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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Sunday in Pictures

Below are some pictures that go along with our "Easter in Peru" post.
On our way out the door to the first church service.
Some of us were asked to teach a children's lesson. We enjoyed our time with the kids.
"PeeWee" was one of our favorites!
Edwardo and Maritza planted the first church and are starting another church plant that we had
the privilege of meeting with over lunch.
Daniel was able to leave a guitar with the new church plant. Many tears were shed as they shared that they had been praying for some musical instruments and that the guitar was an answer to their prayers!

The music at the Quechua service sounded more Oriental than Latin. They sure have a lot of K's and Y's in their really long words!

After the services, we met back at the Strong's house to say goodbye to our Bolivian friends. This is the portion of the gringo and Bolivian groups that played in the soccer "finals" at camp. Notice that the gringos are smiling better than the Bolivians. That is because we somehow won! The ball will be on display here at the WGM Student Center.

Cathy and David (Daudi) Strong listen to a testimony of what God did through camp.

We had the chance to pray for the Strongs as they begin their new ministry in Cusco.

This beautiful couple accepted Christ at camp through the testimony of a Bolivian couple. Pray for them as they learn to follow Christ and put Him in the center of their relationship.

Back in KY

The team arrived back in Lexington a few minutes ahead of schedule! Everyone and their luggage made it home safely. Thanks for your prayers! I'm sure more pictures will be forthcoming -- right now the camera operator is taking a nap after the ~24 hours of traveling!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter in Peru

As I (Elicia) am writing this, the team is packing up, getting ready for our airplane ride back to Lima. We will be staying there for the day, doing some sightseeing and debriefing and then getting on the plane for Atlanta around midnight.

Yesterday was our last day in Cusco. It was Easter Sunday (also Veronica’s birthday) and we attended three different church services. The first church we attended was one of the churches that attended the camp. Five of the team played with the children and made them animal balloons which they loved! The other half of our team sat in on the service which ended up being really great!

Then we came back to the Strong’s house and had some really fantastic Chinese food, and some women and children came to fellowship with us. The women and children were the first fruits of a church plant, testimonies were shared, and Daniel was able to give them a guitar that was given to him. It was a pretty emotional moment.

We left the house to go to another church service, this time it was a Quechua church. We saw some of the kids from camp and Veronica and Elicia translated the Spanish for us so we knew what was going on. We showed the slideshow from camp and introduced ourselves. They seemed very happy to have us. After the message, Noah got up and shared a prayer with the congregation, and told them how happy we were to be there. When we left, a young couple from the church came with us.

We got to the house to find the Bolivians were already there. We had dinner and then we all circled up in the main room of the house and the Bolivians shared their favorite memories with us. After this, the couple that came back with us from the church service was introduced to us and we found out that they had both accepted Jesus during the retreat; we circled around them and prayed. The night ended up being a time of sharing between our team, the Bolivian team, and the Strong’s about the time we spent in Peru, how it affected us and how we were encouraged through our visit. After this, the Bolivians left. It was a sad time of good-byes.

Note from Nathan: since we are in transit mode right now, I am sorry there aren't pictures to go along with this post. I will post some more on Tuesday evening when we get back into Wilmore.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Camp, Camp, Camp

We have so much to say we don’t know where to begin! The bus ride was long and interesting… but a good cultural experience. The camp was located in a valley in Peruvian mountains, and we were all in awe of God’s creation. Nathan gave the first session almost as soon as we arrived. Veronica translated for him and did a great job! Our group and the group from Bolivia were split up between four teams of campers. The teams’ first tasks were to come up with team names, chants, and decorate flags. Then we ate dinner then we went to bed. The language barrier was a challenge for some of us, and a few others in our group weren’t feeling super healthy, but it ended up being a good day.

We woke up ready to lead devotions for the teams’ we were leading. The Bolivian team and ours got pretty close, teaching each other English and Spanish (and sometimes French). We performed a skit before the next session which Veronica and Elicia led, both went pretty fantastically. Then we broke into our teams again for some competitions, we played a crazy version of soccer and got sun burnt (and also bit by Peruvian bugs). In the afternoon we had an Easter egg hunt. None of the campers had done it before and we had fun watching their excitement as they found the plastic eggs we hid. There are still about 10 eggs missing that the camp will probably find in July. We had a great day and in the evening we had a fancy dress up dinner and a talent show. We had to decorate tables as our teams for the dinner, and we had to walk in the dining area in pairs. Elicia and Sharon won second and fourth place for the best dressed couple along with one of the Bolivians and another American VIA that came down for the camp! The talent show was a big hit; the kids got really involved and brought some unity to the teams.

We woke up and went to team devotions which were led by the Bolivians, and then we had some great beefy pasta for breakfast. One of the Pastors of one of the churches gave a few lessons on music; we played a couple more fun games and announced the winning group
We had a sort of closing ceremony where the Asbury team stood in front of everyone and shared their favorite memory. It was really awesome. Then, because there were a few birthdays to be celebrated (including Veronica’s which is Sunday), we had a prayer for the birthday kids followed by the whole camp attacking them with eggs and flour and some purple stuff. You may not believe this part if you know Veronica, but somehow Nathan and Noah were able to throw her into a pool. This was not only being entertaining for all of us, but also pretty convenient because the showers had no water and she needed to get all that stuff off of her!
Then we had a soccer competition between the Americans and the Bolivians. I am proud to say that the Americans won!
After the competition, camp was over and we left.

We are currently back in Cusco staying with the Strongs, safe and sound. Tomorrow, we will be attending three different church services and helping out with the kids for one of them. We are having a great time and enjoying every minute! More updates to come...

The pictures below are in random order.

Noah for his the "dress up" dinner

Veronica gets a typical birthday greeting...
...and is washed off in the pool.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Back in Cusco

Hello for the team. We are inbetween buses and I thought that I would drop into this internet cafe to let you know that we are safely back from camp. Tomorrow morning we will have pictures and much more information, but for now, thanks for your prayers. God was with us and helped us have a great camp.

More tomorrow! Sleep well. We will!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Greetings from Peru!
I hope this finds you all well! We are doing well and are excited to see how God is going to work at the youth camp! I believe the last blog we posted we had just arrived in Cusco, so much has happened since then! Tuesday afternoon we went on a trolley ride around the city of Cusco and we able to see many of the amazing historical sites and take lots of pictures. That night Eduardo and Maritza, the couple who founded the church here in Cusco., came over for supper and shared there passion and testimony with us. It was great to hear how God has been so faithful to them and we are all excited to be working with them. We went to bed fairly early that night so we could get up around 5 in the morning to get ready to go to Machupicchu. Some of us got up around 4:30 to take showers only to find that there was NO WATER! So needless to say a couple of us were feeling pretty grungy since we hadn’t showered for 2 days.: ) We also got to meet the team from Bolivia that morning. It has been amazing to see how 3 different peoples and cultures are coming together to serve the Lord. We all arrived at the train station very early and then had a 4 hour long train ride to Machupicchu. The country side was beautiful, but Machupicchu was just inspiring! We spent all afternoon hiking all over the Incan ruins in the rain and taking pictures. However, most of us found the Andes Mountains surrounding Machupicchu even more breathtaking and inspiring. We left late afternoon for another 4 hour train ride back to Cusco. We arrived pretty late and ate supper. We had a quick meeting about camp and then hit the sack for a busy day. The camp starts today, Thursday, and we are just so excited to see how God will work in the lives of the Peruvian youth. Satan has attacked us from every side but we have not been discouraged, and we are willing and ready to serve. We will arrive early afternoon and jump into camp. We have 2 teaching sessions, as well as devotions that we will be sharing. All of us on the teams will also be split up on the teams for the camp which will be a great way to get to know many of the youth. The camp ends Saturday so this is the last post for a while, sorry it is so long! Well I need to run and eat breakfast before we head out for camp. Thanks so much for your support and prayers. Please continue to lift us up in prayer that we can shine HIS light at camp, that God´s power can been seen at camp, and lives can be changed.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Finally in Cusco!

(Elicia, Stephanie and Sharon combined to write this post. I have included lots of pictures as promised)

We are in Cusco! What did it take to get here?
We first arrived in Lima Monday morning around midnight and stood in the immigration line for several hours and then tried to book tickets for Cusco that same morning.

But all the flights were full and we were stranded in Lima until Tuesday morning. We arrived at our guest house a little after 3 am, and we were pretty tuckered out.

Though not in our plans, it worked out great. Not only did it allow the Strongs an extra day to prepare for our arrival, it also allowed us to rest up a bit more and take a tour of the city. We went to a wonderful seafood buffet with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.

After the buffet we had a chance to swim in the ocean for a while. That was quite an adventure to say the least, but a lot of fun.

After we swam, we got to go across the city to watch the fastest sunset of our lives! We are talking down in sixty seconds—we made it just in time. It was beautiful!

We went back to the guest house, had pizza and prepared some things for the upcoming youth camp and then hit the hay. Why? We had another early morning and a flight to Cusco. And by early we mean: leave the hospitality house at 3 am. After a few complications, we finally boarded the plane on our way to our final destination.

A little taste of the beautiful mountians we see here in Cusco

(pictured is the Strong's house where we are staying if you look closely you can see Noah and Daniel on the roof patio)

It took us two extra days but we are finally here and excited to embark on the second stage of our mission. More updates to come… If you do not comment, this message will self-destruct in ocho segundos (that is eight seconds for you non-Spanish speakers).

Full day in Lima

Today was productive and fun! Daudi Strong our missionary host flew in to Lima to be with our team during our preparation and showed us around Lima a little. We mainly were along the beach where we ate at an incredible seafood buffet. We then swam or walked along the ocean. The waves were fun but intimidating large. After drying off we took a taxi to back to the top of the cliffs where the city is built and watched a very fast sunset!

We fly out tomorrow at 5:30 so we have to leave the guesthouse at 3:00AM! I am the last one up.

I promise pictures next time I post.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Monday morning in Lima

Thank you for all of your prayers for our travels over the last few days. The team is slowly rousing from a great night's sleep and we are getting ready to enjoy some local breads for breakfast.

Elicia and Veronica have already begun to shine in their translation skills. We needed both of their skills last night as we were trying to get our luggage and figure out the ticket issues for getting to Cusco. Apparently, when Delta re-routed us on Sunday's flight to Lima, they neglected to (or were unable to) get our Lima to Cusco tickets moved one day as well. Because we are arriving in country during Holy Week, there is a lot of in-country tourism going on and all 8 flights today to Cusco were totally full. We were given the option of the 5AM flight tomorrow or getting on a standby list and hoping that we could go one or two at a time today. We are pretty sick of airports right now and the thought of another entire day spent in one without the guarantee of a flight didn't sound great, so we are going to re-locate our place of preparation to the South American Mission (SAM) guesthouse here in Lima. If we have some good progress, we will probably spend a little time in the city as well today.

Pray for us as we prepare. Our main task today is to finalize our team's one hour lesson for camp. The main issue we should present. What would you share if you only had one hour to present it to 50 youth and wanted to make an impact for Christ? (Not to mention that we really only have 30 minutes when you take translation into account) Pray for God's guidance in this!
We will have internet access for the next 24 hours, so feel free to e-mail us because we will be able to check today.

Thanks for your partnership with us in Peru!

We´re in Peru!

This will be short since it is 3:30 AM here and 4:30 in our minds, but we are here in Lima and have been checked into the SAM guesthouse. We had some ticket issues that I will have to fill you in on tomorrow that is forcing us to stay in Lima an extra day, but we will be using the time here to continue to prepare for camp.

Thanks for your prayers. Nathan for a tired team!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Our team was suprisingly chipper after nearly 8 hours of delays!

No one else in the airport was smiling :-)

This is the wonderful house that we stayed in last night! Thank you for your hospitality Mrs. Foster!

We are rested, well fed and ready to try this travel thing again! We will be going to church in Atlanta and then meeting some friends for lunch before heading back to a very busy Atlanta Airport. Pray that we will show the love of Christ to everyone we come in contact with today!

Note: It may be more than 24 hours until our next post, but it should be from Peru!

Late night in Atlanta

As you have guessed from the title of this blog, we are still State-side. The tornadoes that hit Atlanta in the past 24 hours made getting to Peru tonight impossible, but we are seeing God's blessing even in this change of plans.
  • We are being hosted by Daniel Foster's mother and some of her friends here in Atlanta and we are getting ready to settle down for a nice night of rest.
  • We have jelled as a team as we have swapped stories and jokes in our many hours of waiting.
  • We enjoyed a good meal (much better than airplane food) and the fellowship it brought
  • We are having a chance to worship as a team here in Atlanta tomorrow AM
  • We get to hang out with old and new friends who are praying for our team
  • We will arrive in Peru more rested than we would have originally.

Thanks for your continued prayers! I will post a picture or two in the morning, but now a warm bed is calling me!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spoke too soon

As of 2:45 PM, we have yet to leave Lexington Airport due to the weather in Atlanta. It looks like we will miss our connection to Peru. If there isn't a followup to this post this evening, you will know that we somehow made the flight. Otherwise we will let you know our new itinerary when we have it. The team is still in good spirits although the prospect of arriving a day late to Peru is dissapointing.

We are on our way

Weeks of preparation are over and we are finally on our way!
We have been checked in and are getting ready for our first flight to Atlanta and then on to Lima, Peru. Early tomorrow morning will be taking the last leg to Cusco in time for an afternoon church service where we will be in charge of a children's program.
  • Pray for safety in travel
  • Pray for our missionary hosts as they are preparing to have us
  • Pray for energy on Sunday after a long trip
  • Pray that we would adjust to the altitude quickly
  • and pray that our preparation would help us be ready to share God's love everywhere we go!

We will be updating this blog as often as we can, but we won't have daily access to the internet. Please keep checking back to follow our journey and know how to pray for us!

Monday, March 10, 2008


  • We've been advertising on our website and announced last night at Global Cafe` that we are taking applications for serving on the WGM Student Cabinet. If you are interested in serving in one of 4 positions we have available, please stop by the center for an application!
  • Our "Lost and Found" box is overflowing! If you are missing an umbrella, sunglasses, ski gloves, car keys, or a pair of size 10M women's sandles (or any of a number of other items) we may have it! Stop by the center office!

Thanks for your time and attention! :-)