God is always good.
And He blesses our work so much.
I am now working with Kathy in Lamay, Coya, and Santiago. And after limping along for so many months without a partner, together we are now going full speed ahead. To kick off our work together, we have been doing events in each site.
First in Lamay on Friday, July 1, we attempted to do an event with the fewest number of us (the Extreme Missionaries) ever. It was just me, Kathy, Tyler and Amy, and we were putting on a movie (in Quechua) and hot chocolate night. Sound like a lot of work? With only the four of us, it would have been nearly impossible, but events are completely different now, because we have contacts in each site.
Josefina, Marleni, Nazaria, and Aurelio were literally lifesavers. They helped us make hot chocolate (at Nazaria and Aurelio's house), helped us pass out the hot chocolate, helped us take down names/addresses of all present, and even helped us yell at rowdy teenage boys. It is so wonderful to have people help us.
We had to move the event in Lamay from the open-air plaza to the inside auditorium in the city hall because of rain. This was definitely the right decision, but we were worried about people coming inside for the movie. But they did, and we had 170 people there!
I preached this night, even using some Quechua in the message. When I flipped open my Quechua Bible to John 3:16 and began to read, mouths fell open. They were shocked that this gringa could read Quechua! I was told later that I read it perfectly (although how would I know if this were true?), and that the people were especially surprised because, even though they have spoken the language their whole lives, very few can actually read it. I then quoted John 3:16 in Spanish, and then in English, and everyone was really into it. I then shared a simple message: God loves you. And people responded. We made many new contacts and already have plans to disciple them.
The following Friday, we also put on an event (movie and hot chocolate night) in Santiago, right outside a market (called Huancaro). The market is kind of the center point for where we are working in Santiago. The hot chocolate took forever to prepare, and we didn't have all of the help/resources we were supposed to have, so things were not exactly going according to plan. We did have a group from YWAM come to help us. We began to serve the hot chocolate, and the movie was supposed to be starting, but it didn't start. We kept passing out the hot chocolate, and still nothing. The computer decided to not work, but we took names, and Pastor preached. We passed out a couple hundred cups of hot chocolate, and made some new contacts, in spite of the inconveniences.
Then half a week later, we did a hot chocolate night and movie in Quechua inside the municipality in Coya. We passed out over 300 fliers, thanks for the help of a few guys from YWAM. Kathy and I again prepared the hot chocolate by ourselves, and the help we were supposed to have from our contacts didn't come through. But everything else came through really well. Coya has been a much harder place to work than Lamay, but we were able to meet many more people and get their contact info. We are looking forward to the follow-up here!
This Friday, we will have our first-ever church service in Lamay, and will continue our services in Coya. We will end the night spending the night at Nazaria and Aurelio's house. Pray for the services to go well!
I titled this post, "I Am Still Running" because of the great progress Kathy and I are having, but I'm going to leave you with some lyrics from a song of the same name, by Jon Foreman.
Build me a home inside your scars
Build me a home inside your song
Build me a home inside your open arms
The only place I ever will belong