When I planned my trip to Peru I knew I had to do something to see my friends in Lima. Most of my friends are in the mountains. But Saturday afternoon I had a reunion in a church. It was awesome to hear testimonies of God’s faithfulness. One of the young ladies that came I had never met. She uses the lessons I publish and that’s how she knew about the meeting.
One lady came from Huancayo, traveling all night on a bus. For me she was like a saving angel, to help me carry my things, and so I didn’t have to travel alone by taxi. My cousin would have gone with me but there was a problem in the condominium where she lives. They were changing the pipes and she needed to be home. It wasn’t pleasant. No water, and no drainage of any kind all day!
It was a 40 minutes drive so we had time to chat with the cab driver. I told him of my mission to spread the seed of God’s love and I gave him one of my “hearts”. He immediately put it on his windshield. Low and behold, as we are driving along, we came across a statue with a heart. You can see it on the picture, and also the heart on the windshield.
It took us some time to find the church. There was an address but no number. The taxi driver was very helpful and he stopped to ask people along the way. Then, suddenly, the pastor saw me from where he was talking to a lady. “Hermana Che,” he shouted. That’s my name in Peru. Ever since I babysat for some Argentinians my siblings called me Che. That’s what people call each other in Argentina. The nickname has stuck with me for over fifty years!
The name of the church is Dulce Refugio—Sweet Place of Refuge. I love it! God is our place of refuge. How wonderful to meet in a place of sweet refuge. There was a kitchen and a big table. That’s where we sat around and chatted about good old times.
I felt so loved and appreciated. We need that sometimes; it lifts our spirit. I got an email today from a friend. Her husband often says he would like to be used by God like God uses me; but he doesn’t want to go through the trials I’ve gone through. It’s funny because I often think I would like to be used by God like he and his wife have been. Maybe you have looked at someone and thought the same thing. Let’s be thankful for God’s work in each of our lives.
(Explanations of people in the pictures are from left to right)
Top left: Isabel and her son Bannion. She worked in our bookstore in the early seventies. Paco, the man with the hat, is my forever friend. He’s appreciated our family through thick and thin.
Top right: Carmen, my latest acquaintance, who came because she reads my blogs and wanted to meet me. Nancy, was my “angel” of the day. She and her husband are founders and director of an elementary school in one of the districts of Huancayo.
Bottom left: Maria, my new assistants’ mother. She prepared the delicious meal we enjoyed. I’ll explain later, with pictures.
Bottom right: Jeanet, my Sunday school girl I hadn’t seen in more than 40 years; Ana-Maria, who back in the day used to help us with all our documentation to be able to stay in the country. She was invaluable to us; Cesar, my favorite boy in all the world (except for my grandson David, of course). He’s helped me with many pictures for my Bible lessons; Isabel again.
Maria and her husband Marco prepared a specialty dish from Huancayo: papa a la huancaína. It’s steamed potatoes served on a bed of lettuce, topped with a sauce made with hot peppers, cheese similar to cottage cheese and crackers, accompanied with eggs and olives. The sauce they had prepared was the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. It could be that the fellowship was so good that it added special spice to the food. Whatever did the trick, it was heavenly!
Added to the group is Jorge (I haven’t explained about him), whom we got to know when he came to Huancayo looking for his mother. His story was so compelling I wrote a book about it in Swedish. I still have it in one of my drawers, needing some polishing. His hair might turn white before I get that done! Farthest to the right is Marco, one of Cesar’s older brothers. You might remember that Marco and Maria celebrated their 30th anniversary with me last week.
I’ll end for today with some flowers I photographed at the Sweet Place of Refuge. The taxi driver wanted to take us to the next appointment, which was at Cristina’s house. So he called and came by when it was time for us to leave. I’ll wait with that story for tomorrow!