|Kim and Quechua girls|
We woke up early and had breakfast at the hostel, bread and coffee. Walter picked us up at about 7am and we took a cab to the bus station, which is just some buses and vans parked on the side of the road. We were delayed getting a van because our driver, who was a little shotty, had to hand over his papers to a policeman and they had a long discussion. After the Policeman left, the driver put a rock behind his tire (so he wouldn't drift backwards down the hill when he started to drive off) and started the van. He then wandered off for a while, not really wanting to take us the 3 hour drive to Curahuasi. We finally got him in the van and we took off on a very long, steep drive with a constant series of S-curves for a drop in elevation of 4000 feet. The van leaked diesel fumes from it's exhaust, so we could almost sleep good but we tried to stay awake so we wouldn't pass out.
We made it to Curahuasi a little after 10am for the start of Walter's church. The church is a small building but they pack it full. Men, women and kids started piling in from the beginning all the way into the main service. They must have packed 120-130 people into the little church by the time it was over, with people also standing outside. The people were mostly Quechua but some Peruvians and even a few Germans from the hospital in town. The Germans built a very nice hospital in Curahuasi to minister to the Quechua people. They charge them almost nothing for medical care. They are a Christian organization and are doing a good work.
Walter preached first and from what I could understand, he did a very good job. He was passionate and the whole congregation was listening and responding intently. After singing some hymns in Quechua, which was very cool, we sang some in Spanish and then the pastor got up and preached the main service. There were now 120 or so people in the building and he preached with such authority and passion. All the people listened to every word. He was really pounding on adultery, lust, and uniting families as well as explaining to the people that all people in the body of Christ, whether from America or Germany or Peru were all united in Christ and are brothers and sisters. This church was very solid in doctrine (from what I could understand) and focused much on the substitutionary atonement of Christ.
This was the greatest and most humbling church I have ever been to and it changed us all. Walter pays a van to take him the 3 hour trip on bad roads to get to church each Sunday. Many of the people walk miles and miles to get to church every Sunday. This is humbling for our American churches where we can't get people to walk across the street to church. They had us stand up in the congregation and they told the people all about us and that we were moving to Cuzco to be missionaries. They thanked us so much and all clapped for us. I felt like crawling in a hole and dying. We were not even worthy to sit in this excellent Peruvian church.
The great need in this little church is to free up the pastors so they can minister. Walter has to drive 3 hours to get to church because he is trying to go to school in Cuzco to make a living, while the main pastor works every day but Sunday for many hours to provide for his family. Very little money each month could provide the needs of these pastors so they could live and put all their time into the ministry.
|Scott and Walter planning|
After church we walked through town to our hostel. There was a big Catholic/Inca carnival or parade going on for some purpose. They all dressed up in costumes and paraded down the street and then sang in the Quechua language for the entire day. Walter took us on a hike to the top of a mountain outside of town, which was outstanding. We hiked straight up the mountain on switchbacks and from the top saw the biggest mountains that I have ever saw. We looked town 2000 feet into a deep canyon with the Apurimac river below. The mountains only went up from here and when the fog lifted we saw great snow capped peaks. We hiked back down the mountain and Walter showed us all kinds of thing. Kim stayed a the bottom with Evita while we hiked and Evita showed Kim how to make a needle and thread out of this cool cactus-like plant. Walter showed us how the Inca used this plant for making their roofs as well.
|Matt and Walter at the top of the mountain|
After the hike we went over to the house Evita lives in for coffee. Evita shares a room with a German lady who works at the hospital. It was such a good time and the German lady was so nice. We had good conversation and I have noticed that as I am immersed in Spanish all day, my Spanish is improving. Besides the Germans and Australian at the church, we have not found anyone that can speak English yet. All the foreigners in Curahuasi are associated with the hospital.
After coffee, we returned to the church for the evening service. Walter preached and once again it was outstanding. We went back to Evita's house after church and had dinner with the German lady and another younger German girl who could speak, German, Spanish, French and English. She was very nice and we had a good time. Matt still doesn't know any Spanish and can't understand anything so I have been taking advantage of it and playing some good jokes on Matt. I will say something in Spanish to our friends about Matt and they will all laugh and Matt wonders why. I then explain what I said to Matt but he can't retaliate. I'm sure he will get even with me when we get home. We are having a great time though. I think Matt is going to learn Spanish out of spite now.
After a great dinner we walked back to the hostel. We were going to take a shower but there were no towels. I think, like toilet paper, towels were also an option. We finally got towels from our gracious host that was happy to give the to us but just never thought of it before. We hit the sack for an early morning the next day.