Much praise for God's providence
over the Summer trip. Here is the journal kept on the trip.
Thursday, July 21
Just a few hours separates us from departure time. It’s hard to
believe that this day is finally here! I’m all packed and am trying
to find ways to pass the time until it is time to go. Time is passing
I am so excited! I know God has such awesome things in store for us and
that He is going to work in mighty ways on this trip! I pray that each
of us be willing and yielded vessels for His glory and that we will each
remain sensitive to the Spirit’s leading.
Is it time to go yet?
Thursday, late night
We are sitting in the Miami airport awaiting our next flight. We had a
blast in the DFW airport riding the new tram around the airport. We had
so much time on our hands, we rode around twice!
We’re having an exciting moment right now as we’ve been spotting
mice running around here. Rachel even jumped up on a chair to get away
from them! Our flight is delayed, so we’re having to wait a little
while before we can board to go to Lima. I hope we can all get some sleep
on this flight.
Friday, July 22
We are now in Iquitos and are getting ready to go out and run some more
errands. After a long night on the plane and yet another plane ride, we
are finally here. We had some trouble initially on the plane from Miami
to Lima. The air conditioning was not working while we were on the ground.
It was stifling hot for 30-45 minutes. The flight attendants started giving
everybody water to drink and the captain kept apologizing. On the flight
from Lima to Iquitos, I was able to see the Andes mountains. They are
so beautiful and majestic!
So far, we’ve gotten our money changed and lunch at Ari’s
burgers. Our friend, Richard met us at the airport and is helping us get
everywhere we need to go. It has been fun to see the reactions of all
those that are here for the first time. They really enjoyed the motor
Now for a few minutes of rest before we head out again.
Saturday, July 23
We are finally on the boat. We spent the afternoon yesterday continuing
to get things done. We had dinner at a new Italian restaurant that has
opened up nearby. We had pizza Peruvian style. Richard and Claudia joined
us for dinner, as well as Pedro. We were all so very tired last night.
I was barely keeping my eyes open.
We ended the night with our devotion time. I was so tired that I wasn’t
sure if I was going to be able to lead out, but God was among us and we
had such a blessed time together, sharing how God had brought us to be
a part of this mission.
We were all very glad to take a shower finally and go to bed last night.
I slept so well last night. I was completely out! I didn’t think
that I would be able to get up very early this morning, but when morning
came and lit came in the window, I woke up and was wide awake and ready
to get going again.
We had breakfast in the hostel and then spent the morning finishing all
the errands. We had to get food, mosquito netting, another guitar, and
more supplies. Pedro and I were in charge of getting the mosquito netting
and also trying to find a good map of the Amazon area. We were unable
to find the map we wanted, though.
We finally got on the boat in the early afternoon and got underway, We
spent the afternoon getting settled in and sewing mosquito nets. We were
all hard at work, trying to get them all done by nightfall.
We had to stop off on the side of the river at sunset for the night. It
is dangerous to keep going at night, especially with the river so much
lower this time of year. Jeff brought a tent to set up on the deck and
it is perfectly the right size. So we were able to set up chairs in it
and have our devotion meeting time up on deck and not have to worry about
mosquitos and other bugs.
We had such a blessed time again tonight. Carol and I were originally
planning to do a different topic tonight, but I really sensed from the
Lord that we needed to do something else. We have been so busy yesterday
and today that I think we have all had less time with the Lord than we
need. So tonight we reminded the group that we need to make sure we make
time with the Lord. We need to be full of the Spirit and in tune with
the Spirit, especially since we are arriving in Pebas tomorrow. It was
an awesome time together in worship.
Then it was shower time and bedtime. We had five of us in hammocks, two
on mattresses under the tent and one in the captain’s quarters.
So we were all upstairs together. After all the giggling and talking,
we finally went to sleep!
Sunday, July 24
This morning started early as we got moving down the river and the wind
was blowing hard. We lost one of the plastic chairs to the Amazon. Oops!
We had our own little worship service here on the boat. It was a great
time of worship and of sharing what God has taught is since we left Iquitos.
Each person shared awesome passages of Scripture and words from the Lord.
We will be arriving at Pebas soon and are also going to go swimming at
a nearby beach.
We arrived in Pebas this afternoon and set off through town. The children
gathered around and went with us everywhere. We traipsed through town
giving the “newbies” the grand tour and then set out to make
contact with Piri. We had such a wonderful time developing relationships
with the children, playing with them, Susan and Stacy doing cartwheels
with them, some of us playing on the playground, some playing a little
volleyball, and just having a great time. Carol built relationships all
over town, attempting to communicate as best as she could, and eliciting
smiles everywhere. Rachel, Stacy, and Linda constantly had 2-4 kids hanging
on to them. Everyone did a great job of building relationships and giving
a good impression to the people in town.
Then we went to the nearby beach and went swimming in the Amazon River.
We had a blast! The bottom of the river is squishy mud and we sank to
our knees in it at times. We were assured that there were no stingrays
around and that we were safe. Some of us tried to swim all the way across
to the other side, but it’s a lot farther than it looks. Pedro and
Jeff went all the way, and Carol, Rachel, and I tried to but had to turn
back. We made it more than halfway across, though. The current was very
strong and it was pulling us downriver. We really enjoyed the experience
and have another great memory to bring home with us.
After dinner, we had another blessed time in group devotion. Carol and
I talked about the harvest being ripe and about fulfilling the Great Commission.
I said that tomorrow the rubber meets the road. We are all nervous and
Pedro left to go talk to his mom and came back at the end of our devotion
time. He was very upset and crying and we all immediately gathered around
him and started praying for him. Then he told us what had happened. His
father is now saying that Pedro is not his son. It’s a long story.
My heart hurts to see him hurting like this.
Monday, July 25
It has been such a full day and such an incredible day. This morning we
set off to Piri to meet with the people. We sang a few songs with the
kids while we waited for the adults to come. Then Linda, Stacy, and I
took the kids and did some ministry work with them. We sang a few songs
and taught them the motions to Cristo Me Ama. I shared the story of Jesus
Calming the Storm and Stacy shared the Wordless book while I translated
for her. It was quite a challenge and growing experience for me to translate
and communicate what we’re doing. Afterwards, we played games with
them. We created a game of hiding bandanas and the team that found it
first won. They loved it! Then we tried to play freeze tag with them and
they enjoyed that, too, although they didn’t quite understand that
they were supposed to tag each other, too, and not just us!
One man was hanging around and helping us communicate with the kids. His
name is Jack and he was really helpful. Later, he brought us something
called hoita (wee-ta). I’m not sure how to spell it. It was really
good and sweet. It’s some kind of fruit that they eat a lot.
Some teenage boys also came by with their band instruments and talked
to us. We asked them to play for us, and they did. They enjoyed playing
for us gringa gals!
Then it was time to go. We headed back to the boat to get ready to go
to Santa Lucia. Also, Carol had to change her shirt because she had been
holding a baby that was not wearing a diaper, and well, she got a bit
dirty… We were unable to get a peki-peki to go to Santa Lucia, so
we had to make two trips in our little motorboat. When we go there, the
kids came running out of the cocamera to greet us. Many of them remembered
me and were glad to see me. The believers sang a few songs for us and
then we led them in a few songs. We took the kids out like we did in Piri
and did the same activities with them. We also played with sidewalk chalk
and the bubbles. They really enjoyed it and so did we.
We came back to the boat for lunch, and I started feeling really sick
and lightheaded. I had to leave the table and go lie down. I was feeling
really hot and tired. I knew it was because I had been running so much
with the kids, especially in Piri, and had gotten dehydrated. I drank
a lot of water and Jeff mixed up an electrolyte drink. I started feeling
better and more like myself after that.
We went back to Santa Lucia in the afternoon and baptized a new believer
and then went shopping amongst all their crafts. Everyone had a blast
bargaining for things. After dinner, we had another wonderful devotion.
Carol led out on the theme of telling the stories of Jesus. She did as
great job of leading and it was a blessing to hear the others’ favorite
Tuesday, July 26
We are now on our way back upriver to go visit other Yagua towns. We went
into Pebas this morning to make phone calls to our families and then we
went to Grippa’s house. Grippa is a local artist who paints beautiful
paintings. His house also has a high tower that has an amazing view of
Pebas and the river. It was a beautiful sight.
It’s been such a peaceful day of relaxation on the boat. Almost
everybody took naps and we all got some much needed rest and recuperation.
We arrived at Apayacu this evening and met the people. They remembered
those of us who had been there before. Later, we joined them for a church
service. It was a blast! They sang some fun songs, we sang a couple of
songs for them, and Pedro preached. Then the service was over. They enjoyed
having us with them and we enjoyed being there.
Wednesday, July 27
We are headed upriver again. We said goodbye to our friends at Apayacu
this morning and then set off. We are now going to Pampamosa, which is
where the village is that has never had a white person visit. We met the
leaders on the last trip and now we are going back to visit their village.
None of us got much sleep last night. A launcha came in during the night,
which was very loud, and then the natives were up very early and being
noisy. A few are taking naps right now. I think I might take one, too!
We arrived at Pampamosa this afternoon and set off for our jungle trek.
We walked for an hour and a half before we arrived at the village. We
had to cross over many swampy, muddy areas and most of us had the pleasure
of falling in and getting covered with mud!
In this village, we had the tremendous honor of being the first white
people to set foot in this village. The people were so welcoming and even
walked all the way back to the boat with us later. When we got to the
village, the men were in their native dress. We found out that they had
just returned from hunting. That was really neat to see.
Also, Carol was sick today, but was determined to make the trek. She became
very sick on the way and vomited. That’s something these people
will never forget: the lengths that we are willing to go in order to come
Pedro preached a great word, and then we spent some time with the people,
making balloon animals for the kids, visiting with the leaders, and looking
at what they had made to sell. I bought an anaconda purse from them!
Then it was time to trek back to the boat. It was getting closer to sunset,
so we were hearing more jungle noises, like birds and monkeys. Since we
had so much trouble crossing the logs earlier, the men got a huge log
and carried it to the places where we had trouble. We were so honored
that they would do that for us. I still managed to slip into the mud in
another place anyway. My shoes were so muddy and slippery I couldn’t
walk in them. So I took them off and walked the rest of the way barefoot.
I think I’m a true Amazonian now, walking through the jungle barefoot!
There is a stream where we were able to wash off our shoes (especially
mine!) and get cleaned up. Nearby, there was a monkey store. Everybody
has been wanting a monkey to have on the boat with us, but hadn’t
found one that was tame enough. Well, we finally got one tonight. She’s
a cute little black monkey, and we named her Mona. She’s so much
We are all very tired tonight. It was a total of 3 hours of hiking in
the heat. We’re tired, but we’re still energetic. We were
even praising and dancing on the back of the boat earlier!
Showers and bedtime are up next. Whew! I am ready!
We are headed upriver again. We are going to the Napo River (a tributary)
where there are some Yagua villages there also. We should be there sometime
in the early afternoon.
To pass the time, we played Phase 10 earlier and had a blast. The entire
time we played, the monkey was on me. She curled up on my shoulder and
neck, and then later she was on top of my head sleeping! It was so funny!
I can’t describe how incredibly peaceful it is here, cruising down
the river, just hanging out. I don’t think I would ever get tired
We finally arrived at a village called Mangua. There is a Yagua village
that is a four-hour walk into the jungle. We were hoping to be able to
go there and spend the night there, but we got to Mangua too late to be
able to do that. Instead, we spent some time with the people in Mangua,
playing with the kids, some playing volleyball, some playing soccer, some
talking to the adults. I had a blast playing with the kids and blowing
bubbles. Many of the adults were drunk because of the independence day
celebration today, and Jeff had trouble with one of the men. This man
was offended because we wouldn’t join in the partying and dancing.
Eventually his wife was able to calm him down and pull him away.
We left after a little while and moved a little down the river to try
to get a head start down the river in the morning. Where we stopped, though,
there were so many bugs! More than we had seen anywhere else!
Carol led out in our devotion time tonight on the theme of family. She
had the idea of having each person give a gift of love, a word of encouragement,
to everyone—like it was Christmas. It was quite a night, and I know
that each of us will carry these words with us in our hearts.
As we were going to bed, we looked up and there were a lot of fireflies
that had managed to get in under the mosquito netting. They were all blinking
on and off and it looked just like lights on a Christmas tree. So we broke
out into song and sang Jingle Bells!
Friday, July 29
We are now on our way back to Iquitos. The second group is also arriving
today and we’ll be meeting up with them there. I think there are
some mixed emotions right now, some sadness that the trip is almost over
but also readiness to go home and see family members. For me, it’s
a little sadness that my time with this group is almost over, but also
excitement at being with the other group and seeing what God is going
to do next week.
We are now in Iquitos and with the other team. We tried to run some errands
but most of the market was still closed today for the holiday. So we’ll
have to go tomorrow morning.
We went down on the river walk this evening and somebody suggested we
gather together and pray. And then we started singing and then Jeff said
Pedro should preach. So Pedro preached and gave an invitation and two
people responded and accepted Christ! Awesome! It reminds me of the Scripture
that says to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have
in Christ Jesus.
Saturday, July 30
It’s been a long day of running errands getting ready to go out
again tomorrow. I went with Pedro to get more mosquito netting and take
it to a seamstress for her to sew the loops in it for us. Going to her
house meant going to a different part of Iquitos, the real side of Iquitos.
This afternoon we went to the zoo so everyone could experience holding
sloths, anacondas, birds, and monkeys. There were also two young pumas
there, but no one wanted to try holding them! Later, we went down to the
market so that everybody could buy souvenirs. There was also somebody
there selling candy, so I bought some to try. It was really sweet, practically
pure sugar. I couldn’t eat very much of it.
We’re all very tired tonight, especially me. I was barely staying
awake during devotions tonight. It’s going to be very hard to say
goodbye to Team 1 tomorrow. But it’s going to be awesome to be with
Team 2 and get to go explore new territory. Richard is also joining us
on this trip. God is going to do some awesome things!
Sunday, July 31
We are now on our way down the river again. It was hard saying goodbye
to Team 1, but the sadness was mixed with excitement at going out again.
I’m also tired, though, and it’s harder now because I’m
not starting this journey fresh. I really need to get some rest today.
It’s been quite a restful, peaceful day on the boat today. Everyone
is enjoying our little Mona scampering about. She’ll be sleeping
with me tonight, and I hope she calms down and sleeps all night. I can
just imagine what everyone back home is going to say when I tell them
I had a monkey sleeping in the hammock with me!
Monday, August 1
We’re getting close to Pebas and should be there later this morning.
Everyone will get to meet the people at Piri and Santa Lucia and see Pebas.
Later this afternoon we’ll head even further downriver to a brand
new place. So exciting! I can’t wait to see what God is going to
do this week!
We took everyone on the grand tour of Pebas. We went over to Piri but
many were out working so we were unable to have this group meet them.
We then went to Santa Lucia and everyone got to meet the people there
and go shopping. We then set off downriver again. We decided not to go
to Mangual either because everyone would be out working there, too.
We traveled the rest of the day and I took a much-needed nap. We docked
for the night at Colonia Oran. It is nice having the map that Richard
was able to get us so we can pinpoint where we are.
We had such a blessed time together tonight. After the actual devotion
was over, we just started singing songs, and it developed into us thinking
of favorite hymns and singing in English while Pedro and Richard sang
in Spanish. We just kept going for a while. I enjoyed it so much I didn’t
want it to end.
Tuesday, August 2
Today we arrived a t a town called San Francisco. We met a man named Raul,
who took us to his house and shared his story with us. He’s had
two visions and he shared those with us and also brought out his guitar
and sang some songs for us.
We then went on a tour of the town and then out into the jungle where
they make jugo de cana out of sugar cane. They showed us how they use
a motor and machine to press the juice out of the sugar cane. It ran out
into a bucket, and then they wanted us to drink some. Seeing that the
spout it had come from wasn’t clean and the bucket it was now in
wasn’t clean, we were a bit hesitant. We wanted to bring it back
to the boat and boil it and strain it to make it safe to drink. But they
insisted that we try it right then and there. So we took the plunge and
drank some, all sharing the one cup that they gave us to use, and praying
that it wouldn’t make it sick. Whew! What an experience!
We then all headed back to the boat, along with Raul, and went downriver
to a Yagua village called Condor. We had to let the Peruvians go ahead
of us to prepare the way for all of us Gringos to come in. We all gathered
together in the schoolhouse. Raul and Pedro led in some songs and then
Raul shared his testimony and sang a song. We were all introduced by Jeff
and our mission explained. Then Trent, Katherine, Jennifer, Richard, and
I took the kids out side. We played some games and sang a couple of songs.
Then Jeff came out to join us. Trent and Katherine shared the Wordless
Book while Jeff translated for them. Then Richard gave the invitation
and all the kids raised their hands.
Inside the schoolhouse, Jeff H. preached while Jeff G. translated and
then Pedro preached. There were 11 decisions for Christ among the adults.
We then said our good-byes and went back to San Francisco. Pedro went
with Raul into town and brought back some coconuts for us. He set to work
peeling one and opening it so that we could drink some coconut juice out
of it. I said I feel like I’m really living off the land now!
We then headed out again to a Yagua town called Remansa. Again, the Peruvians
had to go in ahead of us to prepare the way and to gather the people together.
At first, it seemed to be just mostly children, and then more and more
adults came until we had quite a crowd there in the schoolhouse. Pedro
led in song, Raul shared his testimony, Trent and Katherine shared the
wordless book, Jonathan preached with Jeff translating, and Richard closed
out with the invitation. Many children raised their hands and there were
21 adult decisions for Christ. We have actually run out of Bibles to give
them! There are none left!
It has been an incredible day of God moving! There are 32 adults and we’re
conservatively saying around 15 children who made decisions for Christ
We then went back to San Francisco to dock for the night. We met the pastor
of the church there, attempted to make 1-minute phone calls home, and
played volleyball with the people. What a day!
Wednesday, August 3
We are headed back upriver this morning. We will stop briefly at Pebas
and then we will continue on our way and go back to Pampo Hermosa this
afternoon. Time for another trek through the jungle! Can I stay out of
the mud this time?
Plans have changed. It took longer to get to Pebas than we originally
anticipated. So at first we thought we would have to bypass Pampo Hermosa
and go on back to the Napa River to go to the village that is a 4 hour
walk in the jungle. Then we decided to stay out here an extra day and
travel back to Iquitos on Saturday instead of Friday. So now we can do
We will dock in the town nearby tonight and trek in the jungle in the
morning. I’m glad we will be able to do both
While we were in Pebas we made phone calls home and then took a quick
dip in the river. I really had no intention of going all the way in, but
peer pressure convinced me and I took the plunge off the dock, clothes
and all! It was so hot today that the water felt really good.
Swimming in the Amazon (twice!), trekking though jungles (barefoot at
times!), letting a monkey sleep in my hammock with me… what’s
next? I may be too Amazonian to return to US life now!
Thursday, august 4
We traveled well into the night last night trying to get farther upriver
and make better time. I don’t know when we finally stopped because
I fell asleep. Wherever we stopped, though, was really noisy because it
woke me up later.
This morning we traveled some more and finally go to where we needed to
be. We then set off on the trek to Pampo Hermosa. We went faster this
time and made it there in under an hour, and no falls in the mud this
time either! We spent some time with the kids, teaching a few songs and
John 3:16. The adults were out working so we missed seeing them.
We are now headed upriver to the Napo River to go to Mangua. We are all
really tired after the jungle trek and have been resting this afternoon.
Friday, August 5
We stopped for the night somewhere along the river last night. After devotions,
we set up the laptop and watched a movie. We decided to watch Indian Jones.
We set it up to be in Spanish with English subtitles so Pedro and Richard
could understand it, too. I think they really enjoyed it.
This morning we arrived at Mangua. Originally we were told that to get
to the village we would have to take a peki-peki and down a tributary
and then hike into the jungle, but it was now impassable because the water
is so low this time of year. Then we found out that we could take our
boat to a village called San Pedro and hike from there. And they told
us it would still be about an hour and a half walk. Then they said 45
minutes. Then they said 40 minutes. And it only took us 18 minutes to
walk there! This Yagua village is called Central America. We were joking
about how we’ve left South America and are in Central America now!
When we got there, we were invited into someone’s house. They were
making masato, which is the drink they make from Yucca root. They wanted
us to try it, and again we didn’t want to, but had to. We each gingerly
took a sip to be polite. It pretty much looks and tastes like wallpaper
Then we went over to the meeting area and shared the gospel message with
them. Trent and Katherine tag-teamed the wordless book and Jeff H. and
Jonathan tag-teamed the gospel presentation. Then Richard gave the invitation.
Five accepted Christ and two others are going to think about it.
We are now going back to Mangua to do some evangelism there since we’ve
been told the church presence there has disappeared.
We came back to Mangua and found out they do have a church presence for
now. But the pastor has been gone for 2 weeks and may not be back for
8 months. So they are okay for now but may need some follow-up in the
We also bought a bird there, a little green parrot. We’re starting
to get a zoo around here!
Saturday, August 6
We are now headed back to Iquitos and trying to get all of our stuff packed
up. We will be leaving our supplies and equipment with Richard to store
at his mother-in-law’s house. I know everyone is tired and ready
to go home to family. I am of course not ready to leave and am trying
not to think about the fact that I have to leave here tomorrow.
We spent the afternoon here in Iquitos shopping for souvenirs. Jery came
and got Mona from us. We had her with us all day and no one ever complained
about her being in the hotel or the restaurant with us, which we thought
was unusual. I guess they’re used to things like that.
Sunday, August 7
Well, we are now on our journey home. Jeff misread the tickets and thought
we needed to be at the airport for a 7:50am flight, but our flight wasn’t
until 10:10am, so we were at the airport very early this morning! We were
first in line, though!
We spent the day in Lima sightseeing and shopping. We went and saw the
ocean and went to the market. Then it was back to the airport for our
final flight home. Our plane was supposed to leave at 1am but was delayed
until 3am. It’s a long night, but soon we’ll be home again.