Monday, December 5, 2011

On the Road

Mike with Alabama granddaughter, Elizabeth 
Daughter Mandy

We spoke at Salem Presbyterian in Alpine Alabama, and enjoyed a fabulous lunch.  The people there are always so sweet to visit!
Abby and Becky
While the situation in Andahuaylas continues in a state of truce, we left on November 15 with only some minor problems about the bus company paperwork and no rioting.   We arrived in Lima and had a great visit with Becky, Miguel, and Abby.  We spent Thanksgiving in Florida with my parents and are now in Alabama with our son Tim and family.
Please keep on praying for the situation in Andahuaylas--it's still  uncertain.  One seminary class has had to be rescheduled for summer break in January.

In the airport.  We left Lima as scheduled on November 22.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fiesta Espíritual in Huancaray (October)

This is our ride.  Martin Leon loans it to us and other ministries to get out into the country.
This is the kitchen, where they are preparing breakfast when we arrive.

At breakfast.

Everone loved this little guy with his carrot!

Mike was teaching about the Holy Spirit.  There is a huge amount of confusion  up here because of  people who call themselves apostles going around telling people they haven't got the Holy Spirit unless they give it to them.  

Cayo Cardenas translating in Quechua

Cayo and his wife Maritza leading singing.
Singing with the traditional harp.


On the way back home.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Strike Losing Favor: Pray for an End

Last week everyone here was optimistic about the strike.  (Including us.) Today a radio call-in show on Agricultor (Farmer) Radio was asking people if they were in favor of the strike and the response was an overwhelming "NO."  There are three big reasons:
1.  Violence erupted Thursday afternoon and left close to 40 people injured in confrontation between protesters and police.

2. The original organizers (marching in photo above)have declared that they are satisfied with  government actions  and have quit the strike unless the government does not keep promises to ban mining in the district because of a serious water pollution problem that has been killing birds, fish, and crops.  However, more extremist groups that have infiltrated the protest have decided to continue the strike indefinitely.Photo:
3. With these guys and their sticks and whips keeping businesses closed and  shutting down  transportation,  food is starting to run out.Photo:

Our plan is still to leave Monday for Lima, if it is at all possible.  However, God will have to move in a mighty way for this to happen.  Please pray for a peaceful resolution to the situation.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Strike (again)

Okay, we have about a week before we leave Andahuaylas for our visit to the US, family, and US churches.  And everything is complicated by a general strike.  We can only do business or travel to Andahuaylas in the morning before 9 am or after 4 or 5 pm.
Image: xedos4 /
And we are in agreement with this strike.  The strike is to protest the large amounts of money that have been funneled into the hospital and road paving projects with no result.  The road between Ayacucho and Andahuaylas is close to completion.  The road between Abancay and Andahuaylas----nothing.  The new hospital has vanished into thin air, and the director of the current hospital has changed possession like a basketball.  Who knows who it is?  AND there is a report of the privatization of the water system, coupled with constant cuts in water.  So we want to support the strike, because there are not a lot of other ways to call the government's attention to problems.
We have gone through strikes before, and it was traumatic.  And although this strike is reasonable and nonviolent, I have to say that it is much easier for us because we have learned a lot about how you live through them:

  1. Don´t try to go anywhere during strike hours unless absolutely necessary.
  2. Get up early and do your shopping before the strike starts, and go out in the evening to add to your supplies.
  3. Listen to information from everyone.  Taxi drivers are really well-informed and are a great source of information during non-strike (treaty) hours.
  4. Listen to local radio and ask all your neighbors what is going on. 
All the same , we hope it is over soon, so we can get on with preparations for our trip.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Marriage retreat

We had a great time teaching at a marriage retreat this week in Andahuaylas.  Eighteen couples from the Andahuaylas IEP church attended.  The highlight was (unfortunately) when I decked Jorge (a large policeman who goes to our church and is  a student at the seminary) during the volleyball game.  I was going for the ball and he hadn't called it.  I still can't believe I actually knocked him down.
A lot of better things happened.  Several couples seemed to really connect and give their marriages to God.  Everyone had a good time as well, even Jorge.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pictures--August Team in Los Angeles

Children in Los Angeles enjoying teaching.  This community has few resources.  Chris told me that the only game the kids had there was rolling a lid from a bucket with a stick.  The community is at an altitude where fruit does not grow.  Many children do not have shoes, and have never received a toy.

L to R Walter and Ruth Ccoicca, Maritza and Cayo Cardenas, Mike and Tammy Riggs, Sam Grillo, Bill and Becky Rowley, Silvi Linares

Lunch Break

On the road

Excited to have their picture taken so they can look at it on the digital camera.


These pastors and leaders completed a survey of the whole Bible.

The bus we used is in the background.  Most of the women and children were still  in their groups, so they aren't in the picture.

This LA doesn't even show up on Google Earth, but its central location allows people from many pueblos to come for teaching.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BB team in LA (Peruvian style) (August)

One of the big events in August was the arrival of a Believers Bridge team composed of Bill, Becky. and Robert Rowley, Sam Grillo, and Silvi Linares. Here is a post from Bill and Becky's blog, (click on their blog name)  to read the whole thing.)  Rowley Adventures: In Los Angeles: "But I thought you said you were going to Peru?" Yes! And we are. And we went to Los Angeles today. In Peru. And I can guarantee you w...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sudden change of plans for Becky and Miguel (July)

Miguel and Abby

Becky and Abby

Becky and Miguel (and of course, Abigail) were supposed to move to Andahuaylas at the end of July so he could be youth pastor in the IEP church here.

The church here tore down their main building to rebuild a bigger facility.

They found out that they had to make a new foundation, because the old one wasn't adequate.  This was a lot more costly than they thought.

What used to be the worship area of the Andahuaylas church
There's an old joke that if anything goes wrong in a church, you fire the youth pastor.  On the very day that they were going to sell their furniture for the move, an elder called me to say "tell Pastor Miguel not to come because we don't have anything to pay him."

And after some urgent rushing around that's what happened.  Miguel was able to get back his job as religion teacher in a school in Lima (he had already resigned, but hadn't been replaced.)

They are going to work on getting his visa and green card so they can come to the US and recruit supporters for their planned ministry with Believers Bridge.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mobilizing the small church

One thing that is really true is that the more that is happening, the less time there is to blog! Well, we're working on trying to fix that. However, the lack of entries recently has been because we are really busy, and our camera is broken!

Soon we will be posting about all the activities that have been going on. But for now, here is good article on mobilizing the small church for missions. This is a question that we get asked a lot of times--even here! "How can I get my church involved in missions?" This article doesn't have all the answers--only God does! But it could provide a starting place.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Prayer request--spine with a twist

Well, I did find a therapist in Andahuaylas.   After the first day´s therapy he called to my friend who had brought me (he evidently hadn't figured out that I was not a tourist yet) and told her that my spine was curving to the left and I needed to get a spinal x-ray.  That proved to be an ordeal that involved a day of fasting and 3 bottles of castor oil. (Ugh!)  Even though the resulting x-ray was still faint, the doc found that I had scoliosis (which wasn't the result of a fall) and some vertebrae that had slipped out of place.

Here is my diagnosis (given to me on a small scrap of paper):
 The upshot is that for now I have to lose weight and wear a back support.
Please pray that these conditions don't degenerate and that the therapy would calm the pain in my hip.  And praise God that none of this has caused the excruciating pain that it could have!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gorgeous photo celebration of Machu Picchu 100 year festival (PHOTOS) - International Business Times

Here's a link to the celebration that we mostly missed in Cuzco. Gorgeous photo celebration of Machu Picchu 100 year festival (PHOTOS) - International Business Times: "Photo:Reuters Gorgeous photo celebration of Machu Picchu 100 year festival (PHOTOS)
We were mostly concerned with the weather when we left Andahuaylas and didn't happen to check whether they were having a once-every-hundred-years-celebration while we were there. However, we did get to check out a great rainforest exhibit in one of the little plazas and take in a few parades. The whole city was decked out with flags and new landscaping and statues. Unfortunately, we took our camera, but with no chip, so we couldn't take any photos of our own.
They were just setting up the stage in the plaza and testing the sound when we had to catch our bus.

Gorgeous photo celebration of Machu Picchu 100 year festival (PHOTOS)"


For some reason, we have a lot of flies here where we live.  They crawl in around the edges of the windows, which are the kind that open like little doors and buzz slowly around the room, sounding like a fleet of small airplanes whose mission is to drive humans crazy.  Some are very loud and large, and specialize in buzzing like chainsaws.  Others are small and pesky and light on your nose or buzz round and round your face until you have to kill them.  A great many appear to be despondent and take their lives by diving into cups of coffee, glasses of milk, etc., often just when you are lifting it to your lips.  We keep a swatter handy and swat them (with extreme prejudice) all day long.

I have tried opening the windows on the theory that more of them would be free to leave that way, but Mike and Chris are skeptical of this theory and insist that all that happens is that more come in.  When evening comes most of them crawl back out the windows, I guess, because they disappear.

Because it gets cold at night the ones that are still in the house stop moving.  There are always dead ones on the window sill (whether from natural causes or the cockroach poison that we spray on the windows I don't know).  This morning I dusted all the dead ones off the window sill, and was interrupted before I swept the floor.  When I came back, about four of them were crawling around.  We all know what to do with crawling bugs--so we stomped them.

We thought the flies were just a problem here in the property where we live, because the owners have a big garden and sometimes keep chickens. But we have obtained proof to the contrary.  There is a one-legged lady who has  a little store about a block away.  One day I passed it and there she was, leaping around on her one leg, swatting flies.  Living proof both that the flies are all over this part of town, and that they will drive you crazy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

At the clinica

You probably know that we went to Cuzco for some routine medical checks.  Mike came out great.  His heart is in good shape, cholesterol and blood sugar perfect, triglycerides and blood pressure a little high, so he's still working on that.  His doctor was very pleased.  My cholesterol was borderline again.

AND while it is good news that I do not have arthritis or any damage in the hip that has been bothering me since a fall walking the dog last year, I do need physical therapy for the apparent muscular problem that is causing the pain and stiffness.  Although it is a lumbar problem I haven't had back pain, but to my complete (and painful) surprise, the small of my back is very tender  (Doctors always know how to find these things out.)

When we left the clinic we went to the pharmacy by our hotel to get the shot prescribed for me.  The pharmacist gave me what was absolutely the worst, most painful shot I have ever had.  Two days later, I still have a bruise.  She told me I could come back the next day and she would give me another shot free.  Although I gritted my teeth and  thanked her very much, I decided to limp home without the second shot and get the other two at home in Talavera.

I got the next shot today and the syringe that I got in Cuzco, evidently a fellow to the first one, would not put out any liquid.  Our pharmacist pulled it out, replaced the needle with another, and it worked.  Experimenting with the Cuzco needle and some water (the pharmacist was curious), we found that it would only shoot out water if Mike hammered on the plunger.  No wonder I have a bruise!

So now the hunt is on for physical therapy in Andahuaylas.   Viki told me that she had to go to Curahuasi for therapy when she was dragged by a cow.  The pharmacist thinks she has seen a sign that says Therapy and Rehabilitation here in Talavera.  We'll have to see what's true.

 I could always go to Cuzco, but it seems to me that it would be more beneficial to have therapy without the bus trip.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Stuck on the road

Okay, Monday night we were off on the (slightly) postponed trip to Cuzco.  All was well until about 10 pm, when we came to a stop, causing everyone to wake up.  The driver announced the dreaded words--"No hay pase."  (We can`t pass through here--or "we`re stuck")

 Instantly everyone wanted to know why, and wanted the door to open.  People got out and walked around, including Mike and Chris.  I had gotten off the bus the last time we had trouble on the way to Cuzco and wound up leaping across a river on rocks, so I stayed on.  They and everyone else walked until the mud became to slippery to walk through, and came back.  All they could report was very slippery mud, and a sound of rushing water.  And a huge line of buses and trucks stopped at this place
Speculation ran rampant.  One woman was sure that a bus had gone through from another line.  Another was sure that passenger vans were going through.  One man announced confidently that no one could go through.  The driver announced that he was going to have a car sent from Abancay, and we would have to do a "trasbordo" (the passengers carry their luggage past the obstacle and board a bus that carries them on to their destination.)  but he was firm that this could not happen during the night.
Everyone slept in snatches, waking up at intervals to complain.  One time a man took his luggage and got off declaring that he would walk until he found a way there.
About 3 am a man went by shouting "Abancay!  Abancay!"  He pried the bus door open and announced for people who could walk a good ways he had a taxi that could take 5 or 6 people to Abancay.  A woman who was taking a baby to a clinic for medical attention said she would go.  The man said it would be very difficult with a baby.  Another woman said she would go, but was told she had too much luggage and it would be "difficult."  Then said that only one handbag or back pack would be possible.  Finally the woman with a baby, her young daughter, and a few others left.

When the sun came up, the driver announced the trasbordo.  Everyone got out with their luggage and started slogging through the mud.  Soon the first ones to get to the other bus were back.  The other driver didn't want to do the switch.  As this situation reoccurred all up and down the line of buses, everyone began to concentrate on removing the obstacle--a tractor-trailer that had slid into a steep ditch and gotten its wheels mired trying to back out.  There was space enough for a man on foot to pass between the end of the trailer and a steep dropoff.

Finally an empty flatbed truck was persuaded to try to pull the truck out.  Some men had already dug the wheels that were on the road free and put rocks in front of them.  All the men that were available were recruited to stand on the flatbed to give it weight.   Since the line of stopped vehicles was now very long, it was no problem to recruit bus passengers and truck drivers, including Mike and Chris, until the flatbed was full, and with heave pulled the truck free!

All the now-muddy passengers climbed aboard their buses!  We were off to Cuzco!

We passed several other trucks off the road, but they were not blocking it.  We arrived only 9 hours late.  Travel is always an adventure.

Monday, July 4, 2011

REALLY off to Cusco

This is what our life is like up here. Yesterday the rains just kept coming, we heard that the passes were snowy and icy and we realized that for some unfathomable reason we had bought tickets on the "economic" bus. That means that we would have to take our own blankets, there is no bathroom and you just have to wait until the driver has to go and then step out in the dark, icy night and seek a safe and private place to do your business. The seats don't really recline and there's not even 3 inches of leg room (I exaggerate, of course, there is 3 inches of leg room!)

Yesterday afternoon, we came to our senses and realized - we could wait a day and go on a bus with heat, blankets, a bathroom, a snack, reclining seats with maybe 8 inches of leg room that leaves an hour later and gets to Cusco when the sun is up - and the snow/sleet/ice/rain may be over!

I just moved my work from Friday to today and voila! So tonight as you lay down to sleep, think of us sitting in our odd-smelling little bus, bumping over the Andes about 13,000' in the snow for 10 hours and say a little prayer!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Off to Cuzco

Tonight at 7 we will be leaving for Cuzco for some medical checkups.  The night bus is really the best way to go, because you go to sleep and wake up in Cuzco.  Of course you miss all of the breathtaking scenery, but we nearly have it memorized.

The road is in the process of being paved from here to Abancay.  Right now it takes about 5 hours to get there, but it will only take two when they are done.  From Abancay to Cuzco it takes about 5 hours more, so we will get there at about 5 am, then hang around the bus terminal until some things get open.  We used to go direct to the hotel, but now they charge you for checking in before noon.
It's still a great little hotel.  It is called Hospedaje Bambu, and its located in Pasaje Pantipata, in walking distance of the plaza.  We only found out about it because the girl who owns it was working at the clinic Mike was in when he had his heart attack.
Anyway, please pray for a safe trip.  I had been thinking that it was great that we were going when the weather was dry, but it has been raining all day.  Hopefully it is local just to our valley here.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


A few years ago we were on a routine bus trip from Lima to Andahuaylas.  It was night, the lights were out, and I was asleep.  Suddenly a woman at the back of the bus screamed and started running up the aisle.  With a thud she fainted, close to my seat.  We called for the bus stewardess who put her in the vacant seat next to me.  A passenger gave her coca leaves to chew.  Another passenger suffered from paralysis and couldn't move his arms.  When these two were revived, a British tourist, who had heard us speaking English, turned to us mournfully and said, "I think I'm going to die."

Those breathtaking views may come at a price.
What had happened to them?  They had gotten on the bus in Nazca, 588 meters above sea level, at suppertime.  Now we were crossing the Andes through the pass Condorsencca which is 4330 meters (14, 206 feet) above sea level.  (The route includes another pass a bit later, Occe Occe, which is 4400 meters (14,435 feet) above sea level. These are classified as very high altitudes, and the rapid ascent (over 2-1/2 miles in 5 hours) can make some people very ill.

The Princeton University webpage Outdoor Action Guide to High Altitude describes a classic scenario for developing altitude sickness: 
You fly from New York City to a Denver at 5,000 feet (1,525 meters). That afternoon you rent a car and drive up to the trailhead at 8,000 feet (2,438 meters). You hike up to your first camp at 9,000 feet (2,745 meters). The next day you hike up to 10,500 feet (3,048 meters). You begin to have a severe headache and feel nauseous and weak. If your condition worsens, you may begin to have difficulty hiking. Scenarios like this are not uncommon, so it's essential that you understand the physiological effects of high altitude.
Here in the city of Andahuaylas we are at 2926 meters (1.8 miles or 9,599 feet).  Since most people can go up to 8,000 feet with no effect, we are just a little too high for some people.  Unfortunately the only way to predict if you will be sick at high altitude is if you have been sick at high altitude before, which makes it interesting for visitors.  However, most people with symptoms only need to wait a few days to get accustomed to the altitude.

When you leave Andahuaylas to visit the surrounding pueblos you almost always go up.  Sometimes people who are fine in Andahuaylas are sick with headache and nausea from even a slight climb, such as to visit the archeologial site of Sondor.   This is not usually the case, but in a group of 20, maybe one will be sick.

Another problem at the altitudes above Andahuaylas is that the climate is extreme.  Brutally cold at night (below freezing, and they don't have heat in houses or hotels even in these locations) and with roasting hot sun during the day.  Several times recently we have made overnight trips to Uripa, which is at 10,416 feet (3175 m.)  The 1000 foot ascent plus the extremes of temperature have caused us to have headaches and stomach problems.

For those of you who are considering coming here, don't be discouraged by all this.  But do plan ahead.  Some measures that can help are:

  1. Drink plenty of water--about 2 liters a day.
  2. Plan a day of rest when you first arrive.
  3. If your trip is programmed for areas outside of Andahuaylas, plan to come back to sleep in Andahuaylas.
  4. Drink the coca tea.  On the bus trip I described at the beginning, the coca leaves relieved the fainting, paralysis, and "going to die" symptoms within 10 minutes.  The raw leaves are not a drug, and are perfectly legal in Peru and Bolivia.  Only skip it if you are going to have a drug test on your arrival in the US.
  5. Wear a hat.  This traditional Peruvian solution really helps.
  6. If you are really sick, get a prescription drug such as Diamox.
  7. Read up on information like the Princeton webpage.  
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.  Proverbs 27:12 NLT

Friday, July 1, 2011

Praying Hands for missions (for personal prayer or for teaching prayer for missions

"Pray for us." -- Hebrews 13:18

Want to know how to pray for those working to fulfill Jesus' Great Commission?  This strategy from an unknown author is great for teaching kids or grownups how to pray for missions.

Use your fingers as memory aids when you pray for missions. You can't forget them and you have them with you everywhere.   Here's how they can be prayer reminders:

Since your thumb is nearest to you, begin by praying for those missionaries closest to you. They are the easiest ones to remember. C.S. Lewis said that praying for those we love is a "sweet duty."
Index or pointing finder
Let your "pointing finger" remind you to pray for missionaries who teach, instruct, and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and evangelists. They need support and wisdom for pointing others in the right direction.
Middle finger
Our tallest finger reminds us of our church leaders. We can never pray too much for them. Pray for those who supervise and direct missionary outreach.
Ring finger
As any piano teacher will testify (I always teach this to piano students), the ring finger is our weakest finger. This weaker finger reminds us to pray for those missionaries who are discouraged, in trouble, or in pain.
Little finger
Our little finger is the smallest of the digits on our hands, which is where we should place our individual wants and desires in relation to world evangelism needs. The Bible says, "The least shall be the greatest among you." Let your pinkie remind you to pray for the people of the world who have the greatest need to find Jesus. Pray that they will open their eyes and see Him.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Missions Conference in Uripa

Mike was invited to keynote the missions conference of a Peruvian denomination that is committed to planting churches in unreached areas.  The conference was in Uripa, 2 hours away.  A sign of progress--the road between Uripa and Andahuaylas is already halfway paved!
Eveyone knows you put up flags for a  missions conference!

Attendance filled the stadium.

Singing group all in plaid!

Mike with Quechua translator giving a call to plant churches in the unreached areas of Peru

So many responded we had to put them in two pictures!
Pray for these new church planters, that they not become discouraged in their preparation, and that God gives them the ability to speak the Gospel in areas where it is not known.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Visiting professor: Dr. Neil Hegeman

Saturday, May 21st Dr. Hegeman was able to come to teach at the seminary. He taught Philosophy of Christian education. The class structure is that we meet on Saturdays for 5 hours and then throughout the week are assignments to do. (A lot of assignments! I am taking this

course because it is one of the ones I lack. And that is why there have been so few posts.) The material that he presented was challenging for the students, but it also made them feel like "Yeah, this is real!"

The first week's assignments were difficult because they defined philosophy and Christian education. It was definitely a stretch! Then there was a week where we had to cancel class for the elections--which gave a little breathing space to finish the required reading.

The exam for the class is June 18th. Please pray for the students as they have to finish their reading and essays by then. For some of them this is the first essay they have ever written. The older students and the ones from the country graduated from schools with very little requirements. (One older lady is mostly self-educated, but she has a great desire to learn!) The ones who have been to universities and the Mobile Bible Institute are more at home with the assignments. Pray for their encouragement, diligence in their studies, and understanding of the material.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To Chile and Back

One of the first things that we needed to do to get our resident status back was go to Chile and enter again as tourists to get enough time to start our resident paperwork.  The trip there went smoothly--we went a different, shorter way--changing buses in Nazca.  It didn`t save us any time, because we had to wait almost all day in Nazca, but it was a lot easier on the body. 

We had a scare when a policeman got on and took up passports.  On seeing that our tourist visa had expired he kept asking, "Why have you waited to leave?" as if he expected to surprise into admitting a crime.  When I told him we were missionaries and it was due to delays in paperwork, he took our passports to check.  Then he came back and told us that it wasn't a simple matter of crossing the border and paying the fine, and that we would have to report to Migraciones in Tacna as soon as we got there.  This was a little scary, because in Migraciones we have encountered all sorts, from helpful people to ones who take your passport and demand a bribe to give it back!  (When I posted this on Facebook, one of our friends read it as Office of Migraines--often too true!) 

This time we encountered only helpful people in the office who were excited that we were working in Apurimac, one of the poorest regions of the country.    The only problem we encountered was that the big boss could not understand why we currently don`t have resident status.  Rather than explain the problems we had run into with corruption in the Lima office (that kind of thing never goes well)  we just said we didn`t understand it either.  Upon hearing that we will have resident status soon he decided it was due to a mistake made by Migraciones in the Lima airport.  (which is indeed part of the complicated story)

We ran into a little of the same problem when we reentered Peru from Chile.  The computer system has improved since we entered in 2008 and now we show up as both residents and tourists.  However, it only took about five minutes for the resident computer wizard to allow us to enter as tourists.  (Our old residency is not valid, it just complicates things.  It will have to be wiped out to be residents again.)

So now we are legal and on our way home again!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Still learning about Peru

One of the ladies from the church helps us around the house.  For quite some time now she has been supposed to have her gall bladder removed, but has been putting the operation off.  She is finally going to do it, and the process has shown me that I still don't know everything about Peru.

When she went for her preoperative chest x-ray, they found her lungs to be "full of smoke."  She said that she saw the smoke and asked the doctor what it was, and he said it was from cooking with wood.  Like most Quechua, she cooks on an open wood fire at home.  And when I say open, I mean an unventilated fire inside the kitchen, which is enclosed.    In her case, she says that this is a problem in her other house, where the kitchen is a small shack.  In her normal house, the kitchen is large, (though enclosed) and she feels that this is no problem.
This is not her x-ray and I hope hers is not even close to this bad.  It just shows why she thinks the x-ray shows the smoke in her lungs. The x-ray is from "chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2011. 13 May. 2011.

I told her that breathing wood smoke is as bad as smoking.  Although she knew smoking was bad, she was sure that wood smoke was harmless because it is natural.  She was very upset when I told her that there was no pill to clean up the lungs.

It turns out that there is a high incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among rural women in all Latin American countries, for this same reason.  Although there are projects, even in Peru, for education in how to construct a better stove, the only time I have ever heard of it here a woman was telling me that there was a better stove that did not make your pots black, even though it used wood.  Looks like more education needs done!

Today I found out another thing.  She has the national health insurance, and so to have an operation she must have someone donate blood before her surgery is scheduled.  They told here it could be anyone.  

I knew that the people here are very reluctant to donate (they think that they will die, that the hospital will sell their blood, etc.), so I said that I would if no one from her family could.  I told her I was a little unsure that my blood, which is AB+, would be very useful here.  

Turns out I was right about that.  When I went today they would not even take my blood, because they said they would never need it.  I said that I might need blood sometime, and they said not to worry, since I was AB (universal recipient) they could give me just any blood, but mine would only be useful in an emergency and took my phone number just in case.  Then they told her to find another donor!

Okay, I guess I just always took for granted that they would have my blood type at the hospital, and that everyone knew breathing wood smoke is dangerous!  I guess the trick is not taking anything for granted!

Please pray for the women who are endangering their health just by cooking, and for our upcoming trip to Chile. (More about that later.)  And just maybe...that I don´t need any blood from the hospital. :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Video tour of the QBI campus at Huayrapata

How would you like a quick tour of the Quechua Bible Institute at Huayrapata?  You can hitch a ride with Mike, Cayo, and Bill Rowley, Believers Bridge President.  Pastor Santos Ñawi, the local coordinator will show you around.
Remember, this is the contribution of the host church or association.  This effort shows their commitment and interest in the project.