Friday, June 19, 2015

The View From My Front Door

One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was called "The View From My Window."  Now, three years later, that view has changed.  On June 9, 2015, after much praying and waiting on the Lord, we moved to Iquitos, Peru.  The Lord has given me a different view that I would like to share with you this morning.
This view isn't one of the hustle and bustle of a big, capital city.  This view is of a small city which sits on the convergence of three rivers:  the Itaya, the Nanay, and the Amazon.  Iquitos has a couple of unique distinctions:
1.  It is said to be the world's largest city inaccessible by road.  You can get here by plane or by boat.
2.  It is said to be the world's furthest inland ocean port.  Large ships can come all the way up the  Amazon to Iquitos.
For one thing, my view has changed from a window to a door.  From my front door, I can see the spiritual need of about 440,000 people - Deaf and Hearing.  I see people who need a Saviour, not a new church - People who need restoration.
My house sits at the end of a dirt road.  It may not be the place I would have picked for my new house, but it is the place God, in His wisdom, has picked for us.  It is amazing to me how many people pass by my "house at the end of a dirt road."  God has given us a secure place to live and serve Him.  I am grateful.
My view includes the adventure of having children who are adjusting to a new way of life.  Children who are adjusting to all kinds of bugs, birds, and other wildlife! The excitement of "There's a dragonfly IN the house, Mommy!!!"  The excitement of a tree frog on the patio wall.  The blessing of children who love to pass out tracts.
My view includes my husband - who loves the Lord, who loves the Peruvians, who loves the Deaf, and who loves me - even when I'm a grouch! I sat and watched this dear man witness to a family yesterday afternoon. I watched as he listened patiently to the Patriarch of the family. I heard the compassion in his voice as he encouraged this man to forget the past and go forward for the Lord. I saw him hold my littlest girl, so I could witness to my friend. I was grateful for his words of love and encouragement to me, because I felt sad that my friend is still not saved.
And so, I sit here this morning with my coffee cup in hand, watching the new view from my new window, trying to find the words to help you feel like you are sitting here beside me......enjoying the view from my front door.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

At Home in Iquitos

We are home. On June 9, God allowed us to move to Iquitos, Peru.  We have been busy getting settled, waiting for our shipment, and getting to know our new home city.
We visited here in our neighborhood this past Saturday.  On Sunday, we had the first service for Iglesia Bautista Puerta Abierta (Open Door Baptist Church). We had our family, a neighbor lady, and 3 neighbor children. We also had two gentleman listening in from across the street.
We are excited about all the opportunities that are before us!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"The Story of Dinosaur Jack"

"Dinosaur Jack"

There was a dinosaur, his name was Jack -
And he went to Sunday School - on the railroad track!
And he got on the train at Parque Industrial -
And he got on the train, and he sat down.
And he rode, and he rode, and he rode, and he rode,
And he rode, and he rode some more!

And he got off the train at La Cultura - 
And he walked down the street - to find a combi!
And he found a combi - a "Sol y Mar"
And he got in, and he sat down,
And he heard the cobrador say.....
"Sube, sube, baja, baja, 
La Marina, Faucett, Aeropuerto..."
And he rode, and he rode, and he rode, and he rode,
And he rode, and he rode some more!

And he got off the combi at Santa Rosa - 
And he got off the combi, and walked down the street.
And, Oh! the people he did meet!

And he invited them to come to Sunday School - 
To learn about Jesus, and how He died for our sins.
How He died on the cross, and was buried,
How He rose again - on the third day!
And how He is coming again someday - 
And the people were glad they had come to Sunday School!

And Dinosaur Jack walked back down the street 
And got on a combi - a "Sol y Mar"!
And he rode, and he rode, and he rode, and he rode,
And he rode, and he rode some more!
And he got on the train at La Cultura -
And he got on the train, and he sat down.
And he rode, and he rode, and he rode, and he rode,
And he rode, and he rode some more!

And he got off the train at Parque Industrial
And he got off the train, and found a moto.
He found a moto with a driver named Fidel - 
And he rode all the way back to Efata.

And he went inside, and he went up the stairs, 
And he went in his house, and he changed his clothes
And he got into bed, and slept all night....
And that is the story of Dinosaur Jack!

First and Last

This past Sunday, we got to go as a family to the Deaf church in Dulanto, Callao.  The entire day, my mind was flooded with memories made with those dear Deaf!
2012....It was the first time the kids and I ever got to go to the church there in Dulanto.  Matt had been going for a month or so, and finally the kids and I got to go, too!  The train ride was exciting!  We got to ride on the "red train."  I made up a song for the kids - so the train ride wouldn't seem so tedious.  "Dinosaur Jack" has become one of my children's favorite songs!  You might even say he has been our mascot the last couple of years!
The crowded combi was wonderful!  I don't think I'll ever forget that trip - the combi was so crowded, I had to stand the whole way - but I loved it!  A dear, sweet, older Peruvian lady offered to let Martha sit on her lap.  Ian was with Matt.  I was thrilled to be a part of the "Public Transportation Culture"!  It seemed as if my eyes looked everywhere - trying to take it all in - not wishing to miss anything!
2015.....Our last trip as a family to Dulanto, Callao - at least for now.  This time we got to ride on the "green train."  The "green train" is much more sleek and modern than the "red train."  My children miss the "red train."  This time the train was full, but in keeping with our tradition, I sang "Dinosaur Jack" one more time.  I ended up singing it again later in the day, because Ian didn't get to hear it as he had been sitting with Tio Frank when I sang it that morning.
The combi ride was fairly quiet.  Phebe fell asleep on my lap.  It still seemed as if my eyes looked everywhere - trying once more to take it all in - all the changes that had occurred over the past 2 years - yet all the things that were still the same.
As we walked down the street to the church, I thought of how GOOD the Lord has been to us.  In all the times we made that trip, we never were threatened or harmed in any way.  I never felt like a stranger or out of place.  It was like coming home - like I belonged.
What a blessing it was to see our dear Deaf members!  What a joy it is to see how they have grown and matured in the Lord!  How grateful I am that God has given them a Deaf Pastor!  How special it is to see them love and support their Deaf Pastor!
For me, life is like a beautiful tapestry.  God is the Master Weaver - He puts strands in, and pulls others out.  Most of the time, I only see the ugly back-side of the tapestry - but every once in a while, God gives me a glimpse of the beautiful masterpiece He is creating.  I often wonder what God is doing when I see that "ugly" strand being woven into place.  I wonder how it could possibly fit into God's picture.  Then a flash of a golden strand being inserted into just the right place.
As God moves us to Iquitos, He gives me a glimpse of that beautiful masterpiece.   Who, but God, could have known that sending me to the Philippines was the best preparation I could have received for living in Iquitos, Peru?  Who, but God, could have known when He put us in Callao, that many of the Deaf we have worked with the last couple of years are from Iquitos?  He gives me that glimpse that assures my heart of the blessed fact of Romans 8:28!