The Georges in Peru

Home Assignment Highlights

06 Mar 2022

Adults visited over a meal - 223

Presentations- 14

Sermons- 3

Miles On the road 19,621


NEW YORK- We bought a car and travelled…



-We enjoyed seeing Mary Beth’s brother get happily married

- We enjoyed a personal concert from a professional Oboist



- We made Tie-Dye shirts with an Air Force pilot, her son and her stay-at-home-dad 




-We visited the famed Noah’s Ark.



- We saw amazing sights at Yellowstone National Park

- We went on a mountain lion hunt with some supporters in Wyoming and found the 

neighbour’s cat.



- We looked for Zach’s wedding ring in the sands of Lake Michigan and talked to all the 

other metal detectorists also searching for hidden treasures. (We didn’t find it).



- We chased bulls in the Nebraska

-We visited Spielbound, a board game library/café with over 5000 games with some supporters.



- We panned for gold in South Dakota… and found some (We didn’t get to keep it 

though.  It belonged to the expert we bugged a lesson off of).



- Allen had his first Ferry ride on our way to visit supporters on Vancouver Island



- We visited a supporter in Saskatchewan who has a herd of alpacas courtesy of Peruvian inspiration.

- We visited a blind carpenter friend who gave us a tour of his shop and showed us some of his handiwork.



- We stayed at Mary Beth’s old family farm in Canada and tamed some wild kittens to 

give away.

-We visited Mary Beth’s dad’s long-time friend who just opened up a museum of all his 

taxidermy artwork.  It included some Peruvian butterflies, and some interesting animals acquired from zoos among other things.



- We spent Christmas with all our kids in one place!



- We saw the Whirligig park in Wilson (see Photo), North Carolina where we were able to visit Ben at his new home.



We are heading back to Peru this week and on to new adventures in Church Planting.



18 Feb 2022

For the last 2 ½ years, Allen has been experiencing some heart-rate irregularities (Atrial Fibrillation) when running or swimming hard, which he has been trying to get to the bottom of with different tests.  Some who have read our blog for awhile may remember Allen thinking it might be his myocardial bridge (See Blog from Jan. 27, 2021).  After some contemplation, however, it has been decided that due to too much exercise (who knew that it gave such!!?), some of Allen’s nerves have begun misfiring occasionally, signalling his heart to make extra beats. This is MB’s layman explanation.  If you would like something more technical you may want to ask Allen. 


On Tuesday, we saw heart specialist and friend, Dr. Porter, to solve the question about whether Allen should do surgery… Allen says I should call it radioablation and not surgery because surgery implies cutting and no cutting is necessary for this procedure.  Back to layman explanation- they can apparently kill those nasty nerves- if they can figure out which ones they are.  Amazing!  Dr. Porter said that at this point he thinks the risks of ablation outweigh the benefits, and put Allen on some medicine (Flecainide) which he is supposed to take before hard exercise.  We have decided to try this solution for a while but are not ruling out “surgery" in the future.


So it is with heartfelt excitement and twinges of regret that we leave our home-continent and head south once again.  We have flights booked for March 8th.


One task to do before we leave is to sell our beloved home-assignment “home” (a 2016 Black Nissan Rogue with 122K miles).    Update:  Sold on 7MAR2022!


Encouraging words

13 Dec 2021

Last week, Mary Beth and I spoke at her old high school chapel service.  We told the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 and how a boy gave up his lunch to help feed the multitude.   Andrew, one of Jesus' disciples, asked the obvious question, "How far will this go among so many"?  I suspect many a prospective missionary has asked himself that same question: 'What difference can I make among the millions in India or China?'  Yet God wasn't limited by this boy's lunch and God isn't limited by the things that may seem insignificant to us.

Afterwards, we were given this card from one of the students.  What an encouragement!

Papsi and Ravels

29 Sep 2021

Yesterday we went to the Mennonite Heritage Villiage Museum in Steinbach where we learned about Mennonite persecutions and migrations and saw how the pioneers had lived when they first moved to Canada.  There's a wind-mill on the property that grinds freshly harvested grain into flour (That happened earlier this fall), fun old tractors and even a sod house.  We decided it would not have been very nice to live in, despite the cool reprieve it gave us from the warm day.  When a local man started talking about 'jantsied' (Low-German for the 'other side') Allen nodded his head knowledgeably since Mary Beth had just explained to him that 'ditsied' and 'jantsied' referred to Mennonites who had settled on different sides of the Red river (What a quick learner!- Mary Beth).  After the museum tour we went to DQ for lunch where Mary Beth ordered a coke.  "We don't say the 'C'-word around here! You're in the wrong town to buy a Coke," the man behind the counter told her.  "Yeah," she said.  "I should be ordering Papsi and Ravels."  They shared a good laugh.  The Low-German Mennonites who settled in the area speak English with a strong accent which they have passed on to their children.  Pepsi or 'Papsi' is the most highly-desired pop, not Coke! and is often enjoyed with Revels, pronounced, 'Ravels'  which is ice-cream on a stick and covered in chocolate.  

Back in the USA

04 Sep 2021

“My dad’s name is Jim Penner”, I told my fellow travellers on the 11-seater prop plane while flying to the US this week. “Oh!”, said the lady in front of me. “I grew up on the farm next door, and spent many wonderful hours with your aunts playing in your house!” That was a fun connection! Allen found me on the other side of the border without any trouble and we were on our way.

We visited Paul at his new digs at the university at Lincoln and stayed the night at Allen’s sister’s farm nearby. The next day they rallied our help to bring in the bulls which was a fun and new experience. In North Carolina, we met up with Eric and Tina VanPelt who worked with us in Peru for many years. This morning, we ran Mary Beth’s first ’T-Shirt’ race and tried a delicious apple-cider slushy at the Hendersonville Apple Festival.

We posed with one of the many ceramic bears decorating Hendersonville, NC. They are painted by local artists and sold for charity each year.

Opening the Red Sea again

23 Aug 2021

Two weeks ago, we weren't sure we would be able to get into Canada. Now we aren't sure we can get back into the US! Saturday, the US extended the ban on Canadians entering by land until September 21st. Of course, they can still enter the country by air, through an expensive, time-consuming and circuitous route through Toronto and Detroit. It appears some think, that to control COVID, crowding into three different jets with 150 strangers from around the world for several hours is better than driving across the border in a private vehicle with your spouse, but I digress. If only there were a way to fly Mary Beth across the border in a private plane and pick her up on the other side! Today we found someone who has been doing exactly that during COVID, so we will be able to return to help Christ Community Church celebrate their one-hundredth year anniversary. Keep posted for more details!

Here's how you can tell you are in Canada: The pastor uses hockey gear to teach a children's sermon on the Armor of God found in Ephesians 6. Great job, Pastor Barry!

Canada let us in!

10 Aug 2021

Monday marked the first day in over a year that US citizens could cross the Washington-British Columbia border for non-essential-worker reasons.  We had a 90-minute wait at the border crossing where they asked us several questions: "Where do you live?" "Peru."  "Whose car is this?" "Mine." "Where did you buy it?"  "New York."  "Why does it have Nebraska license plates?" "I'm from Nebraska." "Do you own any guns?" (I'm not kidding)  As a good Canadian, the agent was very nice and even mentioned that she had been to Peru right before the pandemic.  Thankfully, we didn't get randomly selected to get an additional COVID test after crossing the border.  

We the drove about 20 minutes to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and ferried to Vancouver Island (after a 4-hour wait) and saw ex-Peru missionaries, Jim and Vegas Dargatz before going to Mary Beth's Aunt Lorna's home in Nanaimo. 

Praise God that we got through and didn't have to rework our schedule again!


Unsigned Title

09 Jul 2021

We bought a new (to us) car!  Actually, we've had it for a while.  We bought it the day after Mary Beth's brother's wedding (married June 18th).   Yesterday, we finally arrived at my sister's house near Crete, NE, which will be our US address during our time in the States.  So, this morning we took our papers to the county sheriff's office and county clerk to get our car registered.  "They didn't sign the title," they pointed out.  The papers had actually gone ahead of us and were waiting for us here so we hadn't had a chance to look at them for ourselves.  "You'll have to send the title back to the car dealership in New York and have them sign it." We were planning on traveling west tomorrow, and the thought of FedEx-ing papers back and forth and then getting the plates sent somewhere seemed nightmarish.  "I'll talk to the county lawyer," said the clerk.  Mary Beth started praying out loud, "Lord!  Please let this paperwork go through!"  "Let me call the dealership and see what's up." I pleaded.  The car dealership said that the certificate from the NY Dept. of Motor Vehicles in the envelope was sufficient.  The Saline County clerk wasn't convinced.   Then the clerk called Lincoln and the person on the other end of the line said that they had just had this happen for another car from the exact same dealer in NY and said everything was fine and they could issue a new title.  Phew!  Answered prayer!

Moving, Weddings and More

23 Jun 2021

We have been living in a rental house in Arequipa, Peru for the past 11 years. Now that the kids are in the US for college and careers, we plan on moving to a coastal town 3 hours away to do church-planting ministry.We are partnering with a local Baptist church in Arequipa that is providing the pastor for the new plant as well as assistance and support in any way that they can.

On June 14th, we vacated our home and moved to the SIM guesthouse for a few days before heading for the States for Mary Beth’s brother’s wedding and home assignment.Our goal for the next 8 months is to visit all of our supporters to catch up, our spouses to those they’ve not met and to inform supporters about our plans.

We are hoping to travel o Canada in July, but the border quarantine rules are in flux, so we haven’t made any definite plans yet.

Paul arrived in Peru at the beginning of June to say good-bye to friends, finish up some paperwork with the government and help with the move. The church threw him a surprise birthday party in the park outside our house on his first night back.

We had a garage sale for all the things we didn’t wish to haul to the coast. It felt like the big bang of garage sales as 3/4 of our things were dispersed around the city within 2 hours of opening time.

We had lots of help to get our remaining possessions moved to a storage room at a mission-owned house.

We arrived in New Jersey just in time for Mary Beth’s brother’s wedding.

21 kilometers

06 Jun 2021

Today is election day. Yesterday, the streets were packed with panicked shoppers buying up all the rice, eggs and sugar in the city in preparation for possible rioting after the results come out (we hope they may have over-reacted). People are fiercely divided about having Fujimori’s (a former Peruvian president) daughter in office and about having a president with supposed communist ideology. Today however, the city is silent except for voters heading to the polls to fill out their obligatory votes. There is not even any church, since public gatherings are illegal on election day, and church members need to go fulfill their civic duty.

While Peru is focused on elections, we are thinking about packing! Next Friday we plan to have a large garage sale where we’ll (hopefully) sell half our worldly possessions. The rest of our stuff is going into boxes and into storage. The plan is to fly to New Jersey in two weeks for my brother Paul's wedding and then for an 8-month home-assignment. When we return to Peru we'll move 3 hours away to a Peruvian coastal town to do a church plant.

What to do on such a day as today? Running seemed like a good idea! Since November, I (Mary Beth) have been working towards my goal of running a half-marathon distance. It’ll be too hot in New Jersey when we get there and with the traffic down to just voters, today seemed like just the the right day to go for the big run. Allen and I left the house at 6:15 am to run and run and run and run for 2 hours and 43 minutes and 26 seconds. We ran 358 meters up the mountain (there’s nowhere flat to go) to the biggest bridge in Peru and then ran back down. Allen went with me and encouraged me and gave me water, expired packets of runners' GU (very strange stuff, though it does give one energy. I think they should call it 'ice cream topping' which sounds more appealing than ‘goo’) and told me stories to distract me from niggly aches. I did it!  Before surgery, I would have said it was impossible for me to run a half marathon. It feels good to be alive!

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