Monday, April 20, 2015

" So long, Farewell..."

We are in our final week of language school. This time has been so blessed. God has blessed us with so many opportunities to see Him in the people we meet on the streets. We have had many opportunities to speak of Him with those around us. God also has blessed us with many opportunities to share our testimony. This shouldn't be surprising to us. He always seems to bring a group of people to us with at least one English speaking person who can translate our testimony to the rest of the group. Praise you Jesus!

This past weekend we were blessed with an opportunity to see the second oldest Catholic Church in Peru. It just so happens to be in Huanchaco which is a short ten minute drive away. It was amazing to see one of the places where the church had started in Peru.

We are excited to be returning to Picota. Next Sunday starts our 18 hour bus ride. We are hoping that it is only going to be that long but this time we are going to plan for a much longer journey just in case. We are praying that there will be no mudslides during our journey. As much as we enjoyed the beautiful mountain delay we are hoping for a shorter return trip but God only knows how long it is going to be.

(This is the view from the church.)

Monday, April 13, 2015

A pick pocket, a chance meeting, and a shake

Well it was bound to happen but it couldn't have happened on a better day. On Good Friday while Taylor was in the market picking up groceries he had his phone taken by a pick pocket. He said that all of a sudden the market went from having no one in it to him being surrounded by a few people. It seemed to happen in slow mo but there was nothing he could do to stop it. Taylor could feel the person push the phone out of his front pocket and he tried to bat it out of their hand to no avail. He then tried to grab one of the people surrounding him but he managed to grab the wrong person. They all scattered in different directions so he as unable to find his phone. We have been able to activate an app that will wipe the phone once it is connected to the Internet so none of our contact information will be compromised.

Now you must be thinking why on earth could this not have happened on a better day. How could someone say that? Taylor's phone was lifted on Good Friday. The one day that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world. The day in which He freely gave His life for you and for me. We were able to once again let go of the stuff and turn our attention onto the Lord. Sure it sucks that we no longer have the photos and videos from our time in Trujillo but that doesn't compare to the beauty and love of Jesus. Our Savior went to the cross knowing each of the sins that I would commit in my life and died for them all. He took my heavy load and bore it for me. On Wednesday of Holy Week we participated in a candlelit procession through the center of Trujillo. We walked along side a life sized statue of Jesus carrying the cross. This statue was carried by 18 men. They swayed as they walked under the burden of the statue. And as we walked along side of it all I could think of was how Mary, John, and Mary Magdalene felt as they walked along with Jesus to Calvary. How the weight of my sins made Jesus sway under them. This is what we were able to focus on when Taylor's phone was gone. We were able to focus on what Jesus did for us. How He bore our sins and we were able to praise Him more deeply because of it!
This Saturday we spent our family day during the historical sights around Trujillo. We were excited to see the place where the Xoloitzcuintle was developed. For those of you who do not know we had one of these dogs when we lived in Wisconsin. Her name was Alice and she traveled with us everywhere. Who would have thought that we would have ended up in a place where there are "Alice's" everywhere we look?

 Anyways while on tour of the Temple of the Moon we happened to meet a group of American tourists. Faustina and Adele happened to draw their attention to our family and we were able to chat with the group for a few minutes. They asked how long we were visiting and Taylor explained that we are missionaries in Picota studying Castellano in Trujillo. One of the women asked where we were from. When we mentioned we were from Wisconsin she asked for the town since she was from Wisconsin. It turns out that she was raised in Appleton. After chatting fr a bit longer Taylor handed her our business card and the lady and part of her group proceeded to walk away. One of the other women in her group asked if we knew who she was. We replied that she was from Appleton, Wisconsin. This other woman then went on to explain that we had just met the direct of the PeaceCorp for the United States of America. We were stunned by this. The Lord was truly at work during this chance meeting. Our tour was supposed to have been at this site 30 minutes before but do to a mix up we were behind schedule. Praise you Lord Jesus for the delay without it we would never have met this woman!

The lat thing I wanted to write about is just something funny that happened to us this morning. We experienced our first earthquake. It was such a minor one that we didn't even know that it had taken place. The owner of the hostel we are staying at mentioned it to the only other English speaking person staying here. He is a young man from England. I was walking past when she asked him if he felt it. Both of us were stunned that we had just been in an earthquake and neither of us even knew it. There was no damage in Trujillo and everyone is all right. I just thought it was quite funny that we didn't even know that we had experienced one.~Katie

Monday, April 6, 2015

The crowd stoppers and Castellano

Our family is currently in Trujillo, Peru studying Castellano. Trujillo is on the coast of Peru. We took a bus from Tarapoto to Trujillo. The bus ride is 18 hours through the night to get to Trujillo; however, our bus ride ended up being 32 hours long. We had a 14 hour delay due to mud slides on the mountain. At first it was just one mud slide but when all was said and done the total ended up being eight. We nada very blessed 14 hours in the mountains. We were able to get out of the bus and walk around exploring the mountain and little village. When we were tired we were able to get back on the bus and take naps. Just as we were running out of food, we only brought enough to cover our family for a whole day, the towns people made food and were selling it to all of the people waiting for the road to be cleared. When the road was finally cleared we had the most amazing drive through the mountains.  Had there not been a mudslide we never would have been able to see the mountains since you drive through them at night. The Lord answered Taylor's prayer to be able to see them during the daytime.

 Throughout the whole experience the children were amazing! They were very well behaved and handled the delay like champs.The only time there was any issue is when we arrived in Trujillo at midnight and we had to awaken them to leave the bus, but who wouldn't be exhausted at that time when you left a day and a half earlier?

We currently have a week of Castellano school under our belt. It is incredibly challenging to learn a new language but it has been a blessing. It is so funny when Taylor and I learn something new and we recognize the phrase as something someone has been trying to say to us for over a month. Such easy phrases that we didn't understand. Our first hour of class we learned all of the common questions that
we would be asked and the answers. That afternoon while shopping for groceries we were actually asked all of those questions. We were finally able to answer them and to carry on a conversation for a little while.

Faustina, Adele, and Ruth are crowd stoppers here. Everyone wants to see the twins and once they stop us they notice that Ruth has blue eyes and blonde hair. Everyone tries to figure out how the girls all have blue eyes while Taylor and I have dark eyes. People also stop us to chat because we have six children. I also get a smile on my face when I hear people counting to six and then they ask us if we are now complete with children. Each time we are then able to share about being missionaries and about our love for Christ. Faustina and Adele are amazing missionaries. They break the ice and through them we are able to talk to so many more people about Christ. Thank you Lord Jesus for such wonderful missionary children!

Malachi, Ruth, Leo, and Anthony have been spreading the Good News to anyone that can understand English. They have been able to find many tourists and share our story with them. Many times while we are talking to people in Spanish the four of them have somehow found the only English speaker and are sharing their testimonies with them. The kids are so bold and full of love for Christ. I can't wait for them to learn Castellano so they can share their passion with the people of Picota.

We miss Picota immensely. We desire to be back with the people. We are looking forward to finally being able to share stories and to laugh with them without a translator. We can't wait to being able to pray with them in Castellano and to be a listening ear for those that need it. But most importantly we can't wait to finally being able to bring Christ and His Good News to the people!