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Monday, February 18, 2013

Pastoral Training

One of my roles on our team is to assist in training others for pastoral ministry. Currently, in our little congregation, there are two men who are working towards being ordained to lead the church. Their names are Elisban and Scott. Elisban grew up in Cuzco and has been a part of El Buen Pastor for most of his life. He has been assisting the pastor at the church, preaching on occasion, and is very involved in the different ministries of the church.  He is also studying to be an electrician and works at odd jobs to cover the bills!  Recently, our former main pastor moved back to his hometown due to health problems from living at high altitude (we're at 11,500 ft.). Elisban is now preparing to lead this congregation, growing in his knowledge of God's word, counseling, and leading others as a pastor.

Scott grew up in Pennsylvania and has been involved in church ministry for over a decade. He and his wife Meghan have chosen to live in Peru to assist the church here in evangelism and discipleship. Currently they both help lead the youth ministry at El Buen Pastor, lead in worship, and teach the children's Sunday school class. Scott also teaches lay seminary classes one night per week. His students will form the future leadership for the churches here. Scott is also working on his Master's degree from Reformed Seminary in Jackson, MS.

(Below Elispan and Scott in front and Keith Powlison and Lee in back at a morning breakfast.)

Most every Tuesday morning, you will find Scott, Elisban, myself, and Keith (our team leader) having breakfast together. These meetings allow us to study the Bible together, pray together, and roundtable about ministry issues. The emphasis may shift from meeting to meeting, but we encourage each other in our pursuit of God, and leading others in our faith. We have such a rich deposit of wisdom in Keith, who grew up as an MK (mission kid) in Peru, and his been serving here most of his life. This year, the church is walking through the Gospel of John on Sunday mornings, so we have centered our studies there.

One other area that I'm involved in is translation work for training materials. Using an online translation program (yes, my Spanish is no where near the task) I prepare rough drafts of materials for use in our training programs. For example, some of the exams I have taken in preparing for ordination will be of great use to future candidates here. I am also translating a large outline on God's Sovereignty, with many bible passages attached. You may find as useful a resource as I do when preparing a study, or when you just can't seem to find that verse you thought you knew well!  Keith reviews the rough drafts and makes changes as necessary, removing any errors that may have slipped through.  Surprisingly, this has helped me grow in my own language acquisition, as I compare English and Spanish versions of the same passages.  

I hope that you enjoy this little slice of our daily life and ministry.
Grace and Peace, Lee

State Department warning

Many of you may have read over the weekend that the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for Peru. This warning cited a credible threat for kidnappings of U.S. and other foreign tourists and residents. We found out about this threat last week, and are taking precautions accordingly. Thankfully, Cusco is about the safest place in Peru for foreigners. The Peruvian government created a police force solely to protect tourists, as this is one of the primary sources of foreign currency into their economy. Millions of travelers pass through here on their way to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Though we are not overly concerned for our safety, we are staying away from tourist areas and generally being more careful. We always appreciate your prayers, knowing that we are always guarded by our Heavenly Father and trusting in His protection.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Student Mentoring

One thing we have really enjoyed about being here is spending time with students. We began student ministry helping with an English class offered to a group of medical students. Another American doctor and his wife that we LOVE (Nathan and Audrey) invited us last fall to help out with their Medical English Night Class at their house.  There we met some of our "favorites"... Willy and Maria. Both are in their first year of medical school, but because their medical school is linked to their undergraduate (pre-med), they are like our college freshmen. They live at home, and attend the medical school nearby. Nathan attended class with these students to learn medical Spanish and has "adopted" the students for his time in school.

Both Willy and Maria are smart, fun and quite good at speaking English. "Spanglish" describes our weekly lunch conversations as we jump back and forth between languages, correcting each other from time to time.

Willy is like "mini-Lee." He loves World War II and strategy games. It's actually a bit scary. So they have a good time together with that in common.

Maria is very bright and motivated. She recently opted to compete in an English speech competition, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, to win a trip to the US! Lee and I helped her practice. I have not heard the result, but hopefully she will win and be able to visit the US. Amelia and I were able to go to her competition in downtown Cusco.

Maria and her little brother with us after her speech.

Willy and Maria were able to participate in a week long internship at La Fuente Clinic (where Lee works).  They very much enjoyed this opportunity!

Maria and Willy view a suture procedure.

Willy and Maria are on the left side of the picture.

Since we returned in January, we have been leading another group of medical students from a different university. Other friends (David and Brooke) who normally host a weekly lunch meeting, went home for a short stint and asked us to lead during their weekly student lunch. We began attending this lunch in the fall and got to know these students. We have enjoyed this time, but are sad that since they are on summer break, they have been scattered about during the lunch hour. Lee has shared a short message in Spanish during the lunch. Many of the guys in this group also lift weights with David on a regular basis. Their "reward" (other than abs of steel) is a trip to the beach at the end of February. Lee will also be going on this bodybuilder beach trip...I wonder if they will be able to tell he hasn't been lifting with them weekly? I mean, other than carrying 30 lb Amelia up four flights of stairs daily! :)

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses...

Well, it's been a while since we posted.

I feel pretty bad about it and need to make up good reasons why I did not have time to write...other than that I don't have blogging in my blood. I enjoy reading updates on others, but for some reason do not think others have time or desire to read mine. I think most of us feel like life is pretty much the same, day to day, so we feel our lives are boring. Especially compared to what Darcy went through a few months back. And this is excuse number one.


1. Darcy.
We went to the states for almost a month in December. We were in Colorado helping Lee's parents care for Jeb and Darcy's four children, as Darcy began to recover her strength. Because we were not here, we felt there was not much to report from the field. And we were a bit crazy getting life up and going again when we returned, so blogging took the back seat! But to give you a brief Darcy update, she is doing amazingly well. You would never even know all she went through if you saw her on the street. Sure her energy is not yet up to what it was, but baby Elliott is sleeping through the night and that helps. We are really SO thankful to you ALL for all the prayers, love, and support you showed her! Thank you so much!

2. Illness.
Since returning in January, we have all had rounds of the tummy bug lasting well over a week! And it hit hard! Amelia was the last to get it and seems to be improving although the last two mornings she had a "urgent morning bath" if you know what I mean. To be sick also puts the urgent things at the top of the list and the other things don't get done...sadly blogging is not at the top of my list, ever.

3. Another little miracle.
Although we thought we might never have natural children again (because we moved away from the medical options Dallas offers), we are now expecting! And it truly is an amazing surprise! I have just come out of the first trimester where naps were essential to survival. And blogging had to happen during Amelia's afternoon nap! So no blogging...

So we WILL be much better at blogging in the days to come, hopefully...