I’m going to try to remember the highlights of this past week.
- I led songs in Spanish for the first time. I chose one song none of us had ever sung before; that was fun. I also led “The God We Serve” or “Tres Jovenes”; that was very difficult.
- Lamar preached on serving only God. We had service in our living room again. Esmeralda was the only visitor.
- After the service, Esmeralda shared some disturbing news about a neighbor who is unhappy with us and has gone to a lawyer, presumably in the first steps of a lawsuit against us. We need to keep praying that the opposition to the work here is hindered.
- We played volleyball in the afternoon with only our families. I had more fun than I had thought I might with littles and oldies all mixed together. Joel was feeling unwell.
- We had soft pretzels for Sunday supper. That’s becoming a tradition, I think, and it’s a good tradition.
- Lamar, Beulah, Steph, and I took a trip to Cuzco. We had a number of things on our list that can’t be gotten in Izcuchaca: Toilet flange, various household items, Steph’s new phone number, coffee!–and other stuff.
- We got to Cuzco close to noon. The Bitel store we normally use was closed for a holiday. We went to find lunch close to the one big store, Promart. We found a Papa John’s! Using coupons, we got lunch for just $25 for the four of us. And we found a Bitel store/kiosk that was open. Steph got her new number. (If you need to update Steph’s or my number, send me an email.)
- We went here and there and another place and managed to get all the things on our lists, I think–plus some! Most happily, we got coffee. Once we were loaded down with more bags than were easy to carry, I stayed with the stuff in a plaza while the others dashed about to get more things, which they dropped off with me.
- Lamar tried to check in on our washer to see if we could get a repairman to look at it. It’s a long and overly convoluted process to get someone to come take a look. Shock. Surprise. We’ll keep using it in the meantime.
- Jolynn and Juanita had kept the children together all day. I think I saw some gray hair when we returned at supper time with all our stuff. That was a long day.
- Before leaving in the morning, I had put some epoxy on the leaky joints at our water heater and pressure system. At bedtime I turned the valves on–more leaks than ever before. I went to bed discouraged.
- Titus and Sarah Peachey and family from Puno, Peru came for a visit today. They were a complete joy all day. They had orginally planned to leave mid-afternoon, but had pity on us and stayed until after supper.
- Sarah and I worked on tile in the downstairs bathroom all day. Besides being a skillful somebody, she was such a cheerful person to work with. She was a balm for my soul.
- Titus and Lamar disassembled the water system; Titus put it back together, showing us how much Teflon to use. No leaks! It was such a relief to go to bed without having to fret about leaks. He’s my next hero.
- Throughout the afternoon we noticed lowering water pressure. By bedtime Lamar’s had very little; we had slightly more pressure, being at the end of the line. The upstairs restroom (our only working restroom) could not get water.
- We have no water–again. Hugo met Lamar to talk about the possibility of finishing the tile for me. That was a pleasant surprise! He said there’s some work being done up in the mountain that makes it necessary for the water to be shut off. We don’t know for how long.
- Lamar and I went to town to meet at 11:00 a.m. with the fellow we want to rent the church building from. We had a good talk with Alberto. He said he can have the room ready to rent by August 22. We agreed to a three-month contract. He asked us to make a copy of our passports while he went and met with a lawyer to draw up the contract. We planned to meet back with him at 4:00 p.m.
- Lamar and I picked up a few supplies while we were in town. I tried to buy compressed oxygen, but I was saying it wrong and ended up with hydrogen peroxide.
- While we waited to go back to meet Alberto, I began working on the bathroom tile, and Lamar began burning off some thistle patches. He was pumping well/ditch water up around the small patch to keep the fire contained, but the water level ran too low, and the fire took off! It is dry season here. All the adults came out and one neighbor boy, Cesar. We fought the fire for two hours before getting it back under control. Praise the Lord no one was injured.
- We cancelled our meeting to town and postponed our prayer meeting because of the fire. It was sad not to have enough water to shower.
- We have no water–again.
- The girls have been dragging in how long it takes them to do their math lessons. I gave them a carrot: If they get their lessons done in under half an hour the next two days, they will get a prize. Boom! Math was done. Dane is doing well in his phonics.
- Lamar and I went back to Izcuchaca to meet with Alberto. We went to the notary to make the contract official, but they said they cannot do it without Lamar’s carnet, which he has applied for with his residency. We hope that comes in the next week or two. The contract signing was postponed until then.
- On the way home, Lamar caught a combi that was ready to pull away. Behold! Ernesto the water committee chairman was on that combi. We had a productive conversation with him. He made some calls to try to get water to our community again. Apparently, the water is cut off in the mountain for official reasons. Ernesto said to call him as soon as we got some. We did get a little toward the end of the day, but nothing to speak of really. It was enough to fill some water bottles with filtered water at our place.
- Since we planned to have prayer meeting tonight, we moved our regularly scheduled staff meeting up to just after lunch. We knocked out a pile of items, including plans for the Veritas group next week and plans for teaching English in Izcuchaca in September, Lord willing. We also discovered that there are very many dates and potential events looming in the next six months, but we are choosing not to worry about them.
- We had a blessed prayer meeting together. Our group is small enough that we all pray together, even the children take a turn praying. It’s a precious experience. It definitely feels like we are in the trenches together; though, it has been only two weeks.
- Water pressure was increasing hopefully at bedtime, but we still had no pressure upstairs.
- We have some mountain water again!
- The mason, Hugo, showed up today and began work on the bathroom. He and his helper do really good work. I’m excited.
- Steph and Jolynn went to market; I think Lamar and Beulah went with them. I stayed and washed all the dishes that had accumulated over the past few days with no water.
- We had mini-school. The girls were done in just at half an hour with their math. They will get their prize.
- I helped milk the cow. She was calmer, I thought. We didn’t even tie her legs. My forearms, especially my left side, cramps up before we’re quite finished. What can I do to build up my strength?
- The mason, Hugo, came back. He finished around 5:00 p.m. The bathroom looks beautiful. He plans to come back next week to begin work on the upstairs bathroom.
- Steph, Juanita, Lamar, and I went into Izcuchaca to pick up the furniture. The bed frames are still not ready. They said to come back tomorrow; we said we’d come back Monday. The ladies bought some kitchen supplies; I bought a pair of muck boots; Lamar got some more data on his phone; Juanita lost her phone in the taxi.
- We had no water–again–because the pump had burned up. Lamar and Joel went hunting in one town for Juanita’s phone. Juanita and I went hunting for a replacement pump. Miraculously, we found both! Lamar and I replaced the pump.
- Still no water from the mountain. But we had a reserve tank full! We hooked the auxiliary pump up to the reserve tank to fill up the main tank. Water again.
- The plow for the garden did not show up at 2:00 p.m…. or any time after that.
- The cow and calf were missing after supper. Anne said she hadn’t seen them when she went to check on them mid-afternoon. I checked the lower pasture: Nothing. Lamar and Beulah checked the top pasture: Nothing. We three checked the neighbor’s pasture: Nothing. We started calling the cow’s name and heard bawling! We found her stuck in a ditch, up to her neck in freezing water. I accidentally fell in when I tried to jump over. (Beulah knew I was going to fall in. They laughed at me.) We got the cow out.
- Thankfully we had enough water I could take a hot bath after my swim in the ditch.
- I studied a little for my devotional, then went to sleep.
If we have many more weeks like this, I think I shall grow old before my time. But truly, it was quite an adventure. Never a dull moment!