Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Iquitos, the largest known city (pop. 400,000) with no roads connecting to the outside world

      On September 8th,  the short term volunteers (STV) Ray and Judy Davis, John Garnica, Mary Heater, Marvin Kossman, Dirk Scott, and Amie Del Vecchio descended on Iquitos Peru ready to get started on whatever God would desire them to do to further His Kingdom for the next 13 days.   Cold showers in the hotel room did not seem to be such a negative thing because of the extreme heat and humidity that was quickly experienced.   Beginning with the challenge of building 28 church benches, which ended up being a daily activity most days, gave us immediate hands on construction activities.   In the next coming days we also fixed a roof of a woman who was recently robbed, fixed bridging plank walkways for a few homes, and built a set of new stairs for a home.  Medical screening and medicine distribution was accomplished by our STV nurse, Mary Heater.  John Garnica preached some great sermons several times in Spanish.  In addition to many other activities, Ray and Judy were our experts at making balloon animals.  That and Amie’s candy/gum distribution were big hits among the many children.   Food distribution, clean water distribution, many kids events, treating over 100 children for lice, helping with services and Sunday school, handing out bags full of hygiene items to 250 kids, participating in several activities at an orphanage, hosting a volleyball and soccer tournament, helping a flooded community by shoveling and transporting by hand dirt from one area to many homes to fill in their flooded areas around their home, and feeding a lot of kids breakfast, were among some of the other activities that we participated in.   
      For best viewing click on the small "youtube" icon at the bottom of the video (this will take you to the youtube website) - then click on the arrows at the far bottom left of the video to enlarge for better viewing.

Eating Grubs in Iquitos, Peru...we'll send you some for a small fee;)


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Update: NNU Team written by Tara

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”
(1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT)
This has been the verse that God has brought to my attention as I have come to make Peru my new home. I have no idea what God has planned for me while I am here for the next eight months, but I have already been able to catch a glimpse of some of the blessings that God is pouring out over Peru.
 
On August 3, a 24-person medical team from Northwest Nazarene University arrived in Arequipa. I was really excited to work with this team, not only because it was the first short-term project team we’ve worked with while being on the “long-term volunteers” side, but also because I had some really good friends that were a part of the group. During this past school year, the team met weekly in preparation for this trip and I met with them. I actually signed up to be a part of this medical mission project prior to even knowing that my parents were offered a position to work with Extreme Nazarene. 
I was excited to see everyone again, but this time in the context of Peru. After being in Peru for a month, it was fantastic to see some familiar faces and have people to talk to again from back home (in person is way better than Skype, but I am thankful for Skype, nonetheless). 
I know they weren’t all here to visit my family and me, they did in fact have a job and a mission. For the duration of their stay, they set up 2 clinics every day. And at the end of the their time here, they were able to see 1,374 patients. My family and I had the opportunity to work with the team most afternoons after Spanish class (Spanish class is going great- learning lots, but I swear it’s like Spanish on steroids! So much learning so fast).
 
The first clinic was one of my favorites. We were in a district in Arequipa called Chachani. My favorite part was seeing all the kids. The instant we stepped out of the truck, two Peruvian girls ran over and latched on to Kelly, giving her the biggest hug as if they were already best friends. It was cute. Then as we made our way over to where the patients and their families were waiting to be seen, one of the girls from the team, Anna, was holding a little 4-year old Peruvian girl. They were reading Are You My Mother?  together (it had both translations). I sat down next to Anna and there was a group of young boys that were reading the Curious George books that the team brought.  They wanted me to read it to them and teach them some English words that were in the book. I had to put my translating skills to the test- luckily it was a children’s book with plenty of pictures :) As the afternoon progressed and more and more patients went through the nursing station, doctor station and pharmacy, I continued to play with the kids. I played volleyball with a group of girls and I got to know them and their names. I met Breanna, Mary, and Judith (my grandma’s name is Judith, and meeting that girl reminded me of my grandma in Nampa and how much I miss her!-her and my grandpa have recently become Local Extreme Coordinators and are bringing a group from Kuna Nazarene Church to Puno, Peru next March/April 2012! Keep them in your prayers as the team raises funds for their trip). 
I also have to tell about the STORY OF THE DAY thanks to Jesse Keeler. Roy Kapicka does the best job at retelling this story with arm-movements and all, but I will give my rendition.  So during one point of the afternoon, Jesse and Kurt were playing soccer with a group of boys that had congregated around the clinic. After a while of playing, Jesse was on the sideline standing with his hands on his knees to catch his breath-due to the altitude change. Then the ball came to him, he stood up and kicked it as hard as he could across the field as if he just got a burst of energy. The ball zoomed past a couple kids, but then hit a little boy right in the chest, knocking the wind out of him. I saw it happen from across the field and as soon as the ball hit the kid, you could hear the “thump.” All the boys rushed to his aid, and Jesse was very apologetic, he managed to find some cookies to give the boy. It was sad, but kind of funny. But hey, that’s one more patient we got to help ;) 
In all seriousness, I loved seeing the joy in the eyes and actions of those kids. They were so thankful to have us there, to play with them and to just be among them. What if we had that much joy when we saw Jesus? What if we were that excited to learn the words of God as those kids were to learn a few English words? What if we were that welcoming and thankful for the presence of Jesus? The experience with these kids also raised the question- what does it mean to have child-like faith?
Just some questions to ponder.
There are so many more stories that came with the last two weeks, I wish I could share them all. If you happen to know anybody that came on this trip, ask them to share. We don’t want the last two weeks to be merely memories, but a reminder of the good work that God is doing around the world through those that love him.
 
The group left this last Tuesday. It was so sad to see them off at the airport, but I am so thankful for their time here; I cherished every moment.  The efforts of the medical group have made a lasting impression in the lives of the Peruvians that they came into contact with. The 40/40’s now have a lot of work ahead of them as they contact the people that have been helped. Pray that those people may be open and receptive to the Word of God and be praying for the 40/40’s as they have hard work ahead of them.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support.
God is good!
Amen.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

School Field Trip...Written by Kurt Watters

videoTwo days ago, my family and I went to school just like any other day but this time without our Spanish books. We were scheduled to go on a field trip! This was a great experience for all of us. We hitched a ride to Plaza de Armas on a combi. For those that aren’t familiar with combi’s, you pretty much squash as many people in as possible and you take a twice as long of a trip than a taxi would take, but at ¼ of the price. Once we got there, we looked at amazing Cathedrals. The architecture is very cool to see in person.  After this, we headed to the good old open air market.  My parents have been to this market before on their one-week trip down here this last February, but for my sisters and I, we haven’t witnessed anything like it.  Goat heads took on a whole new meaning, cow carcasses and heads hanging from the ceiling, dead chickens being hung by their feet and very alive frogs being beaten to death on a wooden counter-top.  I took a picture by the goat heads, and as soon as I looked down, I saw blood scattered all over the floor, dripping down off of everyone’s butcher block tables.  Now this was mainly the unpleasant things.  The market had isles full of fresh fruits and grains.  The smoothies were delicious.  Actually, they would have been delicious if they were cold, rather than lukewarm.  As we pass down the isles, we came to a booth.  This is where the magic happened.  We ordered our first frog juice smoothie! J  Watching him pick out a fat juicy frog and slam it on the counter a few times to its death, started to make me feel like I didn’t want to try this juice after all.  He mixed in many different kinds of seasonings, from bee pollen, to entire quail eggs.  He poured it all into a mixer and stirred it up until it looked like a dark gray smoothie of some sort.  He poured it into a cup on the counter.  Tara and I were the first ones to take a swig.  Okay, maybe not a swig, but a sip.  The texture is hard to describe.   It tasted like a milkshake and “mate” (a type of tea drink from Argentina) mixed.  After gagging a little, we passed it to my mother and Kelly.  My dad then took it.  He pulled all of the straws out and really chugged the entire cup of frog juice.  Great times.  I loved being out there and trying all sorts of new things.  It really does feel like a whole other world down here.  I hope all of you will get the chance to do something like this at least once in your lives. Los extra├▒o a todos. Chau.
PS  My Dad says he now feels like eating flies...

Monday, August 1, 2011

30 day recap in pictures


Arequipa, Peru...our new hometown...population approx one million people

 Arriving in Lima, Peru July 5th 1:30am

Children from our church
Rooftop view from our school where we take a break in our daily four hour spanish class

View from our apartment

Night time downtown Arequipa

Plaza De Armas

Playing tourists

Tara and I went to a restaurant and found out we couldn't read any of the menu.  We just pointed to something on the menu and this is what we got.  It was very good, except the fish underneath the sauce did not appear to be cooked at all.   No, we didn't get sick and it did taste wonderful!

I think almost every other car is a taxi.  It is our main mode of transportation.  It is very cheap compared to the Sates-you can ride across town for only 1 or 2 dollars.  (6 soles)

Queso de helado-the kid's favorite

Tom and Kurt touring Lima

Mariella's 14th birthday celebration at church

Three Amigos


Our new home church-Morro Negro

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hilda and Gordan


Jill and I had the opportunity to visit one of the hospitals in Arequipa last week.  Here is our experience in Jill’s words.  …”One of our 40/40’s (college age missionaries), Nohemy went in for surgery on her foot.  I went to visit her and toured the hospital and the pediatric department.  As we visited one of the children and his mother, I saw a deep look of despair on her face.   The next day, I woke up for my early morning prayer and felt the Lord speaking me to go back and talk again with the mother and ask her how I could pray with her. 
When Robin and I visited with her and asked how we could pray-her eyes began to tear up as she shared how she had recently lost two brothers, and now her sister was in the hospital across town and her son, Gordan was there on the pediatric floor recovering from cleft palate surgery.”
Gordan is pictured in the photos and has several other medical problems, including still being unable to walk at the age of 18 months old.  Jill shared the plan of salvation using the EvangeCube, Hilda listened intently.  We prayed with her and Jill asked if she would be open to a home visit from some of the 40/40 missionaries.  She responded positively and stated that she doesn’t have many family members nearby.
Jill, Mapi and Henerietta have since visited Hilda in her very modest home.  She is very open to learning more about God and the Bible.  She is eager for her husband to attend church with her.  She is now meeting weekly with the 40/40’s and finishing her lessons out before the next week.  PLEASE say a pray for Hilda, Gordan and her family as you read this.  She is one of many whose lives are being touched by God via your support and PRAYERS.
Serving Him with you,
The Watters

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Now for the rest of the story...

If you were able to make it to the end of my loud, bumpy, amateur video I'm sure you noticed what looked like Tom digging a grave!
After our church service in Morro Negro we were walking down a dirt road, lit only by the moon...which we decided was God's flashlight.  We heard some commotion at the side of the road and when we got to the edge of the road and looked down, we saw about 4 or 5 Peruvians attempting to get a VERY large cow out of a ditch.  The legs of the cow were buckled under her and she could not move.  Tom and Kurt got down in the ditch to help push, not a car, but a cow to a place of mobility.  It took at least 30 minutes of heavy pushing with a few other Peruvians stopping to help.  They dug and pushed this cow with much effort out of the mud and ditch.  A small side note that the pictures do not show, is that we think the cow was also constipated...at least,  mucho gas.  As you could see in the previous video post, these cows are this community's livelihood and they were very grateful to finally have their cow unstuck.  While riding back to the main road on the back of a flat bed truck of total Peruvian strangers, and God's flashlight still shining, Tom thought of Matthew 12:11&12 "He said to them, if any of you has a sheep (or cow?) and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?  How much more valuable is a man than a sheep!  Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." 
Encouraging you to find 'your cow' that God places in front of you and "do good", this next Sabbath...and know that it can be smelly and messy at times!

The Watters

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tickets are booked!

We want to thank you all for your prayer and financial support.  We also wanted to let you know that we will be leaving Boise early July 4th and arriving in Lima, the capital of Peru, the  evening of July 4th at about 11:30pm. 

Thank you so much for getting us this far in the journey.  Even though we are truly just beginning, the last few months have been quite a journey in themselves.
 
Our prayer requests:  renters for our home, home for our dog, Roxy….oh, and maybe a little sanity thru the next few weeks!  :)
Praise: funding and peace thru the process

Financial update: Our monthly expenses are now covered in pledges.  In addition to our monthly costs, we have about $9,000 in one time fees, which include the Spanish language training that we’ll be taking the first 3 months we’re there, apartment set-up and plane tickets home.  We will be working on raising this amount over the next two years. 

Trusting Him,

The Watters

Psalm 143:8
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
   for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
   for to you I entrust my life.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Waiting and Wanting to GO!


Many of you have asked how the fundraising is going for the Peru ministry.
We need about $450 more per month… so we have a ways to go, in a short amount of time.
We have had to delay our departure date until God further supplies, perhaps through
many of you.  If most of you can give at least $25 per month for two years,
you will be able to help send us on our way to start fulfilling God’s mission for us in Peru.
We need YOUR help to partner with us…TODAY!  Please don’t think that others will
just do it and what you could give would not really help, because IT WILL!
How do you donate?
Click on the donate button and you will be able to enter information and amount along with the date you want to start your giving. MONTHLY   sponsorships will sustain us through the two years. All funds are for missional use only.
                                                  How do you keep up to date on our ministry?
                                      Go to: http://journeywiththewatters.blogspot.com/
image005                                                and click the follow tab on the right side (email or Google connect)


Saturday, May 21, 2011

PERU UPDATE

Answering the call of God on our lives to go to Peru has not been an overnight decision. We have deliberated, prayed and talked to many people. It seemed like a strange decision to uproot our family and quit our jobs when things were going well. But God continued to pursue.  We looked at our family and our own personal desires and said, “Are you sure, God?”  Still, we have not been able to get away from the fact of His call on our lives. So, we will be going to Peru. We still need your help to get there. There are a few things we’d like you to know.

The Church of the Nazarene endorses Extreme Nazarene and the work they are doing in South America..  However, each Extreme missionary is responsible for raising all their own funding.   We would like to share with you where we are right now financially.

We are a little over 60% of the way to having what we need to support a family of five in South America. We still need to raise  $20,000.. We plan to leave the USA on June 15th, but can’t until we reach at least 80% our financial support goal. 

 “Reoccurring” donations from those who would commit to support us monthly for two years are very appreciated. If you decide to partner with us in this mission to Peru, click the DONATE button next to our picture at the top of this page(or the hyperlink at the upper right of the blog page). That will give you the next screen, which will guide you through the online giving (monthly or a one time gift). All funds are processed thru Crowne One and used for missional expenses only.

We are getting closer to having enough air miles to get our airline tickets! We have enough donated sky miles for three tickets…just two to go! They can be funded either as a “monetary one time donation” or donated as sky miles(via email twatters@extremenazarene.org). Each ticket cost  approx. $1,400.

God is moving in a marvelous way in Peru. Many are accepting Christ and are having physical needs met who have never experienced this kind of outpouring of love. We cannot wait to be a part of the mission team in Peru! We will keep you informed as we work. Your contributions will be used to love and care for the less fortunate thru this ministry.  Blessings.