Hi there, friends! I just wanted to check in to say that phase one of Team Peru ’15 is safely home, and Jenn and Rachel and I (steve) set the’ ol alarm for 4:30am and start the trek home tomorrow morning.
Jenn will be bringing in the work lights to finish as much of the mural as possible today. She was painting at 6:30this morning and has only stopped once for a quick lunch. It is really cool…. I’ll attach a photo.
I’ll get a recap written when I get home. And I’m really excited to edit the videos I’ve shot and share them with you guys! Thank you so very much for your prayers and support. Truly.
I just have a moment, and we aren’t usually a team that focuses on numbers, but this is too good not to share. On the first weekend our team asked Rock Harbor Orange to help us purchase presents for the 60 children in Homework Club. Our church family poured out their support, and today we purchased the individualized gifts for these 60 kids….. And also for the 190 children in the Awana program. Yup. 250 kids will celebrate Jesus’ birthday in the jungle this year with wrapped presents (shoes, toys, shirts, etc..). It should be very, very loud at Mission TEC on Christmas morning. Thank you, thank you, RHO.
Hello from the gang at the team house outside MisionTEC in San Jose, Peru! The last couple days have been awesome, with another huge group of kids getting full medical check ups, completion of the construction projects, Jenn’s huge mural coming to life (timelapse forthcoming), some very cool and powerful home visits in the village yesterday, 5:30am trips into Pucallpa to the massive fish market, dinners with each of the missionary families, a trip to LaPerla, a whole lot of jungle camp antics with giant fake bugs in beds, the sweatiness pick-up basketball games ever, daily sharing and soaking in the overwhelming power of the Holy Spirit in this incredible place, and lots of run-on sentences.
Photos will come soon, but this morning is the big CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN OCTOBER day where we get to team up with the missionaries here to buy Christmas gifts for the kids in the program. Thank you so much to everyone at RockHarbor Orange for making this super-fun day (not to mention Christmas morning when the campus erupts with joy!) possible.
I’m not sure if I’ll get to update more before tomorrow, so please pray for the safe travel off John, Daniel, Leah Jeff and Jaden as they travel home all day tomorrow. Finally, we all think you so much for your prayers and support this week…..everyone has stayed healthy, been able to contribute, gotten along amazingly, encouraged the folks here, had an amazing time, and written lots of run-on sentences.
We are enjoying a really spectacular rainstorm at the moment, and we just thought we’d check in and say hello! The rain comes in waves, and here in the team house (we are just off-campus outside the walls) when the blankets of water come down on the tin roof it’s so loud you can’t hear yourself speak! Then in 10 seconds it all stops and it’s silent except for a breeze in the trees and slowly rolling thunder in each direction. Very, very cool stuff.
As far as the quick update stuff, let’s see here…. Jaden helped teach an English class at homework club this morning. He actually got interviewed by the class. They absolutely loved it. Leah and Rachel did check ups on the kids this morning and are starting up again right now, and Jenn is working on the huge mural she’s been commissioned to create and then pain on the new main wall of the dining room. As a cool side note, this is the same dining room our team started on last year, and six teams have been here during the last year, all helping move the project to what is now almost it’s completion. I think it’s awesome that the missionaries here have been working with churches and individuals from all across America to create this space to minister to, feed and educate the children in this area for generations to come. It’s truly the body of Christ working together, and it’s an honor to be a part of!
Today John is heading up the construction of the staircase to the second floor, Jeff is finishing a huge wall of cabinets, Daniel is finishing up painting the whole kitchen and pantry, and the screens on 20 or so windows have been made and put up. I (Steve) just mostly lay in a hammock eating exotic fruits and barking orders at the minions.
We really hope to make a little field trip out to LaPerla this evening. We shall see if the weather allows it!
Well, the kids at homework club just finished their meal (TEC also provides showers for the kids) and now it’s time for some math work and some writing. These kids long for education far and above their schooling. They have such passion and desire, and it really is humbling to watch the people here nurture these kids.
A quick update from Tuesday night.All continues to just go amazingly well here in the jungle. Today Daniel and Jeff finished up one of the projects and most of the guys went upstairs to continue helping John put in the hardwood floor. Leah, Jenn and Rachel spent the whole morning making hundreds of customized name tags for the Christmas gifts RockHarbor Orange raised the money to buy for the kids in the program here.
Speaking of the kids…..today was the first day that a lot of the team got to experience the full power of TEC as a children’s ministry. After lunch came our first afternoon working with the AWANA program, and over a hundred kids came pouring onto the campus. I always struggle with this part because I want so badly to be able to explain in words what that first half hour is like. It is wonderful chaos. It is the sight and sound of a hundred precious little souls knowing they are someplace safe where they are truly loved. And that sound and those faces as we all join the staff here playing with them….well, like I said, you’ll have to come here yourself to really know.
It is a unique team dynamic and especially host dynamic in how much freedom there is in the daily routine to just make space to listen to God and pursue His mission. There is definitely a structure and schedule and specific jobs, but there is such great freedom to pursue spontaneous opportunities as they arise. A great example of this afternoon was how the team just fanned out on their own and served in ways both on the schedule and off. For instance, in the course of a few minutes this afternoon I saw Leah carry by a bag of meds, John on the saw upstairs, both Jeff and Jenn in separate pop-up volleyball “games” and Jaden staining some new cabinets….all while Daniel stayed glued to his friend Max (A Peruvian staff member here who stays in touch with Daniel year-round) as they co-taught Max’s group in bible study, prayer and games.
It felt like freedom. It felt like rest. It felt like trading in our entitlement for gratitude. And that is 100% how each one of us feels. We feel honored to work with our friends here at Tec. We are humbled to be included in the story the Lord is telling through their lives and the lives of the children they serve. There are sweet, intelligent, gentle, beautiful children that were created in the image of God but are stuck living in a broken world with some truly devastating burdens to carry on their own little shoulders. TEC is here for them to help every aspect of their life through better nutrition, sound biblical teaching, significant with the their homework and most Importantly a safe place with a safe adult who only wants to love them and serve them and help them grow
(Quick Wednesday morning update)
The whole team gets to work together this morning! It is kind of a total Home Depot store of chores, with painting, sawing, cabinet work and all that good stuff. It is much warmer today. This is the team’s first taste of the normal daily Sauna. Spirits are high, but the truth is that we (the guys, anyway) are really beat physically and we are taking a few extra breaks today. I’m just conserving my energy for this afternoon, because I can’t wait for the kids to come for AWANA. Jeff and Jaden get to hang out with their sponsor boy this afternoon too, and it’s always exciting to watch that kind of relationship start. Ok, everybody! I’ll attach a couple random photos and get back to work!
Please continue to pray for health and safety for our team. There are a lot of nail guns, saws, ladders and even just working the medical clinic. Aw, thanks! You’re the best! (yup…. I’m talking to you.)