Thursday, September 8, 2011

Country Girl.....

Well, I've decided I'm a country girl at heart. Don't get me wrong, I love high heels, designer bags (or knock off's), and a night on the town. But, give me some blue jeans, country music, fresh trout, a lakeside view, mountains and I'm a happy girl. I think that's why I love Chucuito so much, it's a quiet little farm city stuck in the early 1900's. You can hardly walk around without running into chickens, cows, burros and/or sheep. I feel at home in Chucuito.

Our first few days in Chucuito have been fun. The very first day, as we were wandering around part of town, some girl sitting outside her tienda asked us where we were going. We told her we were just meandering, getting to know the city. She told us there was a trout farm just up the road and it's only one Peruvian Sol to get in (the equivalent of about $0.35). We headed up the road and Franci and I checked out the trout farm, I basically felt like I was at a trout zoo, we went around to each pool and checked out the different colors, sizes and species.

On our way back down the hill we stopped to thank our new friend, Meliza, for telling us about the trout farm. We ended up sitting in the tienda and chatting with her for over an hour. She confirmed that there are no churches in Chucuito other than the Catholic church. She explained the Seventh Day Adventists come to visit but do not have a location and also talked about a Baha'i religion down the road. With just a little bit of research I've found out the Baha'i faith originated in Persia, believes in one God, does not believe in the trinity or that Jesus is the son of God but instead teaches a unity of God, unity of religion and unity of mankind. Basically they feel God uses divine messengers to reveal His will on earth and examples of those messengers would be Jesus, Buddha, Abraham, Muhammad and more. They believe there is unity in all religions that they all stem from the same God.

Other than getting to know more about this community, we made a great friendship with Meliza. She goes to college and normally isn't in Chucuito but in town for classes so we have a lunch planned for Wednesday to continue to get to know her. We said goodbye to Meliza and walked down further to the Plaza de Armas.

The giant Catholic church happened to be open so we walked in to check out the ancient, ornate building from the inside. Its always interesting to enter these Catholic churches with their virgins lining the walls, candelabras and confessionals.
So after the quick stop to the church, Franci and I went down to the other, smaller plaza and right next to it is a fertility temple. We paid the entrance fee, this time two Soles ($0.70), and a young gal lead us into the temple and explained the history and theories. Basically, you would enter the temple with 9 cocaine leaves, you leave 3 at the front entrance and put 6 on the bottom of the altar. Then the infertile woman climbs up on the altar, sits down and pours chicha morada (a common drink made from boiling black corn, adding sugar and cinnamon) from the top of the altar to the bottom. If the chicha morada spills directly down the altar, she will bear children, if it spills to one side or the other, she will remain infertile. Also, there is a stone behind the altar with a carved cross, this was another type of altar where people would come to kill their baby girls. At this time everyone wanted boys to work and inherit the land so when the woman birthed a girl, they would bring her here to slaughter the innocent child. It was incredibly interesting to learn about these traditions and beliefs that are still held onto today.
After a day of excursion, a day of tourism in Chucuito, Franci and I hopped on the combi for the 30 minute ride back into town. Getting to know the city, its dynamics, its beliefs and values is very important to know how to approach these individuals. Although we really had a fun day, and we've really had a fun two first week, I truly feel like we are learning a lot about this little town called Chucuito.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Well, we've had a change in plans for Chucuito. Originally, Franci and I were thinking about weaning off our time in Huascar and Yanamayo in December to start strong in Chucuito the beginning of January and focus our efforts there for the last 7 months of our time here. Well, the plan has changed and now we are going to start working two days a week in Chucuito starting tomorrow, Friday!
So what happened that changed our minds? Before and during vacation, I thought a lot about Huascar. Huascar has been our toughest location. It's Huascar where we've had many people tell us they don't want to hear about the Bible because they want to continue dancing and drinking. It's Huascar where we've sat many, many times up on a hill, looking down at the community, praying for contacts, for guidance, for a path to those in this area that are ready to hear God's Story now.
The reality of this work, the reality of this Extreme vision, is that each pair is provided with three communities and is expected to plant a church in each of the three communities in 18 months. Craziness!
Basically, I believe we are here to teach and disciple those who are ready, those in whose hearts God has already been working. Definitely, we are also here to plant seeds, we don't want to overlook anyone, we want to give anyone with the slightest interest in learning more about the Bible and what God has done for us 200% of our efforts. But, the reality is, there are many people who don't want to make a commitment, many people who don't want to go further than talking about the weather.
So, in a meeting with Pastor Herman, we decided to work one day a week in Huascar, three days in Yanamayo, and starting tomorrow, two days a week in Chucuito. Of course, all this can change, but we feel that this is where God is directing us at this point in time. Help us in prayer as we get started in Chucuito and as we change schedules and plans for both Yanamayo and Huascar to make this happen.