March 21, 2014
After breakfast this morning everyone went to the hotel lobby to wait for their ride to their church. Some of us rode with translators, some by ourselves. Some rode in motorized tricycles called motocars and some rode in sedans. All of us experienced the very bumpy roads and the fear of bumping into another vehicle just centimeters away from us (we’re in Perú so I can’t say inches). My driver’s name is Justo (translated “justice” in english), and he’s a very good driver. In fact, no one drives really fast here, they just get a little too cozy on the road for my comfort. One way or the other we all arrived safely at our churches. For the most part the Perú mission is very organized, and the church members are too. They were pretty much on time (though one translator was apparently an hour late and held up the service). They have the most beautiful music even though most churches don’t have pianos, or even musical scores in their hymnals. Instead, they use pre-recorded hymns—and not the kind we have in the states. Here they have beautifully orchestrated music with song leaders and video and slides and everything built together. Even a small church can sound like a huge church with a large organ, a full orchestra, and professional song leaders.
As my church welcomed me they did a little pinning ceremony. One of the leaders told me that I am like Caleb going to conquer new land for the Lord, and so they gave me a missionary pin. While we were technically only scheduled for preaching the church service, some of us were asked to do Sabbath School in the morning and share a message for the evening AY (Jóvenes Adventista in Peru). I was one of those who were asked. Let’s just say that I’ve put lots of mistakes behind me now!
Some of our churches are in the open air, but my church, the Morales Central church, has its own building. Most churches don’t have projectors, but the Morales church does, the only problem is it’s so faint that no one can read the words. We put some money together for them today and asked them to buy a bulb for it so that everyone can see what is on the screen. We’re hoping the gift will keep on giving long after we leave.
I met a couple little boys, Brutis, and John-Carlos, who just wanted to be around me all the time. We were in AY sitting on the same row and they kept trying to talk to me in Spanish and I kept saying, “no comprehendo” and it seemed like they thought that since I knew how to say that I must also understand them because they kept talking and expecting me to answer them! They are lots of fun, and I hope to get to know them well this week.
Ethan was asked by his pastor to give a call for baptism today so he did and two people came forward! What is more surprising is that they held the baptism today! Only one of the two was baptized today, but his story is amazing. He is actually from Lima, and he is only here staying with family for a little bit. they have been trying to witness to him, but he has been resisting with a “hard heart” as he put it after his baptism. But when he heard Ethan preach his heart was softened and he said to himself, “I need to give my life to Jesus and get baptized!” We’re already seeing fruit from our labor.
Please keep praying for us! Gracias.