- Written by Kimberly Pepmiller Kimberly Pepmiller
- Created: 25 July 2016 25 July 2016
The Lifetree group we served with this week was composed of mostly skilled adults, which allowed us to accomplish our designated work very quickly. Ricardo, the missionary to the Shipibo, was concerned he had lined up too many projects for the week! However, our team really came together to work efficiently and complete everything in a timely manner. This productivity allowed for some more relaxed time this morning.
First we packed up the medical clinic and donated the leftover supplies to the village medical clinic. The traveling nurse who spends a couple days at the Nueva Palestina clinic each week was actually in the village today. Kimberly was able to spend time going through all of the medicines and supplies with her and explaining what they are for, how to use them and how they can be beneficial. The nurse took notes and labeled each item for future reference. This village will continue to benefit from your gracious donations, as the medical need is great
The goal is for the medical clinic and doctor's living quarters in the village to be completed in September when Ricardo and another team return to the village. We weren’t able to finish more than a couple of panels of the ceiling because the men of the village have to rebuild the framing. The clinic and residence need to be outfitted and a bathroom, with running water and a septic system, still needs to be installed in the residence. Once these things are complete, the village will be able to apply to have a doctor sent to the village in January or February to begin providing regular medical care to the Shipibos in the region.
The construction crew enjoyed time with the village children. Some of the guys in the Lifetree group brought balloons and made balloon animals for the children, which the kids very much enjoyed!
At about 10:00 AM we gathered for a final church service. The women wore their traditional dress and danced while singing many worship songs. The president of the church and other men provided their words of thanks to our mission group. The Shipibo women took our hands and we joined in dancing circles and swinging hands in a joyful goodbye.
At the end of the service the women guided us across the field to the community center, where they and women from nearby villages had set up a market of handmade goods. There were many hand-embroidered pieces, such as tablecloths, doilies and wall hangings. Many jewelry pieces made of seeds and other materials were available, as well as other Shipibo goods. We all enjoyed shopping and enjoying their creations. As the morning ended and we said our goodbyes on the way back to the boat, we each received a final gift of jewelry.
This afternoon El Evangelista departed the village of Nueva Palestina and sailed back to the port in Pucallpa. The journey provided majestic scenery again full of dense jungle, boats and barges full of cargo, cranes and even pink river dolphins. The journey was peaceful and smooth.
We spent the evening in the town of Pucallpa. Ricardo and his team took us to a nice restaurant where we had a delicious dinner of finely cooked meats (pork, beef, chicken, sausage), a variety of plantains, potatoes, and yucca. Then we went to an ice cream place and enjoyed a cool cone. After a week in the heat and humidity, ice cream was a welcome treat!
We spend the night on the river boat one final time, but tonight with the new sounds of the docks in Pucallpa. It's a bustling place with many cargo items being loaded and shipped. Tomorrow we will unload all our baggage and begin our journey back. We fly back to Lima and will enjoy a city tour to learn some of the history before dividing into two groups to return home to Fort Collins.
Our time here in Peru has been very productive and beneficial. Being able to provide assistance to the Shipibo and working alongside Ricardo and Gloria to bring the gospel to the forgotten jungle is meaningful work. There are still steps that need to be taken and progress is slower than in the United States, but the work continues! We are grateful for our time of service and for being able to use our God-given talents to assist others.
“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?