Monday, October 18, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Departed, Tuesday, September 21 – Returned September 29-30Our team consisted of: Waylen & Cherlyn Bray, Ed Hart, Vincent McKever and Harold Wimbley. We arrived at Lima and did not find any one with a sign looking for us. After an hour of waiting and trying several phone numbers two nice people (Robert and Sonia) approached us and asked if we were looking for someone working with ReapSouth. We said yes. The entire hour they had been patiently waiting for a group of people who looked like Americans who might be on a mission trip. WE FAILED the “look like” test! Thoughts: *We changed dollars to Sols at the airport about 2.72 S to $1. Can be as high as 3 – 1. Look for a vender who advertises “no commission”.*After working with Robert and Sonia (translators) for a couple days we asked them if they would be interested in being part of our team. They were eager to join up and said they would be available if given enough notice. After talking with Arnold Austin – the missionary who debriefed us – he made a note to be sure Robert is assigned to Pastors Wayne and Rick in November.
Then we found a van to take our expanded crew to the Soyuz bus station. We grabbed a little food at the station and boarded the bus. The cost of the bus to Ica was 28 S (one way) or about $10. The on-board entertainment was two horror films about giant snakes. We arrived at Ica, took two taxis (about 8 S for each) to Pastor Wilfredo´s home. We got there at 1:30 AM. He was faithfully waiting for us. Thought:*The following is solid contact for Pastor Wilfredo after getting to Ica. Wilfredo Pardo HernandezCalle: Madre Selva No. 165 Urbanization, San Isidro, ICARing the doorbell and wait.Telephone 056-214254*If the flight is in the daytime it would likely be best to overnight in Lima, especially if Lima arrival time is after 2 PM.*Bathroom attendants seem to routinely charge 50 centamos and will provide a small amount of paper. Best to carry your own paper.
We had very productive meetings with Pastor. We asked about the possibility of Wilfredo coming to the USA and found that he was denied a visa on his first interview. We agreed to find out from our state department what we should do to make his visa available. He has his passport.I (Waylen) proposed that we have not been including Wilfredo in our planning process and therefore have not had the advantage of his knowledge of the culture and the people in our target area. Ed stated that we had had unanimous agreement on the vision trip that we should focus on Llauta and since then we have been diverted to Laramate with little positive results. After discussion we determined to recommend to our CNYBA team that we focus on Llauta with only side trips to Laramate, Huac-Huas and Ocana.
Wilfredo stated that this year had been very bad for him. Background: He had been sent to Ica with a sponsoring church in Lima. That church originally supported him with 900 S a month. A new senior pastor came to the Lima church and he told Wilfredo that he was not to go back to the mountains but instead should focus all his energy on the Ica church. Then the Lima church reduced his support and when it became obvious he was still going to the mountains cut him off entirely. Since then he has been bi-vocational. He works as a laborer and in other areas of building maintenance. This year Raquel had problems with her pregnancy and he could not leave her. She delivered by c-section in June and soon had an infection. That was coupled to depression that Wilfredo was experiencing due to the lack of moral and financial support.
We asked about why he had not baptized anyone in the mountains. He said he was not positive the people were true believers. Teaching for future trips should focus on baptism and church development. We discussed the need to strengthen “El Huerta” (the Ica church) while, at the same time, establishing the work in the mountains. We discussed ideas of VBS and Outreach teams for Ica as well as work teams to finish the repair work on the church building. They have done a beautiful job of tile on the floor downstairs and with paint and “fix up”.In order to maintain our presence in Llauta Pastor Wilfredo suggested he would seek out a student at the seminary who is self-employed and ask him to go to Llauta for 2 weeks each month under Wilfredo’s supervision. On our part, we will look for rental property in Llauta paying a year in advance so as not to lose it between trips. Wilfredo said it would be better to have him occasionally and another person regularly for extended stays but not a pastor on the scene until the work is established. A pastor on the scene would do everything and the people would not learn to function as a church.We had a nice lunch at McGrills (9 people 119 S) and then went to Tottus for some shopping. I bought a showerhead for the room Cherlyn and I are staying in. We rested some in the afternoon and then returned to McGrills for dessert – except for Robert, Sonia and Vincent who had a meal.
Wilfredo was unable to go with us to Llauta since a woman who was to help Raquel failed to appear. I (Waylen) believe he would have gone if we insisted but we did not.
Wilfredo had engaged a van to take us to Llauta at a cost of 250 S. We left at 8:30 AM and arrived in Palpa at 10:30 AM where we bought some water and used bathrooms. About halfway to Llauta the driver stopped for lunch saying he had not eaten breakfast. We arrived in Llauta at 1:30 PM. We arranged for rooms at the Hostel owned by the village at a cost of 10 S per person per night. The driver promised (3 times) to return on Saturday between 12 and 1 PM to take us back to Ica.
We did a walking tour of Llauta and arranged to meet the doctor at the health center on Friday at 8 AM and to visit the Kindergarten at 9 AM. There is now 3-4 places to eat at in Llauta. That is likely a result of construction crews building the new plaza and a new school building.
Julio Ramos came to me to ask for a bible. On our last meeting he ridiculed the tract and witness I made to him. I had left my spare Spanish Bible in Ica. (Upon return to Ica I gave the bible to Pastor Wilfredo who was a little skeptical of Julio since he had been at the first encounter. He agreed to take it to Julio)
We went to the Salud (Health Center) and met with Dr. Jorge Gallarao Navarrete and Nurse Hermelinda Tivas Flores. The doctor began by saying that we had brought medicines last year expecting nothing in return. Then he produced a notebook with page after page of names, medicines and signatures (or thumbprints) representing the supplies we had given them. I probably did not respond appropriately, as I was overwhelmed with emotion. We discussed the ambulance and saw there was a need for two more new tires with tubes. There is also a need for fuel as the local government is not supplying the amount promised and needed. *We purchased tires and tubes in Ica for Wilfredo to send up by taxi.Then Hermalinda took over the discussion with a plan she has prepared and presented (along with the doctor) to the government. The plan is to involve education for mothers on nutrition for children birth through 3 years old. She presented it to us in print for our consideration. Hermalinda is a believer and is passionate about the problem of malnutrition among the little ones of the Llauta district. According to her report there are 104 between the age of birth and 3 with 49 being in Llauta central and the others are identified in Carhuacucho (24) and Pucara (31).
We then went to the Kindergarten to meet with Elsa, the teacher and sang, “Jesus Love Me”, in Spanish and looked over her situation. She has a lovely new space for the children but needs a stone fence/wall along the street about 50-60 ft to protect the children. She needs the girl’s bathroom to be finished (tile and paint) and a small storage shed.
Ed, Vincent, Harold and Robert went to meet with Theresa (secondary principal) and got a list of items the school needs. They need computers, sneakers, sweat suits and sports equipment. They have one volleyball for the entire school. They have the ability to install computers.At some point Ed committed to come back to Llauta for the close of school party December 15, to play “Papa Noel” and I will do a talk on Nicholas and link him to a generous heart stirred by Jesus to give gifts to those in need.I (Waylen) and Sonia met with Neilo, the Director of the schools and we agreed he would get in communication with me by email. The school needs some help with refurbishing a playground. Manual labor can be done by parents but they will need help with cost of basketball goals and concrete surface. I asked about the shrine to Saint Martin and Neilo said it will “disappear”. They would like assistance with English language classes and materials. (videos of practical matters such as employment and working in the fields, and dictionaries, etc). He would like help with buying refreshments for the Christmas party.We spent the afternoon looking at potential rental properties. We found rooms with a common bath (used by others as well) that could be rented for 30 S a month each and two rooms (more space – but same bath) could be had for 100 S. There is a house being constructed (part of a row of houses sharing the same outside walls) for the purpose of being rented but price is not set as yet. There is a municipality owned building but no one was available to discuss renting it. Saul Bendezu showed us around. His daughter, Nilda Bendezu, owned some of the property. Ed and I agreed to follow up in December and perhaps make a decision if we are empowered to by the CNYBA team to do so.
We got up, packed up and vacated our rooms. After settling the bill we took our luggage to the square where we waited in bright sunlight. Hung out and visited with those who were available. At 10:45 we asked to use the loudspeaker to announce a meeting in the square. Robert made the announcement. Many people were away from the village at a Fiesta in Carhuacucho and others were in the fields. There were also those who go away to one of the cities on the weekend, About 10 adults and 12-14 children gathered with us. We sang some songs and the gospel was presented. When 2 PM came and no van we bought a phone card and called Pastor Wilfredo. He asked us to call back so he could call the van agency. Upon connecting with them they said the driver did not tell them about the appointment. They could not contact Laramate because of some problem with the landline. We told him that if we did not call him back we had found a way.
About 3 PM a mixto arrived but only had room for five. Harold looked in and said they did not have room for more than three. The driver said we should not worry as there was a bus coming along in about a half-hour. We moved our luggage to the bus stop and waited. The bus arrived and had plenty of room in the back for us and our luggage. The cost was 20 S each to Ica. Compared to the van we saved 110 S by taking the bus. 3:20-5:30 PM to Palpa and 5:30-7:45 PM to Ica. Robert explained where the seminary building was and the driver took a side trip and dropped us at the door.
We went to church – Waylen preached in the AM. Took everyone to lunch a McGrill’s 13 people – 215 S.Back to church in the PM – Ed preachedPlaza del Sol food court for dinner – individual choice and dutch treat.
Met with Pastor for debriefing. Asked Wilfredo if our late arrival was a problem to him. He assured us it did not matter when we arrived. Also asked him about how he felt about the meeting we had on Wednesday and he said he had no problem with it. He was encouraged.We discussed the matter of recommending a focus on Llauta and everyone thought that what they had seen on the trip pointed in that direction. We discussed the fact that anyone who felt a need to go to Laramate certainly had the freedom to do so. This is not an all or nothing matter. We just believe housing in Llauta would allow us higher exposure there and the freedom to take a taxi to any of the other villages for a day or two would not be out of the plan. We recognize that two year’s focus on Laramate has not produced an ongoing group meeting much less a church.Wilfredo was asked about how positive the seminary students seemed to feel about the ministry in the villages. He said some have shown some interest but there has been no follow through. He will talk further with them and take one, or more, up to see what they think after a visit. If such a person is committed to go up they could accompany the November and December teams. If housing is rented in December Pastor Wilfredo would hold the key and monitor any use of the space between trips from the US.I asked if some of the believers in Ica could accompany teams to Llauta. Wilfredo said that would be a good thing when it can be done. We could meet with locals in Ica and pray together about the work.We will need to get some budget figure for locals going to or staying in Llauta fairly soon. Pastor Wilfredo asked if we could continue to use the hostel in Llauta and we said we could but costs will be much smaller if we just rented on an annual basis.We asked if it was possible to travel to Llauta in the rainy season. Wilfredo said yes of course many people do it all the time there just needs to be some flexibility on either end as a mudslide could close the road but it was never more than a few hours – up to a day – before the road is cleared again. So there needs to be a day on each end of the trip to allow for such incidents between November and March.Wilfredo pointed out that whoever goes as an outreach person must know that they are enlisted to start the work and we will be looking for a local pastor as the work develops. I pointed out that we need to help to strengthen the Ica church. I read “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.” Isaiah 54:2. We need to do bible clubs, music concerts, revivals etc as well as witness in the neighborhood. With a strong stake our tent can be larger.Ed asked if it would be possible to do some teaching at the seminary to help train people for mountain outreach. I pointed out that we are not trying to interfere with the seminary but add to its offerings. Ed asked about the schedule for the seminary. Most classes are two weeks in length a few are one week (evenings I think)I asked if the other pastors involved in the seminary would support such a plan. Wilfredo said he would have to talk with them. I asked if Ed and I could meet with some of them when we came back in December. Wilfredo said “Yes”.Wilfredo said that sometimes we have a vision not knowing the reality. We must be able to see the reality and then make plans.I stated that Dr. Jorge had said that we brought medicines without expecting anything in return. We need to keep it clear that we come to bring the gospel with no strings attached. Our material assistance must follow the pattern laid down by Jesus – doing for the least does for him – and by James in that faith without works is dead. We must work with the Health Dept., the schools and the local government without entering into any conflicts that may exist between them.We assured Wilfredo that he is an important part of our team. We asked him to speak up when he saw that we were on the wrong path.
In the afternoon we went to the Goodyear store and purchased tires and tubes that Wilfredo will pick up later to take to Llauta. Then we went to the Health Ministry to present a list of needed medicines given us by Dr. Jorge. I told Miriam that we had 500 S to spend and she took the list, eliminated the ones she did not have and created a list that cost 514.22 S with my permission. We took them back for Wilfredo to take up to Llauta next week.
We took taxis to Soyuz bus station bought tickets to Lima and took the ride. Movies were worse. Took taxis to Santa Cruz Hotel and checked in. 1 room for 3 men and one room for Cherlyn and I. $20 for each person for the night.I contacted Austin Arnold, the missionary assigned to debrief us by Mike Weaver. We walked to Kennedy Park to have dinner and meet with Arnold. We reported on our trip and the plan to involve the local people and the Ica church. I also pointed out our intention to establish a rental unit as our base in Llauta. Arnold said that we are on the cutting edge. The IMB has passed down directions to utilize such a plan. I told him we are continuing to supply medicines and tires for the ambulance.He seemed pleased with all that we had done and our plan for the future. I told him we had arranged to keep Robert and Sonia as part of our team and he seemed to think that was a good plan.
We checked out of the hotel and Sonia joined us to help us shop for some gifts.Hotel provided a van for trip to airport $30.Checked in at airport flew to Bogota and spent part of the night in a hotel provided by Avianca due to a problem with our connecting flight.ThursdayFlew to JFKPicked up our car and drove to Stamford.