We had a big week in Yanamayo last week……..
On Sunday we had the opportunity to bless a family with a basket of food staples like sugar, yogurt, milk, laundry detergent and more. Chad and Amanda had an idea to make a basket for each of us to give to one special contact of our choice. So, we brainstormed and remembered our friend Elena in Yanamayo who is working an extra job, a construction job on a new road in Yanamayo for extra money. We see her out on the street hauling wooden planks, pushing wheel barrels of cement and more. We both felt lead to bless this family and their efforts to provide for their family. We walked in the rain over to Elena’s house on Christmas Day and presented her with the basket. She was excited in her own way. She’s not one to show emotions, she’s very reserved and timid. But, despite her hatred toward camera’s, she let us snap a few photos with her, the kids and the basket.
After having a special moment with Elena, Franci and I walked back in the rain to our church in Yanamayo to get ready for the Christmas Day service. Franci got the clothes ready; we were given a large donation of used clothes from the States to give out. Franci laid out and organized the clothes while I got the sound equipment all set up. We blasted some Trans-Siberian Orchestra out the front door of the house and waited for all our contacts to come along with the many people we invited on the street over the week. Well, nobody new came. But, our most faithful contacts all showed up. We sang Christmas hymns, prayed and watched a clip from It’s a Wonderful Life. Then, Franci and I opened the door to the next room and family by family, we allowed those present to pick out clothes and bedding to take home. Their faces were priceless. Since it was a small attendance that night, those who did show up, left with large bags of clothes. It was a great Christmas, it was wonderful to spend a few hours with our most faithful contacts, it was awesome to be able to bless these families.
Then on Thursday night, we held a prayer vigil in Yanamayo. The purpose was to get together and thank God for all He has done in 2011 and ask for His guidance, wisdom, discernment and help in 2012. We met up in the church at 8pm on Thursday night. Thanks to Garren and Geremias for their help, we sang songs of gratitude to our Lord while laughing, jumping up and down and spinning around. Everyone loved the fun songs and the music, Garren on the drum and tambourine, Geremias playing the guitar. Franci and I are both musically challenged so the church in Yanamayo loves it when the guys come to visit and help us out with the worship music.
After singing and worship together, we split up into families, at this point in the night four families were there and there were four of us (Franci, Geremias, Garren and myself). Each of us went off into a corner of the room with a family and we prayed with them and for them. I had the opportunity to pray with Ines and her daughter Karolina. I love, love, love Ines. We have a special connection and it was a special time to pray for her and with her for her family in the new year.
We sang more, read from The Word, prayed more and shared a special time together. Around 10 – 10:30pm we stopped for a break and Carmen went to her house to get the hot chocolate warmed up. We drank hot chocolate, ate the traditional panettone bread and watched Its A Wonderful Life. During the movie people were laughing and joking around, they were enjoying the food, the hot chocolate and the fellowship. We watched the movie and at midnight we finished our prayer/movie/fellowship night. By midnight, we had had 14 people come to the vigil. Ines and her daughter had to leave early because Ines told me around 11pm that her husband was drinking and was going to be mad that she was still out. Other than those two, everyone stayed until midnight, in the house of God in Yanamayo. Franci and I were blown away by the turn out. Especially by the presence of Godofredo, Carmen’s husband and her middle child, Siro. Those two are not interested in church, Siro is not even convinced there is a God, yet they were there, fellowshipping and praying with their neighbors. Have I mentioned lately that God is faithful? Because HE IS!