Thursday, December 25, 2014

Home Alone...



Home Alone…I must say it was a dreaded thought. Christmas without my family…Not just my immediate family, but any member of blood relative…Never in my life have I been without family on Christmas. It sounds like the makings of a depressing season. Not so fast…
Some of you may have heard that Teri lost her father a few days ago. In a mad dash to get her home, we decided that the best option was to try to get Kayle and Emma on the plane with her. We heard the news of Teri’s father on early Thursday morning. It proved to be a long day.
In Peru, as residents, one parent cannot just take kids out of the country without a very formal process of paperwork. It was not an easy task, but I started the process as soon as the notary office opened up. We had some friends manage the café for a bit which allowed Teri and I to get a good start.
It was late morning when we heard the news about the documents…There was a 24 hour process that needed to be done before we could have the proper documents. Back track a bit…While I was at the notary, Teri was reserving tickets. Last minute tickets for the three girls about killed us. Add the holiday price hike and we were in for a hefty surprise.
With tickets reserved and Teri ready to head out, we heard the bad news. There is always a certain amount of risk as one lives in Peru. You can go to 5 qualified people and all will have a different answer. However, we had some friends that ran into the same situation and even with the right papers, there were troubles. Teri was not going to wait.
She took the paperwork that we had (about ½ complete), and she booked the tickets based on what the notary lady told us (She thought that Teri would be able to get through immigration). We felt like it was a calculated risk that we needed to take.
The tickets she had booked were 1400 per person. Times that by three and we were out there on a limb if it didn’t work out. Teri would find out if the paperwork was enough when she tried to board the flight to Los Angeles from Lima.
We managed to get everything done and get the girls to the airport just in time. I gave out a batch of hugs and kisses and said goodbye for the time being. It was a bit stressful, but once they passed through security, Teri was on her own with the girls. My plan was to travel a few days later which would give me some time to prepare the café and MotoMission for my departure.
The worst possible time to have problems with flights would be this one…I kept getting texts from Teri telling me the situation as they sat on the runway waiting for visibility to increase. Teri advised me that the airport law does not allow for planes to leave after 7:45. She had been receiving warnings and information from the pilot. As I was getting the play by play, I received the last text at 7:42 from Teri saying I THINK THIS IS IT.
A few seconds later I heard an airplane taking off through the Cusco Valley. She was off. I got another text when she landed in Lima.
The next step would be to go through immigration. She went through the normal channels as they worked their way through the airport. The worst possible time to have an issue would be at this point. Within seconds, Teri found herself getting a borage of questions about her traveling with the girls and not being accompanied by me. I was not there, but I got the story from Teri. I didn’t get all the details, but it may have involved crying. The police asked a ton of questions and I think they even gave the girls a bit of interrogation to make sure there was not funny business going on. Somehow, they got through. Keep counting the miracles!
Next obstacle was Los Angeles. Once they arrived, they were notified that their connecting flight to San Francisco was cancelled. Through an onslaught of different reroutes and flight changes, it appeared there was no chance of getting home on Friday. The airlines offered to put them up in a hotel, but that would not allow the opportunity to be with her mother who had just lost her husband of over 3 decades.
They were on every standby list that one could imagine. Finally, a seat came free and Teri sent our 15 year old daughter Kayle on ahead. She made arrangements for pick up in Sacramento CA. Teri and Emma sat there waiting for the standby call. They got it. However, it was only for one of them. They ended up giving it up as Teri couldn’t split up from Emma.
Eventually, they got a confirmed flight that night. It was a late one, but it got them to the destination. It was not without its many challenges.
Teri and the girls have been in the US for a couple of days now. My plan is to fly out on Sunday to join up with them in California. I must say the timing of this has been difficult. I have never in my entire life spent a Christmas without family. I made the most of it, but I am about to go crazy here. I can’t wait to see my family in a few days. For now, I would appreciate your prayers for Teri and her siblings and family. I can’t imagine the difficult process of losing a parent. She could use your prayers for sure. As for me, pray that I can catch all of my flights and make it without too many problems.
Also, the financial part of the equation was not a planned expense. We will have about $5000 of airfare cost that just came out of our normal expenses. As faith based volunteer missionaries, that cost is a large percentage of our annual income.  I know that God will provide some way. In this case, I would ask any of you that would like to support us with this need, to please consider. Some of you have already chipped in, and we are so thankful for your assistance.
If you would like to join in helping us cover this need, you can contact our mission organization at www.cten.org/scottenglund. Any part that you can do would be so helpful.
Thanks again for the constant support that many of you have provided to our family and ministry. Each month we are blessed to receive the shared financial blessing that so many of you have provided for our family. It’s a great partnership, and we are honored to be on the team.
From our family to yours, we wish you the most amazing Christmas ever. May the Peace of God fill your life with comfort for the following year.
The Englund Family
Scott, Teri, Kayle, and Emma
     

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How to Cheat Death on a Dirt Bike



     After about three months of restlessness, fear, and hesitance, I have come to a place where I can emotionally spill my thoughts and provide you with a haring story that has impacted my life in a number of ways. Not only my life, but the lives of those that were there.
The Englund Family
    It is time to share the story. With much thought and trepidation, I have spent hours and hours in front of a computer screen. I have found myself wiping the tears from my face numerous times as I had to watch over and over again, the event that is still so fresh in my mind. Editing…the rigorous and tedious task of gathering all the right parts and pieces of a media story into a completed project. It is finished.
     I will let the story be told through the screen. However, I would like to help you all understand the outcome of the event that took place in which the movie is about.
As many of you know, our family is a missionary family. We are a bit different than most. It’s OK to be different. In a traditional sense of the word, we are way off track. That is how God intentioned it for us. For about 6 years, we have been in Peru, South America. We started off a bit like traditional missionaries as the goal of our project was to plant churches. We worked vigorously on that project for a period. Then we morphed our mission into what it is today; Business.
     We start and operate businesses that support local social projects. It’s a simple idea. I feel that God has blessed us with a passion for business and a love for people. We tie that into our faith to make it a mission. It has been our lives for the past few years.
     So back to the story. One of our missional businesses is a motorcycle tourism operation called MotoMission. Our family is into dirt bikes. From the time our girls were 4 years old, they were zipping around the dirt like rabbits in the dessert. It’s in our blood. It’s a passion that we have turned into ministry. We generate profits through the motorcycle business, and then we pass them on to a local social mission called the Altivas Canas Children’s Project. They have no way of generating the funds needed to operate and do what they are called to do. That is where we come into play. It’s a team with many parts. We are fortunate to be part of the team.
Ben and Family on Right, Garret and James on Left
     In July, a team of 60 youth and adults with a Christian student ministry called Campus Life came to Cusco from northern California to do a multifaceted mission adventure. Our family helped with the logistics as well as participated as if we were part of the group. It was a couple of crazy weeks, but I am certain that those that were involved had a life impacting experience. It was a huge success.
     Before the bulk of the group arrived, there were a handful of the adult sponsors that arrived for a couple of reasons. One was to finish the details for the large group that was to arrive a week or so later. The other reason was to embark on a dirt bike dream of riding through the pristine Andes of South America.
Nevada City Campus Life at Machu Picchu
Let me introduce Ben. He is the younger brother of one of my best friends from college. Ben and his brother run an amazing student ministry in northern California called Campus life. The most important part of their ministry is just being real.  They genuinely love these students and pour their lives into them. They do many awesome things with the students. The trip to Peru was a crazy one. Many of those kids would never otherwise have a chance to go to Peru. It took tons of fundraising and work to make it a reality. Just like most ministries, they run on a tight budget. Ben and his brother give and give and give. Most have no idea unless they themselves have been in the same type of position. It is a constant outflow of love, tears, sweat, and energy. Ben is a superstar! He is a giver…and he loves dirt bikes.
     Here is where I would like you to stop reading and watch the video. This will give you a sense of what the experience was like.
The four guys on the dirt bike ride of their lives

     In the end, the moto excursion took a couple of crazy turns. Some that I had not accounted for in the business planning phase. I knew we would have some crashes, some bent handlebars, a bunch of maintenance cost, even some medical catastrophes, but nothing like this.
     If you didn’t have time for the video, I can understand. What happened was something that could not be replicated. It was a huge disaster and a great miracle all in the same. For starters, Ben survived. I have gone over the view in my mind. I saw it all. There is no way that Ben should be alive today. That was a miracle. His guardian angels, were on the ball; The whole team of them.
     The disaster part of the event was the motorcycle. It was a brand new, out of the crate, not a scratch, Honda CRF 450x. It was all decked out with all of the gear that is needed to do such a tour. The cost…about $14,000.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder...After the crash
     In case you were wondering, there are no insurance companies here in Peru that insures motorcycles, especially ones that are being ridden in the places that we go. It is a self insurance plan. Like a deposit. However, I cannot require a 14k deposit on every customer on every tour. Besides, a bike I thought, would never be lost off a cliff like that. Medical is one thing, but property damage is another.
     So Ben lost the bike off the cliff. He is alive. I still have a perfect record of bringing every client home alive…some with a bit of titanium from the local medical industry, but all alive. All with smiles and a crazy story to tell. That is important to me…Alive.
Picked up this baby today...2014 Honda CRF450x...BEFORE
     We are at a loss. Ben has been able to come up with some of the cash to replace the bike. That is another miracle in and of itself. Most of us don’t have an extra fourteen grand in our wallets. In order to have a complete fleet for business operations, a replacement bike is needed.
Not much to salvage...AFTER
And so to the dilemma... I hope you have seen the video. If you did, you saw a miracle take place. Now, I am seeking another miracle. Ben, a school teacher who does not have the means to cover the cost for the entire bike, has asked if there is anything I can do to help. I am very passionate about MotoMission. I want to see it thrive and complete the mission of funding the Altivas Canas Project. I need to get that bike replaced. I know that some of you who are reading may think I am a bit on the religious side of things. That is OK. I do, however feel that God has called me to continue on in this project. I am asking any of you that may have a thread of unorthodox philanthropy or mission in you, to help Ben out as well as Motomission. Much of the original equipment has been purchased with donations from many of you. The rest was purchased with the revenue from tours. However, this one was not on the plan.  
     Our goal at MotoMission is to fund the Altivas Canas Project. We will do that by making money through the tours that we operate. We are setting set up the program to be sustainable through an endowment type of investment that will provide the resources needed into the future.
Scott, hanging with some of the kids at The Altivas Canas Project
     I am asking you to consider partnering with MotoMission, Ben, my family, our mission organization (Commission to Every Nation), and the Altivas Canas Children’s Project. Even beyond the replacement of the bike, there are many of thousands of dollars that need to be invested to generate the permanent and secure cash flow to fund the project into the future.

 

      If you would like to help out with this need, this is how you do it. You can contact our mission organization, Commission to Every Nation, and set up a one-time tax deductable donation. The website at CTEN is www.cten.org/scottenglund. That will take you directly to a place where you can do it online. If you would like to contact CTEN by phone, you can call in or you can also simply mail your donation.

Please indicate that the donation is for MotoMission with the Englund Family. Checks need to be made out to Commission to Every Nation.
Commission To Every Nation
P.O. Box 291307

Kerrville, TX 78029-1307
1 (800) 872-5404
(Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm CST)

    Your participation is appreciated. With your help, Motomission can operate as planned and we can finish the funding of the Altivas Canas Project.
If you would like to see more about what we are doing down here in Peru, here are a couple of links to the projects, business, and media that we generate as a result:
Youtube video channel-MotoMissionPeru Adventure Dirt Bike Tours or click on link below https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVVUAZIrXX1q47wUPfk47zg

   I sincerely thank you for getting to the bottom of this letter. This is important to me, my family, as well as the children at the Altivas Canas project. Please also know that we could not do this without the constant support and prayer from so many of you. Thank you!

Scott Englund
Missionary Serving in Peru



Saturday, June 21, 2014

If you need something to pray about...



We are thankful that so many of you are supporting our family and mission here in Cusco. We are also fortunate to be able to do what we have been sent to do. With that said, there are a number of things that need to be communicated with those of you that are on our support team. We cannot do what we do without so many of you that are constantly praying and supporting us financially. Also, encouragement is something that has an intrinsic value that is of the highest importance. Without those three things in place, we would be packing up and taking on a normal life back in the US. It is way too difficult to do what we do without a group of people like you with which to take this journey.

The Englund Family...Saying Thank You from the Andes of Peru
It has been a while since we put out our prayer list. I was reminded the other day about the power of prayer. We prayed for a good friend of one of our café customers who comes to our Gathering discussion on Sunday nights. He was in a coma with not much hope. It looked really bad. They were going to pull out the tubes and see if he would make it. Cesar came in the next morning and told us that his friend had miraculously come out of his coma, rose up in bed, and even spoke to his wife…The next day! Some may say it was a coincidence, but I believe that God created coincidence…
Here are a number of prayer needs that we are dealing with at the moment. We would like to invite you to pray and support our family as we continue to serve here in Peru.
Our health…Teri is getting over a broken hand. She is in the therapy stage. The medical treatment is really discouraging. She is ready to be back to normal. I have recently broken some ribs and am just about healed up. I need to be on my A game as I have a number of very difficult/physical motorcycle tours lined up in the coming days. Our girls are healthy, but as many of you know about health issues, it is so much easier when we feel right.
Luis and Rachael Vasquez…This is the couple that has joined us at the café. They are in the beginning stages of everything. A lot of changes. We ask for your prayer to support them as they support our ministry. They have already relieved a huge burden of work at the café. They are in a position where they need to raise more living expenses in order to be volunteers at the café just like our family. I would love to bless them with some fundraising help.
The Vasquez Family
Our sweet daughters, Kayle and Emma…God has given us great kids. Life is extremely tough for them. They have the typical issues that kids their ages have, but because of the lifestyle we lead, it has added a few things to the list. Learning science in a foreign language for example.  Just keep them in prayer. Encouragement is a big one for them. Also, socially, pray that they would continue to develop good healthy relationships.
Financial support for our family…It has been a while since we have focused on our family support. Things change, people change, support changes. We are going to need to reinforce our family support as time goes on. It is always an encouraging thing to do, but it is a lot of work. Please pray that we can develop that part of our ministry in order to allow us to focus on the ministry that we have in Peru.
Our families back home…We often feel that living in Peru creates a disconnect with our families. Things happen and we are not there to experience it. We miss our families. Pray for comfort for us as we live so far away.
Volunteers for the café…We are in the busy season now. The work load is stressful, but when we have good volunteers, we can breathe a bit better. Pray that God would provide amazing volunteers for our ministry.
There are many others, but these are the main things that consume much of our time and focus. Please consider how you can join our family in this mission.
To join our financial support team, please contact CTEN(Commission To Every Nation) via telephone at  (800) 872-5404 or just follow the link www.cten.org/scottenglund. If you are interested in supporting Rachael and Luis, please contact me via email and I will help you through the process. Just know that when you bless our family and ministry, you are giving us a great form of encouragement.
Until next time,
The Englund Family
Scott, Teri, Kayle, and Emma

Friday, June 13, 2014

Go Screw Something Up!



The other day I found myself laying on a dirty sidewalk, my back wrapped the wrong way around a guide wire of a power pole, and a large crowd hovered above my traumatized body. What in the world just happened?
It has never happened before like this. I have spent hours and hours on the back of a motorcycle. In a split second, I was no longer on the bike, but rather, trying to figure out if I was really alive or if it was a dream.
You see, motorcycles have been a passion of mine for years. It is one of the activities/hobbies in which I enjoy the most in life. Many of you have spent enough time with me that you would know what I am talking about. I love those crazy things.
I expect that I will have accidents. That is why I wear a helmet. I don’t plan on accidents, but I know that if I ride long enough the odds will eventually catch up with me.
When I ride on dirt and extreme terrain, I typically hit the ground. It is part of the sport. The speeds are typically lower, the impacts are not as drastic, and there are no cars with which to dodge. There are a certain number of controllable things in the environment.  When on the street, the equation changes. When on the street in Cusco Peru, the equation is just pure nonsense.
I was on my way into the café. The light was red and there were 6-8 cars lined up waiting for the light to change.  As I worked my way through the cars, suddenly and without any notice, a door opened.
It was so quick, that I barely had time to react. In fact, most of my reaction was in the fall and not the impact with the car. I squared up right into the opened door. My front tire hit first. Thank goodness the passenger had not already stepped out. The door sprung backwards and stopped my motorcycle in its tracks.
I had one direction in which to travel…over the bars. As my rear tire came up, I was catapulted over the top of the door which was the root of the problem in the first place. I landed on the edge of the concrete curb, a few feet in front and to the side of the car. I slid, rolled, and stopped up against a guide wire that was supporting a power pole.
Within seconds, numerous ambulances and police had been called. It must have looked terrible…My back was bent the wrong way around the wire. I was scared to move. So I just laid there. No movement. I was doing a diagnostic check on my extremities. Toes…Check…Ankles…Check…Fingers and hands…Check…
It was all intact. Within a few more seconds, I decided that I could move without much pain. The guy that opened the door was right there making sure I was OK. He was really concerned. I managed to reach up and shut the engine off.  Gas was dripping out of the bottom of the carburetor. Nobody knew what to do. I didn’t either.
My mind started coming back to some sense of normalcy. A few moments later, I was upright, still checking my extremities. I stood up, reached over to pick up the bike, and quickly received a hand from a couple of the by-standards.
It all took just a short few minutes, but the shakes went on for hours. I am still in awe that I was the main character in a horrific scene of destruction.
I woke up the next day with a bruised foot and a bunch of sore muscles. I am so fortunate to walk away from that incident. I have not stopped thinking about it since it happened. This is what is going through my mind.
For 20 years, motorcycles have been in my blood. I have dodged many a life threatening situation. I have slammed my fist into many a bus that was pinching me into oncoming traffic. I have managed to change lanes just in time to watch the cars that were in front and behind me slam into each other. The list goes on. It just was not my time…
We all have a time. I thank God that I had this experience. It will help me stay on my toes. It will be a lesson for me to turn everything off and reflect on the life that I have been so fortunate to lead. The term “taking things for granted” means something to me now.  Hitting the pavement was a good reminder.
I want to encourage you to have an incident. I am not asking to you to go wreck your car, but live a little. Put yourself in a risky situation. Lose. Fail. Screw up. Mess up something really big. Don’t do it on purpose, but just know that if you take a risk, it will eventually happen. Be sure not to stop there. If you fail, your incident will only be a failure if you do not learn and glean positive value from it.
Take the situation, and be better for it. Allow it to positively transform your life instead of ruining it. You make the choice. Taking life for granted is a terrible way to live. Now get out there and screw something up.

Scott Englund
June 13, 2014