We’re back

Following an extremely long journey, we are all now back in the UK. After a few good nights’ sleep, the jet lag is going and life is returning to some kind of normality (i.e. I’ve had to do some cooking for the first time in 3 weeks and put my own children to bed!)
On behalf of the team I would like to say an enormous thank you to Scott and Anjanette, who gave up most of their time and lots of effort to ensure that we had a trip that we will remember for a long time to come. Each of us will have different ‘best bits’ and even ‘worst bits’, but we will all have taken away some real experiences that we will treasure. God has spoken to us in a variety of ways, and we hope that through this blog, you might have gained a small insight into how He is working his kingdom out in the beautiful city of Cusco, so far very away.
Clare.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hospital Visits

Each afternoon this week, half of the team have been to visit the Burns and Trauma wards of the local hospital.  It has been both harrowing and rewarding, seeing the children, many of whom have come from the countryside and are not used to the bright lights and busy-ness of the hospital.  There are no toys on the wards, and the one ‘day room’ is stark and joyless.  Comparing it to some of the children’s wards I have seen in the UK, I wanted to cry (and that was before we met the children!).

So, it was amazing to meet Robyn, a wonderful
lady who, a few years ago, felt God call her to
bring some joy to these children during their hospital stays.  Although initially the administration did not want her to be there, they have, over time, realised the amazing work she is doing, and now have given her a room to store toys and games, and fully support her work there.  She goes in 4 afternoons each week, spending time with each child, colouring, doing craft or puzzles, playing Jenga or Connect 4.  It was a privilege to accompany her on these visits this week.  We sang, danced, juggled, played chess, Jenga, made bead bracelets and even learnt Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes in the Quechua language – which they all thought hilarious.

It was wonderful to see children’s faces turn from fear to happiness.

Poem for Robyn, by Ian O

Hard iron eyes lie on hard iron beds
The pain, too much to bare, has left faces drained of emotion.
Grubby whitewashed walls are unable to convey
That love and healing go hand in hand

Who knows these people?
Unknown faces in an unknown land
With foreign customs and a foreign tongue
Who can know their pain?
The torment of a broken body
Left abandoned in an obscure town.

Brokenness lies hidden.
Hidden beneath blankets and a wire frame
Hidden inside a concrete hospital
Hidden behind metal gates
Hidden in a world so far from home
No one need see, no one need know

Yet your eyes see it all
Your soft kind eyes running with heaven’s tears
Eyes that saw the suffering of your son
See suffering still

And yet there are some whose spirits are moved by yours
Who dare to expose what is hidden
Who dare to bring colour, toys and hope
Who dare to bring life and prayer and faith
And see vacant eyes returned to life
And health and joy and laughter.

Lord, melt my heart
That I might see those iron eyes
Now receive the gift of sight from you

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Day out to the Sacred Valley – Saturday 16th

An 8.30 start gave us a more leisurely get up time for our touristy day today.  The whole team plus the Ropers, Williamsons and Abby, American Nurse from the Clinic, climbed into the bus on a magnificent drive out of Cusco.  Our first stop was at Moray Inca remains – huge terraces that stepped down in concentric circles: the idea being that the walls acted as solar panels so that more exotic food could be grown in the mountains.  It was used as an agricultural experiment, and we have seen plenty of other examples of this type of terracing in Machu Picchu and Tipon.  It was interesting that a group of other tourists seemed to find some spiritual magic about the place – after all, it was just a 15th century greenhouse!

Our next stop was the Salt Pans a little further down the mountainside.  We were shown where a small stream sprang from the hillside.  This stream, about 80% salt, was channelled and diverted into various pans which covered the hillside.  The whole area looked like a nesting site for a thousand giant seagulls.  Over the course of 2 months, this water would be evaporated by the sun, leaving a thick layer of salt.  This was then removed from the pan and taken way for cleaning and could be used for medicinal and cooking purposes.  We walked through the pans and down into the Sacred Valley, while the bus went on ahead.  The valley was truly beautiful, with peppercorn bushes, trees, geraniums and brightly coloured locals.  We then travelled on to Yucay, where we stopped for our picnic lunch (it was 2.30 by this time) and ate in the field where Scott had distributed the corn seed  after the devastating floods some months earlier.  It was good for the rest of the team who had not visited last week, to see the devastated houses and the river that had caused so much damage (see previous post on Yucay).

Our bus then headed for home, winding up the steep mountainsides.  The corn crops giving way to potatoes, broad beans and edible blue lupins.  The evening light shone on the snow-capped mountains whose summits had become nearly visible with the rising cloud.  Every so often we passed a child herding a few sheep or an old lady with traditional sombrero carrying a load wrapped in a shawl.  Once over the shoulder of the highest pass Cusco was once again laid below us like a brown uneven carpet of bustling business.  A truly glorious trip which showed off Peru at its magical best.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pics have been added

Just added some new photos to some of the previous posts. Do take a look. We will attempt to add more very soon!
Blessings to you all,
Ian Mc and the rest of the team!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Temple of the Sun

In a free couple of hours we returned to the city centre to visit a most unusual building.  The Temple of the Sun is perhaps the best preserved of the Inca ruins in the city. This ancient building is now incorporated into a Dominican Church and Monastery. Spanish arches enclose the traditional trapezium shaped Inca Temple. But the set up gets even more strange as on the first floor of the cloister courtyard is an exhibition of highly stylised and disturbing modern art.  In another area is an exhibition of 17th Century “evangelistic” art which basically depicted the Spanish conquest of the Incas – the message being our God is clearly bigger than your God, so you had better worship him or else we will brutally slaughter you all!  I think I might have missed that bit in the gospel story!!  With such a mish mash of cultures, traditions and faiths depicted within a single impressive building would perhaps make any visitor confused and bewildered as to what to believe, and what was important.  With so much popular religion and mythology in this place it is easy to understand why many are confused about Jesus.  From this aspect alone I appreciate the important and difficult job missionaries have to do in untangling the theological mess that the city has become. I shall put a couple of photos up when I work out where to stick my card in later.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Schools visits to Huambutio – Thursday & Friday

For the last 2 days we have been spending time working in a school in Huambutio, about a 30 minute drive from Cusco. The village has very few amenities, and Scott and Anjanette feel called to get involved here. Once Anjanette has her GP licence (still not granted, for those of you following progress on that), they hope to set up a clinic there and get involved with nutrition and hygiene lessons at the school.

So, yesterday (Thurs 14th) 10 of the team plus Scott and Anjanette went along for the start of lessons at 8am.

We could see the children streaming in to school from all directions, on foot, bike and by bus, very few by car. Some had walked for up to an hour to get there! We had prepared 3 different lessons – English, Geography and PE, so each small team went to a different classroom. We were working in the secondary part of the school, 130 young people aged 11 – 17yrs. Scott, Anjanette and Steve were our translators, and we

all enjoyed getting involved. Our group (Clare, Ian, Christine and Anjanette) were doing English. We talked to the children, learning their names and ages, and how many brothers and sisters they had (families of at least 4 children were most common, although one lad had 7 sisters!) We then talked about parts of the body and taught them Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, followed by 1 Finger 1 Thumb, which they all thought very funny. A 2nd class we took outside to practice their language by playing counting games using juggling balls and teaching colours using a parachute. Before we left we were invited into the Headmaster’s office and given CocaCola and biscuits. He and the staff thanked us for our input.

Today we were back at the school, this time with 150 junior age children who were marched into the playground and split into 3 groups. So we had 55 children aged 7 – 11, out in the rough ground beyond the playground, for 1 and a half hours! Language was a bit of a difficulty (!!!) as was the fact that the sun came out very hot, but we did lots of simple English, games using numbers and finished of with the Hokey Cokey!!! The other 2 groups had had similar numbers, so as you can imagine, we were quite worn out by the end. It was, however, a good start to relationships with the school and they have already asked Scott and Anjanette to do a holiday club in August.

20110416-075032.jpg

20110416-075119.jpg

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Pictures and scenes of the last 4 days

Hi everyone,
Sorry not much has been posted over the last few days. We’ve been rather busy travelling around, seeing this amazing country, meeting incredible people, running various activities, experiencing some difficult circumstances and trying to reflect on it all!

So whilst you wait for more blog posts to appear here are some pictures of the many things we’ve seen and done, and a few of the people we’ve met…

Friday – Boys trip to Yucay, a small town by the river where floods wiped away people’s homes over 18months ago and where the Williamsons, the church in Cusco (El Puente), and BMS have been working to restore peoples lives – this road was the place that was covered in blue tents where people were living after they lost everything. For a more detailed account search the Williamson’s in Peru blog. This story will also feature on this years BMS Harvest DVD.  http://williamsonsinperu.blogspot.com

20110412-223225.jpg

20110412-224220.jpg

Monday – Machu Pecchu

20110412-224836.jpg

20110412-225501.jpg

Tuesday – brightening the day of some children and parents in the burns unit of the hospital. This was an fun but difficult visit. Many of these children seemed well and fine on the surface, but beneath the veneer there was a sense of pain and injustice. There’s much to reflect on here. Hopefully some of this will be posted over the next few days as we spend more time there.

20110412-225945.jpg

20110412-230106.jpg

It’s certainly been an intense and eventful weekend, and one that is changing all of us at some level. There are so many stories to tell, things to thank God for and others to bring before God in petition, some that will make it onto this blog, but many of them will stay with us for a long time…

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment