Monday, October 18, 2010

Puno Visit

Puno City is the capital of the providence of Puno. It it located on the shores of Lake Titicaca the highest navigatable water body in the world. The elevation is just over 12,500 feet. Boy does that make breathing difficult, especially if you have a cold or asthma.
Densie and I and group of 40/40's took off a few days last week to go for a visit and look for housing for the 40/40 missionaries. The trip takes about 6 hours by bus each direction. We arrived about mid-day. We were greeted by Pastor at teh bus station and headed to a hotel operated by one of the brothers in the church. After a quick lunch, we headed down to the city square where they post all the property for rent or sale. We visited a few properties over teh enxt few days, but did not find any that we're looking for. Please pray for our housing needs in Puno.
The second day we were there, the 40/40's decided to explore the city and find the the most authentic “Punonian” souvenir shop! Garren and Roy initially discovered it, and then Kristen, Francisca, and Trevor met them there. Garren, in an attempt to get a discount on a hat, had told the store owner that they were missionaries working in Puno to plant churches. The store owner, Hector, showed immediate interest and started asking more questions about what we were doing there. Francisca, being our only native Spanish speaker there, took the opportunity to share more about who we are and what we believe. Then, she asked him if he was ready to make a decision to give his life to Christ. There was no hesitation. He immediately said yes as he wiped away tears. They gathered around him, and Francisca led him through the sinner’s prayer. Afterward, they were joyful and shared more with him about our Christian walk and tried to feed him spiritually as much as they could in the short time they were there. One of the most amazing things is how he shared how he had been looking for the truth in other religions. He had gone to Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon, and Living Water churches, but he didn’t find what his heart we looking for there. He told them that he could feel God’s presence with them. Then, he shared that he never has his shop open in the mornings… and that he knew that that day he needed to open his shop. I told him God had a plan for him and God had wanted to come to him that day!
They gave him the address to the local Nazarene church in Puno, took down his information, and gave it to the Pastor. Pastor Herman said he would be in contact with him! The 40/40's were all blown away by this encounter. Not only was it awesome to see this man come to Christ, but also to see how God is preparing Puno for us before we are even there!


A few weeks ago, I got to participate in an exciting event at our home church, Alto Libertad. As a result of our Love Extreme Event in June, and our followup efforts, and our continued cell groups, we have seen many new Christians maturing in their faith. One of the natural steps in the nuture/maturing process is baptism. We had 7 people ask to be baptiszed as a symbol of thier new lives and the cleansing that comes from Jesus. So we set a date of September 18th. We took 2 bus loads of people from the church and traveled to a little hot springs about 25 miles out of town. We pitched a couple of tents for some shade and began a worship/ celebration service. Then we gathered around the pool, and Pastor Solano, District Super, Pastor Elvin, and myself waded in. One by one our new believers entered and made a public confession of What Jesus had done for them and their committment to follow after Him. The highlight for me was getting to baptism my spanish teacher from when I first got to Arequipa.

After the baptism, we enjoyed lunch, playing in the pool, hiking the surrounding hills, and of course playing fotbal. Gooooooooooooollllllllllllll!!!