Hi. Sorry for not updating sooner but I’ve been busy and also I haven’t had regular access to the internet until yesterday.
During the last few weeks Dave and Alicia Murphy were here. It was great to be able to spend some time with them. There were a few frustrations in terms of trying to get things like transport organised. Things like this aren’t as simple as in Ireland. It certainly isn’t a case of just calling a company and arranging a suitable time and price. For example it involved going to the police station and getting ‘Mudanca’ documents done (which are essentially legalised copies of an itemised list you provide) to allow us to transport or send stuff out of Ilo. If you don’t have these documents any police or customs officers who stop you on your journey are entitled to confiscate all your property in case it’s stolen. The fact that the policeman never came to the house to see if we actually possessed the items on the list is beside the point. We had to get three sets of these documents done, but thankfully the police were very helpful in this regard. Although it was a very busy week it was good to meet up again and laugh about the various hiccups along the way; either you laugh or you cry.
Also since the last post I have moved into a flat at the seminary in Tacna. It’s cosy and I’m making myself at home in it. I’m also trying to settle into life in Tacna. I have had to deal with the little frustrations that come with trying to settle into life in a new place and it’s only now I realise how accustomed I had got to living in Ilo. For example I have managed to find places to buy most food items but haven’t found somewhere to buy meat. The thing is that very few places that sell meat keep it in a fridge of any description. In the market meat is laid out on the tiled counter but you never know for how long, and whilst I have bought meat there, preferably I choose the refrigerated variety. Last night I tried a shop and found they kept serving people in front of me and after 15mins I left. I went back today and the same thing happened but I persevered until I managed to get something. In Ilo I had become accustomed to shopping at a little shop that always made point of serving people in turn and today I wished they would open up a shop here. Anyway it’s the little things like this that you don’t think about until you’re in the situation, but no doubt in a month’s time I’ll have a routine established.
On the whole the frustrations have been few and I have enjoyed getting things sorted around the flat. I would like to have bought a pet but that seems unwise at present (though some people are trying to convince me to buy some fish) so I have made do with some plants.
Other than settling into the flat, I am continuing preparing classes for the new semester which is alarmingly close. The first classes are on Monday evening the 31st of August. My first class is that evening. Yesterday I spent the afternoon in the library compiling booklists to give out to the students which involved me having to browse through numerous shelves looking for relevant material. Comparatively speaking there is nowhere near as much literature available in Spanish as there is in English, and for the most part I am using the books I brought with me to prepare my courses. I was however, relieved to find at least some material which the students can make use of. Please continue to pray for me, and all the other lecturers, as we continue to prepare our classes.
Tomorrow (Sunday morning) the seminary administrator and I are going to visit a long list of churches to hand out information about the new semester and encourage the believers to come along and enrol. The postal system in Peru isn’t really that effective and the best way to make sure people find out about anything is to go and tell them yourself. Then in the evening one of the churches in Cono Sur, ‘Palabra de Vida’, is celebrating its anniversary. As usual the four churches are joining together for the service and I plan to attend.
Please pray that God would motivate believers to come along and attend the seminary. There is a wide variety of courses offered and there’s usually something for everyone. I have been able to talk to some existing students who are excited about starting back so that’s good.
Thanks again for your continued interest and support in prayer.