Oh, the Places we will go!

In less than two weeks, nine of us Ayaviri adventurers will set off to the marvelous, mysterious, magical land of Peru. But what will we do there? (you might ask). Why are we going thousands of miles away and why are we needed there, in Ayaviri? Some of the more pragmatic of us may even ask, “Wouldn’t it be better to just send them financial aid?”

Well, to answer all of those questions, here is a breakdown of our plans while we’re there.

Kitchen

First, we will be working together with our hermanas and hermanos in Ayaviri to build out the new kitchen they’re currently putting up. Through the contributions and donations from their own congregation, they were able to secure enough supplies and labor to put the building up. But, we are teaming with them to put in the furniture and appliances. The new kitchen plan looks like this:
KitchenPlan

Also, we will be offering basic English speaking and pronunciation classes. This was also an idea presented by our friends in Ayaviri, and we are gladly preparing a few basic classes. They are excited about this opportunity, and are inviting their brothers and sisters from nearby congregations to join them for the lessons, and also for the Godly Play refresher.

Godly play

The Godly play curriculum was presented last year to the many Christian educators, both young and old, who gathered at the IEP church in Ayaviri. Our partners from the Woodlands Presbyterian church had followed in our footsteps, arriving in Ayaviri only a couple weeks after we left, and putting to good use the tables and chairs we built, during their training. During his exploratory visit in April, Ed was asked if we could lead a refresher Godly Play course, and so now we’ve met with the Woodlands, gained valuable insight from their experience, and are getting ready to lead the refresher.

Godly play

One final area that we’ll be working on together is art. This is a perfect example of our WPC vision statement being lived out in the real world. We will be creating “a more loving, affirming, and just world through … artistic expression”, by offering the children and youth some art classes, and also, hopefully, by painting a small mural on the outside of their church building. What a great way to commemorate our friendship, and brighten their house of worship!

supplies

Now, for the harder question of why we go at all. First and foremost, because they are our friends, our brothers and sisters, and we want to be in communion with them. What we are building is not a hand-out scheme, but a long-term partnership, where all parties benefit from learning about each other’s culture, language, and faith. While there, we will teach them English. But they will teach us Spanish and Quechua! We might lead a workshop on Godly play, but they will lead a workshop on Nutrition which we hope to sit on and learn from. We will inspire and energize them, and they will bless us immensely with their joy, hospitality, and love of God.

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The Ayaviri Adventurers!!

Now that we are less than two months away from our friendship trip to Ayaviri, Peru, our team is solidified and getting geared up to go! We have a diverse group spanning six decades (with at least one representative from each decade!), several cities and nationalities, with each member bringing a vast array of skills and experience to the group. Some of us are returning to Ayaviri for the second time, having laid the foundation of our collaboration during last year’s trip, while a few are heading to the south hemisphere for the very first time. So, without a further ado, here we are:

Helen

Reverend Helen is responsible for dreaming this entire collaboration into existence. Apart from being one of two pastors at WPC, she has been the spiritual force behind our friendship with our brothers and sisters in Ayaviri. Last year Helen helped build tables and chairs and was instrumental in setting down the plans for this year’s adventure. This will be her fourth trip to Peru, and boy is she excited!

Ed

Ed, also returning to Peru after his initiation last summer, serves as the fearless leader of this adventure. By day, he works in the energy/electricity sector, but during this trip, he will be participating in the kitchen build-out effort as well as leading our Godly Play refresher class. Also, if needed, Ed will share his amazing cooking skills and knowledge during the Nutrition course offered to Ayaviri women.

Anya

Anya, returning to Peru because she just can’t get enough, will partner with Ed in leading the group. Although Anya works as a translator/interpreter, the trip will challenge her to work on her Spanish communication skills. She will work with the youth in Ayaviri to paint a mural, and will help lead an ESL course and offer some painting lessons. She will also eagerly volunteer her services to eat the food prepared in the Nutrition class.

Kimber2

Kimber and her daughter Sidney are seasoned Peru travelers, and Kimber was part of the initial Ayaviri trip last July. This time, she is bringing her globe-trotting daughter Sidney along for the ride! Kimber specializes in the oil industry, but is an excellent builder, engineer, supporter and friend. She will be participating in the kitchen build-out effort, and will join Sidney in the Godly Play and art course work.

Alyssa

Alyssa is traveling to Peru for the first time. She works full time as a Montessori teacher, where she teaches all subjects and helps support her students’ natural inquisitiveness and initiative. In her free time, she enjoys music and photography, running races with her son and doing art projects. While in Peru, Alyssa will be lead an art class for the youth and work with them on English reading and pronunciation.

Michael

Mike is also heading to Peru for the first time, but as a seasoned adventurer, is eager for the new experience! Currently, he is a senior at University of Houston, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts and mountain-biking. While in Ayaviri, Michael will be joining his father, Ed, in the Godly Play program, and may help with the building out of the new kitchen the congregation there has built.

james

James has been to many places and loves a good adventure, so it is perfect that he elected to join the rest of the team on this unforgettable journey. James is an avid cyclist, and he also enjoys skiing, building things and working with the youth. An engineer by day, with previous experience in working with stucco and construction, he will lead the team on the US side in building out the kitchen.

courtenay (1)

Last but certainly not least, Courtenay has been supporting our collaboration with the church in Ayaviri from the very beginning. He was there in the very midst of building the tables and chairs last summer (winter for Peru), and he will be joining the team again to share his insights and work together with James and our brothers and sisters in Ayaviri to build out the kitchen. With his experience in risk assessment, he will play a critical role in assuring that everything is built to the highest level of safety.

___

More information on our trip can be found here

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Gearing up for Ayaviri, Peru 2015!!!

Kitchen1

Pray, gather, pour concrete. Plan, dream, add another layer of brick. Spread the word, anticipate, and more – concrete.

As the time draws closer to the summer, which means to winter in Peru, people on both sides of the equator are preparing for a meeting slated for August. As we, here in Webster, Texas, plan our trip, discuss logistics and launch our fundraising campaign, our brothers and sisters in the small town of Ayaviri prepare for the cold, dry season and set the foundation for the new kitchen that we’ll be outfitting together.

God is at work, and all we have to do is let Him.

We already have our group of ten who will be traveling this August from zero feet above sea level in Houston to the 13,000 feet in Ayaviri. We have our shots, we’re working out our lungs, and we are reaching out to our friends and families, to our congregation and to total strangers, in an attempt to garner enough financial and spiritual support to make this trip a reality. We hope to bring supplies, but plan to make most of the purchases there for the kitchen build-out.

On the other side of the equator, our friends are busy toiling and building the actual new structures, so that they are ready for when we get there. Progress is swift, and, as Pastor Eron of the IEP church in Ayaviri writes, “God is with us”. The faith of this congregation is powerful, and generosity flows deep. As an example of God’s providence and the church’s kindness, Pastor Aron sites that one member has donated 25 bags of cement. Below, we can imagine how the cement will be put to good use.

Kitchen2

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Monday and Tuesday in Ayaviri – Kimber Writes

Monday – Breakfast this morning was rolls with butter and either scrambled or fried eggs with tea and coffee. At this hotel we had instant coffee.  After breakfast some of us, again the well ones, walked to the church. It was a nice walk and we got to see some of the town, encounter kids and other residents of the town.  We were stared at wherever we went.  A gaggle of Norte Americanos walking down the street.  The others took Tuk-Tuks again but we still beat them to church.

Central church in the town

Central church in the town square.

We started the morning, after passing around greetings of course, with a chair building demo by Antonio which took two hours. I had already figured out how they went together but patience is a virtue I need to practice. Antonio also carefully spelled out what was women’s work (the sanding and filing) and what was men’s work (the fitting, gluing and squaring). I did actually try to stick to women’s work but you know. We worked in teams then to build chairs. We tried to make sure all the teams were a mix of Americans and Peruvians.

demo                        play!

Antonio providing instructions                                        Elaine and Dan playing with Abigail

After our demo we built chairs until 2 and had soup for lunch with an appetizer of carrots, tomatoes, celery, onion, peas and garlic salsa. The soup had local squash, potatoes, onion, large green leaf, carrot, quinoa and chicken feet. We were not served chicken feet. Those were saved for the Peruvians which they loved.  I learned quicly to ask for small portions. Towards the end the Peruvian cooking ladies started to say, “She doesn’t eat much, does she?”  But seriously, they had huge bowls and I just can’t eat that much at once. Nothing went to waste though.  The ladies put everything left over into bags to take home.

We took a break after lunch for a rest, then kicked in again. We had three teams working on chairs in the morning and added a team in the afternoon.  Those who weren’t working on chairs worked in the kitchen or played with kids or simply held us in prayer or made sure we took breaks and drank water. We built 20 chairs that day. We had 20 more to build and then we need to lightly sand and varnish them.

chairs

More chairs ready for varnishing!

Dinner was chicken wrapped around veggies in broth with rice and peas. It was amazing. We then had devotional with our friends.  Tonight at least the stories indicated the tall people weren’t so bad.  But a challenge was issued, from Antonito and using us as an excuse, that our workmanship need to stay high quality and members needed to continue to participate. He also challenged all of us that he didn’t think we would get done. Then we went back to our not-as-cold tonight hotel for some rest.

Tuesday

Breakfast was rolls and “oatmeal”. The oatmeal was good, tasting similar to American oatmeal but creamier and you drink it. By the way, the average rural Peruvian does not use silverware. They have used it sometimes around us and sometimes not. Think spaghetti and rice with fingers. We were always given some. We brought several dozen forks and spoons which we left there.  We explained that when people like us come, we want to use silverware. Also the cooking team made a strong effort to serve vegetables. Vegatables are not a normal part of a Peruvian diet but every meal had veggies while we were there. The cooking was coordinated by Urpi. All I can say us the food was fantastic.  One more amazing thing is that we had planned for enough food for just our team for lunch and dinner. Yet every meal had at least twice our number and we never ran out of food.  All I can think are the loaves and the fishes.

We headed to the church after breakfast, enjoying the sun on our walk. We finished building the chairs and started 2 tables. We also got most of the chairs sanded for a first pass.  We finished the day with 8 tables to build plus a more sanding and varnishing.

The chairs and tables were very simply constructed.  For the chairs, there were four legs, two short for the front and two taller for the back.  Then there were three different pieces used to put it all together.  There was one front seat support, two side seat supports, three bottom rails (each side and the front) and the four pieces that built the back (two at the top for the back support, one for seat support and one bottom rail).  The wood was very pretty and everything had been milled.  We did need to round off the edges of the tenon and clean out the mortise.  The tenons were square cut and the mortises had been drilled.  Sometimes we also needed to remove some tenon because the fit was too tight.  We would build a front and a back and then join those.  Each section was squared up and when everything was fit, glued and square, we nailed on the seat.

The tables were also simple. In this case there were four legs and four top supports, two long and two short.  The tenons also needed to be filed to fit the mortise and in this case we went for a looser fit because we saw early that the wood would split if the fit was too tight.  Once everything was fit, glued and squared, we would put four screws in each corner through each tenon and mortise.  Out system this time was a team would dry fit a table and then pass it to another team who would glue and square.  Finally a third team would put in the screws.  Most of the Peruvians had not seen an electric drill before so we spent a great deal of time on education.  We did not have the table tops yet so we couldn’t put those on.

There were a few more kids today so they played with the chalk and made friendship bracelets. They drew pictures and colored the concrete on the bottom of the sanctuary.  In my mind that is loving God’s house as it should be.  We also worked outside all day. It was warm and sunny and by now most people were feeling OK.  But we needed sunblock and water. The sun is intense at that altitude.

Dinner was spaghetti. Dessert was a rice pudding and of course tea. We were discovering Antonio is a tough guy to please. He has enormous attention to detail but again I also think we were his excuse to challenge the church members to participate and participate fully. Lunch was soup with carrot, onion, squash and cheese for the appetizer. The cheese is referred to as squeaky cheese. It does squeak a bit when you chew it but it was good. The main course was beets, cucumbers with tomato, and the stuffed potato. The stuffed potato is a mixture of meat, peas, carrots, a hardboiled egg and an olive all wrapped in mashed potato and fried. We had this before in Peru. Another good but a huge meal.

chicken

Ladies preparing the chicken feet for soup!

We walked around the square after dinner for a while. You can buy anything you need on the square from the vendors and booths.  There was the tool section, the electronics section, the music and video section, the bread market, the fruits and veggies along with grains and potatoes.  There is also the meat section, clothing section and the tiniest fish section.  It is fantastic to wander around looking at things.  You won’t see the same thing twice. It gets dark and cold so all we want to do is sleep. Tomorrow is our last day of work. Most everyone is adjusted enough to the altitude and can eat and not be ill. I could probably run but am not to go out by myself.

The horns on the buses sound like sirens and are annoying.  They start at 7 am and go until 10 or so. The walls of the hotel are as thin as a tent.  So you can hear everything inside and out.  I took the fastest and coldest shower ever.  I thought I was going to freeze.

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Bedtime Thoughts at Ayaviri

Thoughts from my journal, written on the second full day of work at Ayaviri. – Anya

DSCF2442Today was the second full day here in Ayaviri, though really it’s felt like many months. This evening we were sharing our best and worst moments of the day with everyone around the table, sitting on our newly built chairs. I said that my highlight was that when I came in the morning, I was already seeing familiar faces; faces of people that I hold dear. And that’s the truth of it.

What I feared most – reaching out of myself and talking to people – has turned out not to be so scary after all, language barriers notwithstanding. I know folks have been praying. Tomorrow I will try even harder, because it’s all we have left. Sitting here, listening to my two room-mates already wheezing peacefully, faces are running through my head: Moises and his wife Rosemary, sitting at the table at dinner, perched together like two little sparrows, chit-chatting with each other and those around them, him with his wide-open, smiling eyes and perpetually kind grin, her – timid, yet clearly strong and loving in her motherly way. Their beautiful, shining children , so eager to play, joyful, trusting. 

DSCF2431

I think about their community, so precariously placed in this harsh terrain, with high winds, brutal sun and dryness. What are the prospects for children growing up here? What are their dreams made of? Why don’t they brush their teeth? I am tempted to worry, and yet, their culture has been around for millennia while ours threatens at every turn to spin out of control. We’re dying from stress-related illnesses, poor dietary choices, car accidents and auto-immune disorders while they are dying from, well, old age. Certainly we should be learning from them.

And so a part of me wants them to stay in Ayaviri forever, to save themselves, nestled high in the mountains, hidden under their peculiarly fashionable hats, in their mama’s woven blankets, maybe not ever knowing that their country is up to the ears in the drug business, or that it’s in third place in the world for sex tourism (and, inevitably, human trafficking). “Stay here!!!” I want to plead with them, “grow potatoes and drink chicha before going to bed. Don’t go down the mountains, but raise your children here. And let them do the same.”

But that’s too easy of a solution, and even as I write, I know I am simplifying things for the sake of artistry. Really, things are more complex, less idealized. They have TVs, they have cell phones and Facebook, flat screens selling in the market square while many buildings lack plumbing. And if I thought harder, I would probably encourage the young ones to leave this place, get educated, see the world, and then, if they decide, to come back here to make a home and a family for themselves.

With those words, I better close for the night. Feeling very good about all, and ready to hit the sack. Let the resting begin!

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Kimber Writes: The First Three Days in Peru

Friday

I departed for my adventure on July 1 from San Antonio. I managed to just make my connection in Houston to catch up with the rest of the team coming from the Houston area.  We arrived into Lima at 10 pm and it took about 2 hours to clear passport control, get bags and clear customs.  So we arrived at our hotel, Casa Kolping in the Magdalena area of Lima at around midnight. Just FYI a single room here costs about $16. A triple costs about $36.  The hotel was fine as far as clean and in a good area of Lima.  But the bed was as hard as a rock so I didn’t sleep much that first short night. Additionally, we were on the 3rd floor of course and there are not elevators so it is haul stuff up and then back down.

Lima itself never sleeps.  There is traffic and noise always.  We passed some road construction and the barrels used to mark the area are actual barrels (the kind that stuff comes in), with a reflective stripe glued or painted on. Construction is also occurring on nearly every block in Lima. It is a rapidly growing city. There are already an estimated 9 million people in Lima but 15 million electricity meters are read each month.

 

Church in Ayaviri

Saturday

We got up Saturday morning and prepared for the next step in our adventure.  The hotel had a lovely garden that we noticed in the morning while eating what would be our standard breakfast fare, coffee and rolls with butter.  The coffee was typical for Peru.  A very strong liquid coffee is in one small pot and hot water in another. To make a cup of coffee you put a tablespoon or two of the coffee into a cup and top it up with water. 

After breakfast a couple of us went for a short walk to the store and around the block.  The store in this area was very nice and similar to a very small store in the US.

After our walk, we began our education. Sara and Rusty provided the majority of our education on Peru while a leader of the Presbyterian church in Lima provided some history of the church there.  First we learned about the water in Peru and its affect on populations.  Over 1/3 of the people of Peru live in Lima but there is very little water.  The majority of water that falls in Peru as either rain or snow falls in the Andes and flows east into the Amazon area.  It is expected because of this that Lima will be one of the first cities to begin to de-populate due to lack of water.  Additionally, water is poor quality all over Peru and is unsafe to drink. We also learned about the Time of Terror and the affect on people.  The Communist Party of Peru, know as the Shining Path launched internal conflict in Peru in 1980 attempting to establish a dictatorship using brutality and fear.  Many people fled their villages in fear for their lives creating many of the shantytowns around Lima and other large cities.  Our education ended with a story about Brother Mouse and Brother Elephant. Brother Elephant and Brother Mouse were best friends.  Brother Elephant wanted to throw a party so he invited many friends including Brother Mouse.  Everyone danced until late in the night and fell asleep.  Brother Elephant said goodbye to all his friends in the morning but Brother Mouse was missing.  Brother Elephant finally found Brother Mouse trampled on the floor.  The story is meant to describe American short-term missionaries.  They come in, dance and save the day but the people left behind feel trampled and worn.  We were taught to focus each day on the people and the relationships.  The work was second.  To be successful over the long term we needed to take it slow and steady with patience and love.

Our goal is not to do something fast and furious that the people of the church can do themselves.  They are very capable of building chairs.  Most people have built their own chairs.  Our goal was to work side by side in communion on a project that would help the church grow in both numbers and faith with each other.  We would be used to challenge the church, men and women, to commit to the church and its growth and to become people who were right with God, right with the church, right with each other, and right with the world.

We headed back to the Lima airport to catch our flight to Cusco.  Our flight was delayed so it took some extra time to get there.  We didn’t arrive at Hotel “San Juan Masias” until nearly 5 pm.  Everyone was at least on the second floor but there were already people suffering the effects of high altitude.  The altitude in Cusco is 11,200 feet.  Fortunately I felt fine, I just found myself more easily winded. 

We wandered around for a while looking for a restaurant that could accommodate us all as we were so late.  I think this wore everyone down but we did finally get to a place that had nice soups and simple main courses.  I had a nice dinner of asparagus soup and fried trout. Dinner was where the high altitude casualties started and they continued for the next two days.  Some had vomiting or extreme fatigue, headaches and dizziness.  You can buy small bottles of oxygen there that can be used similar to an inhaler.  Several people needed these. 

We also met Manuel and Urpi at dinner.  Manuel would help us with translation and Urpi would be our chief healer and head the kitchen. Urpi is short for Uripicha which means heart if the dove. Urpi showed time and time again that she was one of the most beautiful people, inside and out, that I have ever met.  Her food was nourishing, healthy and good and the love that went into it could not have been greater.  She coached many of the illest team member how to breathe and take care of them selves.  

Our hotel was simple but clean with heat and hot running water.  The hotel is run by Dominican nuns on the grounds of a busy private school.  It is also near to the Plaza De Armas, the central plaza in the area.  I slept much better and felt well rested for the next day’s adventure.

Sunday

We were up early for our 5-hour bus ride to Ayaviri.  Our goal was to get there by noon to celebrate the end of worship.  However you can’t predict the travels from Cusco to Ayaviri for several reasons including the continuing affects of altitude on some of our members, the winding road, and the traffic.  We had a member get sick very early in the ride so we took an early break to rest and stretch our legs.  We also took this at the lowest altitude on the ride, maybe 9000 feet to allow everyone a few extra molecules of oxygen.  Urpi lead us in some nice breathing exercises before we piled back on the bus. 

Abigail

The ride was both windy and winding.  And of course it was beautiful.  The green we experienced on our Christmas trip where we traveled the same route was replaced with gold and brown of winter.  But the mountains were still majestic and beautiful. We saw a fox with about an hour of travel left.  He was up in the high flats.  We later learned that once the fox ran across the road, the driver slowed down because the fox was telling the driver there was danger from the wind. And there were very substantial winds including swirling winds near to Ayaviri.  There were several birds we had seen before plus a new one I had not seen.

We made it to Ayaviri safely, 48 hours after we began our travels.  One small snag was that because we were late, we went straight to the church and the bus had been paid to deliver us to one place so we had to offload all of our things from the bus and store them before we could join church.  We were about a ½ hour late but the church was still waiting. We did our greetings and all introduced ourselves.  We would start and end each day with greetings for the rest of the trip. The church members did as well and then we spent the next 30 minutes saying hello to everyone.  This illustrated the point that hello comes first and work comes second. 

kitchen and bathroom

 

The kitchen and bathrooms

After church we ate pasta with carrots, onions, garlic, and chicken with the church members.  The food was surprisingly good but in portions enough to feed two at least.  Several of us weren’t very hungry due to travel weariness and fatigue. Two church members have cars and offered to take all of our things to the church.  Two of us went in the first cars of things to help unload.  We were the healthiest feeling ones.  I was in a car fully loaded with luggage with 4 adults and three kids.  It was like a clown commercial where you just keep stuffing people and things in.  Others came by Tuk-Tuk, a small three wheeled motorcycle car than can carry three people if they like each other. Our hotel was the “Hotel Lumonosa”.  It had no heat and extremely limited-to-no hot water. It was located on the square though and clean. Oh and of course half of us were on the third floor again and of course there is not an elevator.

Those who were well and adventurous wandered around the square before dinner. We met a couple of young leaders of a Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) who were leading a group of students in a mission in the villages for two weeks.  This group has been working in the region for several years.  They were staying at a dorm owned by the Catholic Church and it was just across the square from our hotel. One of the leaders of the group had been a college basketball player.  I was extremely short in comparison. Talking to them touched my heart and brightened my day.

tables

 

Some of the table and chair parts

We ate dinner in town, the only night we did so. We had semolina soup for an appetizer followed by an omelet and potato and rice. I passed on the omelet.  We went back to church for an evening worship where there was a great deal of singing and praying all in in Quechua and Spanish. The keyboard player, Antonio, plays only the chords for each song. Sometimes he plays them at the right time but it is happy music anyway.  Middle C has fallen off the keyboard he uses. 

I entertained Abigail, a four year old girl in the church, with a sticky note.  I am certain she had never seen such a thing.  We stuck it to our noses and chins and after the sticky wore off we folded it into a fortune teller. We had a devotion and then the challenge began. Antonio, the keyboard player, is also the master carpenter.  He designed the chairs and had all the parts milled. He spoke to the congregation and indicated that he and others were somewhat afraid of us.  That broke our heart.  We want to serve and love, not inspire fear.  We had our work cut out, not just physical labor but acts of love. The leaders of the church Moses and Aaron (yes that is correct, Aaron is the Pastor and Moses is the elected lay elder) issued a challenge to the members of the church.  The challenge was that we weren’t there to work alone.  This was the project of the church and the members were expected to be with us and participate in the building of the chairs and tables.  The challenge had a hidden meaning as well.  The church has struggled in recent years with attendance and participation.  This project was an attempt to start new and fresh and to bring members back fully to the church. Moses and Aaron are strong Godly men trying to guide and lead thier flock to be stronger Christians.  They are truly men who are chasing God’s heart and growing n faith and love.  I am blessed to have met them.

We finally headed back to the hotel.  The sun had long since set and it was below freezing.  It is winter there right now and we were at 13,000 feet. Everything was cold.  Our rooms, our beds, our clothes…..

Written by Kimber Hamilton, Ayaviri adventurer

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Follow up thoughts

Finally figured out how to get back in to the blog to try to share a few photos and thoughts about this remarkable Peruvian adventure. While the trip was physically taxing, the experience was incomparable. I saw God at work in so many different ways as our group connected with each other and with the members of the IEP church in Ayaviri. We grew personally, we bonded as Christians, we expanded our horizons, and learned to do without things like heat, hot water and reliable plumbing. I believe we also positively impacted the future of the church there and the commitment of its members. I know we surprised them in many ways, not the least of which in our being unskilled workers who were there willing to do whatever they wanted us to do. I think our greatest accomplishment on this trip was that we did work TOGETHER with the members of the church on this small project, and in doing so, shared the love of Christ

Breaking bread together was as important as working together, and as you can see, the chairs we built were put to immediate use!

Breaking bread together was as important as working together, and as you can see, the chairs we built were put to immediate use!

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The first chair to be completed!

The first chair to be completed!

We showed them hermanas (sisters) could make chairs too!

We showed them hermanas (sisters) could make chairs too!

Ruben & his construction crew.

Ruben & his construction crew.

What an accomplishment!

What an accomplishment!

You haven't lived until you have ridden in a tuck-tuck.

You haven’t lived until you have ridden in a tuck-tuck.

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