On September 1st, the staff from Westside Baptist Church in Florida arrived in Arequipa and Lucho and I met them on the airport. They spent the evening in Arequipa and within the morning we began on the two-day journey to Pausa. We spent the primary evening in Caraveli, and within the morning continued on to Cahuacho. The staff wished to have a Bible research with the mayor, whom that they had met beforehand, however he was busy so that they scheduled it for the return journey. We used to take a shortcut to Pausa that goes via Casiri, however that highway had been impassable on account of landslides for about two years.
We requested the mayor and he mentioned it was now open, and we might get via with none drawback. We had heard conflicting reviews so we requested if he was positive and he mentioned sure, and it could solely take us two hours as an alternative of 4 on the opposite highway. He mentioned they had been engaged on the sewer system simply on the sting of the village, however we might go by that, and from there we’d be effective. Nicely we skirted the ditch for awhile after which we reached a four-foot diameter gap within the highway with a ditch main as much as that and no solution to get by. It will have additionally been very troublesome to again up the way in which we got here so, we pleaded with the employees to fill within the ditch a bit so we might go. We instructed them the mayor had assured us that we might go they usually lastly agreed. We needed to swerve round between the opening and the ditch with one entrance tire hanging over the ditch and the opposite again tire hanging over the opening! It was tight however we lastly made it.
Rejoicing, we headed on, anticipating clear crusing from there. Nonetheless the highway was very tough and rocky, with the gravel washed out from the rains, so it was gradual going. It additionally stored getting worse and worse, particularly the place it crossed the numerous gullies, the place the highway was very slender and the cross ditches had been deep. After over three hours, we lastly got here round a nook and there in the course of the highway was a big truck caught in tender sand, with its batteries out on the bottom. The person sitting by the truck mentioned he had been caught there for about 4 days. There was no means round it on the left and solely a slender ridge of soppy sand on the best. I had a shovel so we lowered and widened the ridge to make a path round on the best, in addition to positioned a number of boards there to make a greater observe.
I put my van in four-wheel drive and slowly began by the truck. Once I was proper alongside aspect of it I might really feel the sand giving means and I began to tilt into the truck. I ended and we tried to repair the trail higher and I began forward once more. My roof rack was scraping alongside the again nook of the truck field, however I made it by. Extra “highway work” after which Joe got here round with the pickup, fortunately with much less drama, and we had been on our means once more. After about 4 hours we arrived in Pausa. A lot for saving two hours!
I hadn’t been in Pausa for nearly two years so it was good to get again and re-connect with the believers there. The primary few days we met with as a lot of them as potential, and we made follow-up appointments to encourage them to proceed to satisfy collectively, and to get the brand new church buildings organized and established. We particularly frolicked with the leaders, answering questions that they had and attempting to instill fundamental church doctrine in them. We divided up into three or 4 groups to cowl as a lot floor as potential, and in addition labored with Cindy, brother Tomas, and Pastor Antonio, who stay there and have been concerned with the missionary and preaching ministry there for the previous few years.
I used to be blissful to spend some good instances with Tania and Wilman, who stay in San Sebastian. They had been a few of the first new believers and are actually very energetic in main the work of their village. Wilman is the director of the college and Tania teaches in a girls’s program there, so that they have roles of respect locally and have nice alternative to minister. On a earlier journey, that they had requested to have a Christian wedding ceremony ceremony, as that they had solely had a civil ceremony earlier than, which is the required authorized bridal ceremony right here in Peru. A younger couple they’ve been instructing, requested for a Christian wedding ceremony as effectively whereas we had been there. Additionally they requested to be baptized, together with three others, that Sunday afternoon. With assist and training from Pastor Antonio, Wilman carried out each his first wedding ceremony and first baptism.
I used to be in a position to preach a few instances, in addition to be concerned in numerous instructing instances, which was a blessing, after not being very concerned in mission work this yr. I hope to return once more in October, with a number of others from Cotahuasi and Arequipa, however thus far we’re having bother getting a schedule that works for everybody. A few the teams are fighting numerous issues; a number of others are doing effectively and a pair form of drifting. All of them want encouragement and prayer that God will proceed to construct His church there and draw the misplaced and hurting folks to Himself.
When it was time to return to Arequipa, we determined it was wiser to take the longer means again, fairly than danger the shortcut once more, however none of us had been on it for a few years. We got here to a fork within the highway, and after consulting with the map and one another; we took the fork on the best. Over an hour later, we lastly got here to a lone home, the place we noticed our first folks and had been in a position to ask instructions. We had taken the improper highway; we must always have gone left. Fortunately they instructed us a few shortcut to the proper highway, and we solely needed to backtrack about 25 minutes. The shortcut turned out to be one other journey, however it got here out proper on the village of Cahuacho. After a Bible research with the mayor, we headed on to Atico, which is on the ocean, to spend the evening.
The next day we had a simple, however gradual return to Arequipa, as we acquired caught behind very slow-moving vans climbing again uphill, and could not go due to the fog. The staff spent about 24 hours stress-free, sightseeing and buying, earlier than heading to Lima and again to the U.S., the subsequent day.