PLEASE NOTE! We have been trying to write to you, but have had internet problems. We think we have the problem sorted out, so rejoice with us in what the Lord is doing in Peru!
A Quechua Worship Service
"Estad siempre gozoso." In Spanish, these words read "Always be joyful." They were on the wall of the small Quechua church where we worshipped Sunday.
The worship music was wonderful! They used a large native drum called a bombo! They also used a rain stick that really made the sound of the rain and a guitar. My favorite instrument was the chacapas, a large yard long necklace made of hard seed pods. They shake it in time to the music. They introduced us and welcomed us with smiles, hugs, and kisses on our cheeks.
Our First Puppet Show
While the adults listened to the preaching, we did a puppet show for the children. They loved it! Even the teenagers joined us. So sweetly, we heard one little boy praying loudly and clearly, asking Jesus to be his Savior! Several others prayed very quietly.
After the program, one little girl came and talked to me. She said, "It was a beautiful way to tell the story." One little girl came to Heather, stretched out her arms and said, "Hold me." Heather carried her for a long time.
A Show in a Park
To satisfy a lady who seemed to be in charge of the park, we moved the stage three times, up and down steps. Finally, after much conversation and prayer, she agreed to let us set up in a corner of the park. God sent us a very good crowd who listened intently to the program. Most people here believe that good works will make them right with God. They do not understand that "all our righteousness is like dirty rags to God."
False teaching abounds. A local church, one that does not teach the , truth, has a sign on the side of the building. It reads, "It is alright to worship idols." I could not beloeve these words! We have worked in so many idol worshiping countries where this lie has destroyed so many lives . More, God’s Word in the Ten Commandments forbids this practice.
A Celebration for Santa Rosa
This time of year in Lima there are carnivals and lots of music. A band plays until two in the morning, accompanied by the boom, boom, boom of a cannon. Then they start again around seven in the morning. People get very drunk and pass out in the street. In between, there are fireworks.
Many years ago, there really was a Rosa. She was a beautiful Peruvian girl who beat herself to discourage suitors. It is strange to think of celebrating such confusion.
Outside of Lima, we were surrounded by dusty mountains covered with boulders and loose dirt. Here the air is brown and the sky is rarely blue. This morning at 4am, we flew to Cusco. It has an altitude of over 11,000 feet. At this altitude, the air is much thinner and the nights are cold. The Quechua love the mountains, so this is why we are here. Our goal for this trip is to plant a puppet ministry team among the Quechua people. Please pray for us as we will spend the next seven days working in Cusco and want to go a good job, despite the tiredness they warn us accompanies such a drastic change in altitudes.
Cusco – A Little History
This is a very dark place spiritually. Many people say that it is the darkest city in Peru because of the legacy of human sacrifice that the Incas practiced. Even today, it is a center for world wide New Age activity. Many travel here to participate in special rituals.
Each year on June 24th, they celebrate the festival of the Summer Solstice. Though no one is sacrificed, they do kill a llama and predict the future by "reading" its heart.
The people believe that all the mountains are spirits and sacrifices are made to the earth to gain the spirit’s favor so that their crops will grow. The Creator is ignored in favor of His creation.
Today, several of us enjoyed alpaca steak for lunch.
Sliced beets are often served with the salad, sprinkled with salt and lime juice.
We found out that the Quechua ladies layer their skirts, up to 14 at a time.
I am only 5 foot 5 inches tall and the Quechua ladies do not come up to my shoulder. Here , I am a giant.
The sounds that come from a samponia (A pan flute) are amazing.
Though most of the people are poor, but so very warm and friendly. They are happy to share what they have.
No one jumps when a cannon booms, but when they pop a balloon, they really jump!
We have three puppet shows tomorrow and this is a difficult place to work fast because of the high altitude. Please pray for us to have the strength we need for this work. We will be in public schools and can invite the children to pray with with us. Ask the Father to call many to Himself!
Linda for the team
Sam (Assistant Director)