Building Projects

I don’t feel that my Spanish is coming along as quickly as I had hoped.  However, I have gotten comfortable with certain words and phrases dealing with construction materials for the many houses we’ve been working on here in Leoncio Prado.  Cuanto cuesta por los ladrillos?  (How much for the bricks)  Necesito cinco cubos de arena y viente bolsas de cemento.  (I need 5 cubic meters of sand and 20 bags of cement)  People are very poor here, and their houses are in very tough shape.  Most are made out of dirt and as you can imagine with the amount of rain that falls here it doesn’t take long before walls come tumbling down and dirt floors become muddy messes.  Safe and secure housing is a real problem here.  Thanks to the generosity of our mission sponsors, we’ve been able to make a major difference in the lives of several families by providing brick walls and even some cement floors to the poorest and most vulnerable.  It also has been wonderful being able to provide men with desperatel…

Proclaim the Gospel

“So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent forth the apostles he had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”” CCC 2

Early on into our time in Peru, I started to hear whisperings about this youth receiving her Sacrament of Confirmation, and that youth her Baptism, and yet another who would be receiving all three of the initiation Sacraments.  At that time, I didn’t put any thought into what the logistics of all that might look like. I was focused on setting up our house and feeding my family three meals a day.  As time went on and our basic needs were met, I continued to hear about youth receiving their Sacraments this year, so I began to inquire as to who was forming them, and when formation was happening.  I was directed to a man who was supposedly the Catechist, a…

Hopeful Thoughts

Last week three women (mom, wife, and sister) came to our house asking if we could help a family member who needed to go to Lima for surgery.  We didn't fully understand what the problem was or what exactly they were asking for, so we made a few inquiries to people we trusted.  We heard rumors that if this young man couldn't get to Lima, he would die.  We also heard that he had painful kidney stones, but would be fine.  Finally, we talked to the local doctor, and found out that this young man's situation was very serious, because of some added complications with infection and hydration issues, and if he didn't have surgery soon, his life could be in danger.   We went to visit Eber, to pray with him and find out exactly how we could help.  We saw that this young man was suffering greatly, and also discovered that he was anticipating the birth of his first child any day.

I'm not exactly sure what Eber thought about the prospect of his long term future, but I can on…

Edwardo's Healing

A few weeks ago, Edwardo and his abuela (grandma), joined a small group of us in travelling into Picota for the Feast of Corpus Christi, where we attended Mass followed by a Eucharistic procession.  I was happy to see this young 10-year-old boy interested in joining us for Mass, a gift the people of Leoncio Prado rarely have the privilege of receiving.               After this outing, I didn’t see Edwardo for quite some time, only to find out he had been in bed for the past two weeks due to terrible wounds on his feet.  These wounds continued to spread and worsen all over his body.  When I went to visit Edwardo, my stomach churned at the sight of his wounds.  I worried about the possibility of what could happen to this young boy if it didn’t start taking a turn for the better.  I prayed with Edwardo for healing.  I began by walking him through making an Act of Faith.  He proclaimed his belief in Christ and His power to heal.  I asked Edwardo if he was carrying any sins that might be …

Beginning Our Ministries

One day we started talking about what ministries we would like to focus on in Leoncio Prado.  This was a pivotal moment for us,  moving beyond pure survival mode into intentionality!  Praise the Lord, we made it!  Recognizing that the opportunities are plentiful, we decided it was time for a three day in home family retreat asking the Lord to guide us.

One fruit of our retreat was born the idea of a Healing Ministry.  So many people were sharing with us they or a family member was sick with: cancer, diabetes, degenerative arthritis, chronic pain, serious liver damage, etc. It felt like a heavy burden wondering what to do for these people.  The Lord was telling us to bring people to him, and the weight was lifted.  We scheduled a three day healing retreat while the SSME (Summer School of Missionary Evangelization) group was in Peru to help us kick off this ministry.

The second ministry we decided on was to schedule a day of the week when we do home visits.  We have already met many of…

Growing in Virtue

“It is good that everything is not always to our liking; for adversity makes people look into their hearts in order to realize that they are exiles and must not put their hopes in any worldly thing.”  The Imitation of Christ
My prayer is that through this experience of mission life, we can have our eyes more solidly fixed on the Lord.  I must admit at first glance, I might think that we are failing in this goal.  But, upon more reflection, I recognize that gold is tested by fire, and the struggle we are living is refining us.  
Never have I been so grateful for the everyday things in my life.  When you are never quite sure if you will have running water when you wake up in the morning, leads to a true gratitude the mornings you do.  The more homes I walk into, the more I realize it is a luxury to have a ceiling, and I am truly grateful we had the ability to put simple plywood ceilings in our bedrooms.  Living in a house that has rooms with floors that cannot be mopped, fills my heart …