I can’t believe we’re leaving Puerto tomorrow. It’s been a wonderful 2 1/2 weeks here. We’ve done everything from medical clinics to kids clubs to traveling to more tribes up river. We’ve experience real heat and what the Peruvians call cold (about 65 degrees means everyone’s in winter coats). We’ve seen monkeys and snakes and geckos and vultures and butterflies galore (a gecko jumped out of my shower bag the other day… a pleasant surprise!). Did I mention us girls killed two jumbo rats on our own? (Just imagine a lot of screaming and banging the floor with sticks). :) We’ve been getting acclimated to dust, less convenience, much longer cooking (cooking from scratch basically everything),occasionally for no reason losing power/internet/water for hours at a time, and lots of parades and campaigns for the elections yesterday. Medically speaking, we’ve seen plenty of malnurished kids, people with parasites or worms, lots of headaches/stomach problems, skin and fungal infections (Nate says leischmaniasis, whatever that is!), giardia, etc. And we’ve seen God’s goodness over and over again.Went to a wonderful Thai restaurant and the monkeys decided they liked Nate’s head.
Little malnourished boy. His older sister came to a kite-flying thing one evening and hadn’t eaten all day. I gave her a granola bar, which she saved most of for her siblings. Her younger sister died less than a year old of “anemia” (i.e. they didn’t know how to feed her correctly).
For instance, one of the most striking ways we saw God’s hand was in the rain. Rainy season should have begun in August, or at the latest by September. We worked some here with an American medical team that also came down for one week. They were about 10: doctors, a surgeon, pharmacists, two nurses, eye doctor. They were also mostly over 60 years old. They were able to travel up river several times to visit the tribes and provide medical attention. Amazingly, we had no rain until we returned home from the last trip into the jungle. Rain would’ve prohibited all of their travel in, since they would not have been able to climb the steep hills from the river into the tribes to get to the people in the mud. Another time, Buddy and Nate were headed up river on their own to another tribe, but the motor wasn’t making it the shallow water (a 3-4 hour trip turned into 7 or so). They were praying, and a man from the tribe appears coming from the other direction who was able to turn back with them, take them on his boat, and carry them the rest of the way up river with his peque motor. Another time God answered prayers by bringing the guys back early just in time to help us with the container: the tractor trailer-sized container that was sent from the States 8 months ago was finally arriving, and there was only us 3 girls here to figure out how to handle it (and Loren had strep and little Joseph had laryngitis). But the boys surprised us by coming back early (we couldn’t communicate with them for the week they were gone except twice very quickly), and it was just in time to help. God has continually answered our prayers.
The truck didn’t do very well trying to come through the dirt roads, but it eventually came through!
Saturday, the guys were out working at Buddy and Loren’s new property, and some of the kids in the neighborhood came to Loren to tell her that one of the other little girls in the neighborhood who has come sometimes to church with the bus group was hit by a motorcycle. We heard she had a broken leg and her mom said she was sleeping. We were worried but couldn’t do anything until Nate got back so we called him right away and they came as quickly as they could. As soon as he saw her he picked her up and told them we were taking her to a hospital immediately. She had been hit in the head and was mostly unconscious. She had been sleeping for a couple hours at that point (she had no concept of not letting her sleep with a head injury), and her mother had only given her what she could afford at the pharmacist. (The hospital won’t see you if you don’t pay up front, and she had no money). Praise the Lord the doctors were able to see her with Loren’s signature (we ran out without money too, but since Loren had worked in the hospital before, the doctors knew her enough to let the little girl through). They let Nate in to do the x-rays and stay with her. And she will be fine, just needs to stay at the hospital a couple days. Loren was able to talk with her mother to let her know that they are here to help them and that God loves them and she began to cry. We are praying this opens doors to share the gospel more with them.
There is more to say, but never enough time. Thank you all for praying. We will be back home this Sunday! Hard to believe we have less than a week left. We’ll see some of you next Sunday hopefully! :)
And a couple pics for Grandma. :)
(PS. These are all point and shoot camera pics that I haven’t touched… so they’re not great but the others are too big to load from here. Check Facebook in a couple weeks for more!)