This family is very special to me. Their names from left to right are Elvis, Guillermo and Petronila. I actually was in Arequipa saying goodbye to some friends leaving Extreme while Franci, Joel and Trevor met this family in Yanamayo. Franci and I went back the next Tuesday (February 22nd) for a scheduled visit with them. That day was a little weird and I wasn't sure what to expect with them. Petronila was incredibly sweet and hospitable. We sat outside the house with her and watched the hens run around in the dirt and grass. Her son/grandson, Elvis, brought us out little wooden stools to sit on and I taught him some English words. Elvis does not have any parents and now lives with his Grandparents who treat him like a son and call him hijito (son) instead of nieto (grandson). Then we wanted to start the discipleship classes and Petronila called Guillermo over to join us. Guillermo griped and told us he had work to do. But, as men do in the states, they do here as well.......he listened to his wife and sat down with us. We started the first lesson and Petronila, who was so adamant that Guillermo listen, had to leave. So there we were, with Guillermo, the guy who didn't want to stop work for 15 minutes. But it turned out incredible. Guillermo really got into the lesson and we had a great chance to talk about God, the Holy Spirit and a life with Christ.
From that day on, through the good (the day they accepted Christ, the 1st of March) and the bad (the day Guillermo had peed his pants from drunkeness), I've learned to love this family more and more. Today I'm so proud of them! I love them and their willingness to learn more! Guillermo and Petronila are the very first of our contacts to go through the first discipleship series of seven weeks. They didn't miss even one week. Every single week we go to their house and they make time not for us, but the Word of God. And it's not that they see us coming and put things aside, but they are waiting for us. At 10am on Tuesday mornings, Guillermo is always standing in the doorway looking at his watch as we arrive.
Pray for this family. Pray for Petronila as she turns 63 on the 26th of this month and she has a desire to read the Bible but cannot read. Pray for Guillermo and the tienda they run for income. Pray for him as the spiritual head of the household. And pray for Elvis, this sweet young man without parents. There's just something about Elvis when he greets me with a hug and kiss that puts a smile on my face. This family is so precious, I cannot express how much I love them and how proud I am of them.