November is in full swing and since we promised you as many updates throughout our busy month as possible, here goes Update #1!
Last week, we had a baby shower for one of the students here. Her name is Melissa and if you could keep her in prayer, that’d be wonderful. Melissa and Harold got married in March and were pregnant pretty much immediately. Unfortunately, her health was bad to begin with and has gone downhill this entire time. She had, we believe, her gallbladder out in April. That seemed to have helped, but she’s been in and out of the hospital the entire pregnancy. The problem now is preclampsia (sorry if I spelled that wrong!) and even though baby Mariana is not due until the beginning of December, they’re thinking they’ll do an emergency C-section, possibly even yet this week, which would make Mariana a month early. Harold and Melissa really have no money left since it all went to her first operation and subsequent doctor’s visits. Everyone here is helping them out as much as possible, which is why we had such a big baby shower. They are our neighbors and just two weeks ago, I had a good conversation with her. She told me that through all this, she’s learned that God is in control and no matter what happens – even if they were to lose the baby now – she’d be fine with it because God has a plan for their lives. Wow. So, here’s a picture of Melissa at her baby shower last week.
This past weekend was the first of two weekends of camp with kids all from World Vision. We were supposed to have 120 children, but on Thursday, we found out only 80 were coming. Trust me – 80 was plenty! They showed up Saturday morning and left Sunday afternoon. Camp here is a full schedule of games, time with their counselors, lessons, challenges, a banquet, and Saturday night there’s a bonfire. Brian was involved in the games on Saturday, which included getting everything set up and being a referee. It was a chilly day, but they played water games regardless! He was SOAKED and freezing cold most of the day, but the games went really well. Saturday night, we both went to the bonfire and had the privilege of seeing many children give their lives to Christ, symbolized by throwing a small piece of wood into the bonfire.
One thing we learned that we hadn’t realized was that the majority of workers for World Vision and even Compassion International, at least here in Peru, are NOT believers. The counselors that came with the children were not believers and they had a hard time understanding how we were running the camp and why we were running it that way. Thankfully, a few of them accepted the Lord as well. This coming weekend, we’ll have one more World Vision camp and that is the end of camps until New Year’s Eve.
I didn’t get any pictures of camp because I was too busy with these little munchkins:
Cielo and Pablo were here over the weekend and I had a blast taking care of them. Neither of them can hear and both come from horrible backgrounds. Pablo’s parents saw how Karen was doing with Cielo and asked if she would take in Pablo as well. Really, she shouldn’t because Pablo’s family is not doing that bad and Karen is just a single girl struggling to get through Bible school and take care of Cielo. Pablo is 8 and knows a considerable amount of sign language. It was hilarious taking care of them because even though they couldn’t speak, they sure enjoyed blaming each other and fighting constantly! We had them Saturday until 9:30pm and Sunday, bright and early at 7am, until the afternoon. Karen took Pablo home in the afternoon Sunday and we kept Cielo until she got back. We’d love to keep Cielo permanently, but that’s just not possible right now for just so many reasons. Pray for her, though. Pray for Karen as she figures out how to take care of her AND pay her school bill AND be a young person. Pray for us as we are part of Cielo’s life and want to be the best role models we can be. We’re just positive that she’s had bad run-ins with men and we’re working with her, trying to show her that not all men are going to hurt her. She’s warming up to Brian and yesterday, she kept asking for both of us – not just me – so that’s a good sign. She’ll cuddle with him and let him hold her, but she gets nervous if she thinks she’s done something wrong or if she thinks she’s going to be left alone with him. We’re trying to help her realize that he’s not ever going to hurt her. Poor baby! She did enjoy watching him shave, though, and helping him realize he was making a mess. Ha!
In the midst of all this are personal successes with cultural adaptation and language learning. Brian is able to carry on whole meetings with his team of maintenance workers, in Spanish. Even though he still has a ways to go, he’s able to understand and get across what he needs done with very little help from his crew. I was able to carry on an hour-long meeting last week with the parents of the kids in my class, explaining ideas and options for home school for 2010. I was able to answer questions and explain different curriculums, all in Spanish, with very little help! We also went to our church plant two Saturdays ago and taught English together, in Spanish, to the Bible club kids. So fun! But, a little challenging! 🙂 We are also feeling very included in our team here and the weekend of camp was the first time we actually knew what was expected and how to do things and where to be and we could even ask questions if we needed to! Small successes are just wonderful.
Well, off to another busy week! We have guests here for two weeks as well, so life is always interesting!