Breakfast in a hammock

Breakfast in a hammock









  We started Peru off in Iquitos. This is a town in the middle of the Amazon! How did we get there? Well there are no roads to Iquitos only rivers to Iquitos. So your options are boat or plane. We opted to go for a 3 day upriver boat trip from Leticia Colombia.                    This boat trip was so special! We slept in hammocks had no team activities, the boat cooked for us and sailed us up stream for 3 glorious days. We had our meals served to us in our hammocks! We were told before hand that the food portions are little and taste terrible, well the source of that information clearly had not been living on a 1$ per day food budget. We were pleasantly surprised by chicken everyday.. meat people… meat… what were they complaining about? We hadn’t seen meat since the parents visit in Panama!! The source of this information also told us about how he just washed his spoon in the water provided by the boat and was horribly sick for 3 days. He said don’t shower, take enough water and truth be told, I was even afraid to look at the water at first. The first dayI did not dare to take a shower but then I realised, after a huge plate of chicken and rice that I couldn’t finish, that this guy was probably exaggerating about the water too. At this point I wasn’t too worried and jumped into the shower with all my clothes to cool off what a great decision which was repeated at least once a day after that!        I was actually sick on the boat with the unfriendly Chikungunya fever but made a full recovery in only 3 days! Thank you Jesus!! We watched how people from tiny villages along the river came alongside and on the boat to sell snacks etc. I think the most impressive was how people put tons and tons of fish on the boat. They made cooler boxes out of old fridges and then packed in their catch! It was a process to smash the ice and then transfer the fish, sometimes one by one. At other stops the men put 3 or 4 huge bunches of Plantains (similar to Bananas) on their shoulders and load them up. When we adventured down the the loading deck to try our hand at fishing we found a huge variety of different goods, bananas, chickens (possibly the dinners we have been having?), a pig, oranges and tons of fish! We really did not want to get off the boat but in hindsight because we had no idea what was waiting for us! A town with hardly any cars but thousands of motorbikes, motor taxis and buses without windows. A church who has a heart for unity in the body of Christ, who sends missionaries into the amazon villages, a church full of youth beaming with energy and dance, this church soon became our family! Someone from the church owns a hotel and blessed us with accommodation for the week! The pastor was so excited about us and what we are doing which was an encouragement that came at just the right time. I clearly remember being in a motor taxi on the first day we were there, dodging potholes, looking out over the amazon and feeling what a privilege! I think only in my wildest dreams I dreamt that I would do this and here I am for the second time! In all of this I can’t help but feel loved by God! I am only here by His grace, love and kindness.                     What I thought would be just a short week waiting for our flight for Lima became one of the highlights of the trip! The Church was so open, gave us opportunities to share about our journey and the awesome God we serve! It is amazing to see how Holy Spirit spoke through each person and how impacted the people were by our time there! Four of the church members are taking English classes now, keen to do Global Challenge and in the mean time encouraged to go all out with God. We saw Johannes get baptized by his best friend/ almost brother/ next door neighbour/ DAVID who first motivated him to seek Jesus in a deeper way. His brother, Andy was visiting us at that time and it could not have been more special, it was on Spring day in the Amazon river with half of the youth from the church with us, the pastor and his wife. A day to remember! We ate braaied crocodile and braaied caterpillar to top it all off! Thank you Lord for showing us more of your heart and nature to us, for working through us and being with us every step of the way.  
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Beauty for ashes

Beauty for ashes

You never know what you can live without until you have to carry everything in one bag on your back -JS

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Brazil in retrospect

As I am writing this We are on a shuttle on our way to Bonfim which is on the border of Brazil and Guyana. We just got of the boat a few days ago and starting traveling towards Guyana.This is where we leave Brazil and all its diversity. As I look out the window it has the feel of deep Africa. Dry and open. A big contrast to the Amazon we experienced a week ago. That goes for the cities in Brazil as well. Diverse. So many cultures and different ways of doing things. It is a ever changing landscape which sort of matches what is going on on the inside. As I travel I find myself changing. The agents of change being the local people, landscapes, decisions, and team life to name but a few. I find myself thinking of things I love and miss back home like the certainty of having a place where I belong. A place that I call home. So often we just want to get away from everything and soon realize that home is where the heart is. This is what I'm staring in the face. My heart. I am reminded of people who love me, adventures a had with friends, a family...and this makes me realize how much I take for granted. We become so used to our surroundings that we forget to thank God for what we have. Even when we were on the Amazon River I got use to my surroundings after a while and had to remind myself of where I am and that I just saw pink dolphins surfacing for air next to the boat. Brazil made me rediscover my heart. And this is what I'm grateful for.

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6 Days In A Hammock

6 Days In A Hammock


















(This is still a blog from the Amazon from March)

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Our Amazing Amazon Adventure

Our Amazing Amazon Adventure

It's funny how, just a year ago, I was watching a documentary about the Amazon on the television. Halfway through the program, I changed the channel, thinking: "Why should I watch a program about a place that I'll never visit?" It's funny how The Lord works, isn't it?

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