Our family is in Peru for two years to serve with Extreme Nazarene. We are living in the jungle city of Puerto Maldonado supporting our team of 8 missionaries as 12 churches are planted here in 18 months! Please keep checking in to keep up on our our ministry and adventures in Peru!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prayers for the boys...

This morning we said goodbye to Tyson for a few days. The day has finally come for the Amazon Raft Race and we saw the team off this morning.
Team Extreme: Tyson, Daniel, Ramon, & Andrew
Please keep them in your prayers over the next 4 days, for the building of relationships, communication, fun and adventures...and safety too of course! I know Tyson will have a ton to tell when he gets back so stay tuned!
Kai was sad that Tyson was leaving and when I told him Daddy was going on an adventure he responded "Kai wanna go on adventure". Don't we all:)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A year ago...

A year ago we were wondering what the Lord had planned next for us. You see, we had been praying since January about where the Lord would take us next. We felt that we were ready to make a move, that God had one planned for us, but we just didn't know what it was. I had researched a ton on teaching abroad, and different organizations to serve with, but nothing seemed like the right fit for us. Tyson had applied for teaching jobs and had interviews for ones he was totally qualified for and that seemed to be perfect. But the Lord continued to close doors. So we waited.

A year ago last weekend we went to church just like any other Sunday. We were surprised to find a giant truck in the parking lot. The Extreme Mobile. We went to service and listened to Scott Englund and Brent Deakins talk about Extreme Peru and what they were planning down here. Tyson and I both felt our hearts jump out of our chest wondering if this is what we had been praying for. However, while our hearts were jumping in our chests, our minds were still wondering...where would we fit in this? They mostly talked about the 40/40 program and since we were married that wasn't an option for us. After the service went through the Extreme Mobile. My heart was pounding as I learned about the people on the islands in Lake Titicaca, my heart was broken as I learned about the unchurched in Arequipa. I didn't even get to hear about Puerto Maldonado because I was running late to teach Sunday School. But Tyson was able to talk to Scott and asked if there was a place for a couple like us...and he learned about the Cluster Support position—a family to care for the 40/40s in each city. Perfect! That following week Scott's card sat on our bathroom counter and every time I saw it I would pray about this possibility, what should we do, what is our next step, is this what you have for us Lord?

A year ago this weekend we went camping as a family on the coast. Tyson received a call from Brent Deakins...he wanted to meet with us and talk to us more about Extreme. What an answer to prayer...I still thank the Lord that Brent followed up with us that weekend!

A year ago. How quickly the time has gone. Yet, it seems like so long ago. So much has happened, we have experienced much, watch the Lord work in many ways, have had joys and sorrows, trials and victories, and through it all have seen the great faithfulness of our Lord.

A year ago our lives changed forever. I can't imagine what He has in store for the next year...

Living Life

We are living life here in Iquitos…not a ton new to report but things are going well. Below I posted a few pictures of the class Tyson taught a couple weeks ago. He did a great job and it was fun to see him in teacher mode again:) He put in a ton of hard work gathering information, photos and videos of Puerto Maldonado and got us all thinking about what is ahead. It was perfect timing as we have a month and a half left and I know since then my mind has been turning with thoughts of Puerto and how to prepare better. The pictures below are of a couple team building activities we did which were great and I loved seeing our team work together. The first one was where they had to all stand on a sheet and flip it over without anyone stepping off…they were very creative and I was super impressed! The second was where each pair has to guide each other across the church property blindfolded…trust and communication were key!

Other than that things are busy and November is coming fast…we are leaving here the last week in October and although we will be sad to leave Iquitos, we are anxious to finally arrive and begin work in Puerto! Please pray for our team during this final stretch of training. That we would learn and absorb all we can to help us in Puerto, that each pair would continue to grow as they prepare to plant churches together and that Tyson and I would know how to better serve our team each and every day. Dios te bendiga!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jair: Post 5

We'll it bums me out to be reporting the latest in the story of Jair and Pool, but I know that God has a plan to use this for good. It's been a rough week but it's really a big part of the story with these two young guys. It all went down last Monday night. Bill and Tracy Wertz had arrived earlier that day which we were super excited about and we had been running around that day in the Motokar. It was a great time for them to visit as well as great timing for this Monday night. We had just finished our weekly dinner with the 40/40's at our house and were chatting with the Wertz's when the door bell rang. It was Jair, so I invited him in to meet Bill and Tracy and hang out for a bit. He came in and played with Kai while we talked and hung out. Then at around 8:45, I looked out our window to check on our Motokar that was parked out front of our house and couldn't believe it. It wasn't there. A lot of things ran through my mind: did one of our 40/40's take it when they left, did I accidentally leave it somewhere else or leave it back at the Hotel that the Wertz's were staying or was it actually taken. I ran down with Bill and we asked some questions of our neighbor Nora who hadn't seen anything, but she helped direct us to the police station. As we were trying to figure out the situation Jair came down and was very surprised at what had just happened. We could tell he was very concerned and also helped direct us to the Police. Bill and I said our goodbye's to Jair and went directly to report the missing vehicle. At the police station there had to be about 15-20 Moto's and Motokar's that had been impounded. However, they sent us to a special department of the police that deals only with stolen vehicles, DEPROVE. Knowing that this is the largest city in the world that has no roads leading out in addition to seeing the large amount of impounded vehicles at the Police station, I started to think that maybe there is a chance that we may see this Motokar again. However, we were also told that some of the police are corrupt and organized with the thief’s. Anyway, it wasn't at DEPROVE either and we met up with Cristobal and Pastor Aviatar and we filed all the necessary paperwork that went into a handwritten logbook. Nothing gives you more confidence in a police force than when they write your story and information in a dusty logbook. Anyway, there was nothing else to do at this point but pray.

Bill and I then headed home and upon arrival, Tracy pointed out that she had thought our digital video camera was on our counter, but didn't know where it was. What a great thing to find out after dealing with this already draining situation. So at that point we proceeded to tear apart the whole house trying to find this thing. But as we searched we couldn’t find it anywhere. I was so ticked off at this point, if it in fact was taken it had to have been Jair who was the only person in our house other than the 40/40's. Dispite not knowing where he lived and it being 10:30 at night and there being a storm on the horizon I was determined to find his place at get that thing back. Bill just said “let's go”, so he and I headed out. I was really thankful he was there to help because if he hadn’t been there I for sure wouldn’t have done this alone. We just headed in the direction that he had mentioned earlier, which was in a shadier part of town near the old abandoned airport. Lightning strikes illuminating the dirt street and something jogged my memory because I remembered that they had to sign using their addressed for the Amazon Raft Race that we had been training for. Thanks to Tracy’s time data basing at Church on the Hill she was able to remember their street name. There were two ladies out on the street who I asked if they knew where the street was and if it was safe to be out here at this time of night. They pointed us in the right direction and we happened to be only a block away. They said as long as people are out in the street it should be safe. Fortunately after learning that bit of informatin the rain began to just poor and everyone that was outside left, great. We walked further and asked a young kid if he knew where they lived which was now one house down. Bill suspiciously kept his back against the wall next to the door providing the intimidation. Jair poked his head out the window and Bill gave him the old head nod and he opened the door. I asked him if he had my camera and if he knew anything about our Motokar. He said yes, he had just brought it to his house. He then turned, went inside and brought it out and handed it to me. I couldn’t believe it, I shook his hand and didn't have any words at that point and we just left in the rain. It was coming down at this point and we just wanted to get home, but I was so relieved to get it back.

We got back just drenched to the bone but relieved and confused. It had been such an unbelievable night and this relationship that I’d spent so much time to foster and that I had so much confidence in was just shattered. I didn’t know what to think at this point because I felt so betrayed but I really think and pray that this all took place on the same night for a reason. You see Jair apparently has no problem stealing, but he has no clue of the consequences. However that night he was able to see the consequences of someone stealing on a different level. I know that maybe you’re thinking Jair had something to do with the stealing of the Moto but his reaction combined with the timing of the Moto missing give us reason to believe he wasn’t a part of that. But at this point I hope the story is not over, it certainly changes things for our relationship. But really I hope he can see his actions more clearly and the fact that he just gave it back to me either says he cared enough about our relationship and my family to give it back or either he was scared. I hope that anyone that’s been following this story will just pray that this isn’t the end of the story. You see it had been described by multiple people that night that there is a necessity for some to steal in Peru and specifically in this community, the unemployment rate is in around 45%. It was confirmed the next day when Pool stopped by who had been looking for work all day and couldn’t find anything. He’s seemed quite bummed because he’s likely going to have to join the Peruvian Navy, which is probably a good option for him at this point. Anyways, I just keep them in my prayers and hope they see their sin as it truly is and then that they recall the verses we read together about Christ dying for them despite their sin. Please keep them in your prayers, they know where the church is located, they know that Christ is their hope. They just need something to wake them up and finally see their need for Him.

40/40 Church Plant Locations!!!!

We'll we got our church planting assignments which are still subject to changes but our team is excited to see on paper where they will be focusing their efforts and prayers. Tracy and I taught three days this week all about preparing for Puerto, we watched interviews from folks in Puerto, analyzed what makes Puerto unique, looked at pictures and did some team building exercises. The three days was designed for us all to begin looking at Puerto through a different lense and really start focusing on how to prepare. The pictures included so that you can see where each of our 4 pairs churches will be. The first picture are the communities that we will be working to plant churches within the city of Puerto Maldonado. The pinks are Wendy and Elisa, the light blues are Olivia and Ana and the orange is Callie and Carmen. The picture below is where Andrew and Daniel will be working to plant churches. Being able to get our minds wrapped around more specifics is helping us to see the reality of Puerto and that it's only 6 weeks away for us. Please pray for these locations.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


So one of our favorite (and one of the very few options) to eat here in Iquitos is The Yellow Rose of Texas. It is owned by a retired guy from Texas who played for the Longhorns and is a big fan so the entire staff wears Longhorn attire. The Collins family pops into my mind literally every time I walk up to it:) The food is good and offers us some American choices that are rare around here. But for me, the reason I keep going back is the staff. They are warm and loving and you feel like family when you walk up. They also love Kai. The ladies all squeeze his cheeks and then he confidently says "jugo para mi" (Juice for me) with a big "Muchas gracias" when they bring it. They love it. But, Kai absolutely adores one of the male waiters, Jacob. Kai loves to get down from his chair and play with him and if I walk over to bring Kai back (because I'm thinking perhaps Jacob might have other things to do) he wants nothing to do with me...he just wants to play with his amigo. And frankly Jacob adores Kai as well and is more then happy to play with him and asks for him when anyone in our group comes. Two weeks ago Jacob was talking with Kai when our food came and we were ready to pray. So, Tyson invited him to pray with us and he did. That sparked a conversation about where we go to church and when the services are. I don't even know that we had a chance to invite him before he said he would come to the Sunday morning service because it was before his shift at work. Awesome! We let him know we looked forward to seeing him there. And guess what? He came! And last week when we saw him at the restaurant he asked Tyson if he had been studying the passage they were supposed to and said he would be there again the following Sunday. Unfortunately he was not at church this last week. However, I think God is starting something and want to ask for your prayers for him. We are thankful that our team has shown love to the staff at Texas and we are thankful for Kai's personality and how he loves people as it gave us an opportunity to talk to Jacob about church. Please keep Jacob in your prayers...thanks!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Last week we were super blessed to have Bill & Tracey Wertz come to visit us. Bill is a pastor at our church back home, I worked with him for 7 years and we were in a small group with Bill & Tracey even before we were married. Bill married us, dedicated Kai and we have spent birthdays and holidays with them. Really, they are like family to us. You can imagine how excited we were when they told us they were coming up to Iquitos to see us after they served with a short term project in Arequipa. They were only here for a short time but we treasured each moment with them. I can't explain how wonderful it was to have our pastors and friends here to encourage us in our ministry, marriage and parenting. They were able to meet our team, visit our home, see our church, get to know our city a little, experience an Amazon thunderstorm downpour, and spend some time on the river. It was truly a refreshing time for us. Thank you Bill & Tracey for making the trip up...we love you guys!

Bill, Tracey & Kai on a boat on the river on our way to a butterfly farm

Saying goodbye at the airport