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!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas in Peru

We had our first Christmas in Peru! Here in Peru when you ask what special foods or traditions they have the immediate answer is -- paneton y chocolate! That is, fruit cake and hot chocolate. They love it and only have it once a year. So, our teams gave out paneton & hot chocolate in their communities and it was a great time!
Ana & Olivia in 7 de Junio

Carmen with a group of their kids in Enace. Callie couldn't be there since she is at home with her family but all the kids asked for her and she sure was missed!

Here in Peru they also celebrate Christmas at midnight on Christmas Eve. They eat a huge dinner at midnight, open presents, let off fire works and go out into the streets to wish friends and neighbors a Feliz Navidad. We were planning on celebrating Peruvian style but because Daniel and Andrew wouldn't be home until Christmas morning we decided to wait for them. We did go to the Christmas Eve service where we watched an adorable Christmas play. Then we stayed up to midnight playing games and drinking hot chocolate. At midnight we watched all the fireworks from our balcony. The next morning we all slept in---well, I didn't. I really wanted to have Boppa's famous cinnamon rolls for breakfast so I woke up early to make them--totally worth they lack of sleep:) We make stockings for our team and opened them up when the boys got home. We had a lazy, relaxing Christmas and had a big turkey dinner (with paneton & hot chocolate). It was hard for all of us to be away from family for Christmas but I felt blessed to be able to celebrate with our new family here!

Smith Family Visit

We were beyond blessed to have our family here for a couple weeks in December. It was refreshing to spend time with family and to watch Kai adore his grandparents and auntie! It was also so wonderful to have them experience a bit of what life is like for us--the frustrations and joys we experience every day here! While they were here went on a trip into the jungle and did a canopy walk and a boat ride on Lake Sandoval. We were also able to spend a few days with them in Cusco and saw some of the sights there including Machu Picchu! To see lots more pictures and here some more details check here. Time with family is so precious to those of us so far from home. Thank you Boppa, Pa and Auntie Taryn for coming to see us--we love you all very much!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Challenging Times...Please Pray

Again, for all of those who are checking this blog, please pray for our team. We are really feeling like Satan is trying very hard to disrupt what we are doing here. Along with various forms of sickness and other issues. Two days ago one of girls visited the doctor for a vision problem and was abused by the doctor. She is fine and okay but she will be taking time off . Please pray for us as we have to deal with this situation and pray for our team as we are all away from family during the holidays. Thanks, The Smiths

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We were excited for the chance to share our Thanksgiving tradition with our Peruvian family. Monday we celebrated Thanksgiving a few days late because not everyone was here on Thursday. The girls and I had fun staying up late the night before preparing some of the food. Although we missed being home with our family, it was to be women in the kitchen together, carrying on the traditions of our family. Olivia made her grandma’s rolls and Wendy made the stuffing (typically her dad’s job). Callie and I made the biggest pumpkin pie I have ever seen—thank you Church on the Hill for sending down canned pumpkin for us, it was delicious! Although we couldn’t find a turkey, Tyson cooked 2 big chickens and they were so yummy I didn’t even care it wasn’t turkey. It was fun to figure out how we could make all our traditional dishes using the ingredients of Peru (other than the canned pumpkin;). Pastor Freddy and his family joined us as well and we had a great time giving thanks to God for all He has blessed us with.

After the Thanksgiving festivities had died down Tyson and I brought up our surprise for the team…a Christmas tree, lights and a few decorations. We know that the Christmas season will be very different this year for everyone and we want to make it feel as much like home as we can. They were all very excited and had fun decorating. My favorite part was when Andrew brought out his John Deer tractor ornament his mom had brought down for him and hung it on the tree...a little piece of home;)

I have so much to be thankful for and could go on and on. I have such an amazing, faithful, God-fearing husband who I am blessed to have as my partner in life, parenting and ministry. A little boy who is healthy, creative, smart, funny, energetic and brings so much joy to my life. I have 8 bonus members of my family in the 40/40s and I thank the Lord for each one of them. We have amazing family back home who have loved and supported us unselfishly. I am thankful beyond words to each one of you back home who are supporting us in prayer and finances. I can’t express how much a part of this you are, your generosity allows us to be here in this ministry and your prayers carry us through. God bless you all and we give thanks for you!


This last month has gone by so fast. I apologize for the lack of posting lately. Things have been so busy and we don’t have internet at the house so you really have to carve out time to get anything done. I will try to do a little overview of November.
The 40/40s are out working in their communities. Each pair has three church plants they are doing over the next 18 months. The girls are working in all three of theirs right now, except Callie & Carmen who have a 3rd one aways outside of the city so they will start that one in a few months. Every weekend this month we have been in a different community doing a Jesus film showing on Friday night followed by a Kids’ Festival on Saturday.
There has been a great response and has provided a lot of contacts for the pairs to follow up with. Throughout the week they are evangelizing, visiting people in their homes and disciplining. Andrew & Daniel are out in their communities all week long and we only see them on Mondays for their day off. They have families they stay with while they are out there and have two different communities they are working with. They are doing evangelism, discipling and put on the services that happen in these areas. Please keep each of our pairs in prayer—Andrew & Daniel, Olivia & Ana, Wendy & Elisa and Callie & Carmen. Please pray for the Lord to continue to open doors for them to share God’s love with people. Pray for strength and energy for everyone. Pray for protection for all, especially Andrew & Daniel who are far from the rest of us.
Tyson and I have been trying to take care of all the details so the team can focus on their ministry and trying to get our own home settled a bit. We have been running around getting items for the two houses, fixing and finishing things that need to be done…all part of moving into a new home, shopping for the team, and searching for a cook. We finally found someone to cook lunches who started this week. I have been teaching the pre-schoolers Sunday School with Wendy and Tyson helping with worship.
We have had a few issues with water. The second Sunday we were here there was a huge rain storm and there were not yet gutters on the church. That means the rain that came off the church roof aimed directly into our windows. Kai woke up from his nap screaming “Mom, it’s raining in my bed.” And boy was it, there was a waterfall coming in and his room had about 2 inches of water in it and the laundry room was the same. It took me the rest of the night to mop of all that water and a couple weeks for it to dry out. The drying out is an issue that brings mold along with it. I have cleaned up a lot of mold and it is just have fans going constantly to try to keep things dry. The next Sunday night and all day Monday it rained and we soon found we were surrounded by a lake. By Monday evening we could not flush our toilet because it would come up from our shower drain. Apparently the water was so high it caused issues with the septic. There was no quick fix for this and we had to just wait for the water to go down…for 5 days. There was also a ton of water between our house and the wall which was a great home for frogs, I guess, because there about a zillion outside our window and they kept coming in the house. Kai of course, loved this, but it wasn’t my favorite. Please don’t think I’m complaining, I really just want to remember these memories so I am writing them down...looking back it is fun to see all that we have experienced in our new home in a month;) We know that there is much more rain coming in the next few months so Tyson has been on the phone, talking to neighbors and down at the city office trying to come up with a solution they last 3 weeks. Today he got someone from the city to come out and look at it (which is a huge feat in itself here in Peru) and they are planning to bring in dirt to fill in the pond surrounding us and then they will begin to put in a ditch to move the water elsewhere.
Well, there is much more to tell I am sure but this has already gotten long. We are settling well and excited to be here and be a part of all that God is doing in Puerto Maldonado! I should also add that Kai is loving life here and has transitioned without missing a step…you can check out what he has been up to on his blog here. We are looking forward to the Christmas season and celebrating here with our Peruvian friends and family. We are really looking forward to Tyson’s family coming to visit us for a couple weeks…they get here next week! Thank you all for your prayers and we will keep you updated more often from now on!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Here are a few of our prayer requests as of late...please be praying for our pairs as now that we have hit the ground running, it is easy to lose sight of teamwork and focus on the task. Pray for strengthened understanding for each person. That they would understand their partners needs for all our 40-40s. Please be praying for those that have decided to give their lives to Christ here in Puerto, that they would continue to seek Christ and have a desire to learn more. (We have had roughly 12 people meet the Lord up to this point). 4 of our communities have designated a location for holding weekly meetings, pray that each location would work out perfectly and that we would be able to find locations to meet for the other 8 communities. Please pray for our family, as we have been going straight since we got off the airplane and we need a break. Please pray that we would find rest in the Lord and time to relax. Thank you all for your prayers!!!