The Pennies for Peru Christmas season is coming to a close in just a couple more days. The bulk of the shows have been done and most of the crew is back here on campus doing other things right now. The first year students will continue doing shows through Friday.
Yesterday, our dear Eva came home from the mountain city of Huancayo where she went with a group for the last week doing shows. I wanted to share here some of the things she shared with me:
- Even though it’s nice and hot here in Lima, up in the Andes, they actually saw snow on the mountains. She said it was very cold with lots of rain, which they thought would deter the crowds. But, it didn’t!
- Rain in Iquitos, where the rain is hot and tropical, moves crowds indoors and keeps people away. Rain in Huancayo, where it was chilly and uncomfortable (albeit the rain was not quite the tropical downpours they get in the jungle), kept the crowds outdoors – with umbrellas and hoods – continuing to watch the shows!
- The children in Lima are loud, rambunctuous, and hard to keep attentive. The kids in Huancayo sat still, paid attention, and were very easy to control. At one show, the kids arrived before the group did to set up and even though they had to wait awhile, Eva said the kids just sat in little rows, quietly waiting. And then they participated wholeheartedly!
- They were told about a town 5 hours from Huancayo that is all Quechua. The lady from the church told the group that this town has no church and no one has brought the Gospel to them yet. She said, “Sometimes, it’s so easy to stay here in town and not think about the people that are so close by that have never even heard the Gospel. I wish we could take Pennies for Peru out there – but it would have to be done in Quechua. Maybe someday, one of you will come and bring the Gospel to them!” It’s so easy to forget that even here in the country we serve, there are many people who don’t even have the entire Bible in their language yet (only the New Testament has been translated into Quechua so far). Eva told me that it’s even harder since Quechua has many different dialects, so the Quechua they speak in Huancayo (North) is different than what is spoken in Cusco (South) which is different than what is spoken in Bolivia! Translators definitely have their work cut out for them! [Sidenote: during the yardsale at the Family Fair on the 8th, I had an older woman from the mountains ask for a Bible in Quechua and we had to tell her that it doesn’t exist yet. Just imagine not having a Bible in your heart language! How many different translations do you have sitting around your house? Now just imagine only having the New Testament… in one translation… available to you! Hard to picture, isn’t it?]
Here in Lima, the stories keep pouring in as well. If you’re on Facebook, there’s a Compartiendo/Pennies for Peru group you can join. Each day, stories have been added and either myself or a few other girls here have been translating everything so you all can understand. In case you’re not on Facebook or not part of the group, here’s a couple stories that came in these last couple of days:
- Pennies for Peru Lima (group #1):Yesterday, we had a Pennies for Peru and there was a little 2 year old girl who came alone. We asked her where she lived and with her finger she pointed, “There.” She stayed in the program until the very end and Janelle was able to witness to her at the end of the show. Everyone went home but she stayed behind. We went to find her house and when we found it, to our surprise, the entire family was drinking alcohol and hadn’t even realized that she wasn’t in the house. Many homes are like this – they don’t take care of their children. Please pray for the salvation of this family and that she would understand the Gospel message she heard.
- Pennies for Peru Iquitos:Today we had the precious opportunity to preach the Gospel to more than 500 children and 70 adults. The story is as follows: –We were just beginning the puppet show when we realized that behind us was coming a downpour. We ended up taking everything apart with the volunteers’ help and bringing it all inside the church. We did this in record time – we weren’t even well inside the church when the rain hit. We give God the glory because we were able to conclude the Pennies for Peru activity inside the church even though it was completely filled with children and adults because of the rain.
- Pennies for Peru Tarapoto: At one Pennies for Peru, the pastor of the church asked us to pray that God would bring a younger pastor (the pastor of the church was substantially older). Honestly, the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few. –We are in the rainy season, but praise the Lord, it has not rained in the middle of any of the Pennies for Peru activities – we thank the Lord for this! –We went to a little village and at the end, the church gave us a bag with oranges and mandarins for us – how generous and loving of them! –Even though the towns we have been going to are humble, the churches have done a lot and many have prepared hot chocolate and paneton for the children. Many of them have even given gifts to the children. They have such big hearts! –In one Pennies for Peru, during the verse memorization time, we asked the kids if they would want to come up front and say the verse by memory and the only one was a little girl who was crippled and a little mentally handicapped. It was so wonderful to hear her say the verse!
Even my little Janelle (one of my 1st graders) was able to lead someone to the Lord this December. Everyone has been very excited about the success of the shows this year and how well things have gone. To God be ALL the glory!
Thank you to all of you who have donated for the panetones. We appreciate your generosity to give last minute! Know that you had a part in these programs and bringing the Gospel to these thousands of children and adults!