Sunday, October 23, 2016

Peru Trip, Day 7, Hash browns and helping hands

Friday, October 14, 2016

Santos and I woke early on our last day in Chazuta. We got our bags ready to leave and gathered with our crew for a last morning coffee before heading to the church for breakfast. Enrique, Aurora, Aldo, Esther, and Ronaldo all had flights the following morning, but Santos and I had to be to the airport Friday evening in order to return to Lima. In such a short time we became a family out there, and the anticipation of saying goodbye hung over us until it was pushed aside by some scrambled eggs, fried yucca, plantains, and the last hours of ministry. I'd never eaten yucca before, and that first bite tasted just like hash browns. I admit I wouldn't be satisfied with just one. It was too good!

In the morning the pastors and church leaders attending our courses received various resources for themselves and their churches. Among the first to receive their books were the two women who had been in our class. Peru has the same problems with machismo as many other nations, so the act of honoring them first and in a very public manner made a powerful statement about how the gospel breaks down barriers. Others received commentaries, books on ministry by John MacArthur, and other resources.

Santos and I finished up our teaching of Hebrews, James, and 1 Peter, leaving the remaining books for Aldo to teach. That morning we were surprised to see Galindo, the man we met in Curiyacu, carrying his son, Abram, who was blind. They had made the trip upriver, and after meeting with Jairo and our team of doctors, we determined that Galindo would need to travel to Tarapoto (1 hour away by taxi) for evaluation and then make two trips to Lima for treatment.

We went out for lunch with our team one last time, and when we returned the whole group was released to return back to their homes, some with two, three, or even five days of travel ahead of them. In fact, Santos and I would have time to return to Lima, fly to Cusco, visit Machu Picchu, fly back to Lima, and finally take the long flight home before everyone from the training would be back in their own beds.

With the primary purpose of our trip complete, we returned with Pastor Jairo to our hotel to talk and share stories until a taxi came to pick up Santos and me. We had enough in our budget to leave an offering for the church in Chazuta that had hosted the training all week provided both breakfast and dinner for teachers and students alike. We were also able to leave enough behind to cover the costs for Galindo to take his son to Tarapoto and Lima for treatment. In my last communication with Pastor Jairo, the two were heading to Lima this past Friday. Glory to God!

Around 4:45 the taxi showed up and Santos and I said our goodbyes, leaving open the possibility of returning again sometime down the road. Pastor Jairo prayed for us, and we were off. During the drive back to Tarapoto we saw that there had been a new rockslide since the day we had driven down just five days before. We were reminded yet again just how blessed we had been to avoid major difficulties on this trip.

We caught our flight from Tarapoto and landed in Lima around 10 pm. Since our flight to Cusco was scheduled to take off early the next morning, we decided to hunker down and sleep in the airport. Little did we know the most taxing part of our trip was just about to begin.

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