Sunday, July 18, 2004
Woke up to a thunderstorm this morning, the tin roof making every rain drop sound like a rock hitting the top of the house.  Even when it cuts a night’s sleep short, it is a cool sound.  When it rains here, it really rains.  The storm knocked our power out for most of the day, thankfully it came back on before the sun set tonight.  (Have we ever said anything about how amazing the sunsets are here?) 
After spending 10 days up the Ucayali river I should add my two cents to Mark’s comments on our time away.  Although my legs will never be the same after the scars and bug bites go away, the trip was an amazingly blessed time.  We were sent along to help translate for a team from Oregon to the community of Betania, about 2 hours by speedboat up the river from Pucallpa (at least it is 2 hours when carrying 14 American-sized men!). We were touched by our time up river- touched by the team from Grace Community Church in Oregon, by their flexibility and humor in a “not-so comfortable” environment, touched by the Church in Betania, touched by every precious child that we got to meet, teach and play with. 
It is a powerful thing to look into the eyes of a child and see such amazing potential, and it is painful to wonder what will become of them as they grow up in an environment of poverty that does not convey or nurture the amazing hope and potential that God has planted in each one of them.  I think we understand better why the message of hope in Christ and the challenge of healthy development that FHI presents to families is priceless in this environment. 
We are thankful for the time we had there, the lessons learned.  We are also thankful to be back in Pucallpa!  After 10 days without a bathroom or shower, we were thankful to make it back to our little house and to be away from such maddening amounts of mosquitoes, chiggers, biting flies, poisonous snakes and spiders.  I have seen my share of “jungle” spiders now, and will be just fine to go without them for the rest of our time here!  Makes the little frogs in our showers seem so “normal!” 
Pictures will be up of our time in Betania very soon.  Stay tuned!


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