Here’s a little update on Yanamayo…..
Carmen seemed to be avoiding Franci and I for a few weeks. Franci and I sat down and discussed the fact that we need to spend more time with Carmen like we had in the past but the problem is, Carmen is always busy, busy with her kids and her store and life. So, trying to spend more time with her is difficult. But Franci had a great idea, Franci said, why don’t we help her do her weekly shopping at the market on Saturday morning. I loved the idea so the next day, we saw Carmen, she came to prayer service. At the end of the service, I told her I missed chatting with her and spending time with her. Then I asked if we could go shopping with her on Saturday, of course she said yes! Then she finally became transparent with us and I finally feel like I know why she was distancing herself, Carmen said she’s worried that the next few months, our last months here are going to go by too fast and she’s not going to know what to do without us. I almost cried right then and there. I’m so excited to be done and go home, but at the same time, my heart breaks at the thought of leaving these relationships and friendships we’ve built. But, I need to focus on the here and now, focus on helping people reinforce their relationship with God, not with me.
Franci and I spent last Saturday morning at the street market with Carmen. We bought food and supplies for her family and store for the week. Which means we bought over 15 pounds of potatoes, 11 pounds of lentils, 11 pounds of onion, 100 bananas (for $5 by the way). Pens, stickers, shampoo, eggs, and an entire lamb which some lady chopped up with an ax and put into bags for us, were among some of the other things we purchased and hauled along this half mile street market. Along the way, we were able to share conversation and time with Carmen, much needed time with this special lady. Franci and I hope to go back to the market with Carmen every few weeks to help her with the giant task of purchasing a truckload of food and supplies as well as spend some time together, making the most of our time left here.
Our other very strong disciples in Yanamayo are Guillermo, Petronila, their grandson Elvis and their friend, Felipe who used to work with Guillermo. Lately, there has been a love triangle going on between these three, Guillermo, Petronila and Felipe. Petronila is spending an absurd amount of time with Felipe and she frequently nags Guillermo, she doesn’t wash his clothes and she won’t cook him food, a bit deal in this traditional role culture. Guillermo’s heart is broken which has lead him to begin drinking again after 5 months without a drop. This situation has been very difficult for Franci and I to handle. Things are improving but minutely, we are asking for help from Pastor Herman to council this couple. And poor Elvis gets stuck in the middle of the fighting, hearing both sides, hearing the arguments and nagging, seeing the pain and destruction. Actually, tomorrow we are going to meet with Guillermo, Petronila and Pastor Herman to council and discuss this situation and pray over this couple. Please help us in prayer for them, especially tomorrow.
There’s another lady very special to my heart in Yanamayo, her name is Florentina. She speaks with a stutter, she struggles with health problems, she works hard to provide money and she takes care of her three year old grandson while her daughter studies and works. Her husband is a drunk. All the money he makes, is spent on beer. I sat down with her in her house two weeks ago and she told me with tears in her eyes that her husband had been on a five day binge and that he was there, in the room below us, continuing to get himself drunk and drown the emptiness that must consume his being. This is a reality many, many women live here in Puno. Their husbands work, but only to satisfy their drinking habit. It’s not a marriage, it’s not even a friendship, it’s so saddening to see Florentina’s heart break over her emotionally unfaithful husband. But, Florentina continues on, she prays to God for her husband, Fortunato and she prays for the strength to show him God’s love and compassion despite the fact he is completely undeserving.
Overall, things are going good in Yanamayo. What is my ultimate goal in this community? I want to leave in July knowing I gave more time and effort than I could on my own to this place. I want to leave a family of God, a group of people passionate about God, passionate about lifting each other up, passionate about telling others about Christ. What does this group of people look like? It looks like Carmen, Petronila, Guillermo, Felipe, Ines, Florentina, Euleterio and more. It looks like a bunch of messed up lives, a bunch of messed up people coming together and allowing God to complete them, to fill in their holes.