Sunday, January 20, 2008

Peru: Day 8

Greetings from Lima friends and family,
We’ve returned safely from our trip down to Ica. It was an intense trip. The Lord is doing wonderful things there and it was a privilege to see it all. Friday…Our day began with a stop at the Church, Jesus el Nazareno, which I was eagerly looking forward to as I was told there was a musical group there who played traditional Peruvian music with a Christian message.
Deacon Patricia gave us a tour of the Church which is decorated with all kinds of lovely murals.

(Deacon Patricia and Sue Ellen our translator; note the mural in the background.)
(One of the many murals in Jesus el Nazareno.)


After our tour we were invited to listen to the musical group, Nazareno, and they were simply incredible. They played some of the best live music I've ever heard. I had the joy of sitting in with them and being shown how to really play the charango, it was a blast! I was overwhelmed with how awesome the Kingdom of God is that a guy like me from Chicago would be sitting on the far edge of Lima, Peru playing music with my brothers and sisters in Christ in their mission Church. As fun as it was, it was more encouraging to see that their musical talent is surpassed by their love for Jesus. These musicians are the same folks who are in seminary, working in the missions scattered throughout Peru and spening weeks at a time down in Ica using personal vacation time away from their families to help with relief work.
(Diego, Enrique, Jhonny {a seminarian who accompanied us to Ica} and Sixto.)

(Jamming with Nazareno: me in the green t-shirt on the left, Marco, ? girl, Pilar, Roger playing the charango, Diego playing the guitar, Enrique playing the flute, Sixto singing and Jhonny on the drum.)



The children did some singing and dancing for us and we all got a little silly having ballon fights and starting conga lines. I'll let the pictures tell the story. (The kids singning and dancing their hearts out.)
(Too fun!)

(Sven, Micah and I get a conga line going.)
(Ballon fight!)

(Micah being...well?...Micah!)



After our visit to Jesus el Nazareno we started our five hour bus trip to Ica. It was a pretty drive with the Pacific Ocean on one side of the highway and desert on the other with the foothills of the Andes in the background. It was also a nice chance to catch up on some sleep.

(The sun setting over the foothills of the Andes on our way to Ica.)

We arrived in Ica after dark, after what seemed like a long trek along a single track dirt road covered by a canopy of trees...it felt a little foreboding, like we were heading deeper and further away from civilization (which we were). When we arrived the Church was showing a movie in the community on the side of building. Apparently since the earthquake most people don't have electricity so showing movies is one way to make a contribrution to the community, provide leisure activities (which help keeo the youth out of trouble) and also provoke questions about Jesus since he films they show contain Christ-centered themes.


(Orlando, the brother of Juan Carlos; who gave his testimony about a 3 hour bus ride each way to serve at San Patricio; greets us uopn our arrival. Notice he's got all our names on there. Jhonny from Nazareno is on the left, from Nazareno and caught a ride down as he'll be working in Ica for a few weeks.
(The recently constructed Church building which serves as a kitchen, guest house, worship space, etc; about the size of a garage.)


As promised, our accomodations were indeed "muy rustico". Half of us slept in the Church building while the other half of us slept in the tent pictured below. All throughout Ica we saw tents like this with the symbol of various national relief organizations on them. Our tent was given by the government of Ireland. Imagine... Americans and Peruvians sleeping in an Irish tent on the edge of the desert, go figure?

(The Dublin Inn in Ica..."I wonder if they'll be serving tea and toast in the morning?")

(Sven settling into our accomodations with the P.A. equipment. Looks roomy, eh? By bedtime this tent was occupied by Sven, Micah, me, Paul {Sarah's husband}, Jhonny, Juan Carlos and Marco!)

Alright friends and family. I've got two more days worth of pictures and news I'll get up hopefully tomorrow. It's late so time to sign off as we'll be here in Lima painting tomorrow. Until then. Gloria Dios y bendiciones!

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