We left for Pisco after breakfast this morning. It was almost a four hour drive in our little city bus. We passed some changing scenery, from rocky desert to mountainy desert to sandy desert. There were few green spaces. We were stopped twice to have our papers checked by the police. The town of Pisco is (or was) home to more than 100,000 people. It is primarily a fishing city. It looks like a battle zone with piles of rubble everywere. There was even a four story building Colten dubbed ¨The Leaning Tower of Pisco.¨as the front of the building gave way and now leans into the street all a-kilter. They have removed abot 60% of the rubble. There is still much more for them to demolish and cart away.

We made our first prolonged contact with Peruvian people who were not believers in Jesus Christ. They are warm and friendly. Obviously we are an oddity to them. As expected, there are humorous little stories of communication mixups.

Instead of saying ¨it is a gift¨, Heidi wound up saying ¨Ït is not a gift¨ – repeatedly – while out out literature.
Instead of saying ¨I´m sorry¨, Mike told people ¨The Hundreds¨- also repeatedly – in respone to their horrible tragedy.

Being strong, culturally sensitive hosts, our missionaires laughed out loud at our gaffes. Brent even point and laughed at one point.

The children followed us everywhere as we distributed Gospel tracts and an announcment that a new church would be coming to town this summer. Some of the children took the tracts to use as toilet paper as paper of any kind is sparse, still others took them and ran ahead to give to others, assisting us with or tasks. We bought 30 pieces of bubble gum for a dollar and distributed them to the helpers for their kindness.

As the building materials arrived later than expected we did not start as expected, so we spent extra time touring the city. We wanted to get down to the beach but were waved off (literally) by some friendly people. The wave they wave their hands told the missionaries that theives frequented the beach and we´d need to watch ourselves. So we chose not to go.

When the materials arrived, we unloaded the truck with folks from the neighborhood. What we failed to realize was this. While a dozen people in the neighborhood would be exciting, others would be disappointed. While there was a buzz of exictement at the spectacle and anticipation, there were other neighborhoods who were upset that the homes were not for them. Some even came over and taunted us and the locals for helping. It reminded Pastor Kolb of the story of Nehemiah, with naysayers discouraging those who would do well. There was some tension, some prayer and the work went forward. We fully completed one home before night fall and partially finished two others. these homes are two room wooden structures three meters by six meters with a slanted roof made of corrugated finer concrete.

The rest of the homes were distributed and the new owners took them to their plot and slept on them to protect them from thievery.

The ladies worked with the children and got to know the women of the community. The language barrier is no problem with Duck Duck Goose¨¨and frisbees. The frisbees were a huge hit and brought much joy. David Liles told us the Peruvians were a resourceful people. Some of the adults wanted the Frisbees to use as plates since they have nothing. That kind of took us aback.

Some of the Peruvian resourcefuness was demonstrated in the shantys used as homes. Bamboos poles and plastic tarp (exactly as found at Lowes or Home depot) nailed to the poles with bottle caps from beer or soda bottles.

Another was the DirectTV antenna bolted to a table with the cable running into the Coleman tent. They use batteries to power the TV and charge the batteries at the gas station.

This evening affect us differently, but impact was sharp and penetrating. We look forward to what new adventure and encounter tomorrow holds for us. It seems as if each of us has had an encounter with a child that just captured us and moved us.

On tap torrow is a return to Lima and visiting the students at the University in the afternoon. The foreman will return to the jobsite and spend the day helping the new owners learn how to build them. They should all be finished by tomorrow.

Context is so important to our understanding. We had a big helping of it today. I don´t think anyone feels pity for those in tough circumstances, but we are experiencing compassion, and that is a significant difference.

It is the end of another long day. Please forgive jumbled sentences and mispellings.