The Georges in Peru

Bold Kale Cupcakes

10 Feb 2015

We have now been in our Elkhorn home just over 3 weeks.  What have we noticed since we've been back?  Greek yogurt is everywhere, pushing our previous favorite brands out of the marketplace.  Everything has a gluten-free version now.  And kale.  And cupcakes.  'Jones Bros.' sounds like they should manufacture ammunition, not cupcakes.  I always find myself trapped in a turn-only lane not going where I want to go.  The word 'Bold' is on everything, including salad dressing, coffee, and soft drinks.  It can cost $50 (or a lot more!) to get a copy of an RFID car key!  And everyone has a smart phone.  We do too now!  One can order everything online and they'll even deliver it on Sunday afternoons.  

 

Many have asked what we plan to do this year.  I'm going to open a shop selling gluten-free kale cupcakes in three 'bold' sizes that you can order online.  With your smartphone.  I'm going to be rich!

Never Underestimate what a Man will understand while Drunk.

29 Dec 2014

MJ is a drunk.  I've seen him 7 times and he's been drunk 5 of those times.  Last night our church held a farewell for us at church, with people saying lots of nice things, gifts of sweaters and fruit cake and a visit from MJ.  Drunks scare people.  It probably doesn't help that they often have a glass bottle in their hands as they stumble about.   In fact, the first time I met MJ he had thrown a glass bottle of liquor into the street, hitting the pastor's car during the sermon, setting off the car alarm.  Despite being the runt of the litter in my family, I'm a big guy in Peru, so last night when MJ walked into the church (carrying a bottle) the pastor nodded to the 'bouncer' to take him out.  I took him gently by the shoulder and helped him up the stairs out of the church.  As much as possible, I talk to drunks as if they are in their right mind.  A senior missionary, David Coombs, once told me, "You never know how much a drunk will hear and understand when you talk to them.  I've seen drunks come to Christ who later told me that the things they heard from Christians while drunk (okay the Christians weren't drunk!) made the difference."  But I didn't have much hope when we made an appointment to meet today to talk when he wasn't drunk.  (I've made appointments with him twice before, and he's stood me up both times.)  Sure enough, when I arrived, he wasn't there.  He lives directly across the street from the church.  We had forgotten a tupperware at last night's farewell, so I went into the church to retrieve it and then I knocked on MJ's door again, just be sure he wasn't there.  He wasn't.  I grabbed a post-it® note out of the car and wrote a quick note.  As I was about to drive away, I saw MJ walking up from a block away.  Was that him?  Same shirt as last night, so it must be.  We talked and talked about his dreams, his broken home of origin and his current broken home, his church experiences, his alcoholism.  We just sat not saying anything at times.  I told him I wanted to help him, but I was leaving in a few days for a year's absence.  By the end he said, "I'm going to quit drinking.  I promise."  He then took my hand to shake it to seal the deal.  "Thursday.  I'll visit the church Thursday," he said, pointing to the church billboard advertising our Thursday Bible Studies.  Pray for MJ.

Gratitude

18 Dec 2014

 

As the end of the year approaches,  one of the denominations that our missionaries work with (the Iglesia Evangelica Peruana,)  invited us all to a program to say thanks.  There were skits and songs and speeches,  followed by a nice alpaca steak lunch.   As a very nice surprise for me (Amy) some of the women present were ladies I used to teach in a Bible study.  I hadn't seen them for more than a year.   One, Carmen, asked if they could come visit me,  so Tuesday,  I made some banana bread,  and was thinking about putting water on for tea when the first car load arrived.  I was expecting 3 or 4,  but 9 ladies came, plus 8 of their kids!   They are mostly sisters and sisters in-law,  and their mom came too.   She said that although her daughters hadn't told her about it, because I mentioned it to her and she had come to the Bible study once or twice,  she considered herself invited.  While I taught the moms,  Sarah used to take care of the kids, who love her very much.  One mom said that her daughter had been counting the days,  and then the hours until they could come see her.   We sang Christmas carols, and they brought us gifts,  but mostly,  they came just to say thanks for teaching them.    

The Ants come Marching one by one...

09 Dec 2014

When we returned from my Mother's funeral in the States, we were greeted by a stream of ants parading through our kitchen.  Not nasty stinging ants, so one wouldn't think it was a problem, but Amy thought that I should do something about them. What did they do to hurt me?  Besides drowning by the thousands in our jar of honey with a loose lid?  Amy took the initiative and put out some ant powder, but they kept coming in.  It turns out they had made a colony under our dishwasher, which was sitting on some broken concrete.  I can fix this, I thought. I'll just pour a new floor  of concrete over the dishwasher pad.  That stopped them from coming in from under the dishwasher, but forced the ants to find a new way out of their predicament of being buried alive.  They started coming out of the wall plug-ins and around the pipes in the kitchen.  After weeks of caulking all of the conduit and pipes I think we have them under control.  I've said that at least 10 times now, so my optimism is subdued.  The good news is that it forced me to do a much-needed countertop renovation project that I've thought of doing for years!

 

Marie George 1930-2014

22 Oct 2014

Photo from 2013

This morning Allen's Mom joined the great throng in heaven singing

          "Blessing and honor and glory and dominion to

          the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb,

                       forever and ever!" Revelation 5:13

She died in the Crete, Nebraska nursing home after deteriorating over the last few months.  She will be remembered for her great hospitality and friendliness to everyone.

The funeral schedule is as follows:

Sunday, October 26th

5:00 - 8:00 pm Visitation at the Laurel United Methodist Church - 302 Elm Street

Monday, October 27th

10:00 am Interment at the Laurel Cemetery

11:00 am memorial service at the Laurel United Methodist Church

Visitors from Nebraska!

17 Oct 2014

We love getting visitors, especially from Nebraska!  This week, 12 Nebraskans came to Peru to help with a medical clinic.  Most were optometrists, many of whom visited us in 2006 in Abancay.  This time, we partnered with MMI (Medical Ministries International) and went to Puno to see patients.   Nearly 1000 patients were given glasses or had teeth pulled or cavities filled!

Dr. Kim Baxter from North Platte, NE seeing a patient with the waiting room in the background.

Thanks for coming!

Really! These are happy kids!

05 Oct 2014

Sarah thought that it would be a nice reward for her Sunday school class for learning their memory verses to go to the zoo!  I thought eight would show up.  Instead, we had 16 kids and 10 adults go with us to the zoo yesterday!  They had a great time, though this picture might make you think they were miserable. In Peru, one doesn't smile for pictures.  It's just not what you do.  I was even scolded once, while getting my picture for my driver's license, to not smile! 

Luckily, boys are less obedient to social norms and they smiled for their picture!

It was a great time for building unity in the church beyond Sunday church services.

Pray for the end of the Ebola Epidemic

27 Sep 2014

SIM has dedicated next week (Sept 29-Oct 5) as a time to pray specifically for the end of the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa.  Could you please pray at least one day for this next week?  Pray for a new vaccine or that the virus would 'burn out'.  Pray that the Gospel would advance in these countries despite the horrible losses of life.  Pray that the people affected would not blame those in the hospitals or governments for the virus.  You get the idea.  'Oremos para que cese el ébola' Pray for the end of Ebola.

A Church with a Floor

16 Sep 2014

It has now been two weeks since we finished the floor of the church.  It is wonderful!  Some comments:

  1. "The church looks bigger now!"
  2. "I don't have to clean off my shoes after going to church!"
  3. "There aren't enough seats now.  There are too many people."  (Lame excuse by one man when the pastor asked him why he hasn't come to church lately.  There is room (see picture))

Next on the list is to build a wall on the left-hand side of the church and to divide the children's room into two separate rooms because so many kids have been coming.  Sarah has been teaching the SS class and she is a kid magnet. She had 17 kids the last time she taught!

Our Church is Afloorable

24 Aug 2014

When we first started attending our church about 2 years ago, it didn't have steps to enter down into the property, you had to climb down a pile of rocks.  Following the good marketing principle of 'don't make it hard for people to enter your establishment', one of the first things we did was encourage them to build steps.  We thought a roof would be kind of swell, so with the help of a short-term construction team from CCC in Omaha, we put a roof over the church (took one morning of skilled labor to finish the job!) in July of 2013.  Now the church has finally saved up enough offering money to put in a floor!  In Peru, one doesn't hire someone to pour a floor when you can have a church work day (or several), so we've been working hard this week, getting all of the material into the church.  This means manually scooping/carrying/throwing six truckloads of sand, gravel and rocks into the church (ahem) atrium in preparation for pouring the floor in the next 2 weeks.  It's been a good time of getting the members of the church to work together, and we don't even need to bribe our kids with icecream to get them there,  it's such a satisfying job.

Here you can see us scooping gravel from the main road down to the sidewalk in front of our church.

Praise God that we will soon have a floor (and hopefully a more inviting place for new people to visit)!

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