The Georges in Peru

I Love Technology! (and my wife!)

25 Jun 2022

Yesterday's heart ablation went well!  I'm recuperating at my sister Alice's (and Keith's) house while Mary Beth waits on me, since I'm not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds.  I didn't sleep very well last night (despite being sent home to a quiet house) as I still have a lot of chest tightness and premature atrial contractions (PACs) that kind of smack me awake out of my sleep.  The PACs are supposed to go away over the next couple of weeks.

Ablation technology is just amazing nowadays.  That one can run a catheter up my leg vein into my heart and find aberrant pathways and zap 'em is incredible.  

Travel technology is amazing.  I can be in Cuzco Friday afternoon and be in Chicago Saturday morning with Sarah and Zach.  150 years ago that would have been a 6-month trip, if you could have pulled it off at all.

Communication technology is amazing.  I could make all of the arrangements for the surgery and travel and housing easily from Peru.

Praise God for all of these great inventions!

                                                                      Post op

Our plan is to hang out in Nebraska for a couple of days while I recover and then head up to Canada for a week before we fly back to Peru on July 11th.

A big thank you to everyone that has been praying for my surgery to go well and please keep praying that I get through this recuperation time without complications.  I have to be on blood thinners for 3 months.

Who do People Think We Are?

07 Jun 2022

 

We’ve lived a short time here in La Punta and as some of the only white-skinned people in town we kind of stick out which gets small town folks curious and wondering who we are.  It’s been interesting to see/hear about people’s first impressions:

 

Who do people think we are?  Wealthy, New, Organ harvesters, Druggies, Archeologists, Miners, Friends, Athletes, English Speakers… 

 

Being church planters in a new area has helped us relate better to  believers in the first church and even to Jesus.  Take Mark’s account for example.  He says:

 

“Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And He continued questioning them: “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and *said to Him, “You are the Christ.” Mark 8:27-30

 

Everyone was curious about who Jesus was, but few really knew the truth.  They had to spend time with him to figure it out.  That’s how it is when we share the gospel too.  It’s easy to present people with a first impression of Jesus Christ with a five-minute gospel presentation, but just because someone accepts Christ, doesn’t mean that they understand what they did or even that they are interested in being a part of a body of believers.  Walking with Christ is a journey, as well as a decision. The challenge we have before us is to bring people into the journey of walking with Christ.

 

Today we signed the papers for our new home!

A Growing Church!

15 May 2022

We've had a very encouraging week!  This morning we had 17 people at church, if one counts all of the kids and the two people that came after the service was essentially over!   We met one of the families as we were out for a walk.  We were chatting and told them that we had come to start a church in Punta de Bombón and they exclaimed, "We're Christians too!  We've been praying that God would send someone here to start a church!"  They were so excited you would have thought we were in some country where it was illegal to be a Christian!

After our service, people stayed and chatted and enjoyed little sandwiches that Mary Beth and Rosita had made.  Almost everyone stayed for an hour and a half after church was over!  When one of the dads told his son it was time to go, his 7-year-old said, "Can't we stay a little longer?"

Mary Beth leading the children's feature

We are still waiting for paperwork at the public record office to be updated before we can buy our house.  It is hard to be patient!  Pray it is finished soon!

Arrived in La Punta!

08 Apr 2022

Tuesday we decided to rent a house while we wait for the house we'd like to buy to get its paperwork updated.  A contact we made when we went to La Punta two weeks ago has a house to rent, so we took a YouTube video tour and told her we'd take it! (see below)

Wednesday morning we woke up a bit before 6 am and went out looking for gas.  The gas station two blocks from our house had gas and there was no line, so we filled our tank and went back home.  That was easy!  

We thought Thursday would be a good time to move to La Punta, but they planned to do some major work on the plumbing of the house we were staying in on Wednesday, so we decided that since we had gas we might as well just go!  We packed our car the fullest I've ever packed it and we drove the 2.5-hour trip to La Punta!  It took over an hour to unload it!

Our rental house for the next month or two in La Punta

 

This is a recap of today's activities:  We got up and went for a 6-km run to the ocean and back.  At the beach we saw a couple of people working out, but no other runners.  On the way back I saw a van I recognized.  It was the MMI (Medical Ministries International) van and they were in La Punta distributing wheelchairs!  Shortly afterward we met the team of a dozen people and chatted a bit.  After breakfast and devotions, we went out looking for the wheelchair project.  We were told it was in the sports complex, but there are 4 or 5 in this small town.  After asking a few strangers where it was, it turned out to be in a tiny village about 1km outside of La Punta.  Luckily, we were on our bikes, so we could get there quickly.  While at the medical campaign we met some people from the mayor's office and when we got home, a pastor from a local church that we've been hoping to meet arrived at our door!  We had a great time talking to him and his family over lunch and talked about how we can help them and their church in the future.  They are having their church anniversary tomorrow night, so we're going to help with the preparations.  I then made arrangements to get internet in our house and we took these pictures before going to the fruit store to get a mango for supper.  While there, a man named Villaomar came in the door and said, "Were you the two people we saw running this morning?"  "Yes!  Were you the people working out on the beach?!"  "Yes!"  We're going to love living in a small town again!

The view of La Punta a short walk from our house

 

No gas!

04 Apr 2022

Currently, Peru is in the throes of a transportation strike.  Truck drivers and others who buy lots of fuel are protesting against the high price of petroleum products by blocking the roads.  I'll leave it up to you to explain how this is going to cause the price of a barrel of oil to go down!  

Last night, as we drove between our church (where I preached) and  Elvis' church (for their commissioning ceremony), we saw this multi-block procession of cars lined up to get gas at one of the few gas stations that still had any.  Since there are no tanker trucks bringing in fuel, the city of Arequipa has basically run out.  

People in agriculture are getting angry because their harvests can't make it to market and here in the city, the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables have skyrocketed.  We are in the process of buying a house in La Punta, but we are unable to drive or even take public transportation to get there to work out the details. 

Pray that this gets resolved soon.

Blessed Beyond Reason

15 Mar 2022

Blessings pour like refreshing rain from heaven.  

As we think back on our home assignment and our arrival here, we are so thankful.  We are thankful to the many people who hosted us for the night and took us out for meals.  We are thankful for my parents who gave us their ‘Country Cottage’ farm house to stay in during the three months we were in Manitoba and for Ron and Lynn Tanner who generously let us stay in their Omaha house during January and February.  We were so glad for a place to receive guests and make memories.

It’s good to be back in Peru again.  Besides the sunshine, birds singing and fresh air coming in through open windows and doors in a mosquito-less land, we’ve been enjoying walking to nearby stores which are laden with things we have missed while in Canada and the States like mangoes and Peruvian peanuts!  It was encouraging going to our old church on Sunday and feeling the enthusiasm during singing as well as seeing the good church attendance.  Our friends there are sad to see us go to the coast, but are looking forward to coming out for visits and supporting us in our ministry there. 

People lining up to show their vaccine cards and ID to get into the Mall.

The peanut stand at the market.  They also sell a few other things.

Allen was excited to find a new chemistry shop.

Home Assignment Highlights

06 Mar 2022

Adults visited over a meal - 223

Presentations- 14

Sermons- 3

Miles On the road 19,621

 

NEW YORK- We bought a car and travelled…

 

NEW JERSEY

-We enjoyed seeing Mary Beth’s brother get happily married

- We enjoyed a personal concert from a professional Oboist

 

VIRIGINIA

- We made Tie-Dye shirts with an Air Force pilot, her son and her stay-at-home-dad 

husband 

 

KENTUCKY

-We visited the famed Noah’s Ark.

 

WYOMING

- We saw amazing sights at Yellowstone National Park

- We went on a mountain lion hunt with some supporters in Wyoming and found the 

neighbour’s cat.

 

LLINOIS

- We looked for Zach’s wedding ring in the sands of Lake Michigan and talked to all the 

other metal detectorists also searching for hidden treasures. (We didn’t find it).

 

NEBRASKA

- We chased bulls in the Nebraska

-We visited Spielbound, a board game library/café with over 5000 games with some supporters.

 

SOUTH DAKOTA

- We panned for gold in South Dakota… and found some (We didn’t get to keep it 

though.  It belonged to the expert we bugged a lesson off of).

 

BC

- Allen had his first Ferry ride on our way to visit supporters on Vancouver Island

 

SASKATCHEWAN

- We visited a supporter in Saskatchewan who has a herd of alpacas courtesy of Peruvian inspiration.

- We visited a blind carpenter friend who gave us a tour of his shop and showed us some of his handiwork.

 

MANITOBA

- We stayed at Mary Beth’s old family farm in Canada and tamed some wild kittens to 

give away.

-We visited Mary Beth’s dad’s long-time friend who just opened up a museum of all his 

taxidermy artwork.  It included some Peruvian butterflies, and some interesting animals acquired from zoos among other things.

 

NORTH DAKOTA

- We spent Christmas with all our kids in one place!

 

NORTH CAROLINA

- We saw the Whirligig park in Wilson (see Photo), North Carolina where we were able to visit Ben at his new home.

 

PERU

We are heading back to Peru this week and on to new adventures in Church Planting.

 

Heartfelt...

18 Feb 2022

For the last 2 ½ years, Allen has been experiencing some heart-rate irregularities (Atrial Fibrillation) when running or swimming hard, which he has been trying to get to the bottom of with different tests.  Some who have read our blog for awhile may remember Allen thinking it might be his myocardial bridge (See Blog from Jan. 27, 2021).  After some contemplation, however, it has been decided that due to too much exercise (who knew that it gave such!!?), some of Allen’s nerves have begun misfiring occasionally, signalling his heart to make extra beats. This is MB’s layman explanation.  If you would like something more technical you may want to ask Allen. 

 

On Tuesday, we saw heart specialist and friend, Dr. Porter, to solve the question about whether Allen should do surgery… Allen says I should call it radioablation and not surgery because surgery implies cutting and no cutting is necessary for this procedure.  Back to layman explanation- they can apparently kill those nasty nerves- if they can figure out which ones they are.  Amazing!  Dr. Porter said that at this point he thinks the risks of ablation outweigh the benefits, and put Allen on some medicine (Flecainide) which he is supposed to take before hard exercise.  We have decided to try this solution for a while but are not ruling out “surgery" in the future.

 

So it is with heartfelt excitement and twinges of regret that we leave our home-continent and head south once again.  We have flights booked for March 8th.

 

One task to do before we leave is to sell our beloved home-assignment “home” (a 2016 Black Nissan Rogue with 122K miles).    Update:  Sold on 7MAR2022!

 

Encouraging words

13 Dec 2021

Last week, Mary Beth and I spoke at her old high school chapel service.  We told the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 and how a boy gave up his lunch to help feed the multitude.   Andrew, one of Jesus' disciples, asked the obvious question, "How far will this go among so many"?  I suspect many a prospective missionary has asked himself that same question: 'What difference can I make among the millions in India or China?'  Yet God wasn't limited by this boy's lunch and God isn't limited by the things that may seem insignificant to us.

Afterwards, we were given this card from one of the students.  What an encouragement!

Papsi and Ravels

29 Sep 2021

Yesterday we went to the Mennonite Heritage Villiage Museum in Steinbach where we learned about Mennonite persecutions and migrations and saw how the pioneers had lived when they first moved to Canada.  There's a wind-mill on the property that grinds freshly harvested grain into flour (That happened earlier this fall), fun old tractors and even a sod house.  We decided it would not have been very nice to live in, despite the cool reprieve it gave us from the warm day.  When a local man started talking about 'jantsied' (Low-German for the 'other side') Allen nodded his head knowledgeably since Mary Beth had just explained to him that 'ditsied' and 'jantsied' referred to Mennonites who had settled on different sides of the Red river (What a quick learner!- Mary Beth).  After the museum tour we went to DQ for lunch where Mary Beth ordered a coke.  "We don't say the 'C'-word around here! You're in the wrong town to buy a Coke," the man behind the counter told her.  "Yeah," she said.  "I should be ordering Papsi and Ravels."  They shared a good laugh.  The Low-German Mennonites who settled in the area speak English with a strong accent which they have passed on to their children.  Pepsi or 'Papsi' is the most highly-desired pop, not Coke! and is often enjoyed with Revels, pronounced, 'Ravels'  which is ice-cream on a stick and covered in chocolate.  

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