The Georges in Peru

The Search for Pain Meds

18 Feb 2016

Amy has been suffering terrible headaches from her brain tumor and she ran out of her pain pills from the States.  The director of one of the ministries we partner with in Peru was sure she had some pain meds in their warehouse.  The problem was that they were in a collection of over 100 boxes that each had to be gone through.  Ben and Paul went with Amy and me to try to dig through the boxes.  What a nice surprise when we were met by a team of about 10 missionaries and 10 Peruvians to help carry boxes and search through them!  It took just over an hour to go through them all.  We found some Tylenol 3's, which isn't as strong as we had hoped for, but they should help until we get something stronger.

Somewhere in there might be some pain meds!

A poem from my mother-in-law

17 Feb 2016
I've been swamped with dealing with things today, so I'll just post this poem my mother-in-law sent me.  The neurosurgeon's office is looking at Amy's MRI and will hopefully give an opinion tomorrow.

 
 
God has not promised
Skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways
All our lives thro’;
God has not promised
Sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.
 
God has not promised
We shall not know
Toil and temptation,
Trouble and woe;
He has not told us
We shall not bear
Many a burden,
Many a care.
 
But God has promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for the laborer,
Light for the way,
Grace for the trials,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love.
                    Annie Johnson Flint

 

MRI results

16 Feb 2016

We got the results of Amy's MRI today, which unfortunately were what we expected:  Her tumor is growing and pushing against the center of her brain, causing her headaches and loss of coordination.  I sent some of the images to her neurosurgeon in Nebraska and we'll wait to see if he thinks there would be any benefit in operating again. 

Why does this happen to such a wonderful person as Amy?  I'm her husband, so I know just how wonderful she is.  It's not just a front that she puts on in public!  I've been incredibly blessed to have her as my wife. I wonder if God is sparing her from something worse that the rest of us will have to endure. I look at the Middle East's escalating tensions and can't help but wonder if we're getting close to the times prophesied in Revelation.  Regardless, no matter what happens, her fate is secure in Christ.

New MRI

15 Feb 2016

Today Amy got a follow-up MRI of her brain.  She was scheduled to have it done on Wednesday, but yesterday she had a very bad day of nausea and vomiting, heachaches, ataxia (staggering) and lethargy so I called and asked them to do it today.  The nice thing about getting an MRI in Peru, is that it is that easy.  Plus it was only $254.  In the US, the 'retail price' for Amy's last MRI was $3700, but the insurance company haggled them down to $2700.  Still 1/10 the price here.  We will get the results tomorrow, after 4 pm.  Amy felt much better today (hardly any headache) but found that she can't send emails without help because her fingers don't go where her brain tells them to go.  Thanks for all of your emails telling us that you are praying for us.

Duck!

14 Feb 2016

Dogs are so common in church in Peru that they appear in several of our pictures we've taken almost as if they were an unintended game: "Can you find the dog in this picture?"  Last night we had our first duck.  For reasons that I can't quite understand, one of the couples brought their duck to last night's Valentine's Eve marriage seminar.  They did explain that their daughter has made it a pet so now they don't feel like they can eat it, but they didn't explain why they brought it to church.  I couldn't think of a way to tie a duck into my talk about forgiveness and serving one another.  I couldn't even think of a biblical reference to ducks to make a joke about.  But, it was a well-behaved duck.  It didn't interrupt by yelling 'Aflac!'

Earthquake!

13 Feb 2016

As a Nebraskan, any time I feel the earth shake, I call it an earthquake.  Since they happen so frequently in Arequipa, the locals scoff at calling a shaking sensation an 'earthquake' until it reaches 6 or 7 on the Richter Scale.  "That's just a 'tremor'," they'll correct.  So far we've had two in the two weeks we've been here.  They always seem to happen at night when one is lying in bed wondering if he should put on clothes and run outside (or first run outside and then put on clothes!).  I have the US Geological Survey earthquake website as a bookmark on my browser so that I can check how big the earthquakes were and how far away they were from here.  Here is last night's 5.2 earthquake located about 50 miles south of here:

Today Amy has a Bible study with young women from our small church and in the evening, I'm doing a special 'marriage seminar' that our pastor had scheduled even before we came back.  

Amy's been having more headaches and has been really tired lately, so pray that she feels better.  Her headaches had gone away, but have crept back in, and she's had more ataxia (unsteady gait) lately.  She is scheduled for her next MRI on Wednesday.  

 

Thanks for praying,

 

Allen & Amy

Alejandro

06 Feb 2016

Alejandro is an 83-y/o amputee that we have been helping for several years.  We bring him food weekly and dump the buckets that he collects his waste into.  He lives in a cinderblock room about 10 x 20 feet with no running water, but a cookstove and one light bulb hanging from a cord in the middle of the room.  Yesterday I picked him up (literally.  I had to pick him up to carry him to the car since he only has one leg) and brought him home.  We put a plastic chair in the shower and he had his first shower in over a year (since Thanksgiving 2014)!  He loved it and said that his skin didn't itch so much.  I then gave him a 'hair hack'.  I wouldn't feel right calling it a 'haircut' since it looked like I cut it with a machete by the time I was finished, but since he wears a hat all the time and doesn't go out, I didn't think he'd mind.   We gave him some clean clothes from our giveaway bag (and didn't tell him that his jeans were some that Mia had outgrown (remember, he doesn't get out much)) while I threw his old ones in the washer.  I'm not sure I've seen browner water in a washing machine.  Since we live in a warm desert, his clothes were dry after only 30 minutes on the clothes line.  Paul accompanied us when we took Alejandro back to his room to help me shake out his mattress and get him settled back in.  I've mentioned before that our kids (and I suspect most missionary kids) don't whine much.  It's pretty easy to be thankful when you see how so many others struggle through life.

Home Sweet Home!

03 Feb 2016

We are pretty swamped repairing our house, buying food, filling out paperwork, etc., but I thought I'd write a quick note!  We are back in our house in Arequipa.  We were met at the airport by several friends and our pastor's family helped us unpack and drive me about to get our internet working and some groceries.  The Peats and Käsers (fellow missionaries) have already had us over for dinner, and our church had a reception with balloons and cake to welcome us back!  Our truck started on my first try and yesterday I got it insured and inspected so I can drive again.  I can go check on Alejandro the crippled man I help now.  The cats are happy to see the kids.  I've torn 10 wasp nests off of the house so far.  And it's always a good day for a run in Arequipa! 

Our pastor's family in our living room after our arrival

We arrived back in Peru!

28 Jan 2016

We just arrived in Lima!  We are pretty tired, since we left Amy's sister's place in Oahu Tuesday night around 9:15 pm, but we are here.  Amy's been doing much better.  No headaches today at all.  No seizures since the surgery!  (that makes traveling a lot easier, worry-wise)  Her main problem is that her right eye doesn't tear properly, so she has to add eye drops.  

On Monday we went on a hike to some tide pools and blow holes (my personal favorite thing on Oahu to see) and her eye suddenly started working properly, maybe from the exertion hiking but today it is back to being at least partly blocked.

The waves rush into the chamber under the rocks you see here and when they run out of space they blast air and water out of apertures in the ground!  Rumor has it that people have fallen into the holes to never be seen again.

 

BTW, I am photo A from the blog entry on January 16th.  Jerry is photo B.

Moving Day at Last!

18 Jan 2016

Since we made the decision to move back to Peru two weeks ago, we have been busy boxing up things, changing addresses, getting vaccinations and medications, etc.  This morning my sister Carolyn and her husband Neal came to our house with their stock trailer ("You know you're a Redneck when... you use a horse trailer to move") and we loaded it with all of our US posessions.  We basically have two households of belongings:  One set that we have in Peru where we live 80% of the time and another set here in the USA for our times here.  Since this is our 4th time packing everything up to go to Peru, we've eliminated the majority of the 'Why did we keep this?' sort of items.  Thankfully, everything fit in the trailer.  We'll be staying with Carolyn tonight and then my sister Alice tomorrow night before going to Amy's sister's house in Honolulu on Wednesday night!

Allen's sister, Carolyn, Ben and Amy with the loading task looming beside them.

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