Thursday, October 20, 2016

Peru Trip, Day 3, The Spider

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday was day one of our survey of the New Testament. After breakfast at the church Enrique got up and lead the morning devotional, which he would do all week. The emphasis was on what it takes to be a pastor, looking specifically at passages in 1 Timothy and Titus. Then we broke out into two groups, the first going with Enrique and Ronaldo to learn about missions, and the second staying with Santos and me to get a survey of the New Testament. Aurora, Aldo, and Esther went to work at the local medical clinic seeing patients and providing free health care.

Santos taught in the morning on Matthew and Mark. His wife Roksana had confided in me that he was very nervous leading up to the trip. He had lead Bible studies before and one-on-one discipleship, but he felt ill-prepared to lead a seminar for pastors. You wouldn't have guessed it once he stood up and began the lesson. He hit on the major themes of each book and connected with the students, who respected him and called him "pastor."

At lunch time we learned a few words in the local Quechua dialect from Artidoro, a man who's been working on a Bible translation team in Tarapoto. Because there are so many dialects in the Quechua language family, not all of them have a Bible translation. This one only recently got a New Testament, and apart from a few Psalms, none of the Old Testament has been translated.

After lunch I got my chance at teaching through Luke and Acts. Despite having been largely apart from the Spanish-speaking community since moving to Buffalo in February, I was back in my element again. I gave a background and overview of the each book, then went chapter by chapter highlighting key passages and themes throughout. In all, I spent about two and a half hours going through the material and answering questions.

That evening after supper we went back to the hotel, and I went into the bathroom to wash my face. Santos stood by the door with his camera, and he told me not to move. I thought he was taking my picture. He wasn't. Outside the door was the largest spider I've ever seen outside a zoo. When I came out of the bathroom I ran down the wall towards the floor, and Santos tried to step on it. He missed. One of us let out a small scream (Santos insists it was me, but I'm not sure), and it ran up the wall. A second attempt with a broom only succeeded in knocking it to the ground and under the bed. Ronaldo, Santos, and I had to remove a lot of our luggage and our bedding to search for it, since none of us was willing to go to bed without first finding and killing the spider. We finally found it underneath an end table, and Santos redeemed himself by killing it with the broom. Aldo managed to capture some of my reactions on video, which led everyone to believe it was indeed me who screamed. Fortunately, that video hasn't surfaced on the internet yet.

We spent the rest of the evening by the river, listening to the water and telling funny stories. Before going to bed we made a thorough scan of our room for any more spiders. Because it had been on the wall next to Santos's bed, Ronaldo offered to switch beds with him, but that may be because Ronaldo was eaten alive the night before by little bugs that came in through the window by his bed. Regardless of his motives, Santos opted to stay by the wall, and I remained in the middle, hoping that the two of them would serve as buffers between me and the creepy crawlies of the night.

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