She Is Here

I left here yesterday at 6:00 to go to Izcuchaca. I took two trays of bread Steph had baked the day before. Stopping at Rafael’s, I dropped off the bread and picked up Rafael.

Rafael loves to drive the truck, so I always let him. Steph had prepared biscuits stuffed with ham, and I had brought coffee, so we had breakfast on the road. Rafael was delighted.

The truck has a vibration under the driver’s side wheel. Percy says we need to have a certain union replaced. I prayed on the way to Cusco that God would keep the truck in one piece for the day. Thankfully, He did.

On the way to Cusco, Rafael talked about frustrations they’re having with their worker. He talked about the lack of respect from him–he sometimes uses Rafael’s name instead of calling him “boss, master, or sir.” And he murmurs when he’s corrected for working slowly or poorly.

I wasn’t quite sure how to respond, so I mostly listened. But I did try to offer a perspective of how to show love. We did talk briefly about their coming for Bible study; they plan to bike here this morning.

We arrived at the airport around 7:15. Rafael dropped me off at the gate because they still aren’t allowing anyone onto the property without a ticket to fly. He took the truck up the street to park.

We waited awhile until people started exiting. Rafael was anxious. “Why isn’t your sister here? Why can’t we see her? Maybe she didn’t make it!”

But I knew what was happening and explained that she was standing back and allowing the impatient Peruvians to push ahead of her. She would most likely be the last one because she was being kind and patient. Rafael muttered something about how “she was going to be just like David.” That made me laugh.

At last we saw her! She made her way slowly up the hill, stopping at each taxi driver who insisted on taking her bags and sweetly telling them–in English–that she was fine, thank you.

“What is she doing?!” Rafael wanted to know. “Why is she taking so long? She’s going to be the last.” (Wouldn’t that be terrible?) He started calling for her to see us, but when he realized he was speaking Spanish, he stopped a moment before calling out in a heavy accent, “Allo! Allo! (hello)”

I chuckled and waited and snapped pictures to send to my family and church back in the States. Many of them had been messaging me through the night and morning to make sure China was okay. Poor Aunt Sue didn’t get a wink of sleep but stayed up praying through the night for safety.

And China arrived all in one piece. We had a happy reunion. I had to translate for her and Rafael in the way home, but we had a jolly conversation anyway. Rafael found out she was a little hungry and went driving across Cusco to find his favorite tamales from a street vendor. Never mind that I had brought coffee and biscuits for China.

I asked Rafael if China looks like me. “Ella es bien parecida a ti, David!” She looks just like you.

“Yes, she’s beautiful, isn’t she?” I asked, jokingly.

“SΓ­! Si! Muy guapita!” He began before he realized what he was saying. He looked at me sharply, but I was chuckling. “David, if you would grow long hair and wear a dress, maybe you could be pretty, too.”

We stopped to say hello to Elisabet who was delighted to meet another Elizabeth! We then took the rest of the bread to Sra Γ‰ster who cooed over China. She wanted to know how to say something in English to China, so I helped her say “hello.” She tried and then burst out laughing. “She will have to learn Spanish, Sr David!”

At last we were driving down the lane. As they often do, the children came running up the lane to meet me. They like jumping into the truck with me to ride down the rest of the way to the house. They had known I was going to Cusco to pick up Steph’s and Anne’s glasses (but the office was closed, so I couldn’t).

Dane made it to the truck first. He stopped in shock and stared. Then he waved a little and ran to the bank and jumped into the truck bed instead of climbing inside. Anne was next. She had become suspicious the day before after seeing a message about China on my phone, but she had given up hope when China didn’t arrive. Seeing her in the truck, she grinned and ran to the back.

Shawn stopped running toward the truck as soon as he saw her. He simply stood and stared. I drove forward and asked if he wanted to jump in. He shook his head and ran to the back with the others. Seth kept his head down and ran directly to the back. He then spent the next hour or two pretending he couldn’t see China.

At the house we got out and everyone gave hugs. The children were very quiet, shocked that Aunt China was actually here. We had prayed for her to come so long. “I wondered if she was coming. I knew it, but I didn’t really know for sure,” Anne said.

“God answered our prayers,” Abbey said matter-of-factly.

The boys just grinned.

Travel gear
There she is! Way down at the bottom!
Tamales for breakfast
Here come the children!
Walter frowned and frowned at China.
Unpacking in the guest room
Treasures for us!
Batteries from my dad-in-law!
Friends by bedtime
And aunts read books!