Hi, this is just a post to let you know what I've been up to in the last week or so.
I moved from Arequipa to Ilo on Saturday. The most difficult part of the journey was getting to the bus terminal and making sure my luggage got put on the right bus and don't get appropriated by alternative owners. I actually had more baggage than I could safely handle so thankfully Iain McKelvie, the missionary whose family I was staying with, accompanied me to the terminal.
I was obviously over my 20kg allowance and the attendant informed me so stating I would have to pay a charge. I responded that that was fine and asked how much? For some reason this seemed to shock him and after looking at me in a sort of stunned manner he then said not to worry that he wouldn't charge me, but would do so the next time. I don't know if he expected me to argue, or bribe him or what exactly. Obviously he expected anything but what I think would be the most probable answer to his question- “how much?”.
Anyway the journey began well, with all luggage on board and the lady beside me crossing herself every time we passed a Catholic shrine. This was at least six times before we even got out of Arequipa, and pretty much at every village or township we passed through. I got the vibe that she was quite nervous about our journey and I soon wondered had she travelled with our driver before. It was about 45 minutes into the journey when the stewardess/conductor ran past me and shouted to the driver to stop. Both then got out and disappeared round the side of the bus. It quickly became apparent to everyone that one of the cargo doors had opened as we had been going round the corners. When the stewardess got back on the bus she reassured us that it wasn't the door of the luggage compartment that had opened but of the compartment containing the deliveries and postage people were sending to Moquegua or Ilo. I nevertheless sat for the rest of the journey wondering if this was really the truth and would I find my luggage missing on arrival. At Moquegua I got off and checked that my luggage was there, which it thankfully was. I wonder however, if someone else's bags or post is now at the bottom of a ravine outside Arequipa?
I have spent the last few days settling into the Murphy's home here in Ilo, where I will reside until July. This has included buying in food and trying to get myself organised in terms of paperwork, accounts etc. Sunday night I accompanied Trevor Morrow to Tacna where he was speaking at 'Manantial de Vida' Church, which is celebrating it's 7th anniversary this week, and stayed the night so as to attend a meeting for the missionaries on Monday morning. Tomorrow, Thursday, I am planning to travel over to Tacna again and stay probably to Monday. This is to visit the 'Mision Rescate' team, see how they are doing and also share in the anniversary celebrations at 'Manantial de Vida' with whom they are working this week. There are baptisms planned for Saturday morning and special services on Sunday. Also this weekend the seminary has an invited speaker coming from Lima who is speaking on Friday night and Saturday morning. I hope to attend Friday night's session but will probably have to miss Saturday morning to attend the baptisms. Please pray for these various events, and especially for those getting baptised and for the invited speaker.
Whilst in Tacna I am also going to see if I can get some tests done at a reputable laboratory there to see if I am indeed clear of typhoid. Please pray for this and other tests I have to have done. One of the Peruvian male team members also needs to be seen by a doctor while in Tacna to ensure that he is medically fit to travel to Puno next week. Pray that he would get the all clear. Please also pray for Guido, another of the Peruvian team members, who has been suffering from backache since February. He was seen by a doctor back then and as symptoms haven't resolved he was examined by another doctor on Monday who again diagnosed him with sciatica. Pray for him as he tries to get relief from the pain.
Lastly please remember the team as they minister in Tacna this week and then next week as they prepare for our trip to Puno. Pray for safety in travel both to and from Tacna and then next week up to Arequipa and on to Puno.
Thanks again for your prayers,