Our Second Trip To Peru

Recently I wrote the following for a just for fun poetry contest. The theme to write on was a trip that you’ve been on, and the form to be used is called a haibun(a combination of prose and haiku). I didn’t place in the contest, but I truly enjoyed writing this and reliving the memories. Missions trips are the best!

 

 

In 2014 my family and I were privileged to be able to go on our second missions trip to Peru. The year before we had gone down with a group of 12 from our church, comprised of mostly young people, but this year it would be just my husband, 2 grown children and I. After about 10 hours of flying, we landed at the airport in Lima. We were greeted by the missionary and his helpers, loaded our luggage into a couple of vehicles and began our trip to the missionary’s home. Lima, which is the capitol of Peru has a population of over 12 million people and driving in this city can be a hair raising adventure, to say the least.

In Lima’s traffic
a person can learn to pray
for their survival.

 

On our first trip, we had spent all our time in Lima and her surrounding suburbs, but on this trip we had plans to visit Iquitos, a city in the Amazon jungle region and Cusco, a city and area of high elevation and home of the legendary Machu Picchu. Our first stop was to Iquitos, the largest city in the world that is only accessible by plane or boat. Cars are pretty scarce in Iquitos. The most used method of transportation is the rickshaw, which is basically a motorcycle with a cart behind it in which passengers sit. This open air form of transportation was a new and fun experience for us.

 

Hailing a rickshaw
negotiating the fare
and then we take off.

 

My husband was scheduled to preach a crusade that they were having at one of the churches in Iquitos. The people greeted us warmly, the worship was exuberant and it was very hot. None of the churches there have air conditioning.

 

Sweating a river
in jungle sanctuary
we praise God anyhow.

 

I told myself I would do my best not to use the restroom while we were at church. It’s just not the same as it is in America. However, there was one service where I just had to go.

 

Primitive toilets
sometimes do not have a seat.
Bring your own tp.

 

We enjoyed our time in services with the Peruvians, and after the crusade was over, we had occasion to do some sightseeing. We paid to take a trip down the dirty Amazon River to a small wildlife refuge. It was a peaceful ride down the river, and after about half an hour, we pulled up to the shore where there was a rickety wooden stairway that leads up to a small wildlife refuge. As we exited the boat, we saw several small monkeys coming down the side rails of the stairway. Much to my son’s delight, one of the monkeys came and jumped right onto his shoulder. These monkeys seemed truly happy and anxious to see who their visitors were. We found out that these monkeys, as cute as they are, also can be full of mischief. One of the little guys pulled a chopstick out of my daughter’s hair and tried to run off with it, but we were able to apprehend him and retrieve the article. I had my own encounter with a small imp.

 

Fresh little monkey
trying to lift up my skirt.
Missionary laughs.

 

As we made our way through the refuge, there were several animals that we were allowed to hold in our hands if we so desired. We all took turns holding a giant turtle, a toucan and a colorful parrot sitting on a limb. All of the animals there have been thoroughly cleaned up and have had parasites removed from them. I also held a sloth. It was not what I was expecting.

 

Stiff, sanitized sloth
much like a furry backpack
held near in my arms.

 

Before we returned to the city area of Iquitos, we planned to make one more stop. The missionary told us that there were groups of native people that live along the river that ran around very scantily clad or sometimes naked. We weren’t at all interested in seeing that, but the tour guide on the boat told the missionary he knew of some native people that were not like that, and he could show us where they were. He took us to the spot, we got off the boat and started walking towards a large hut that was in the distance. For some reason, my son was ahead of everybody else in a group, and when he reached the hut, he went inside. That tour guide must have fibbed. My son was mortified.

 

A primeval hut
filled with half naked women
he quickly exists.

 

Once we had returned to Iquitos we took a walk through an open air market. Just one look at the filthy hands of most of the merchants let us know that we would be playing Russian roulette with our health by eating anything here. We came to one particular vendor where we just stopped and stared for a few minutes.

 

Grub worm on a stick
regional delicacy
I think I will pass.

 

Near the end of our Peruvian trip we boarded another plane for our flight to Cusco. Cusco is a region of Peru, and there is also a city by the same name. We were told that where we were landing the elevation was 11,000 feet. . As soon as our plane was on the ground, I could feel the difference.

 

Landing in Cusco
one thought dominates my mind.
I need oxygen!

 

The next morning a taxi that was scheduled to pick us up came and dropped us off at the train station. The train ride to Machu Picchu was about an hour long, but it was scenic and pleasant. After exiting the train, we got on a nice, spacious tour bus which would take us the rest of the way there. All I can say is that Machu Picchu is absolutely breathtaking. I can certainly see why it is now named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

 

Oh my, what splendor
Machu Picchu in person
Photos can’t compare!

 

I might mention that the elevation is around 7,000 feet at Machu Picchu, so I had no problems breathing during our visit. There is so much more that I could say, but I will end my recollections by saying that this was a trip of a lifetime, and I was so blessed to be able to experience this with my family. I will never be the same!

 

The people, the sights
of our journey to Peru
live within my heart.

7/27/17

Advertisements

O Such A Prize

O Such A Prize I Want To Win

 

O such a prize of value great

One that is saved from darkest fate

Rescued from a desolate place

And made a trophy of His grace

To help a wayward come to God, you must be wise

A soul redeemed for eternity, O such a prize!

 

I want to win for God, a soul

That He will cleanse, fill and make whole

Whose life the Lord will rearrange

For all to see, a striking change

A new creature, truly transformed without, within

This is my goal. A soul for God, I want to win.

 

3/1/17

This type of poem is called a wrapped refrain. Click the link to see how to write one. http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/wrappedrefrain.html

 

 

The Man, The Survey,The Study

img_3576

Last week, our church was blessed to host an Evangelism and Home Bible Study Seminar conducted by Brother Shawn Dunahoe. One of the first things this man of God said that immediately arrested my attention was that he was an extreme introvert when he first came to God. However through prayer and gaining more knowledge of the Word of God, the Lord has helped him to improve in his ability to communicate with people. Being an introvert myself who still struggles from time to time, I am always encouraged when I hear of those who have made strides in overcoming this inhibition.

 

Brother Dunahoe shared with us the number one reason why we don’t get more Bible studies with people.

Do you want to know what it is? I’m going to tell you whether you want to know or not. 🙂

 

 

WE DON’T ASK!

 

img_3580

This public opinion survey is one of the tools that Rev. Dunahoe has used effectively to secure more Bible studies. Of course not everyone you survey is going to say yes to a Bible study, but the more surveys you do, the greater your chances of getting a Bible study.

In thinking about this later, I wrote a poem.

 

So

opened

he his mouth,

and words came out:

an invitation

for a Bible study

that he was willing to teach.

And wonder of wonders to him,

the man that was asked gladly said yes.

Thus began the gospel sharing journey.

 

2/10/17

 

A group of us met together on Saturday morning. We prayed, paired up into teams, got some survey cards and went to a neighborhood close by our church. To make a long story short, we came back after about an hour and 15 minutes with six yeses to home Bible studies! A few more yeses were acquired later that day from individuals that did some asking on their own.

 

img_3577

Here is the Bible study. It is usually taught in 2 lessons and really does a great job explaining what the first church taught(the original one immediately founded after the resurrection or Jesus Christ). I am looking forward to teaching my first one soon and to seeing what God is going to do through these Bible studies. Already we are seeing doors of opportunity to the Hispanic community opening, and I am believing God is going to do great things.

Stay tuned for more!

 

 

 

The Most Important Words

 

 

I have loved words for as long as I can remember.  One of my vivid memories from childhood was of the great joy I felt over being able to sound out a word using phonics.

 

tr   +  uck   =  truck!

 

In eighth grade we learned about poetry in English class and were encouraged to write down words to create a poem of our own.  Irritated by girls in school that I perceived to be stuck up and haughty, I recall writing the following words.

 

I don’t care too much for conceited lasses

They coo and boo and cuss and fuss

Things of non-importance, they will discuss

At unmarried lads, they’ll make passes.

 

There was more to the poem, but I threw it out a long time ago, and I have forgotten the rest of it.

 

Interjections, to me, have always been fun because of the way that they sound.

 

Clunk!

Wham!

Plop!

Thud!

Kaboom!

And the list goes on.

 

Being a Scrabble enthusiast for many years, and with the advent of cell phones now a Words With Friends enthusiast, I like high scoring words, especially when I’m the one putting down the word! 🙂

img_3209

 

 

 

Having studied Spanish for a little while, I have some favorite words in that language, basically because I like the way that they sound.  Here are a couple of them.

 

Indiscutiblemente (It means without controversy. I learned it from reading the Bible in Spanish.)

 

Sacapuntas=pencil sharpener

 

 

There are two words that are very important for those times we mess up.

“I’m sorry.”

 

And there are 3 words that should be spoken often within our families.

 

“I love you.”

 

The most important words however are the ones that can make a difference in determining where we will spend eternity. These are saving words.

 

1Corinthians 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

 

1Peter 1:25  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

 

God’s chosen method to bring salvation from sins to a lost humanity is to give a God called man His words to expound and explain to people what they need to do to be saved from eternal damnation.

 

In Acts 10, we can read the story of Cornelius. We read this description of Cornelius in verse 2 of Acts 10.

A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. 

 

While Cornelius possessed all these wonderful qualities listed here, we know from another verse that he was not saved.  In Acts 11, Peter is recounting the story of Cornelius and how God brought their paths together.

 

“And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:
And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;
Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” Acts 11:1-14

 

God had spoken to Cornelius through an angel which told him to send for a man named Peter who would tell him words whereby he and his household shall(future tense) be saved. We can read the words that Peter spoke to Cornelius in Acts 10:34-48 and see the response of Cornelius and his household. We see that while Peter was speaking, the Holy Ghost, evidenced by their speaking in other tongues, fell upon Cornelius and his household. Peter then commands that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

“Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” Acts 10:47,48

 

Our new birth experience begins with hearing and obeying God inspired words, but it doesn’t stop there.   We need to continue to hear and obey the Word of God.

 

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” John 8:31

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” Colossians 1:23

 

The apostle Paul gave the following exhortation to Timothy, a minister of the gospel.

 

1Ti 4:16 ” Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”

In the English Standard Version, this verse reads:

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

 

This post is getting lengthier than I anticipated, so I will just recap by saying that the most important words we can hear are the God inspired words of the Bible, preached by a God sent preacher. May we hear them, do them and have them become engrafted in us, that one day, we will make heaven our eternal destination.

 

“Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:21(ESV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

H.O.O.F. 2016

This past Saturday our church had the opportunity to participate in the Heart Of Oakley Festival, which was held in the downtown area of our city. We had a booth where we gave out free bottled water, made balloon animals for kids, passed out church invitations and literature and offered people a chance to win a $50 gift card to a local restaurant by filling out a brief survey. Here are a few pics from the event.


These are set up photos. The triangular thing at the end of the table is a lollipop tree. Kids could pick out a lollipop, and if they pulled one out with blue marker on the stick, they would win a $5 gift card to McDonalds.


Sis. Miranda getting ready to give away some ice cold waters.


People visiting our booth.


Some of our young people stood in a shady spot across the street from the booth and made balloon animals to give away along with invitations to children’s church.


It was a super hot day in the high 90’s. Our booth was just a few yards away from the city water fountain. I had chugged a bunch of cold water but was still roasting. I saw children running under the fountain and getting soaked. “Should I?” I privately asked myself. My inner child was screaming, “Do it!” Hmm, didn’t Jesus say, “Except ye become as little children…..”  Okay, I didn’t really think that, but I did make the decision to go ahead and get wet. It felt so good! 😅

Although it was a hot day, it was also fun, and I know God blesses our efforts. I was proud of everyone who came out and worked hard. What we do for the kingdom is not in vain.

An Elder Worthy Of Honor

IMG_3018

We were blessed this past Sunday to have Elder Vaughn Morton in our evening service.  I am so thankful for the influence that he has had in my life and so many others, his commitment to preach truth and holiness and his example of evangelism. He was a blessing to our congregation as he talked about life and our response to it. I’m not going to try and explain his message here, but soon there will be a link to it on our church website where you can hear it for yourself. I hope to post the link here once it’s on our website.

 Update: September 2, 2016- Here is the link to Elder Morton’s sermon.

http://www.cornerstonepentecostal.org/page/life_just_let_it_unfold

 

  I’m truly grateful for all the elders that have helped to mold and shape my life. I am reprinting a poem I wrote a few years ago to honor this wonderful man of God.  Thank you, Elder Morton for your preaching, teaching, example and consistent Christian living we have seen over many years!

 

Path Of The Elders

 I still hear their voices, ringing so true

My mind sees their hands uplifted in praise

Precious, the memories of elders I knew

Influencing me in my younger days

Their hoary heads I can still clearly view

Slower in step, but their eyes still ablaze

So privileged to have their path cross with mine.

Their lives spoke to me of God’s love so divine.

Worshipping the Lord and loving the Word

Serving God in valley or mountain peak

Many dead now, but their voice is still heard

Beyond the grave I can still hear them speak

Oh, may their memory never be blurred

To walk as they walked is the thing I seek

They left a heritage godly and great

A lifestyle I want to emulate.

One day when we cross to Heaven’s fair shore

And meet again in that blessed, sweet land

Those elders, they will be tired no more

We’ll sing strong and clear with the glory band

Praising the One they taught me to adore

As in His glorious presence we stand

Taking part in eternity’s pages

Forever blessed with the Rock of Ages.

Written 3/10/08

Fruit That Will Remain

Some have started and departed.

This caused our heart to pain.

We still believe God to give us

fruit that will remain.

 

Others partook and then forsook.

From truth they turned away.

But we’re trusting in the Lord

for souls to be planted and stay.

 

They will not cease, our prayers;

petitions, groanings and tears.

Lord, help us do what we can

to share your salvation plan.

To those that have not heard,

if they’ll listen, we’ll teach your Word.

 

Help us work while it is day.

The world is growing dark.

Give us the words to say

to ignite in hearts , a spark.

 

Let this be our decision;

to reach together for souls.

Help us to catch the vision.

Please use our church as a whole.

 

To help men turn from darkness

into Your marvelous light

and have their sin stained garments

by Your blood, washed white.

 

And that each new born Christian

whether old or just a youth,

would grow in grace and knowledge,

and continue to walk in truth.

 

Then when we reach that heavenly home

where Jesus will rule and reign,

we’ll stand together side by side

with the fruit that did remain.

 

4/25/16

 

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.