Eye Campaign

01 Aug 2016

Most years in July, Medical Ministries International (MMI), an organization I partner with several times a year, has an eye campaign.  Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and zillions of helpers come to Peru and we operate on cataracts, get people prescription and reading glasses and pull foreign bodies out of eyeballs (That was today's most gratifying patient, because he was instantly relieved!).  Several pastors volunteer to share our hope in Christ to the myriads of patients (last Friday 612 patients were seen!) while they wait in line.  Today, Mia and Paul joined us because they are on winter break from school.  You can see them with the acuity cube testing an unseen patient standing 20 feet away.

I wish I could be with them more while they work, but I'm seeing the patients a few stations after they check their vision to look at their retinas.  Ironically, I found at this clinic that my eyes are getting so old I have to wear reading glasses to look at my patients' pupils to look for Marcus Gunn Pupil.  I had to take a break from my first patient and get a pair before I could finish with her! 

680 students from Sydney Uni

22 Jul 2016
It was fantastic to be part of ANCON2016 - the Sydney Uni Evangelical Union’s Annual Conference. I had the opportunity to spend time with students from Economics, Business, Law and Vet. I shared with these students what God is doing in our University in Peru and encouraged these students to think about serving in places that are less resourced and less reached. 
 
The organisation and scale of the student movement was an inspiration. There were about 680 students at the week long event with many students in leadership. Let’s pray that we will one day have hundreds of university students in Arequipa praising God.
 
Singing  "O Praise the Name of the Lord our God”. I love that song.
 
I took the opportunity to chat with students and staff on how the students ministry work and what I could take back to Peru. How do just 27 staff look after the 700+ students who are part of the Christian group on campus? How are students discipled and trained for ministry and leadership? What systems are necessary to make all this possible?
 
Having fun learning about  Cross-Cultural communication
 
Our small group
 
Christine chatting with students

Visiting churches down under

18 Jul 2016
We are really enjoying visiting churches down under. We have found people so welcoming and excited to hear about our ministry. 
 
Some churches are more down under than others. We recently visited the Corowa Baptist Church all the way down on the border of Victoria and NSW, near Albury. 
 
David, Christine with David and Bec
 
Praise God for our safe journey and a great reception from David and Bec Biddle and all their family and spiritual family in the church.
 
 
Thank-you for your prayers and well wishes for us. 
 
 
 

Smoke 'em out!

11 Jul 2016

Last night at church, while the pastor was preaching, smoke started entering the sanctuary.  One of the negatives about a church that still doesn't have 4 walls is that cold air (It's winter here.  Okay.  Cool air.) and smoke come right in.  Several started breathing through their scarves or pulling their shirts over their mouths.  No one really considered leaving until the sermon was over, however.  I wondered if there was someone who didn't like an evangelical church meeting in their neighborhood and was trying to smoke us out.  I was trying to figure out how best to confront the unhappy neighbor while sitting in the pew and then I realized that it wasn't personal.  Someone decided to burn an adjacent field and was smoking out the whole neighborhood!  I was thankful to not have to confront anyone, but no one spent any time mingling after church was over!

National Pastime

03 Jul 2016

Happy Independence Day to my American compatriots!  

Today I experienced another first:  Baseball in Peru!  Scott Wade, a fellow missionary, is on a baseball team here and they had a game today.  Actually, baseball is very uncommon here, and a lot of foreigners (USA, Colombia, etc.) make up the league.  I experienced several others firsts:  A batter stole first after the catcher dropped the ball on his third strike.  And another batter ran untouched because he hit the ball into the guard dog's pen beyond right field!  I had just walked by the dog which had jumped and strained at a chain strong enough to pull a car out of a ditch (What kind of dog needs that heavy of a chain?  Must be really mean!), when the ball was hit into his living space.  The poor fielder complained, "I can't get the ball!  It's by the dog!" before the dog's owner went in and got the ball for him.  

May you enjoy the freedom you have to worship God freely as you celebrate tomorrow!

Memorial Plaque

28 Jun 2016

Today I went back to the sign-maker for the nth time (did you know 'nth' is a Scrabble word without vowels?) and thrilled to find him in the shop working.  Not only that, he said the plaque was finished!  He crawled up a narrow ladder to the storage area upstairs and I could hear him scuffling about.  He came back down after a few minutes and asked his assistant, "Have you seen that little gold plaque?"  I had pretty much decided that if he didn't have it done today, I'd just cut my losses and go to my friend Roberto to have it done (I didn't know Roberto did bronze work until a week ago or I would have gone to him to begin with).  But thankfully, the assistant said, "It's in the glass case." Success!

Did you hear the one about the cobbler...

21 Jun 2016

They say humor doesn't translate well between cultures.  When you consider the different environments that people live in it is understandable that people from different cultures find different things entertaining.  There is an old joke about a man that took his shoes to the cobbler to be repaired.  He goes on to completely forget that he's taken the shoes in until years later he finds the claim ticket under his desk.  "I wonder if the cobbler still has my old shoes?"  So he goes to the cobbler and gives him the claim ticket and asks, "Do you still have my shoes?"  The cobbler pushes his glasses up his nose and squints at the print on the receipt and grunts before heading to the back room of the shop.  After a lot of sounds of boxes being slid across the floor and drawers being opened and slammed shut the cobbler finally appears and he says, "I found them!"  "Great!  How much do I owe you?" "You can pay when you get them.  They'll be ready Wednesday."

I donated the projector screen to the conference center that hosted Amy's funeral here in Peru as they had to go out and buy it before the funeral.  A month ago I went to a shop that makes little brass plaques that say things like, "Given in Memory of Dr. Amy George, 2016".  "It will be ready tomorrow after 12-noon." I was told.  I didn't have time to return until two days later, and I've learned it's best to give them extra time anyway.  I showed up around 1 pm.  "I'm here for the plaque."  "I said after 12."  I pointed out that it was after 12 and it was actually a whole day later.  "It will be ready at 3 pm."  The next two times I went to the shop, it wasn't even open.  Last week I went and the plaque was made with inverted colors (gold print on a black background).  He said, "Come back at 3 pm, today."  I told him I wouldn't be back for a week. (big mistake)  Today when I went back, he said, "It will be ready in half an hour."  The above joke would be completely lost on him.  

 

A wall of sample jobs.

How's your wife and kids?

17 Jun 2016

Today one of the local pastors and his wife were patients.  When they arrived, he asked, "How are your wife and kids?"  I was a bit surprised that he hadn't heard and probably made him feel bad for asking by my surprised look and terse answer that Amy had died of cancer.  But I went on to answer his question, "She's great!  Better than those of us still on earth, certainly."  If one thinks about it she's never been better!

Church Faena

12 Jun 2016

Today our church had a faena.  A faena is a work day and today the job was to carry a load of bricks from the street down into the church property where we are going to build a wall.  

Five tons of bricks left on the street.  What if someone steals them?  Wasn't a problem.  Bricks are too much work to steal, I guess.

Scott and Tami Wade, fellow missionaries, helped out.  It took 10 of us an hour and a half to carry the bricks.

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