Friday, August 31, 2012

Video update from Cusco

Here is a short video update from our first few days in Cusco.  We are hoping to have internet any day now in our apartment so sorry for the lack of communication.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Update from Cusco

Everyone is doing well here in Cusco.  The Killillays and ourselves made it to Cusco with no problems and all of our bags made it as well.  We had some challenges with the elevation and some were a little sick but everyone is good now.  David and Brook Daniel and Ike Holton have helped us tremendously since we got here.  Are visas are going through but there may be a different problem with the kids visas so keep praying.  Here is an update from a friend of ours concerning visas:

I asked our Logistical Coordinator for the IMB here in Peru and it sounds like the new law will not come into affect until November. There are a group of evangelicals that regularly meet with the Justice Ministry here. One of our office workers is part of that group. My understanding is that the government didn't understand some of the difference in how the evangelical churches function, assuming they were all working together for one mission like the Catholic church, or something like that. Anyways, this group is trying to explain some of the difference and they are the ones proposing the 250. I expect this law will be changed probably before it takes effect.

We are loving Cusco and can't wait to explore the city and start pouring our lives into the people of God here.  An update with pictures and maybe a video is coming soon.  Thanks everyone for praying. 

One other cool thing that happened was when we arrived to Cusco there was an earthquake, which is rare.  It reminded me of Revelation 8:3-5:

And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, 4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
God is paving the way for His work in Cusco.  Gloria a Dios.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Onward to Cusco

Praise be to our mighty God who is bigger than governments.  We got 80% of our visa process completed today.  We must return to Lima in about one month to finish the process.  Which means, we are flying to Cusco tomorrow.  We already shipped most of our luggage by truck to Cusco.  It was a very shady part of town where we had to ship from but we our confident that God will get them the last leg of the trip.  Our belongings, in 14 cooler size boxes, have been traveling for over a year and about 5000 miles.  The last 18 hour truck ride will get them to our final destination.  After so long and so many miles, we are definitely not going home, wow! 

Our friends in Cusco have been incredible to us.  They have been working on our apartment and our going to take care of us and help us get settled when we arrive.  We thank God that He put these guys in our lives to help, it will make the transition so much easier.  We have loved our time in Lima and were a little overwhelmed by the outstanding food and availability of anything you would want to buy.  There is so much more available here than in Costa Rica.  Cusco is a much different story but we know if we do really need something it is only 18 hours away by bus or a 1 hour flight.  Better than having to go back to the States.

We went to the church of the Savior in Barranco on Saturday and Sunday.  It was outstanding and alive.  It was very hard to understand all the Spanish but they church is really the church and their lives revolve around the church and Jesus Christ.  I will write more later because there is so much that I want to tell you. 

We may not have Internet for a while so we will check in when we can.  Thanks to everyone who has been praying.  As we seek to advance the Kingdom of Christ we are already feeling the spiritual battle coming upon us. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Another update from Lima, Peru

We strolled through the city of Lima as fast as the 1972 taxi cab could manage.  I think the owner, who always had a huge smile on his face, bought this cab new.  Nothing worked in the cab but the engine.  The gas gauge, speedometer, blinkers, and all the gauges did not work.  It was so beat up that other cars were afraid to hit it.  This was a old veteran cab driver trick.  He pulled out into traffic as he pleased while very fancy cars almost ran off the road trying to avoid him.  Tio just kept smiling.  He was a good man.  He was my Peruvian friends uncle and he gave us a good deal.  He waited for 5 hours when we were signing a contract that should have took 5 minutes.  He spent the whole day with us for $20.  I wish I could show you a picture of this set up but I can't figure out how to get the picture off my phone.

Well, it looks like we will be staying in Lima until Wednesday the 22nd.  We met with our lawyer and we are getting our paper work ready to start the process.  We had to get copies and things notarized and he will go to immigration on Monday to present our documents.  Pray they will accept them.  If they say yes, then we go to interpool to get our fingerprints registered in the Peruvian system and then on Wednesday we can fly to Cusco.

Because we only get one free suitcase on the flight to Cusco we must pay for many extras and it will cost a lot.  I think we are going to ship our luggage by truck to Cusco.  This seems a little sketchy since basically everything we own in the world is in those few boxes but others have told me it is reliable.  Pray that our stuff makes it.  We will probably ship it on Tuesday. 

I have been running around all day trying to complete all the many tasks that need to be done.  Kim and the kids have been holding down the fort at the apartment we rented.  They have managed to escape every now and again and go for a walk or buy food for dinner.  All is going well here for us.  God is so good.

Here is an updated checklist:

  1. Yes Arrive at airport on time with our mountain of luggage.
  2. Yes Check all luggage and not have to pay more on excess baggage. (they showed mercy)
  3. Yes Make it through security with all our stuff. (confiscated duct tape, matches & knife)
  4. Yes Don't get our carry-on baggage weighed, which was so far over the limit.
  5. Yes Get through second security point. (almost lost rope and knitting needles)
  6. Yes Safe flight to Lima
  7. Yes Get passports stamped for 180 days.
  8. Yes Make it through immigration with no problems.
  9. Yes Pick up all luggage with none lost.
  10. Yes Make it through customs without being taxed.
  11. Yes Hire a van to take us to the apartment we rented for a week.
  12. Yes Find the apartment and get settled.
  13. Yes Contact guy that is helping us get visas
  14. Pray Safety while traveling around Lima (10 million people)
  15. Yes Sign contract for Cusco apartment and pay for it.
  16. Pray Successfully start visa paper work within our allotted week in Lima.
  17. Pray Meet with our Peruvian brothers in Lima
  18. Pray Get a ride with all stuff to Airport.
  19. Pray Ship luggage to Cusco by truck.
  20. Pray Fly safe to Cusco.
  21. Pray Collect all luggage.
  22. Pray Transport to apartment and begin settling.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

We made it!

So after 359 days, we finally arrived in Peru permanently.  God is so good and everything went far better that we could have hoped.  God used your prayers to acomplish His will.  Glory to Him.  Here is a list of what has been complete and what still needs to be prayed for.

  1. Yes          Arrive at airport on time with our mountain of luggage.
  2. Yes          Check all luggage and not have to pay more on excess baggage. (they showed mercy)
  3. Yes          Make it through security with all our stuff.  (confiscated duct tape, matches & knife)
  4. Yes          Don't get our carry-on baggage weighed, which was so far over the limit.
  5. Yes          Get through second security point.  (almost lost rope and knitting needles)
  6. Yes          Safe flight to Lima
  7. Yes          Get passports stamped for 180 days.
  8. Yes          Make it through immigration with no problems.
  9. Yes          Pick up all luggage with none lost.
  10. Yes          Make it through customs without being taxed.
  11. Yes          Hire a van to take us to the apartment we rented for a week.
  12. Yes          Find the apartment and get settled.
  13. Pray         Contact guy that is helping us get visas
  14. Pray         Safety while traveling around Lima (10 million people)
  15. Pray         Sign contract for Cusco apartment and pay for it.
  16. Pray         Successfully start visa paper work within our allotted week in Lima.
  17. Pray         Meet with our Peruvian brothers in Lima
  18. Pray         Get a ride with all stuff to Airport.
  19. Pray         Once again, check all luggage without being overweight.
  20. Pray         Don't have carry-on baggage weighed.  They give you 22lbs but Kim had 80lbs.
  21. Pray         Fly safe to Cusco.
  22. Pray         Collect all luggage.
  23. Pray         Transport to apartment and begin settling.
Please pray for Killillay's because they had a rough time in customs.  Don't know all the details yet.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Heading toward the end of the earth

Once again we are being sent off.  Another country, another culture, another language, and more times of testing and purging.  We leave tomorrow morning and should arrive in Lima at about 4pm.  We desperately beg for all the prayers that the saints of God can offer up to Him who is merciful and mighty. 

Yesterday, Kim and I graduated from language school.  It was a great ceremony and the close of another season of our lives.  I wonder what God has in His perfect plan for all the missionaries that are leaving.  Some will have productive, glorifying ministries while others will return to the States whole others will be martyred.  It has been hard once again saying goodbye to our dear brothers and sisters in Christ that are now a new part of our life.  But we must go to another land to proclaim the gospel.  We must press forward and finish the race.

Packing up our entire life in 13 suitcase once again, has been interesting.  We long to be settled.  Just think how difficult it can be to move within your own town, or across the State, or to another State, or across the United States.  Well when you move everything to two countries and are limited by the airline baggage regulations, it is a challenge to say the least.  Please pray that our luggage all gets to Lima and Cusco on time.
Another prayer request when we enter the country we need to have our passports stamped with a 183 day visa in order to have enough time to complete the resident visa process.  They won't give you this without a reason so we must talk them into it.  If they don't give it to us that means we will have to leave the country when our tourist visa runs out.  This will cost us thousands.  Please pray that we will find favor with the officials.   Also pray for us to be able to get our visa process started within the week we are planning on being in Lima.  If it is delayed, which is possible with Latin American red tape, then we will have to stay longer in Lima, which will be costly. 

Please also pray for our safety as we have a lot of traveling to do and especially while getting around in Lima.  Please pray for the Killillay and Martinez families to be able to find an apartment to rent.  Mostly please pray that we will hold fast to our faith, cling to Christ, depend on Him, and find our contentment, joy and peace in Him and not the circumstances we will face.

Here is a recap on the prayer requests:
  1. No problems at the airport with luggage and that it all arrives.
  2. 183 day visa stamp at immigration tomorrow.
  3. Resident visa process will be started in our week in Lima with no delays.
  4. Safety in travel and protection in Lima.
  5. Find our contentment and peace in Christ and not the stressful circumstances.
  6. The spiritual battle that is already upon us.  Pray for unity, grace, and peace.
Thank you so much for praying.  Your the means that God will use to advance the Kingdom of Christ in Peru.  Your intercessory prayers are the means that God will use to get us rooted in Cusco to do the work that God has prepared.  Thank you for holding the rope.  May the Lamb receive the reward for His suffering.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The wondrous deeds of God in our lives.

You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.
Psalm 40:5

We want to proclaim the wondrous deeds of the Lord our God that He has been doing in our lives.  Even, like the verse says, they are more than can be told, we would like to tell you of some of them.  We have now been out of the States for about one year and we have seen God in some amazing ways.  He has changed us in so many ways.  One of the ways is in our faithfulness in Him.  He has strengthened our faith in His faithfulness so many times.  The way of our provision over the last year has given us so much confidence in God it seems that nothing is impossible, which it isn't.  

God has taken care of us in ways we are not deserving.  As God feeds the sparrows, He feeds us in abundance.  We have never went without anything that we have needed.   Some months we have little needs and God brings in the amount that we need.  Other months we have big needs, whether it is paying a lot of money in tuition or buying expensive plane tickets or paying for visas, but in these times of greater need, God provides in greater ways.  It has always balanced out.  We don't really understand how God does it but by His providence He reveals His ordained means and will to us. 

One amazing testimony is that we have many expenses coming up with our move to Peru.  From spending a week in Lima, getting visas, air-fare, an apartment, furnishing an apartment and many other things, they all begin to add up.  But providing for these needs is almost insignificant for God.  It is not like He is unable, He just chooses to show His glory through giving us needs and then providing for us to meet the needs.   At the end of this month, God provided for us exceeding greater than we could hope or imagine.  God burdened His people in unique ways to supply our needs.  God worked on one man by radically changing his life after he read a book.  God pressed it on him to do something the world would call radical and even crazy but as we read the bible we see that it is really normal Christianity.  He had no idea that we had needs or what they were but he gave in a wreckless abandonment way to us in God's perfect timing to help meet all of our major needs coming up.  This set off a chain reaction that others in Peru will be blessed by as well.  God's ways are truly wondrous and His love for His bride is beyond measure.  I have so much joy in telling of God's work in our lives and the amazing way that He continually reveals Himself to us.  Gloria a Dios.

I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
Psalm 40:9-10