Peru team update/recap

It used to be that as the week went by during our trip to Peru, we got more and more caught up in the moment and remembered less and less to write to you at home to let you know what was going on. It appears that that phenomenon has only intensified!
This week flew by for all of us. Between physical labor and creative projects, frenetic moments of playing with the kids and joyful worship with the teens, and life-giving conversations and nightly meals with the missionaries, we each found moments of peaceful solitude in which to reflect on how this place changes our lives.
Nikki and I (Jenn) stuck together most of the week, making and decorating the personalized gift tags for the kids’ Christmas presents, holding babies in the Teen Moms Bible Study, and helping decorate for a baby shower. We and Jaden made 8 cakes one day which involved the electricity going out and us running across campus in the rain with cake batter under our panchos, to locate and light gas stoves in a few of the houses. Sadly, there WAS one cake casualty due to drastic over-baking, but the adventure was generally successful!
During the day, pretty much every time we would see Nick, Jeff, and Steve, (and, often, Jaden), they were dripping with sweat: usually from jobs like fixing trailers, stripping, sanding, and building a swirly slide for the Orchard children’s home, or tearing apart and reconfiguring the deck and old chicken coop for new use. But sometimes, the sweat was self-inflicted by their insistence on joining 3-touch basketball games and soccer games with the missionaries after the work day was finished.
The whole team helped stuff a couple hundred goodie bags full of popcorn, animal cookies, and cheese puffs for the big AWANA birthday party, and then filled and tied an equal amount of plastic baggies of juice: a skill that we apparently don’t have, which was hilarious to the Peruvian nationals we were trying to help! The next day, we filled decorated paper bags with little gifts for the kids whose birthdays we were celebrating.
The AWANA party was a highlight! Both age groups of kids converged on the AWANA court, riding bikes, using giant, rideable bouncy balls with handles to play volleyball, and running themselves silly until the party started. Then, EVERY ONE (including our team) participated in a game that involved one person being blindfolded and holding onto another person’s shoulders and running around the circle until the guide pointed the blindfolded person into the circle to TRY to find a bowling pin and a beanbag (“try” being the operative word)! The party ended with the birthday kids getting to break piñatas and receive their cake and presents and all the kids getting their bags of goodies and juice. It was so much fun to be a part of their celebration and to see how much fun they all had together!
As Steve often says, we all felt so fortunate to get to “dress out and participate with the all-stars” this week. We love partnering with Kids Alive, Pucallpa, because we know that when we aren’t there, all these wonderful and important things are happening, and when we ARE there, they make us feel like a natural part of their team.
Thank YOU for being a part of that team, too! We believe God created us to be in community and do these things together, and this is a beautiful example of that working as it was meant to!


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