- Written by Kimberly Pepmiller Kimberly Pepmiller
- Created: 25 July 2016 25 July 2016
We’ve been spending this evening’s free time gearing up for the card game “Up the River, Down the River,” which has become a Heseder tradition. And especially fitting for a trip requiring travel up and down the river! So we're going to write this blog quickly so we can get back to playing cards.
The construction projects concluded today. We finished the siding on the shed and completed the varnishing of all three buildings. We got several coats of very watery white paint onto the interior of the doctor residence as well, and it looks quite good! A team of Peruvians finished a new outhouse for the community center, complete with plumbing from a soon-to-be-built water tower and to a newly built septic tank. We completed all our projects at a surprising pace and celebrated finishing ahead of schedule.
The medical clinic began a bit slow; the town appeared to be very quiet this morning. Even the children were not out and about playing. But mid-morning a new group of women traveled from the neighboring town of Esther, a 45-minute boat taxi ride away. This gave us a steady stream of sixty more patients for the remainder of the day. We continue to see a variety of diagnoses, including upper respiratory infections, parasitic and fungal infections, acid reflux and fevers. The young girl with the leg burn returned today for a final follow-up wound care. Her leg is healing amazingly well! The tissue is responding well to treatment.
Last night the mission team collected 800 nuevo soles (about $250) to pay for treatment for a couple patients we saw in the clinic this week. S/.600 will be used to get xrays and any needed treatment for a twenty-year-old man who is crippled from a recent soccer injury—a presumed broken pelvis or compressed vertebrae that healed improperly. He will travel on the El Evangelista to Pucallpa with us tomorrow. The other S/.200 will be used to purchase medication for a woman with severe untreated diabetes.
As things wound down, we had time to do some exploration. We traveled in pairs on a motokar taxi (a motorcycle converted into a three-wheeled car with seating for two behind the driver) throughout Nueva Palestina to see the village. Children ran and jumped on the back of the motokar as we went by and traveled along with us. Some of our group took a very hot and humid “jungle cruise” in the afternoon. We learned about the creatures that can kill you as well as plants that can be used to save you. Once we got past small areas that the village had cleared for cultivation of bananas and lumber, the jungle became very dense. The man leading the adventure through the jungle exhibited impressive machete skills as he cleared a path for us.
Meanwhile, Nelly and Sue spent the afternoon sorting the remaining supplies that we had brought, the toys and other goodies for the children, into eighty equal piles. The assumption was there would be one pile of supplies for each child. However, when 200 children arrived the decision was made to provide a stack of supplies to every two or three children! Prior to distributing the donations, Gloria told the children a Bible story about Moses and Pharoah and we sang “Jesus Loves Me” in Spanish. The children were very anxious to receive these gifts. They had spent the afternoon trying to peer through the windows of the church to see what was in store for them. This evening it was fun to watch the children play with and enjoy their new items.
Today was our last full day of work in the village. Tomorrow brings other activities to finish our time up the Ucayali River. We look forward to our last day serving with the Shipibo.
“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty,” “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?