Sunday, October 11, 2009

First Work Team Leaves Puerto Maldonado

After 8 days of hard work, we had completed the second story walls, roof, and 3 sides of the outside security wall. We dug 7 footings for columns, formed 150 feet of foundation wall, tied rebar for 300 feet of beams and 7 columns, carried and installed over 4000 concrete blocks, used 120 bags of cement and hauled an estimated 1,080 buckets of concrete, built 4 roof trusses, installed 120 sheets of metal roofing, and roughed in the main electrical panel and 25 electrical outlets. Many great friendships were formed between both the American team members and the Peruvian team members. Praise God for these men and their willingness to come use their construction skills here in Peru.

Boat Ride and Tree Top Walk

Tuesday morning right after breakfast, we headed to the port of Puerto Maldonado to board a small motorized canoe for a trip down the river to a research center. Along the way, we saw egrets, turtles, alligators, gold dredges, and lots of butterflies. After about an 1 ½ hours, we stopped at the Ecological Reserve Taricaya. There we got to see several kinds of monkeys, parrots, mawcaws, parakeets, owl, otter, jaguar, and ocelot. We took a jungle walk where our guide explained different plants and trees, and how many were used by the indigenous people. The exciting part was a 42 meters high (137’) by 90 meters long (295’) tree top canopy walkway. It was great to look out over the jungle from the vantage point of a bird. It really gives you a different perspective. After a short lunch at the reserve center, we got back into the boat for the ride home. Along the way, we detoured along a side tributary and stopped to fish for a while. We got some bites, but nobody landed a fish. We did get to see a couple of alligators though. We arrived back to Puerto Maldonado just as the sun set and darkness settled along the river. What a great day.

Festival de Ninos

As some of the first impact work in Puerto Maldonado, we held a “Festival de Ninos”, where we enjoyed parachute games, crafts, snacks, songs, bible verses and puppets. They continued to enjoy the parachute games, crafts, snacks, and most of all the puppets. We had between 60-70 children there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoon. Saturday was the last day and Pastor Freddy gave the salvation message using the salvation bracelet made during craft time. At the end, 33 children asked to receive Christ as their savior. Praise God.

Baby Dedication

You just never know what you will be asked to do when you’re on the mission field. Denise, Dawn and I went to church on Sunday night a few weeks ago. When I got there, a lady was there that wanted her children dedicated. Pastor asked me if I would dedicated these two children. My first reaction was, no way…I have never done it in English, let alone in Spanish. But I was reminded that I was a missionary, and a great honor was being asked of me. So with Dawn as a translator, I thanked them, told them I was humbled and honored for this privilege. Denise read from Luke, chapter 2 about Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord. I then said a few words to the mother and the congregations about raising the children to know and love Christ. Then a short prayed asking God to watch over these children and to use them for his purpose and for his kingdom. You just never know what is going to happen next.