Saturday, January 18, 2014

Construction and Community

We have been working as much as we can at the land.  It seems everything is harder and takes longer in Peru.  We are doing everything ourselves, so far, but it is hard work and long days.  Chase and I spent four days at the land trying to pour the monolithic slab for the shop.  I really need a shop in order to store all the materials and tools for the shop.  We can't really leave anything at the land or it will be stolen. 
The slab has been a challenge.  We have no water or power at the land so I bought a generator and rigged up a pump that I use to get water from a little creek down the road.  We had all the gravel and sand delivered to the property and I hired a truck to bring the 60 bags (96 pounds each) of cement and 30 rods of re-bar to the land last Tuesday.  I rented a cement mixer from my neighbor.  The first day everything seemed to go wrong.  I had to return to town for parts, we had trouble with the pump, and then I couldn't get the cement mixer started.  We got everything ready to
go at 5pm and I made a bad decision to start so late in the day.  We ran out of water and were only able to pour a small amount of concrete.  We cleaned up into the night.  It was a disaster day.
The next 3 days went well.  We got a good system down.  We had to pour the slab in sections because of the lack of water and the time it takes to mix the concrete.  Each load takes six, five gallon buckets of gravel and sand and one 96 pound bag of cement.  We have to do 11 of these loads per pour.  At the end of the week we did 29 loads, which is 174 buckets of material and 29 bags of cement. In the process we had to fill the water tank 11 times.  On top of this, we are trying to pour concrete and finish a slab in the rainy season.  We were constantly covering and un-covering the slab to finish it.  We were tired.
We have been meeting our Quechua neighbors.  We are the only foreigners who have ever lived in this community so they are very interested.  They stop buy and ask questions about the construction and they ask what we plan on doing in the future.  We basically tell them we want to build a house for our family, raise beef to butcher, and grow crops like they do.  They really respect this and the fact that we work hard like they do.  My neighbor, Max, came over with his family to introduce themselves.  He brought pop and we all had some.  He then poured out a proper amount around my concrete slab to bless it.  They are very superstitious and syncretized in their belief of God and mother nature.  Another neighbor stopped by and we had a long conversation about life.  He said that when God gives the rain and their crops grow good, everyone is happy.  However, when the rain doesn't come and the crops go bad, God is punishing them and the men must go work concrete in town.  Funny.  I was thinking working concrete was punishment myself.  lol. 
Overall, we love the land and look forward to living in the community.  There are tremendous opportunities to build relationships with these simple but lost people. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Church Evangelism Day at the New Mall in Cusco

On the first Sunday of every month our church has a fellowship meal after service and then the whole church hits the streets to evangelize.  We have been pretty consistent in this unless we get rained out.  Today we decided to give out hundreds of gospel tracts at the new mall in Cusco. 

Cusco just got it's first mall, which changed the whole city.  Cusco went from having nothing to almost everything overnight.  For example, we buy most of our groceries at a grocery store that is the size of a very small town grocery store in Montana.  In fact, the gas station stores in the States are usually much bigger and better.  Now, in the mall, they put in something comparable to a Safeway.  The funniest part of the new mall experience is that they put in escalators.  Most of the Cusqueños have not seen an escalator before.   In the first few days, the mall had to have someone stationed at the top and bottom of the escalator to teach people how to get on and off.  The people were almost terrified at the moving stairs.  The lines to get up the stairs were very long because the people froze up and refused to get on.  They would try and time it and then jump.  Many old Quechuan ladies fell on their face at the top because they couldn't get off.  Even now, every time we go to the mall, we see people freeze up in sheer panic when it is their turn to get on.  It is very amusing.  Anyway, there are groves of people flocking to see the new mall so we decided to take advantage of it and give out a lot of tracts.  We gave out around 500 in an hour.  Here is a very short clip of some of the kids in action.  The video is not much since it is hard to film and give out tracts.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Jesus of Nazareth

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the Child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of His Divine manhood. While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a Cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying—and that was His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Such was His human life—He rises from the dead. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the Centerpiece of the human race and the Leader of the column of progress. I am within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life. --James C. Hefley

Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander the Great, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, he shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of school, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, he set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times. –Philip Schaff