We’re a little behind in our blogs, and we want you to know that it’s not because we don’t like what we see. We’re just so tired at the end of each day that writing something coherent is near impossible. So that you can follow our trip chronologically, I’ll write about what we did on Friday, first, and then one of us will fill you in on Saturday. Okay? : )
On Friday we crossed over the Peruvian border to visit some believers there. Marcelo has disciples scattered all over the place, which is part of the reason why he needs so much help. Anyways, the border between the two countries is about twenty to thirty minutes from Arica. It was our first time crossing an international border by land and it really wasn’t that bad since the only thing authorities are really looking for on either side is drugs. Chileans don’t need passports to cross into Peru, just their national IDs, but that one trip there and back added a bunch of stamps to ours. If this is going to be something we do regularly with Marcelo, we’ll definitely need extra pages for our passports.
Our first stop was at a small church in Pachia, Peru. There wasn’t anyone there, but we were able to at least see the outside of the building and take a look at the area where they do baptisms. When you’re in the middle of nowhere, you use whatever is available to baptize new believers. The source of water in Pachia is an irrigation ditch. Blake got some good video footage of the water rushing through it—I think the sound of it is what really tells you that the water is moving fast. When they go to baptize someone, one person stands a little farther upstream to try and decrease the flow of water so the pastor and new believer don’t get washed away. Marcelo took off his shoes and hopped in the ditch to demonstrate to Blake exactly where the two of them will be baptizing people once we get here. Thinking about that is very special—even if it’s a little dangerous. : )
Our next stop was to visit an Aymara family. They invited us into what I think is probably a living room/kitchen. It was a wooden structure with some grass woven to form the roof. They were very hospitable and we sat and chatted for a while. When I say that “we sat and chatted” I mean that Marcelo mostly sat and chatted because it was so difficult for us to understand them. Marcelo’s son, Jeramias, said that he can’t even understand them because they speak so softly. He says that’s how the Aymara talk, so that’s going to be a challenge for us.
The rest of the afternoon was spent having lunch and wandering around the shops in Tacna with two of Marcelo’s children. They speak some English so we were able to converse with them and joke around some. Most people here know at least some words in English—much like most people in the US know at least some words in Spanish. Marcelo is no exception and he tries, whenever he can, to say a couple of words in English. We really like Marcelo, and we’ll try to post something soon to help you all get to know him a little better.
Thank you, again, for your prayers. Tonight Chris is speaking at church about the relationship between UBACH and CBF and how Blake and I got connected in Chile and Blake will be preaching his first sermon here in Chile. I’ll be translating for Chris and Blake will be translating for Blake. : ) We would both really appreciate your prayers as we seek the right words to say.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9