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2010 1st Presbyterian Church, Huntington, WV Gallito Mission Trip

DSC01786.JPGGood evening! (Saturday)
Everything was going well until we tried to land in Iquitos. The airport was fogged in and we had to fly almost 2 hours back to Lima! After a couple hour wait in the airport, the airline got another flight ready and flew us all back. We were about 5 hours or more later than we planned, but everyone was safe. All 50 of the Filtron water filters arrived from the manufacturer in Lima safely and look good. Tomorrow, we have to be on the boat by 8:30am to get to Gallito for Church service, a village party of some kind and Bible School. We will be starting construction on a home for the Pastor this week. They have a lot of the wood for it, but don't have all of it yet. It has been a little dry lately and the creeks have not flooded so they can float the logs downstream to the village. Marcy Hatten has done a tremendous job preparing materials for Bible School, she had a duffle bag filled with about 45lbs of materials for them. Sherrie and Dr. Joye Martin will be doing to the village of Santo Thomas on Monday for a Medical Clinic, while the rest of us will be working on things in Gallito.
Living the Call,
Monty

Sunday in Gallito

DSC01804.JPGDSC01796.JPGHello All;
Today was our first full day in Iquitos.  We left Iquitos for the village of Gallito in the morning.  Before church, we went to the soccer field for a celebration of the village´s birthday.  A couple of politicians spoke and Pastor Edwar led some songs.  The village people then got in one big circle for a prayer for the village leaders.  We then proceeded back to the church for the regular church service.

Projects at the church are moving well.  The elevated walkway has been relocated and it now goes to the Children´s Education Building. 
The outhouse was also relocated and connected to the walkway. Poles for the Pastor´s house have been set.

Tomorrow will be a big day.  We plan to build the pole barn type frame for the Pastor´s house and conduct 2 bible school lessons for the children.  The medical team will be going to Santa Tomas for a medical clinic.

Thanks for your prayers, Bill

 

Monday

Good morning!
   We had a great day yesterday! After breakfast, we rode the motor-cars (3-wheeled rickshaw motorcycles that dominate the landscape in town) to the boat dock, loaded everything onto the boats and went up to Gallito. Gallito is a village of approx 1000 people/400 families where our sister Church is located. We needed 2 boats since we have so many people and so much stuff. The river was down a little and climbing the bank was an arduous task for many of us. Many of our old friends were there to greet us and it was a wonderful reunion! 
   There was a village service at the football field, marking an anniversary of some sort for Gallito. After that we returned to the Church where the Pastor delivered a warm energetic service with a lot of singing and aerobic exercises. We discussed the plans for the week and made some adjustments.
   Today we are splitting up into 2 teams. The medical team will be going to Santo Tomas for a clinic, since most of the people in Gallito will be at the Anniversary festivities. Tomorrow, they will be back in Gallito. The rest of us will start construction on the Pastor's house and hold 2 Bible school sessions. It is inspiring to  see all the work that the people of the Church have already done since last year's visit. It is great to see that they aren't waiting on us to get here until they do anything, they are working on buildings, etc all the time. The 'Christian Ed' building is finished and looking good, the latrine has been re-located, and another building has been started in the back.
   We had dinner at Ari's Burgers last night, which is kind of a tradition here. The food was excellent, with chicken, paiche (hugigondous fish!!!), steak, rice, fries, plantain, stir fry, and frozen lemonades. A great ending to another wonderful day on the Amazon!!! Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it was hot & sweaty also...

Living the Call,
Monty 

Hola,

Hello from Peru.  We had a good productive day today in the Jungle.. 

Our medical team went to the village of Santa Tomas for their clinic.  They saw over 140 people.  Tomorrow they will be setting up at the Church in Gallito.

DSC01831.JPGIn Gallito we were surprised and honored that Pastor Edwar asked us to March in the Gallito Parade as representatives of the Church.  We did that and it was special.  The school kids, various groups and various aged soccer teams from the village marched in the parade.  There was even a parade queen.  After the parade we started working on the Pastors House.  We got off to a slow start because how I would level the structure and how the Peruvians level the structure is not the same.  However we got it to the Pastors liking and the pole structure is underway.  After lunch we did a bible school lesson and made some crafts.  We had 25 children and they all seemed to enjoy the crafts.

Tomorrow we will continue with the construction, hold another bible school, and do a medical clinic, all at the church.  It will be a full day.

Pray for us,

Good Bless, Bill

DSC01861.JPGBuenas dias,
   We had the opportunity yesterday [Monday] to do something that not many people from Huntington have done, we were in a parade! Not just any parade either. This was the parade for Gallito's 75th anniversary. Our group marched in it as the last unit, behind several other groups, soccer teams, etc. We marched around the soccer field while the school band played on! A grand time was had by all!!!
   Once the parade was over, we went back to the Church and started work on the Pastor's house. This was an adventure, if there ever was one. For a while we would level from the top of the uprights, then we would try to level from the bottom of the uprights. We would lift these heavy beams out of the holes in the ground, dig the hole deeper, put the beam back in the hole, it was too deep. Then we would take the beam back out of the hole, put some dirt back in the hole and it would be too tall. Now we lift the beam back up and drive it into the hole to pack it down into the mud in the bottom of the hole. Fortunately, there were only 10 of these beams to set in the  ground and true up. After that was done, we got the poles across the sides nailed up and the cross poles in place.
  

DSC01934.JPGWhile this was going on, the Bible school was in full tilt inside the Church. Marcy and Robert (the intern/translator), Bill, and Steve were inside doing a lesson, a  game and crafts. While to an outsider it looked like chaos, all of the children were very orderly, big ones watched over and helped the younger ones, and a lot of ground was covered. Just like here when the crafts were done, they were all posted on the wall. Smiles all around!
   The Medical team went farther out to another village, Santo Tomas. Santo Tomas does not have a US sister Church, so we go up there for a little work whenever possible.They saw and treated quite a few patients, mostly "a little sore here", "a little pain there" kinds of things. There were also quite a few cases of parasites, from drinking water or going barefoot all the time.
   Today we will be going full blast at Gallito, with construction, Bible School, and Medical clinic. Keep us in your prayers, you're in ours.
Living the Call,
Monty

 

Hola;

We had another safe and productive day today in the jungle.  Our medical team set up in the Gallito Church and saw patients all day.  Everyone received parasite medicine and vitamins.  Anyone with any other ailments or concerns got to see Dr. Joye Lamp.  We also gave out toothpaste, toothbrushes, and dental floss until we ran out.  Tomorrow the medical team will stay in Iquitos and see patients in town.

We had another great Bible School today led by Marcia Hatten.  We are discussing the Fruit of the Spirit and today was Joy.  The kids, yes all 60 of them, made tambourines and bull horns decorating with stickers and bells.  The kids always touch my heart.

The construction team had a slow start today.  The work was up high setting the roof trusses and with only one ladder, we left that job to the Peruvians.  Tomorrow we will go back into the jungle a haul in some lumber and do some termite treating.  We will also assemble the water treatment units that we bought and repair some of the units from last year.

God Bless, Bill

 

Tuesday

Hola,
   Yesterday was another good day to be in the jungle. The Pastor and 3 or 4 other men from the Church worked on his house all day. At this stage of the project, there's just not a lot we can do. They are walking around on poles 10-12' above the ground barefoot. They are as agile as monkeys, nailing poles together in the most interesting positions. They are really a treat to watch. Hopefully today there will be some work for us to do.
   The Med clinic saw about 225 people, most with common ailments, but some with some very serious conditions. Everyone got a toothbrush, toothpaste & floss, courtesy of Dr. Marc Wild' s generosity.
   The Bible school was terrific! There were 60 participants, with many of the adults coloring pages and making crafts just like the children. A couple of the men we were working with disappeared for a while and were in the Bible School making tambourines just like the children!
   Last night we had a great grilled chicken dinner at the el Jardin mission house.
   Today everything continues as we have been with Medical team working a clinic at the Church in Iquitos. Jonathon and I will be working on some leaky water filters from last year, replacing the buckets with new ones on about 15 of them. Hopefully we will be able to start distributing some of the new ones also.
Living the Call,
Monty

 

Wednesday

DSC01931.JPGHello;

The highlight of today was definitely the Bible School.  We had over 60 kids today.  The lesson was about cheerfulness.  They sang songs, made hats with balloons on them, and made garden pictures.  To end the day, the Pastor lead the children on a parade thru the village with their hats on and the tambourines that they made yesterday.

The medical clinic stayed in Iquitos and saw patients at the Iquitos Church.  Construction is moving slow on the Pastors House.  We helped them build trusses and layout the roof structure.  We also went back in the jungle and carried more lumber to the church.  More water filters were brought to the village and we repaired some of the broken ones.

Tomorrow ( Thursday) will be our last day in the village.  We will conduct a medical clinic at the Gallito Church, conduct another bible school, and finish the roof of the Pastors House.

God Speed, Bill

 

DSC01941.JPGHola, Y'all,
   Yesterday (Wednesday) was another good day in Gallito! Bible School was phenomenal! With over 60 participants again, they are learning the fruits of the Spirit. Several of  the students know them by memory already. Two craft stations were set up where they made a picture of flowers and a hat. After they were finished, the Pastor put on a hat, took a tambourine, and led the children down the sidewalk through the village in a parade, singing. It was a fantastic sight!
   Steve found out that the water filter we put in the clinic last year was not working, so we took them two of the new ones. We also replaced the one at  the school. Gerison (Harrison) is the dentist in the village and has been a community leader for several years. He took us to his home to show us his well. It was dug by Bill Mankins and some other members of our Church several years ago on one of the first trips. His pump was gone from the well. He told us how deep the well was and how good the water is. After talking with the Pastor about it and getting his approval, we are putting a Goulds water pump we have on it this morning for him. That means that now his family and others will have well-water close by and won't have to go to the river to get it. We had already replaced the pump at the Church and it is working fine.
   For the most part, we were unable to do much construction. The Pastor and a couple of men from the Church worked up high on the trusses and bracing them up. We do add a lot of moral support though. They have no power saw, so every board is cut by hand to fit, which is quite time-consuming. They will also use the machete when they need to make a flat place on a round pole or trim anything. Perhaps we can put up some planking or something today.
   We are going to have a "Chocolotado"  for the children after Bible school today. It is a local Christmas tradition that the older ladies get together and make a huge pot of hot cocoa and give it out to the children. We got the stuff for it last night, 2 big containers of mix, 3 cans evaporated milk, 1 package of corn flour(?), and 2 bags of sugar. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. We would have never thought about hot cocoa in the rain-forest as being a treat.
   Today (Thursday) will be our last day in Gallito, we fly out at 11AM manana (that's tomorrow for those gringos out there) and land in Lima about 1PM, with our flight to Miami leaving at 11PM Friday night. It will be another great day, but it will be a sad one too, to leave our friends in Gallito for another year. I would have never thought that it would be so easy to get attached to people I can barely carry on a conversation with, yet it happens.
Living the Call,
Monty

 

Hello,

Today (Thursday) was our last day in the village.  About half of the roof on the Pastors house was completed.  We spent most of the morning carry boards from Caesars house (a church member) to the church.  It was about a half mile trek one way.  The wood that they use for their construction is very heavy.

The medical clinic had another successful day in Gallito.  I think Joye saw over 80 people.  Their biggest complaint was aching muscles.  If is unbelievable the hard life that these people live.  Caesar, who is 66 years old, worked circles around all of us.

The last day of bible school was another hit.  The children reviewed the fruit of the spirit and went thru 3 stations of crafts.  We found out that the children love hot chocolate.  It is a treat that they usually only get at Chistmas.  We took hot chocolate to the village and the ladies of the church cooked up a big batch out behind the church.  After the crafts, all of the kids ran home to get thier cups and they ran back to get into line for hot chocolate.  You would never have thought that they would love hot chocolate here, but they do.

Pray for our safe return home tomorrow.  Our flight leaves Iquitos at 11:25 and we will be back in Cincinnatti just past 2pm on Saturday.

Bill

Hola again,
   We had a spare water pump at el Jardin (the Mission House) from a previous trip, which we took to the village. When we arrived in Gallito, Steve Hatten and I took it to Gericon's house. He has a well that was installed by Bill Mankins and several other members of our Church in '03 on a trip. All that was left of the pump was the base. Our Goulds hand-pump mounted directly onto his base. That was the easy part. The old riser pipe had fallen down into the well. Gerison brought out a very long string with 3 fish hooks and some weights on it to fish the pipe out. That didn't work. He brought out some kind of a fish spear device and lashed it to a pole to pull it out. That didn't work. Finally he brought out a very long piece of 1-1/2" pvc pipe with a threaded nipple on each end of it. We stuck it down to the bottom of the well, measured how much too long it was, then cut it off 10cm shorter so it would not be down in the mud. We put the pipe down the well, put the pump on it and primed the pump. Once it started pumping water (sweet sound!) it pumped up seed pods, sticks and leaves that had been dropped by the children. The water cleared up and he was all smiles!!!
   Back at the Church, the Medical clinic was in full swing and many people were cutting out items for Bible School. A couple of us went to the store Wednesday evening and bought 2 big cans of cocoa mix, 3 cans of milk, cinnamon bark, 2lbs. of sugar, and a box of corn starch. Today we did a 'chocolotad', which is a real treat for the children. During Bible School a couple of the ladies of the Church built a small fire and made hot chocolate. Bible school went very well with over 60 children remaining orderly throughout. Once it was over, many of them went flying out of the church. They all returned in an instant, carrying cups, bowls, whatever, to get the hot chocolate! They lined up single file, walked around the Church, and waited their turn at the big cook pot. It was a sweet ending to a great day in Gallito; we got everyone wound up with chocolate and sugar and left!
DSC01878.JPG   The Medical Clinic saw 80-90 people today, mostly children, with various ailments. Joye Lamp does such a great job of putting the patient at ease and is very convincing of her desire to bring them comfort. The Clinic has done a wonderful job of bringing some medical aid, with 4 clinics in 3 different communities in 4 days.
   Last night at dinner at el Jardin, Pastor Edwar and his family joined us. We shared a great meal of Dorado fish, rice, vegetables, and camo-camo juice. We had a different juice every meal and they are each like nothing  we can get at home. After dinner, we did the devotion that Skip had done for us, with a couple of questions at the end about seeing God at work today and what it means for us. With the translators working with the Pastor and his family, we went around the room, sharing thoughts and experiences from the day. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. The Pastor became very emotional as he reflected back over the week with us. There was not a dry heart in the room by the time he finished. I love that guy!
   We fly out at  about 11:30 this morning to Lima, arriving there about 1pm or so, doing some sight-seeing there, then fly to Miami about 11pm. We end up in Cincy (I can't spell Cincinnati!) Saturday afternoon and back in  Huntington late in the afternoon.
Living the Call,
Monty

 

Hola, y'all
   Friday morning we left the hotel/el Jardin about 9:30am and headed to the airport. We got there plenty early, said our goodbyes to Pam & Robert, and everyone got through ticketing and on-board without incident. The flight to Lima was pretty non-eventful also. After we landed in Lima, picked up our luggage and waited for Carlos, our guide. Carlos showed up with a nice bus and took us around Lima a bit.
   Our first stop was Largo Mar, a very nice mall on the side of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We ate at Tony Roma's steak-house there. The food was excellent and the view was tremendous! Sherrie and There were even several para-sailors floating around overhead while EVERYONE in the restaurant watched the World Cup on one of the many tv's. Lima was about the way it is all of the time, grey, hazy, overcast, humid and cool. Many of the people on the streets were wearing heavy jackets zipped up; it was probably 50-55 degrees. Carlos then took us over to the Indian Market that is 2 or 3 blocks of all kinds of alpaca sweaters, scarves and coats, hand-made items, and jewelry. We spent a couple of hours there and Zach tried on a gigantic straw plantation hat, just about big enough to keep Juan Valdez and his fuzzy burro in the shade. It got cooler while we were at the Indian Market. Traffic is terrible in downtown Lima, since when most of the streets were laid out, everyone was walking, horseback or small wagons. Now, like here, it is cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses and lots of them. It took us about an hour to get back to the airport, which was probably 15 miles or so away.
   After Steve lost/found his camera and airplane tickets, we were ready to get on the plane. Of course, it was an hour late getting in, ergo, we were an hour late getting out. This was not a problem since we had a 6 hour lay-over in Miami. We got back in Cincinnati about 2:30 and were greeted by Bill Miller's daughter, Sommer and her husband. That was a neat surprise for all of us, since she had gone on a couple of the earlier trips. We all arrived safely home by 7pm last night and got a good night's rest before going to Church this morning. I was tempted to try to sleep in a dining room chair that was tilted back about 2 degrees while all the vacuum cleaners we own were running, but Sherrie finally convinced me to go to bed about 9:30.
   Thank you all for your support, we could not do this work without you.
Living the Call,
Monty

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