We all were able to sleep in an extra 30 minutes today as it was shopping day!
The team had devotions after a breakfast of hard boiled eggs and fresh empanadas. We loaded up on a bus and headed to the market. When we arrived we were amazed at how wonderfully warm it was even though the forecast had said highs of 50 with lots of rain. Guess what? It rained only for a little bit today and it was while we were eating lunch, and it was WAY warmer than 50…most of the team was comfortable in t-shirts! Lunch was at a nice restaurant and because the service was so slow some team members got in some extra shopping time. We left the market and headed to another town that specializes in leather goods. The team had one hour to shop here (which was enough) and then loaded up the bus to head back to the hostel.
We arrived at the hostel and had just 5 minutes to take our purchases to our rooms and load the bus again as we had been invited to the home of Blanca Lanchimba. Blanca used to be a teacher in the school in Lote Quatro and her sister is still one there. Blanca and Sue have formed a very great relationship over the years which is why our group was invited for dinner tonight we were served a lovely meal and then were surprised by a sort of church service with a small group of Christians they are a part of. This group spends time spreading the love of Jesus by meeting in people’s homes to sing, pray and study scriptures together. Tonight they did all of those things for us. It was very touching and we were able to hear the testimony of Blanca’s father and brother.
Her father became a Christian after seeing a film about Jesus that missionaries brought to the jungle when he was a young man. His family did not like this and neither did his wife or her family. He continues to grow in his Christian walk and eventually his wife became a Christian too. He shared about how their village did not like them because of this and how one night he and several other Christians were taken to a town square nearby, covered on gas and were about to be burned because of their faith in Jesus. Just at the right moment a truck of military showed up and told the mob to leave these men alone and that they were not bad people. The Christians suffered at least 7 more years of persecution until the people of the village had their hearts changed. The team was able to thank this family for their hospitality and Camilla was able to meet her namesake for the first time (there may have been some tears shed when we had to say our goodbyes).
Everyone was exhausted by the time we left and most went straight to bed when we got back after 10pm! Please pray that our team gets the rest they need tonight for a busy day tomorrow, and that the logistics of the many different things we have planned come together smoothly (we are a bit concerned about this as it is forecasted to rain again tomorrow).