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Friday, July 10, 2015

A Whirlwind of Activity



If you want to be close to God, all you need to do is pay the extra money to be buried under the church.

That’s what we learned on our tour of the catacombs on Wednesday. They packed (literally) more than 25,000 people under the primary church building. They would stack about 6 people per “grave,” and then when they were full, would move them to a bigger, vat-like hole and start all over again.

Even when cemeteries became an option, people with money wanted to be close to God.
I didn’t know that’s how it works (please sense my sarcasm).

We also saw a painting that was a Peruvian artists’ take on the last supper. Apparently he needed to repaint the great masterpiece because there must have been a Peruvian at that great feast where Jesus served guinea pig as the main dish.

Hmmm.

It’s so much easier to take the Bible at its word! (No offense Peru.)

Last night we held our opening concert. About 200 people attended. I wasn’t worried about the mechanics of the music. I knew we were rehearsed, and we have a great team.

I wasn’t sure how we would be received singing in English (though we did project Spanish lyrics). There were many in the audience who knew at least some English. We seemed to be received well. The lead pastor of our host church is adamant that we come back next year and do this again (and we haven’t even gotten to the main event…maybe he should withhold judgment).

After the concert, many wanted pictures with us. All of the teen boys surrounded Cory and were talking with him about the “cool” instrument. Duane was all alone…poor Duane.

This morning we head into the Pre-Conference Workshops for Senior Pastors and Pastors’ Wives. Pray that we are able to motivate, encourage and challenge through the language barrier.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Martes (Tuesday) in Lima

The day started exactly on time...from Peru standards...an hour later than we anticipated, but we didn't mind.

We headed toward the coast. The plan has been that midday is our sightseeing/shopping time frame. All of the people we are working with in Peru have jobs, and aren't available during the day, so we are trying to use our time wisely.

We spent some time meandering through the open air market, buying our souvenirs for the trip, before heading to a restaurant on the beach of the Pacific ocean for lunch. An all-you-can-eat buffet with food from Peru, China, Italy and others enticed our appetites to excess.

While we were shopping we heard news that the bank we'd stopped at to pay the sound company had processed our $1,500 US dollars as $1,500 Peruvian soles, about a $1,000 difference.

Vali (pronounced valley), was a bit panicked and stressed. We were able to talk about the sovereignty of God in the midst of all situations, and to trust that He knew what He was doing with His money, and if it got fixed to our satisfaction, then praise Him. And, if it didn't, then praise Him anyway.

On our movie-chase-scene-like ride back to the bank after lunch we received a call from Vali's mother-in-law, who knows everyone. She had made one call (after multiple calls and hours by Vali and others), and resolved the situation with the bank, including a priority exchange rate for our trouble.

God is always good.

This evening we rehearsed at the conference venue with the Peruvian band members. We were incredibly blessed by the excellent musicians who are joining us. Our bass player, Alvaro, has nicknamed me "D-Sharp" because of my hair!

Dinner was Chifa (Chinese food).

As we race toward the opening worship conference on Thursday night, pray for the details to continue to come together. The plan is always in flux. We're always on Plan A because God is in control, we are still discovering the details of that plan!