Two Days Until We Fly

Yesterday I had plans to get this and that and the other done at home. Rafael had said on Saturday that he would go to Cusco to get supplies for their store on Monday, and while he was there, he would set up an appointment for our Covid tests. That was kind of him.

But I was leery. I called him during chores yesterday to see what time he might have the information I needed, and he said he was going to call me to let me know he’d changed plans and wouldn’t be going after all. I was glad I called.

I threw all my plans out the window and headed to Cusco. We found places in Izcuchaca that could do the testing, but none of them had official paperwork to give that would be accepted by the airlines.

Cusco was filled to the brim with people and traffic. The end of this week they will celebrate their independence from Spain. I think this is 200 years for them or something extra special. The streets were filled with vendors selling goods related to the bicentennial.

It seems like there are many more Venezuelans in Cusco now than a few weeks ago. A number were out begging. I saw one couple who’d been given food by someone; they were simply devouring the lunch. Skinny and dirty and exhausted, they looked like they’ve endured a lot. I stopped for only a moment and shared with them. The poor young man was crying and blubbering thanks as I left. The Venezuelan people are really suffering.

I went to numerous places, looking for the test and info we needed, but it seemed most people didn’t know how to help travelers. But at long last, I did find a place that could do what we needed. They will be open only a couple hours on Wednesday, but we can go in early to get the tests.

Everyone down to Seth will need to be tested. We are praying for negative tests for us all. I’m not looking forward to driving in Cusco on Wednesday, so I’m toying with the idea of bussing in. We shall see.

Last evening, the children wanted a fire. I figured we could celebrate having found the Covid testing location. We built a nice fire and cuddled around it and sang. It is very cold here at nights, so the fire was especially cozy.

Today, we are packing and planning. Steph is handling most of our packing. I am handling most of our planning. And so betwixt us both, you see.

Some of you have asked about our schedule. We have a few things planned out so far. I’ll give you an idea of what we’re thinking.

  • Every weekend is already taken by people who have asked or been asked to spend time with us.
  • Every Sunday we plan to be at Strasburg, Virginia our home congregation, except for one weekend that we plan to visit Crossville, Tennessee.
  • We’re going to try to keep Tuesdays and Thursdays and Sunday afternoons open for visiting friends in the area.
  • The first week of August, we plan to be with Steph’s family in Virginia a number of days.
  • The second week of August, we plan to be with my family in Tennessee.
  • The remainder of August, we plan to be in Strasburg.
  • The first week of September, we plan to be in McDowell with friends.
  • Sometime after that in September, we plan to fly home.

At this point, Caleb and Belinda are planning to fly back to Peru with us. They are going to busy in order to get everything done by then.

I have been scheduling Spanish classes in Puno with Rafael Roca and his sister Marta. We are thinking that Caleb’s and China will go the first of October for maybe two weeks, then Steph and I might go the end of October or beginning of November. We shall see.

Speaking of Rafael Roca, he is flying home from Lima on Wednesday. The results of his biopsy came back, and the cancer was indeed malignant. However, the surgeon feels confident that he removed all the cancer. Rafael will need to go for checkups regularly for two years or so to be sure the cancer doesn’t return. We are praising the Lord for that outcome!

I just came in to write this post after walking around the farm with Percy. He and his family will be caring for everything while we’re away. That is such a blessing. I also gave him a list of twenty-five different projects to work on while we’re away. He is excited to see if he can get them all done or not.

Today, he was burning off dead grass and cleaning out the ditches. He wants to have things looking pretty for when Lamar’s arrive because he says he knows they prefer things a particular way. He’s a really great worker and conscientious.

Rafael and Elisabet called this morning. They are planning to take us to the airport and wanted to be sure what time we leave. They are both tremendously sad because they are sure they will never see us again, poor them.

Cristina called in distress. “How can I read the Bible if you will be gone for so long?!” I encouraged her that she must stay disciplined and read the Bible, and we will talk with her about what she learned when we return.

Emilio called. He says he is very worried that I won’t come back, but he needs the sermons. He says he is thinking to separate from his girlfriend because she has been a trampa (trap) for his soul. She doesn’t want him to have anything to do with God, so he has to do all in secret. I encouraged him to obey the Lord and to visit the church in Huaral. He says he will try.

I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes, I hope. Thanks for your encouragement.

Irrigating the fields…
…with ice!
See the dead chicken in the bush? A lovely park area….
Lots of people!
Setting up for a speech
Traffic jams
This little guy on the combi was enjoying his popcorn.
Loving the fire
Using up old egg cartons
Everything becomes a mess until we are ready to go.