Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

Nisha and I recall where we were when we received the news of the terrorist attack on the U.S.
Our hearts still go out to those who died on that day. We had the chance of traveling to New York City while on deputation and captured some of the views.
New York City with the twin towers

New York City with the twin towers collapsing

Birthday Celebrations in Peru

Our family was invited to two birthday parties in two days. It is always interesting to see the traditions that are done at birthday parties. One tradition is to have the person having the birthday take a bite out of the cake without using his/her hands. Of course, someone usually ends up putting their whole face in the cake. This is the reason for having two cakes. Birthdays are usually a big deal with many decorations. 

 Matthew discovers a Peruvian lady at the party with a Minnesota sweatshirt and immediately has to explain the significance of Michigan being superior.
 Katie enjoyed getting dressed up as an angel at this birthday party while playing with her friends.
 Notice the chocolate cake for the face and the other cake for others to eat.

Watching Michigan Football in Peru

Anybody that knows us, knows that we are Michigan Fans.
It is obvious by the Michigan blankets hanging from windows, our clothes, and our passion for the game. We have been told by many that our house has the fastest internet service which allows us to watch live games. We couldn't pass up on the opportunity to hook up the projector and watch the games on the wall. Our neighbors must wonder what is happening when our team scores a touchdown and hears us all scream.

Monday, September 3, 2012


God has done great things for us and in that we are truly thankful. What a Mighty God we Serve.

Dog Responsibilities

Finding the right caption for this picture was difficult. I thought of maybe using...

Dog Potty-Training Gone Bad.
It Takes "Looking for Something"To an Extreme Level.
Always Turn the Light On At Night.

But what really happened is the children left the door open and allowed the puppies to enter and create a mess that causes more responsibilities for them.

Climbing Mountains with Bob Sturgeon

Bob Sturgeon is currently a missionary in Bolivia, South America but before he was a teacher with Jon at FaithWay Baptist in Michigan. He also spent some time getting to know Gary in Michigan as well. Brother Mike, from Carleton Baptist in Michigan, came to visit Bob and Terry Sturgeon to take a tour through South America which led them to visit us in Andahuaylas, Peru. It was a blessing to host them at our house and fellowship together. Below are some pictures from midweek prayer service,  Bob preaching on Sunday, and our mountain hiking trip. 

 Look carefully to see our children climbing the mountain peek edge.

 Nisha is on top of this mountain.
 Nathan was so excited to do something extreme like looking over a mountain edge with a 3,000 foot drop.
 Matthew surprised everyone by overcoming his fears of heights on this day.

 Nathan is at the top of this mountain wishing he had a parachute.
 Matthew raises his arms to show his victory of climbing this mountain.
 Driving back home and looking back at the mountain peek that we just walked across.

Substitute teaching

One of the blessings of working with other missionaries is being able to do more in the ministry. But when one of the team members has to leave for different reasons the others divide the responsibilities to cover their absence. It just happened to be "Fernanda", our main school teacher, took two weeks to be with her family and we needed to find substitutes for her. Jon and Gary each took one day of the week to teach in the K5 school. When one is put with five year olds for four hours straight for the purpose of teaching them, it usually means that you are the one that is being taught. I think "Fernanda" was just trying to reveal her worth to the team.

Joining a basketball league

Jon has been asked to join a basketball league by some unsaved single adults. We have been praying for opportunities to build relationships with these guys and that they will see their need of salvation. Two of them went to church camp last year but have yet to make professions of salvation. Jon is also allowing Matthew (our oldest son) to play on the team. I'm sure more pictures are to come later in the season but my prayer is that more lasting decisions will be shared as well.

Evangelistic Conference

In August, the church had an international evangelist from the States come in for meetings. Praise the Lord, there were 20 professions for salvation that week. We are still following up on discipleship for each. The picture below is Gary translating for the evangelist at our house for the single-adults activity.
 Pastor Ernesto helps lead songs and give announcements at the conference.
 One night we had an announcement from the police on the streets during church that there was an earthquake drill and everyone had to exit the buildings at once. The pictures below show the church gathering outside of the church for this drill. (There aren't earthquakes here in Andahuaylas, they were only remembering the big earthquake they had in Ica, Peru in 2007)

 Many enjoy the fellowship before and after the services in the church lobby.

Eating Cuy (Guinee Pig)

After living in the Andes Mountains for four months, Nisha and Katie have finally attempted to eat "cuy". We were invited to a restaurant owned by a member of the church who prepared a special plate for Nisha. It was the "cuy" without the head or legs which are normally served. But Matthew and Becca enjoy eating "guinee pig" as seen in the pictures below.

What Jon did while Nisha took a two day trip

Everyone knows that when doing a major project at home it requires making a mess which is best done when the wife leaves the house. So when Nisha took a two day trip to the capital city (Lima) for some much needed supplies, Jon decided to attempt a few projects all at once. Jon had two days to accomplish the projects of getting the hot water tank replaced, repairing the plumbing leak in the bathroom, and painting the school room and office. It sounded like it would be easy enough, but in Peru what should be easy and quick becomes hard and enduring. 
Jon called a couple of men from the church to help speed things along. Jon was told by the store manager that he would replace the broken water tank since it was still under warranty. We disconnected and drained all the water out of the tank that was leaking to take it back to the store for the replacement. But when Jon entered the store carrying the tank he was told by the manager that he would have to double check with the owner before giving the replacement and to come back tomorrow. So Jon left it with him. 
We returned back to the house to get started with the other projects (painting of the rooms, yard work, and bathroom repair). Much of the prep work of sanding and repairing holes for painting was done already. We began emptying all the items from the rooms into the living room and dining room which created a mess but all was okay since the wife was not present. On day one, we accomplished a lot with painting one of the two rooms, getting the water tank to the store, and getting the yard trimmed and cleaned up.  
I asked the church guys to take the lights down to be able to paint underneath.
Of course the edges are always time consuming by having to tape the lines and being careful to do the job right.
On day two, the children wanted to help paint their classroom. They decided to paint each other instead.

Since Jon's favorite color is blue and he was the one to go to pick out the paint; the rooms got painted blue with white trimmings.

When day two was coming to an end, Jon returned to the house after running errands and checking in on getting the water tank replaced and being told that it could not be replaced but rather sent to Lima to be repaired and would return in a week (which in Peru terms means about two months), the rooms were painted and the workers left without moving the items back into the rooms or hooking up the lights. The bathroom wall was torn out to discover the leaking tubes which would be a bigger project than it seemed and would have to be put on hold until further funds were available. With Nisha returning to the house the next morning, Jon and the boys stayed up late moving things back into the rooms and attempting to make last minute repairs. When the electricity was turned back on for the lights it exploded and burned out some wires. This resulted in losing all electricity to the house. 
The next morning, Jon picked up Nisha at the airport and was able to hear about her good time with friends and shopping in the big city but was so looking forward to being able to go home and rest from her busy trip. Jon than took the opportunity before reaching the house to explain that she would not have electricity (in the winter time), hot water, or an indoor bathroom, and (to top it all off) the landlord showed up that morning to stay for a few days. Nisha locked herself in her room and told Jon to take care of it all as quickly as possible. 
On day three, Jon found himself working hard to get things back to working condition. The electrician was able to replace the burned out wires and restore electricity quickly for little expense. The school room and office was able to get decorated and straightened out for use. Jon met with the landlord to settle issues. And Nisha was able to come out of her room later that day. 
It has now been two weeks since her trip and we are still without our water tank, bookshelf, and school desks which have been ordered some time ago.  The pictures below reveal where the projects are at today.

Last thought: Just think of what it would have been like if the wife was present during all the work?
Later she told me that she would have never allowed me to remove the broken tank since it still worked after much tinkering and that she wouldn't have permitted me to start multi projects all at once.
Someone told me that "it is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission." Now it's a memory to be entered into a storybook to be told for others to enjoy and a lesson to be learned by those who played a part.