in the area. We are involved with this church as they are the ones that operate one of the projects that we support at the café.
Things were hopping. It was an enormous success. We served those that we live with. They get the idea that evangelical Christians are excited about their beliefs. It was wonderful to be part of such an event. I cannot wait to do another one next year.
So, the night before, as we were hanging out at the café in anticipation for the sunrise, we decided that we were going to see if it was possible to get bus tickets to Puerto Maldonado. Puerto is a jungle city about 12 hours by bus from Cusco. Puerto is a place in which we poured out our lives for a project for Extreme Nazarene Ministries.
In Puerto, we have some amazing friends who were at the end of their church planting mission. They were ready to pass on the church plants to the Peruvian church. They were in need of some help in the moving process in order to return to the US. We also selfishly wanted to see them before they headed back. It was wonderful to visit, while we were also able to help them out in the process.
Things have been going really good here in Cusco as well. The café is booming, the language school just started 5 new students this week, and the guest house has been full, off and on, for the past few months. In fact we had a group of people stay with us and utilize our meeting room for team seminars. It was a perfect place for them to have their meetings. Then, when it was break time, they would converge on the café and devour the most amazing pastries and tantalizing coffee that one can imagine.
Keep us in your prayers as we are really stepping up the search for a manager for the café. In order for our ministry to continue in the process of starting additional missional businesses, we need to have people in place to operate the existing businesses. We are looking for a person that is interested in international business, a service/restaurant business environment, as well as working in a volunteer organization. We have a great program already established and it will be pretty easy to train. This person, couple, or family, would have the opportunity to live in Cusco, learn the language, explore South America, and operate the café all in the mission environment of service. If you know of anyone that may be interested, I would love to talk with them. Please get us in contact via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, we are seeking additional financial partners that would commit to monthly support of our family. We have supporters that have been supporting us for a specific period of time. We need to replace those partners whose periods are over in order to maintain the needed support to live and serve here in our ministry. If you are interested, please let us know or you can donate directly at http://tinyurl.com/cuscoscott We would love to communicate with you about the needs we have.
Thanks you all that have been praying and supporting us financially. We are so blessed that God is using you all to keep us working here in Cusco. Blessings on all of you and your families!
The Englund Family