Facilities and Fires

My list for today was simple:

  • Sleep in to catch up from short nights
  • Do schooling with the children
  • Lay bathroom tile
  • Have prayer meeting

I was able to sleep in some, and I’m glad I did. Schooling went okay, but I had to leave just as they were finishing because Lamar and I had decided mid-morning to try to finalize the church facilty contact in Izcuchaca today.

We met with the building owner before noon and discussed things. We agreed to a contract for three months, but he needed a copy of a passport and needed to meet with a lawyer. We planned to go collect the photocopy, give him time to write up the contract, then return around 4:00 to sign papers.

He also needs to empty it out.


We did a little shopping since we had paid for a taxi. Lamar went one way, and Juanito and I went another. Shawn is terrified of dogs, and, beloved, dogs Peru has in great abundance. I hope he is not overly traumatized.

Before Lamar could start his shopping, an older gentleman met him on the street. He was interested in what we were doing and wanted to see the church location now; so, off they went.

I stopped at a botica to ask for a small tank of oxygen. We want some on hand for the baby’s delivery. I got the accent in the wrong place in Spanish and ended up with peroxide.

Lamar came along as I stumbled out of that conversation and offered to hunt for the oxygen while I went for some mugs and bowls we need to host the couple dozen people visiting with the Veritas chorus next week.

I found my things and stuffed the buckets and bowls in my backpack, while carrying the mugs in my other hand. (I will not tell you how many times I dropped the bowls out of the gaping zipper of my backpack.) We needed laundry soap yet.

Shawn kept stumbling and falling because every dog we came to caused him to lose his focus on walking. We found a tienda with laundry soap and waited interminably for the people in front us to pay.

The lady customer noticed me and switched to heavily-accented English in talking to her son. Her father was with her, but spoke only Spanish. The son answered in very clear English, so I asked if they lived in the States. Sure enough! She had grown up in Lima, but had been out of Peru for nineteen years, living in California. This was her first time back and first time to Izcuchaca in her life.

She wondered why I was there. She said it was amazing that we would start a church here. She wondered how sick I’d been, living here. I was thankful to say I hadn’t been, which astonished her.

Lamar let me know he was done before I was. If I ever get anything done before Lamar, it will be a cold day in July! Oh. Wait.

I tried paying for the S/8 laundry soap with an S/50 bill. The girl behind the counter said she couldn’t take it because it was too big. I said I had nothing smaller. She said she needed smaller. I repeated I had nothing else. She went back to talk to her mom in the back room who said she couldn’t take a bill that big. The girl explained it was the smallest I had. The mom told her to run down the street to another tienda to get change. Lamar texted to say he was still waiting. (I hadn’t actually forgotten, but reminders never hurt.)

The girl said she just needed to run down the street to get change; please wait. At the door, another customer told her to get some things for them. She did. Then she tried to leave again. She reiterated that she would be just a minute. Then the customer returned and asked for one more thing. So she got that. Lamar texted again to ask if I was still coming. I assured him I was. (He is so fond of me that he gets anxious if I’m gone long, I think.)

The girl took care of the customer, apologized to me, told me again what she was going to do, then finally ran down the street. A couple minutes later she returned, and I was on my way. I messaged Lamar I was coming. He said he was waiting. (See how thoughtful!)


We decided to eat a late lunch, then try to do a small project before leaving at 3:30. Lamar went to burn a few thistles in the pasture. I put the boys down for a nap, then started on tile.

I had two tile laid when I received an urgent voice message from Lamar: “Bring a water bucket!”

Lamar had been pumping water from a shallow well by the ditch to keep the fire contained. Suddenly, the water level went too low for the pump, which stopped the water. The wind picked up, and the fire took off across the pasture!

One by one, all the adults joined us. We fought fast and hard for two long hours, pouring buckets of water on the leaping flames, beating them down with soaked sheets and curtains.

The smoke was thick and made it dangerous and difficult to fight the fire. A neighbor boy, Cesar, came and helped us. We want to give him a gift tomorrow, hopefully.

At last the fire was out. We were shot. We trudged to our houses to take showers and baths. Unfortunately, the mountain water is running so slowly, we did not have enough pressure for bathing. This happens sometimes in the dry season. And now just happens to be sometime.

We are all feeling the effects of the fire fight. We’re coughing and have headaches and are maybe a bit more cranky than usual, but we are thankful to have been spared any real damage. We moved prayer meeting to tomorrow evening.

Our sleep will be sweet tonight.


Tomorrow the list looks pretty simple.

  • Sleep in to catch up from short nights
  • Do schooling with the children
  • Lay bathroom tile
  • Have prayer meeting

We’ll probably end up meeting the fellow to sign papers for the church, too. And who knows what else. Life is an adventure.

Thank you, Lord, for your care today.


Miss G, thanks for your email! It was just what we needed today. I forwarded it to the others.