Wednesday, December 30, 2009

enjoying dressing up in the cafe church

A Huge thankyou Fiveways methodist church Lower Gornal Dudley, the wonderful dressing up clothes that you collected for your harvest celebration have all arrived in Cusco now and so the children who visit the cafe can enjoy dressing up as fairies pirates doctors vets nurses batman spiderman and chefs!Some of the children will spend all day every day in January and February sitting on the streets near the cafe church whilst their mothers work as street vendors, how great to see them enjoying dressing up and enjoying themselves in a safe environment! Here are a few pics!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Granny Grandad Auntie Geetha and Anjanette visit Machu Picchu

Well we spent boxing day and the next day visiting Machu Picchu and we were not disappointed, it was amazing being in the jungle and so high up that we were surrounded by clouds! The views were breathtaking literally but with Granny puffing on her oxygen we made it!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Feliz Navidad!

What a treat having Auntie Geetha and Anjanette's parents with us for Christmas! The midnight fireworks and firecrackers were very noisy and with Jess and Sam waking up at the crack of dawn to see what Father Christmas brought we were all rather bleary eyed but very happy to be together. At midday our friends Jason and Rebecca and their daughters joined us, we had a short time of singing Christmas Carols in english which we really enjoyed, then one of our church members also joined us for Christmas dinner during her lunch break from the local supermarket 12 hour shift! Thankyou all for your Christmas greetings and gifts Praise God for the wonderful and best gift of his son Jesus to us.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Christingle Service

We decided to have a childrens' Christmas service today (Dec 24th) . So we explained the significance of the Christingle and all made them together which the children really enjoyed. Tonight at midnight the fireworks will go off and then Peruvians will eat their Christmas meal and give their gifts, we will be celebrating tomorrow (25th) with a traditional British christmas dinner ! Here are a few photos of the Christingle service.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Prize giving for our kids club

Last week we rewarded our kids who come regularly to our Saturday morning club with a small prize for Christmas. In the Cusco Christian bookshop we found 12 key rings and 12 wrist bands so we bought out their whole stock! Anjanette's mum and dad came armed with packets of fun size English chocolate bars so they also received a mini mars bar or pack of maltesers which they were absolutely delighted with too!!

The President was in town

Pastor Pepe president of the Peruvian Baptist Convention visited us and preached at El Puente at our special Christmas service last night. He also prayed for the church leadership team and the new members of the church. It was so wonderful to have him spend time with us and discuss future plans for the convention. He is interested in setting up more cafe churches ( a brand new concept here in Peru)and also starting some medical work so we are very excited about the possibilities this will bring!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nativity play in the open air at Huambutia

Here are a few photos of Jess and Sam and friends acting the christmas story after the Chocolatada. They had an audience of at least 300 people and it was quite an event!

Chocolatada at Huambutio

Today as a church about 20 of us drove out to Huambutia a poor community on the outskirts of Cusco . A few of our church members used to live there and still have strong links there so we arranged with the principal of the local school to take hot chocolate bread and toys for all the primary school children (about 200 children!) Many of the children walk in the cold for 45 mins each day in their rubber tyre flip flop sandals to get to school . We also did a short presentation of the Christmas story, what a joy and privilege it was to be there sharing Christmas with these children. It was lovely to see the joy on their faces as they received toys and clothes which had been donated by friends and family of our church members.This was a challenge to us being our first Christmas in the pastorate in Cusco seeing such poverty and such a difference to the way we usually celebrate. Please pray for wisdom as we seek to show God's love to both rich and poor that we meet here in Peru.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The visitors have arrived!!!

Que bueno! Granny Grandad and Auntie Geetha escaped the snow at Heathrow just in time and have arrived in Cusco. They are feeling a bit wobbly with the altitude jetlag and sheer exhaustion of their 30 hr 3 flight journey but the main thing is they are here! After 16 months it is so good to see them again and now we are feeling happy and christmassy they have brought with them mince meat, stollen, shortbread, christmas puddings,ribena, stuffing, branston pickle, tea bags, reindeer ears, christmas music as well as a ton of christmas presents. Anjanette said that all that mattered was that Granny Grandad and auntie G were coming to celebrate Christmas, Samuel said all that mattered to him was that Granny Grandad Aunty G and Father Christmas were coming!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas songs in music group

Thanks to Kate from Union Baptist church we enjoyed singing songs with frosty the snowman and the beautifully hand made nativity puppets as well as dressing up baby Annabelle as Jesus and of course rocking around Samuel dressed as the christmas tree!!

End of school year

We are thankful for a terrific school year at Ausungate , here are a few photos of Jess and Sam and their teachers taken at the school art exhibition.They both have an english teacher , english classroom assistant , spanish teacher and spanish classroom assistant so you can imagine the children were busy making thankyou christmas cards for their many teachers!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Jessica enjoys school camp

This week 1st grade students and above had an overnight sleep at Jess's school. They hoped to stay in a hostel further afield but since this is rainy season the government has changed the laws about letting school trips travel when the weather is bad. As this was her first year it was very reassuring for us to know she was only camping in Miss Pip's classroom. She had a great time and came home covered in mud exhausted but happy and talking with a strong american accent!! The differences between the school system here and at home are huge but we thank God that Jess and Sam take it all in their stride and have had a wonderful first year in their new school here in Cusco.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jesus al rescate!

Anjanette was outvoted in a family meeting regarding the timing of when we put up the Christmas tree so it went up very early on December 4th last weekend! There is great excitement in the house and as a family we have started reading through Christmas Unpacked, a daily 3 week Christmas bible discovery for children and families . We are learning that Jesus is God's rescue plan through readings games stories and puzzles .Sam thinks this is great since he spends a lot of time shouting Buzz Lightyear al rescate (to the rescue) now he is saying Jesus al rescate. However yesterday after our childrens' music group which Jess and Sam attended they were arguing over who would cuddle baby Jesus and I had to tell them he is the Prince of Peace and doesn't want us fighting over him!!

We are so excited about celebrating Christmas at El Puente and are gearing up for church Christmas celebrations with special activities in our children and youth groups. Here's the timetable:

On Saturday 19th Dec we are planning a chocolotada (where we give out hot chocolate, paneton, clothes and toys and will do games and a Christmas presentation) in a poor district of Cusco where church members have contacts.. We hope most of our church family will come and take part.

On Sunday 20th we will have an open air Christmas service outside the cafe, we are hoping Pepe Flores the president of the baptist convention will be with us to preach.

On the afternoon of 24th we will hold a family Christmas service at church. Peruvians then celebrate Christmas at midnight .

On Dec 25th as a family with Anjanette's parents and aunt plus another missionary family we will have our traditional Christmas meal and a small family service at our home.

Last Christmas in Arequipa was hard we were very homesick and not really settled, this year we have lovely friends and church family to celebrate with and the icing on the cake (which hopefully they are bringing in their bulging suitcases!) is that mum dad and Geetha will be with us too!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Warm at last

Many houses in the Andes are made from adobe, hence they warm up as the sun heats them and the heat is retained.Where we live now almost all houses are cement and much colder. Without central heating our house really is cold even when it is warm outside! When we looked for a house we really hoped to find one with a real fireplace so we could make fires. That was not the case but some very generous missionary friends have loaned us their woodburning stove. Our new skills include making fires at high altitude, chopping and drying out wood. How wonderful to have a warm roaring fire in the house in the cold evenings!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Calendars and playmobil nativity set

Jess and Sam are thrilled with their yummy Thorntons advent calendars with their names on that Auntie Geetha sent. We are also thrilled with the advent calendar Stan and Dina sent which we will be using in the cafe church, you can't buy advent calendars here in Cusco so people will be really interested to see it in the cafe! There has also been big excitement in the house this week putting together the playmobil nativity set sent by our great friends the Hoopers. Two years ago I saw the playmobil sets in a toy shop in Birmingham and when I went back to buy one they were all sold out , how wonderful to receive the same set in the Peru post 2 years later!!
Thanks every one !