Monday, February 24, 2014

Jon's amazon ministry trip (part 4 - visiting the borders)

We traveled with some of the pastors from the conference to see villages along the borders where three countries connect at one point (Peru/Brazil/Columbia). 
 While in the boat, they checked every ones IDs.
 Once again the mighty Amazon River revealed some breathtaking scenery.

 We landed in Columbia with Peru just across the river and took a motor taxi to the hotel in Brazil.

 From the hotel, we walked about half a mile to the house of Pastor Marcos.
 We were able to get a break from the heat by finding an ice-cream shop.

 Me, an American, pictured with Pastor Marcos, a Peruvian, on the border line of Brazil and Columbia.

 Each of us were trying to understand the exchange rates with our money. Columbia uses pesos ($1.00US is 2,043.90); Peru uses soles ($1.00US is 2.80 soles); Brazil uses real ($1.00US is 2.34 real). A drink on the street cost 500 pesos but we only had a 10,000 peso bill. The lady gave us the change all in coins but was nice enough to give us a bag to carry it in.

Normally when it starts raining the people find shelter to wait the storm out. Pastor Marcos led us back to his house through the storm as we were getting soaking wet. Later we realized the reason was that his wife called and said that the food was on the table for lunch. 

 One of the churches that Pastor Marcos started was Iglesia Bautista Peniel in Peru. We had the chance to visit and encourage them during the Saturday night service. In May, the river will rise up so high that it reaches the bottom of the window panes. Everyone uses their canoes and use extra wood to raise the floor until the water recedes the next month.

 We rode in big canoes with a small motor attached to the back to get to different villages.
 Pastor Marcos gave some history and direction as we travel to our next village.
 The river gets narrow and the jungle thickens as we make our way through.
 This land has been given by the village for a church to be built.

 Fish is a staple food and a way of life in these villages.

Sunday morning services in this village as a new church is being formed.

 Lunch fellowship after the morning services.
I was shocked to have a phone signal to be able to call Nisha and and the kids since it was a Peruvian phone and I was on the border line and out in the jungle.

 You can see the water line on the blue house when the river rises in May.
 Sunday morning services in a Peruvian village; Sunday afternoon service in a Colombian church; and an evening service in a Brazilian church. This is definitely a first for me to be in three different countries for church in a single day.

 The white tubes are from their bathrooms which drain their sewage directly into the river.

 I found it interesting that some of the shacks had 50" TV screens connected to satellite dishes.
 Public transportation vans, buses, and motorcycles were seen throughout the town areas near the borders.
 I saw families of six on one motorcycle.
 Pastor Marcos celebrated his 40th birthday with us.
 We left our hotel around 1:30 in the morning to take a boat from Brazil to Peru where we would board a speed boat at 3:00am to travel and arrive in Iquitos at 4:30pm. We were able to relax at the Yellow Rose of Texas restaurant before boarding our plane from Iquitos to Lima. I arrived to EFATA Baptist Church at 1:00am in Lima where I was able to recuperate from my travels for a couple of days before returning back to Andahuaylas to be with my family for Valentine's Day.