New Year’s Visitors

A month ago, a group of six young persons was preparing for international travel. For a few of them, coming to Peru was their first time out of the States.

Jolynn’s twin Josiah was leading the group. Her sister Bethany was along, as well as Sylvia Layman, Jennifer Eby, Myron Knicely, and Dallas Shirk. Dallas was the only one I did not know before.

They flew New Year’s eve; the year changed over while they were in the air between El Salvador and Peru. Jolynn, my girls, and I met them at the airport. We loaded Lamar’s car down with their many suitcases. Jolynn went with the group via bus to Izcuchaca.

I hadn’t realized before they came how many suitcases they were bringing for us. There were many surprises for us. A month later we are still enjoying daily blessings from friends and family in the States.

The group was a cheerful set of six. They brought smiles with them wherever they went. And they sang! My soul drank up the beautiful group singing; that’s what I have missed the most since they left.

They were here about two weeks. Josiah had a long list of projects from his dad to accomplish. We prayed, and God held back the rain for most of the time they were here–during a time when we should be having daily rain!

The group worked hard and played hard. They spent the majority of their time working on the large house and the barn during the days and most of their time playing at Lamar’s in the evenings. The few evenings they were at our place, they were so tired they were ready for bed.

It was a special time for Juanita who was missing Kristina and Joel. They had left for the States, Christina for good and Joel for several weeks at Bible school.

The day the group left, Lamar’s were surprised with a visit from their son Jason! They wouldn’t be left alone, even for a day. (Jason heads back to the States today, and Joel returns next week.)

The three biggest jobs the group did were repairing the barn roof, repairing the house roof, and painting the exterior of the big house. I have blessed them many times as I lay in bed listening to another thunderstorm in the dry.

There were many other small projects done, besides visiting various friends. They were also able to eat intestine soup, raw fish (ceviche), and Guinea pig. I think Dallas was pleased.

One day I served as tour guide to Machu Picchu for Myron, Sylvia, and Jennifer. It was a beautiful, sunny day. We had perfect weather with rain coming as we were ready to leave. We left the house at 6:00 in the morning and got back well after 9:00 that night.

We took the train in rather than hiking several days. To stay awake on the way home, we wrote a novella as a group; I haven’t heard when the publishing date is. I recommend a visit to Machu Picchu if you get the chance, but be prepared for high cost unless you have Peruvian residency.

The group left on the thirteenth, taking Jolynn with them. She has been a blessing to our family in so many ways I cannot enumerate them. I was most challenged by her genuine love of the people, even finding ways to love their frustrating quirks. We will miss her. Many blessings to you, Jolynn. Don’t forget us.