Monday, December 28, 2015

Waiting on the Lord

Christmas in Peru was anything we had ever experienced. For one there was definitely no snow, but there wasn't any in Wisconsin either this year. It was the first time we didn't participate in at least one mass Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Our Christmas Feast didn't consist of what Americans normally eat. None of these things were missed though! The joy that we experienced over the week of Christmas was much greater than any of these things.
Preparing the chapel for Christmas
Preparing for Christmas
The wait is almost over

We started Christmas week with two masses on Sunday. The first was in Nuevo Egipto followed by one in Nuevo Chimbote. It was the first time Padre Paco celebrated mass in the future spot of the church in Nuevo Chimbote. The town has given the people land to build a church. Right now we are working on clearing the old broken building from the spot to build. Taylor and I are working at finding the last of the funds to build this amazing community a church. To learn more about Nuevo Chimbote please read the two blogs here and here.
Monday we were blessed to have mass in Caspizapa. It was our first mass in a month and also a sacrament mass. We had been preparing five youth to receive their sacraments since we returned in October. It was so exciting to be apart of this special mass. Not only did they receive baptism but the four older youth received first communion as well. We will also be preparing three of them to receive confirmation next December. This mass was also our Christmas mass for Caspizapa. We were able to light all of the Advent candles and celebrate the coming of our Savior.

Tuesday was a very special day. Faustina and Adele turned one! I can't believe how big they are. It is hard to imagine how fast the time has gone. The girls and I went for a home visit. The family we visited was the first family to welcome us in Caspizapa. They were so happy to be able to spend time with the girls on their big day. We celebrated with animal crackers and soda. We then headed to Nuevo Chimbote for our sacrament prep and then off to mass in Picota. Padre Paco said a special mass intention for the their first birthday. We had a small party with Padre Paco after mass. We had a special dinner and we ate the carrot cake I made for them. To our surprise Padre Paco had a gift for each of them. Faustina and Adele received their first doll from Padre Paco. 

Wednesday was another busy day. We went to buy special Christmas dispensas for the people in our community. It was so much fun purchasing the food and other needed necessities for them. Our cart was overflowing and our joy was overflowing as well. We couldn't wait to hand them out on Thursday! Wednesday night we went to our Bible study in Nuevo Egipto. With us we brought the Nativity Story. We were excited to share the beautiful depiction of Saint Joseph and the Holy Family. The church was packed with little children, some of whom had never heard the story before. There were also many adults who joined in on the movie. After the movie Taylor shared a little about why this movie is so important and he became overcome with emotions. The people were very excited to share in this and so happy for us to share some time with them before Christmas.

The best gift of all God's Word
Thursday is the day so many people wait for. The day in which kids are super good because they know who is coming. But Christmas Eve has a different meaning altogether here which we found out as the afternoon turned into evening. Our day began with packaging up the Christmas dispensas we had purchased. We then all loaded into our car and headed to each house. We were so blessed to bring a little Christmas joy to the families we visited. We spent some time visiting with them and inviting them to the Christmas service that evening. I spent some time while the kids were napping wrapping the remainder of the Bibles and some last minute gifts for the neighbor kids. Taylor and I then headed to the church to see how the preparations for the living nativity were coming. The youth group was ready but they didn't know how to make the fabric into costumes. We spent some time putting the costumes together and then had a quick run through before the liturgy service. The run through went great and I ran home to make a few sheep ears for the sheep. We put the kids in their costumes and waited for 7:00 to come.
Sheep have ears

Gabriel and Joseph
During this time we asked what is the normal custom for Christmas. At this point we were told that everyone stays awake until midnight. Midnight? All I could think was how am I going to stay up until midnight without a nap and why midnight? Before any of these questions could be answered it was time to begin our Liturgy of the Word service. It began with the reading of the Nativity Story over the town loud speaker with the youth acting out the story in the town plaza. As Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem the found the perfect place to have Jesus in our town chapel. Our nativity concluded in the chapel and led into our Liturgy of the Word service. The youth did an amazing job leading the whole service and sharing on the importance and necessity of having Jesus in their lives. 

Pastores y Ovejas
We left the service exhausted and hungry from a long few days. We were welcomed once again into one family's home to eat with them. Our Christmas meal was delicious and we were blessed to celebrate with friends. We brought the children home and they gladly got ready for bed. They were tired from the exciting day and they also didn't want Santa to find them out of their beds. During this time exhaustion started to set in but by the grace of God I was able to join in the waiting game.

We sat with different people throughout the community. As we sat we drank some wine and beer. We talked about Jesus and why Christmas is so important. What Jesus has done in our lives and we shared our testimony with many people who had yet to hear it. We then asked why? Why do you wait until midnight? Why do you eat at midnight? The answer we received was stunning. They wait up until midnight to be the first to welcome the Lord. At midnight the people walk around the whole town giving the sign of the peace to everyone. They walk blocks to no miss anyone. They then have a Birthday Dinner for Christ. Fireworks are lit off to celebrate the coming of the Light of the World. This is the most beautiful Christmas custom I have ever participated in. Waiting on the Lord to welcome His birth. The beauty and joy of it still brings a smile to my face and uplifts my heart. I am humbled to be here in Peru to celebrate with people who truly know the reason of Christmas! ~Katie

Visting Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus
The Wisemen
Christ our Savior is Born!!!!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Feliz Navidad


With the fast pace Christmas day here, a house filled with wrapping paper and kids fighting over toys, and road rage on the highway as people head to grandmothers house is anyone still really thinking of Jesus?  Is this still His birthday?  Has Santa taken over, does he have victory over Jesus?

    I think to answer these questions we need to first think through what each of these situations look like.  First off I will admit that my kids are the first to go from saints to brats when given an abundance of presents on Christmas morning. It never seems to fail, receiving all those gifts at one time is a recipe for disaster.  I also think we have placed such a huge expectation on us and our loved ones as to what Christmas should look like. So that we are all running around with fake smiles while inside our stress is through the roof as we try to get to everyone's house on time and worry if they will like the gifts we have given.

    Is this what God intended for the birthday of His son Jesus?  Lets take a look, know the Holy Family did travel for the first Christmas but it wasn't to Florida and they didn't stay on a five star resort.  NO the resort was full so they stayed in a stable for animals, his bed was a manger and his new christmas outfit was some stylish bands of cloth!  WHAT?? that can't  be right. Where are the ribbons, bows and wrapping paper; big Ham, sweet potatoes and pie? Where are the mountains of toys, tree with lights, fake snow and little villages of winter wonder land? Where is Santa???    I looked in the book of Luke 2:6-7 none of it is in there so little, so simple,  just a baby lying in a manger. Yet there is such Joy such excitement,  suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favors!!! (Luke 2:13-14).  I don't know about you but to me that sounds better than anything I could think of for Christmas morning and then later on He did receive gifts from the three kings (Matt 2:1-12)

    Now that we have seen what the first Christmas looked like, lets take a look at Santa. Is he really trying to steal Christmas?  Again know the person of Santa Claus is no more than Saint Nicholas Bishop, his name was changed to Santa Claus for the Dutch Sinterklaas. For a while he stayed as the Bishop for Turkey whose love for Christ was expressed through giving to the needy.  He also strongly defended our Lord at the council of Nicaea against Arius and against Arius' belief that Jesus was not fully God.  The story goes that Nicholas was so enraged at what Arius was saying against Jesus that he got up, walked over and slapped Arius across the face. After that the other Bishops had him thrown into jail and removed his Bishop garments from him. Later on that night Jesus and Mary appeared to him and asked "Why are you in jail?" Nicholas answered "Because of my love for You!" Upon this reply Jesus gave him the books of the Gospel and Mary gave him his Bishop garments back.  In the morning when the guard returned his chains were loosened, he was quietly reading the gospel and dressed in the garments they had stripped from him the night before.  With amazement they took him to Pope Constantine who restored him as Bishop and the council decided to go with Nicholas' belief and not Arius.  So you can see Saint Nicholas is both joyful, giving and a fierce defender of Christ.

   You see if we want to truly celebrate the birth of our Lord it should be simple, little and with our family.  If you want to add on the spirit of Santa Claus AKA St Nicholas just defend Jesus at all cost and give the gifts you get to the poor.

     Merry Christmas Taylor

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

5 more years!

It is official! We received our five year visas for Peru! Praise be to Jesus!

What does this mean for us? We are able to just focus on the mission without having to leave the country every 3-6 months to renew our visas. We now have the ability to stay in Peru for 5 years without leaving the country during that time if we choose to.

This is such a wonderful blessing for us and the communities which we serve. Why is it such a blessing for them? Because when we have to renew our visas the people are without missionaries for a week. For people who only receive mass once a month or once every two months this is a big deal. We bring Jesus to them weekly through Bible studies, music, and encouragement.

Imagine how this would impact your life! Imagine yourself as someone who has just heard about the Good News of Jesus Christ! You long to know more. Each week you attend class to hear more about Salvation. You are excited to hear that you have a part in it. You received a Bible for the first time. You are learning to praise the Lord with song. You have also been taught the Lord's prayer and the rosary for the first time. Each week is new and exciting. You look forward to celebrate with one another.

Now imagine that the missionaries will not be in your town for two weeks. This can be difficult especially for people with a new found faith. Living in a community where your faith is not practiced is discouraging. For a community that is so new celebrating the Liturgy of the Word is foreign and scary. It is also difficult when you have questions and no one to ask.

"We are a sheep without a shepherd. Please be patient with us." This is what we were told by the people of Nuevo Chimbote. When I think of this I am drawn to the passage from John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." When I hear this passage I think back to the days we raised goats. When a new kid is born you spend time with it and you talk with it. You want it to trust you and to follow you. This can only be done by spending time with it. Gradually the kid learns your voice, begins to trust you, and will follow you. But how does this pertain to Jesus? To be able to recognize the Lord and to follow Him you need to spend time with Him. This is done by studying the Bible, daily prayer, and also attending mass or Liturgy of the Word celebrations. Just like with our goats, through implementing these steps in your life you learn to recognize God's voice, you trust Him, and you follow Him. We desire to help the people come to know Christ and now we have more opportunities to do so!

Taylor giving a talk on the Theology of the Body for three communities
 Tres Unidos, Mishquiyacu, and Pilluana
This is the first time that some of these kids and adults have heard about
the real meaning of love and that they have dignity.

Preparing for Advent. We bought Caspizapa Advent candles. This is the
first time they have had them. We have also introduced Advent to the people
of Nuevo Chimbote. It is so exciting to explain that we take this time to prepare
for Jesus. 

We are so blessed to be able to participate in and witness the sacraments. So many
people have received baptism this year. Praise God! We will be celebrating another
sacrament mass in Caspizapa on December 21. Praise God!!!

We always carry prayer cards with us. You never know when you might find
someone in need. We were at the park in Nuevo Union when we started sharing
with the kids about the Divine Mercy. Every moment is a missionary moment! 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The smell that absolutely terrifies me

As a mother of six beautiful children I can say that I have probably had the opportunity to smell some rather disgusting/ interesting things.

 Baby puke has a distinct smell. The smell of a baby who had momma's milk or formula are completely different. I've had the opportunity to test this. Trust me! Then there is the smell from a baby eating solids. Not quite as gross as what you end up smelling while taking care of a sick kid with the flu but it is getting there.

I guess the same thing can be said of what comes from the other end. There are definite differences and at times I ask the child whose diaper I'm changing what they ate because the smell has such a fragrance.

Feeding a large family leads to certain other smells when you raise your own food. All of which should be avoided when you are in the first trimester of pregnancy as I found out when I was pregnant with Ruth and Leo.

I have to say one smell that makes my eyes water every time we pass it is drying cacao. Let me first describe how it is dried and then I will share the wonderful aroma with you. Cacao is used to make chocolate. Many people have some cacao growing on their farms to sell since they can get $3 a kilo for it. The cacao is then processed into chocolate in Pucacaca, a town 20 minutes away. When the cacao is red the people harvest it. They then eat the white flesh off of the seed. Once the flesh has been removed most people lay out black tarps in the road in front of their house. The seeds are then laid on the tarps to dry in the sun. Periodically someone turns the seeds to make sure they are dried completely. If the seed does not dry by nightfall they are gathered and kept safe until daylight to continue this process. It typically take two to three days to dry the seeds. Often times as you walk around town you come upon whole streets covered in tarps. Now for the best part- the smell. Cacao smells like a rotting carcass. Yes that's right. It smells like a rotting carcass. Who thought something so delicious as chocolate would come from such are horrible beginning. Not I. Just for the record I still eat chocolate the smell hasn't deterred me.

So you might ask me what could be worse than the smell of rotting flesh? What is this smell that absolutely terrifies you? What is the smell that send a shudder down you spine every time you smell it?

The smell of chaff burning absolutely terrifies me! This smell is very distinct. Now I know what you are thinking how can this smell be terrifying? Something burning how is that worse than the cacao drying? Let me draw your attention to Matthew 3:12 where St. John the Baptist is speaking to the Pharisees about Jesus. He said, " His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Before coming to Peru I didn't fully understand the intensity of this statement. You see I had never witnessed the burning of chaff when we lived in the states. The community in which we live here in Peru is a rice farming community. All around us are rice fields and there are many rice mills dotted along the road as well. As we drive to minister in our eleven pueblos it is very common to pass a rice mill. The smell of the chaff burning is the first thing to signal a rice mill is up ahead. Next you see the huge pile of chaff burning. It is always burning. The fire never goes out. The pile is always smoldering. As the pile grows with the new chaff it is also in the process of consuming it without fulling going out. The thought terrifies me. You see that is how John the Baptist describes hell. It has brought a whole other perspective for me.

Now you might be asking how do I avoid hell? Simple- Choose Jesus! Love Him first! Seek Him in all that you do! How do I do that? Love your neighbor as Your friend! Remember Jesus died for His friends! All of this might seem overwhelming but with Jesus it is all possible! With Jesus the smell is no longer terrifying because we are now in His Barn!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.

We are called to bring Jesus Christ to everyone we meet. This can be done in big ways and small ways. Often it is in the small ways that our children bring Christ to others. Here are a few examples:

The children often carry holy cards in their pockets and prayer bags to distribute to everyone we meet. This is one of their favorite things to do. “Everyone we meet needs to know who Jesus is” is their reason behind handing out the prayer cards. If everyone gets one then we have done our job. Their goal is to give away all of their cards by the end of the day. If they haven’t done so they get upset because they think that they might have missed people and have let Jesus down. We kindly explain that is not the case. Jesus loves the work that they do by handing out the cards and everyone that needed one had received one that day. Tomorrow is a new day with more opportunities to share about our Savior! 

The kids really had fun distributing the cards at the airport. There were so many people walking around. Everyone close to the kids received one including the people working in the airport. Leo had a big impact on two such workers. We arrived into Lima at midnight on our way to the States. While we were waiting for our luggage Leo went over to two workers and gave them a prayer card. They took the card and walked away. At some point they must have realized what it was because just as we were walking to customs they ran after us. They asked us to stop and wanted a picture with Leo. Leo was grinning from ear to ear. As they knelt down they said thank you to Leo and took a picture. 

Sometimes simply praying for someone in the moment can bring someone closer to Christ such as this experience. When we first arrived back in Wisconsin dad had a cough. Ruth heard him cough while she was eating breakfast. As soon as she did she stopped eating and said “Let’s pray over grandpa so God can heal him.” All of the kids ran over to him and laid their hands on him. They then asked mom to come over and lay her hands on him as well. They prayed that God would heal him of his cough and make him feel better. After the prayer the kids went back to eating breakfast. Ruth stopped eating a little later and said “ If it doesn’t work right away that doesn’t mean that God isn’t going to heal you. Sometimes God doesn’t heal you grandpa because you might have to suffer and offer it up for someone else.” She then went back to eating. 

Sharing your testimony is also a simple way to share the Good News with others. Malachi has been given this such gift. Throughout our time in the States Malachi was able to share this verygift. One such occasion was when we were asked to share at Peace United Church of Christ. As Carol Lowe was introducing our family she asked the questions “ What is missions and who are missionaries?” Malachi stood up and shared with the congregation that missions is bringing Jesus to the poor and those who do not know Him. He shared that we are all called to be missionaries and that they can be missionaries right where they are. They just need to go and do it.

 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Luke 18:17

God can use everyone to bring His Good News to the world! You just have to be open to His will!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Wisconsin- Thanks for the memories and your kindness!!!

We want to take this blog to thank everyone in Wisconsin. We were so blessed to be able to visit for three weeks. We were also happy to bring the warm weather with us! It definitely made the adjustment from 95°+ so much easier. It was so funny watching everyone sweat when it was above 70° and embarrassing for us to wear sweatshirts when it was below 70°. Alright we also wore our winter stocking hats as well. Yep we are those people that we always made fun of. I can say that we finally adjusted to the cooler weather by the time we flew back. 

We first want to thank FMC for letting us use the vehicle for our time in the states. You made our travels possible!

Surprise we are here!!!
Thank you Olivia for welcoming us into your home at 5:00am. The look on your face when you saw us standing outside your door as you were headed out for your run was priceless. Thank you for the wonderful coffee and the delicious egg sandwich. Oh and for letting us warm ourselves by your stove. It really helped!!!

Mom and Dad you are truly amazing!!! Thank you for a place to lay our heads. For all of the food, fun, and laughter. For being amazing parents and grandparents. Thank you for the date nights out and for the relaxing evenings on the pontoon. For all the amazing things you did. There are so many that touched our hearts and the hearts of the kids. Thank you also for keeping the kids favorite toys and sleeping bags. For keeping their pillows and blankets. Thank you for Easter and Christmas all on the same day!!! We are so blessed to call you mom and dad and grandma and grandpa.

We want to thank all of our friend for the time you made
for us. For welcoming us when we popped in. For all
of your prayers and well wishes. We were so lucky
to see all of you!!!

Monika thank you for all you did with Ruth!
And for the haircuts! We really needed them.

Jill Skaletski reading to the kids

We especially want to thank the following people for opening their homes to us. Ken and Dorene Schuster, Curt and Jill Skaletski, Ted and Briget Petri, Lynn and Garry Tamm, Jerry and Tammy Barta- Andy, Allison, and Jake, Brad and Kelli Heimke, John and Heidi School, and Andy and Christel Schmidt. The food was amazing and the stories we all shared along with the laughter was wonderful!
Andy and Allison Barta with Anthony
Andy Schmidt
and Faustina

Kim Madison thank you for taking the kids on a little date. They truly enjoyed the movie and they are still talking about the fun they had with you. 

I want to thank Mimi Ariens for our wonderful coffee chat. I truly miss our conversations. Thank you for all of the hugs! I also want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to have our morning prayer in your chapel. It was such a blessing!

A special thanks for the field trip to the Brillion Police Department. Thank you Chief Mignon for the tour of the police station, as well as the ambulance, and fire station. The kids had a blast. 

Seaton Catholic School- Sheboygan

We were so blessed to share our story with so many people while we were back. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our love for the mission and for the people of Peru. Relevant Radio, Holy Family Catholic School, Holy Family Faith Formation, Peace United Church of Christ with a special thank to Bob and Carol Lowe for organizing this opportunity, Seaton Catholic School Sheboygan and Father Matthew. We hope to be able to contact you all from Peru throughout the next year. Let us all pray for a good internet connection! 
Grandma Betty we love you so much! We are so thankful for you and your love. Your prayers help to sustain us. Know that we are praying for you!!! 

Thank you Father Timothy and Holy Family Parish. We are so blessed and honored to call you our home parish! Your prayers, love, and kindness is such a blessing. Thank you so much for the countless prayers and help in our mission. We are so excited that some of you will be joining us in February to help build the chapel. We can’t wait to see you!!

Luke and Amy Bolle thank you for taking this wild journey with us! Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for the prayers and late night or early morning conversations half way across the world. We are so blessed to call you our friends! We were so blessed to be able to spend time with you. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Don’t forget to book your flights for our Renewal of Vows ceremony in November!!!! 

Until next year!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The "robot", a high five, and mouths wide open

“And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

On July 1 Malachi came home from school with a broken arm. His class had gone for a walk in the jungle for science class. Malachi decided to climb a rock wall when his teacher asked him not to. As he was climbing he fell off the wall and landed on his arm. We knew instantly when we saw him that his arm was broken. We splinted his arm with our splint and took him to the doctor. Our town in Caspizapa has a doctor but they do not have access to an X-ray machine. After a few hours of waiting we were given an order for a X-ray and Taylor headed to Picota to try to get one done. The doctor there decided Malachi’s arm didn't look broken so he wasn't going to do the X-ray. Praise the Lord we work with two amazing priests. Padre Leopoldo and Padre Paco were not going to take no for an answer. The next day Taylor and Malachi were going to head to Tarapoto for a X-ray. Tarapoto is an hour and a half drive from our town. Our region’s hospital is in Tarapoto. Taylor was met in Tarapoto by Madre Clarece. Madre Clarece is a doctor and a sister who serves there. She was able to walk right into the hospital and demand a X-ray. The X-ray confirmed our thoughts. Malachi had a fracture in his arm right below his wrist. After receiving the diagnosis Madre Clarece, Taylor, and Malachi had to travel across town to find a splint and sling. They were able to locate the one store who sold them and purchased the items. They then had to return to the hospital for the doctor to approve them. Once they were approved the doctor sent them to the store to purchase more milk and yogurt before they could head home. Malachi was very proud of his spiderman sling but the excitement of having a broken arm slowly wore off during the next three weeks. 

On July 23 Taylor and Malachi returned to Tarapoto for a follow up X-ray. The X-ray showed that his arm was healing but that it needed more time. The doctor once again sent Taylor to the store for more milk and yogurt before sending them home. In three weeks it should be healed.

August 12 our whole family drove into Tarapoto to bring Padre Paco to the airport. He was headed home to visit his family for a month. The drive into Tarapoto was exciting that morning. The night before we had our first rainstorm in over a month. This caused a major mudslide on the road. Some semitrailers were turned sideways and now blocking the road. How were we going to get into Tarapoto in time to get Padre to the airport and Malachi to the doctor? We came to the Lord in prayer and he provided. The semitrailers had just been moved out of the way and now our line of traffic heading to Tarapoto were the first to go. Praise you Jesus!!! Padre Paco didn’t miss his flight and we were able to see the doctor. The good news ended there however. After Malachi’s X-ray we were told his arm was actually worse than it was initially. The fracture was wider now than it had been. The doctor said that there was nothing else he could do without surgery. We thanked him for his help and headed home. I immediately contacted our wonderful friend Anthony Luczak for help. I emailed him the X-rays and he went to work looking for an orthopedic surgeon who could squeeze us in on short notice. We were heading back to the states on August 25 and were hoping to have his arm fixed as soon as we arrived. Our appointment was set for August 27.

Fast forward to August 27. We were driving from Abbeville to New Orleans. During our drive we once again implored God’s help with healing Malachi’s arm. We came to Him pleading for the healing but only to show His glory to the world. Malachi was quiet most of the drive. He was trying to take in the thought of having his arm broken and cast. Our first stop was to X-ray. Malachi and Taylor headed in as I filled out all of the paperwork. We were then whisked away to the exam room. As we were waiting in the room Malachi broke down and started crying. He was pleading that he didn't want to have his arm in a sling for another six weeks. Just as he was in the middle of his sobbing the doctor walked in. He could see that Malachi was distraught. He asked Malachi why he was so upset and Malachi could only blubber that he doesn’t want a broken arm. The doctor then asked him why he was holding his arm like a robot, so stiff. Then he proceeded to do the robot. He then asked Malachi to come off the table and to give him a high five. Malachi gave him one with his left hand. The doctor laughed and said no with your other arm. Malachi was surprised and lightly tapped the doctor’s hand. The doctor said harder, so Malachi did it. Again the doctor said harder and Malachi slapped his hand. At this point both Taylor and I were sitting there chuckling with our mouths wide open. I swear my mouth was hanging on the floor. I could hear Taylor say “Oh God you are so funny.” The doctor then looked at us and asked if we had prayed over Malachi. We said that we had. He then said “Then you know exactly what this is. His arm is perfectly fine.” At this point Taylor asked to see the X-ray. When we went to see the X-ray we could see it was completely healed. You could hardly see where the break was and there is no calcification on the bone.

We truly do serve a real God who does real things for real people in the real world. We are overjoyed to be able to sing His praises and humbled that He has shown His glory through Malachi’s healing. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I'm going to let it shine!

On a hot Sunday morning in the jungle of Peru as I was driving to help the people of Nuevo Chimbote celebrate there first liturgy of the word in over three years i noticed something odd. This rough jungle road that normally is sparsely used was quite busy.  But not thinking to much of it I drove on passing many other motos along the way.  Of course I arrived a bit early, which in Peru is excessively early.  As I waited people from a different pueblo called Nuevo Egipto began to come in to town and in this moment I realized that they have all come on their day of rest to support this community, which is about a 30 min moto ride for them. Beyond that they then began to clean the town hall that we were going to use as a church and sang hymns and encouraged the people of Nuevo Chimbote, who were nervous and had know idea what to do being that they went three years without any church activity at all.  Now i was not very surprised by the love and care of the Catholic community of Nuevo Egipto. They are in my opinion a spiritual light in the darkness of the jungle, Nuevo Egipto is one of the smaller pueblos in the region that my family covers but upon visiting one will quickly see that their love for Jesus and the Faith is great and my weekly bible study with them is the much needed spiritual fuel I receive to get through the week. Often I wonder if the Lord sent me here for them or if he sent me here so they could encourage me. Never the less at our bible study the Wednesday before this Sunday we were talking about how as baptized Catholics we have the responsibility to care for our church just as God charges Adam with the care of the Garden.  I used this analogy - if you have a garden but you do not cultivate the soils, water it and fertilize it what will happen? In which they replied " it will not produce."  They know a great deal about this topic of gardening, the people of this region live and die by their gardens. It is the major source of all of their food and income.  After their reply I said with the same care you give to your garden you must give to the church. It is not only the responsibility of the church leaders and the priests but of every member and although they are a flourishing community just a couple miles away was Nuevo Chimbota, a community that has almost died out.  Now I said all of that just hoping for a couple of prayers not expecting anyone to go to visit Nuevo Chimbote next Sunday, but their they were singing and praying in support of the mission and I might add far better missionaries then me.  The day was very special for the people of Nuevo Chimbote to come together and rekindle their faith. Many were excited to start preparing to receive their sacraments and also to receive their first bibles.  So it was on this day that one community has found their faith again and another has found out what amazing thing they can do with their faith and for the faith of other when they let Christ's light shine through them. ~Taylor

Many of the people pictures here are preparing their children to receive the sacrament of Baptism on October 25. Once the children are baptized