Each day, the government sends a teacher to teach the young kids. Walter is the teacher’s name. He is a faithful guy that works with the kids in areas of basic education. While he opens up the community classroom, we get a chance to connect with the other kids that are a bit older in age. It is unmanaged, but we generally have our positions that we tend to. Teri, usually connects with a couple of the youth that need help with their English homework. She has made a good connection with Carolina, although, as Carolina has a few boys hanging around, Teri usually has a few others that she helps with homework as well. Once that is done, then the volleyball comes out.
With me, it reminds me of my days at Karcher Nazarene Church in Idaho. I get a chance to interact with a handful of young men and boys that crave male attention. Their fathers are workhorses. They are not culturally played with or interacted with in a fun setting. That is where God has given me a desire to serve. I bring the soccer ball.
Our goal is to reach people through relationships. I have been able to connect with these young men by just playing with them. It is quite rare for a Peruvian adult to play like I play. So we play soccer, they try to gang up on me and I make sure they understand the rules; Play fun, but not dirty. Have a good attitude and not whine, and if you want to dog pile on Mr. Scott, you better have a plan. I have a lot of experience in wrestling with large groups of youth group dudes. It is no different in Peru. I still have my tricks to win the battle.
So each week is a blessing to just be able to reach out to these guys. I am getting to know all of their names, their families, their lives. This is by far the best part of missionary work. Our goal with this community is to assist a local evangelical church to plant a new cell group in this community. We have to get to the people in order to do it.
We had just wrapped up our time with the Huilkarpay kids, and it was time for our long walk back down the mountain. It is about 3.5 miles that we walk back as there are no taxis that regularly run the route. We typically gather our backpacks, our large bag of toys and the group of volunteers and head down the long and dusty dirt road.
On this particular day, there just happened to be an old 70’s Chevy long bed truck passing through the little community. It was a beater to say the least, but it was running, had space in the back for our group of 10, and was going the direction we needed to. We were already tired from all the playing, one of our volunteers was waiting on a foot surgery and was in pain, and we had a bunch of kids that would be wiped out by the end of our hike down. So, I gave the universal sign of “hey, are you going our way and can you give us a ride?” sign. They stopped, gave us the get in signal and the story began….
I stayed on the ground to help the 5 young girls get into the back of the truck. It was a rough sort of truck as the front half of the bed was wooden slats. I guess it may have been designed that way to give the animals that they carry around a good view of the spinning drive shaft. We told the girls to stay towards the back where there was some sort of metal to stand on. The truck had a large steel lumber rack that was ideal for us to hang onto while we stood strong as the driver raced down the hill.
There was also something else in the back of the truck; three bags to be exact. Each bag seemed to be just lying there as the girls started to enter the bed of the truck. All of the commotion somehow made the bags comes alive. They started moving. It was not long before there were 5 screaming girls in the back of the truck. They could not get away fast of far enough. The screams continued. As we realized the danger in the situation, and there really was none, we did our best to calm the girls down. We realized that there was a 35 pound pig in each of the bags. They did not like the noise, or the uncertainty of the possible predators that were screaming outside their polypropylene feed sacks that were tied up on the only end in which they could escape. So they started to wiggle as any scared little piggy would do.
We got the situation under control. The girls turned their screams in to laughing, although a bit apprehensive. It was funny! The truck began the decent down the rutted out dirt road as if he were in a rally car race. As we did our best to hang on, one of the little piggies decided he wanted to see the view. His snotty little nose wiggled through the string that was securing the end of the bag. Once he got his snout through, out came his body. During this process, the driver stopped, his Senora jumped into the back of the truck with us, and the driver quickly returned to his rally car race.
The lady started her attempt to get the pig back into the bag. It was not working so well. The pig actually got further and further out of the bag. She did have a good hold of hind right leg of the pig. But that was it and she was using both of her hands. Knowing that the pig could potentially get hurt by falling through the bed of the truck, or just jumping over the side to escape the large load of gringos, I jumped in to help secure the swine. While I wrapped my left arm around its midsection and my right forearm on the back of its head, Kass, one of the volunteers was able to work the bag back over the pig’s body. All of this while we raced down this hill as if were really late.
We got the pig back to where he needed to be. It was not exactly what I thought my day would look like, but it was an adventure nonetheless. You never know what your life will look like on any given day. There is a verse in Proverbs that talks about not boasting about tomorrow as you never know what today will bring. Well I can assure you that this was not on my to-do list for the day.
If you would like to join the Englund Family and their ministry in Cusco Peru, you can make tax deductible donations through Commission to Every Nation by following the link at http://tinyurl.com/cuscoscott