Sunday: 22 September 2019

Our house in the States is coming to closing, praise the Lord. It is supposed to happen tomorrow, but we found out Thursday evening that the attorney there was not content with the photocopy of our POA papers we had left. So Friday found me headed to Cusco again to mail the original document to the States.

But before that, I took the oldest three children to the market. We also took along three of our hens that had turned into roosters–we do not need five roosters. Jolynn and Dane stayed to sell the roosters; unfortunately, one rooster died on the way to market. When we butchered him upon returning home, we found that he had a growth and fluid around his heart, so we suspect he died of a heart attack. Apparently, changing from a hen into a rooster is hard on them.

I bought six more hens to replace the three that had turned into roosters. You may have simply gotten three to replace three, but I can’t trust them to stay hens and lay eggs, so….

Joel went with me to mail the documents in Cusco. He was my security blanket in case the language tried to make me do things I couldn’t. On the way to Cusco I received an email from the attorney saying that while she could not accept the photocopy in the States, she could use a scanned copy emailed to her from South America. I stopped in at a photocopy shop and had scans put onto a USB to email when I returned home. I did not point out to the attorney that a copy is a copy is a copy. I went ahead and mailed the hard copy to be sure–only $70 for one envelope!

To comfort ourselves, Joel and I found a Starbucks and treated ourselves. It helped relieve the sting.

Friday night it rained; everything was nice and moist outside Saturday morning when we went to milk the cow. The air was much cleaner, as well. This is the beginning of the many rains to come, we are told. The day stayed cool with low-hanging clouds and heavy breezes.

Lamar’s and we invited our neighbors AscensiĆ³n and ConcepciĆ³n for breakfast at 9:00. We were not surprised to begin shortly before 10:00. We had wanted to discuss a few things with them, including how to keep their sheep and cattle out of our yards. We really hope to grow a garden; we really do not hope to feed their livestock. They suggested fencing our yards. We felt the breakfast did help build a bridge of communication between us.

We also discussed our few cows. They said that we should put them into the barn overnight because there are bad people around who steal stuff out of yards and fields. Back when we had purchased our first batch of chickens over a month ago, we had them only a couple hours before our beautiful white Cochin (Queen Esther) disappeared. My new barn boots had gone missing recently, also. After breakfast, the boots turned up at our gate, followed an hour or two later by the long-lost hen! Things may walk away, but somehow they come back after we talk about it.

After breakfast the young folks and I cleaned out the pig pen here at our barn. I think there must have been years of manure built up in there. We plan to buy two piglets soon to raise up for meat. Bacon!

Kristina, Juanita, and I met afterward to plan for English classes starting up soon. Lord willing, we will have a class in two weeks. That is exciting and somewhat scary for all of us. We are hoping to start with a class of a dozen children to get our feet on the ground, but we first have to advertise. There has been quite a lot of interest; we’ll see if it turns into students.

While we were discussing English class, a neighbor text Lamar to ask for “counsel.” Michael and his wife Greta, both around thirty-five, came shortly before 5:00 p.m. Turns out they both want to learn English. We came up with an arrangement, and I plan to start Friday and Saturday classes with them in two weeks. They were also looking for a babysitter for the mornings Greta works; Juanita plans to take on that responsibility. It is exciting to meet more and more people that we can hopefully work with long-term.

Steph came down with some sort of flu Saturday evening. She was rather unwell, so she stayed home from church this morning. Anne stayed with her to keep her company and to help with her needs. Steph has officially waited 280 days for Walter now. We are all anxious to meet him, none more so than Steph. She is rather uncomfortable, but she has been bearing it well.

This afternoon Steph and Jolynn noticed some ladies out across the field in the neighbor’s lane. They went out to chat with them, thinking it may have been Greta. Here it was a man, his wife, and his sister, all in their twenties, looking for the Levi Martin family. They had been here years ago as teens. They live in Cusco and had met Levi’s at the Cusco market. Through that connection, they had come to the farm to milk cows and experience country life. Today their nostalgia had gotten to them, and they made the trip from Cusco to do it again.

They were happy to meet Jolynn again; although, she did not remember them. They stayed and chatted for a long while. The couple’s eighteen-month-old boy romped around with our boys and our chickens. They were all enamored with the chickens and the children. They made plans to come back next Sunday evening for supper to chat with us and to meet Lamar’s.

It is a blessing to be making friends. It has taken a bit of time, but we are finally establishing connections. That is the silver lining to the cloud of our unhappy neighbor.

As many of you know, our one neighbor is the former owner of this farm and is trying to steal the farm back by claiming that he was deceived and the farm was stolen from him by Levi’s. He has been in court for it, but he has lost every case. Lamar and I discovered after meeting with the lawyer Thursday that this neighbor is on probation with a restraining order keeping him away from the farm.

He is a wicked, violent man with essentially no friends. How sad and frustrated he must be! Pray that God would give us opportunities to show this neighbor the gospel. We want to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.

Thank you for praying.