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Blog Updates as the Smiths minister the Gospel in Peru

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Getting Ready to Move

MilkshakeWe have learned much Spanish in Cusco, however we are more than ready to move to Trujillo. Being away from our team has been tough as we go through culture shock. Sandi and I have thought of two top five lists before we move...

Top Five Things We Will Miss About Cusco
  • The beautiful scenery of the Andes mountains
  • Being able to walk almost everywhere
  • The best milkshakes in the world at our favorite cafe: Don Estebans & Don Panchos
  • The friends we've made
  • Chaska Wasi - Abbie and Adeline's kindergarden

Top Five Things We Will NOT Miss About Cusco
  • The 11,000 foot alititude along with its cold and damp weather
  • Living out of a suitcase for five months
  • Being so far from our team and work in Trujillo
  • Getting bit by fleas in our apartment
  • Our Bed! A two inch foam mattress over a slab of wood

For those interested, here is our new mailing address in Trujillo:

Allen Smith
Larco 100
Trujillo, Peru
South America

Image from Google Earth

We are very appreciative for your many prayers and interest in us. We get lonely sometimes and would love to hear from you. As Proverbs 25:25 says:

"Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
so is good news from a far country."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Peruvian Elections: Alan Gracia is Pulling Away

Alan Garcia has passed Lourdes Flores. With 84.5% of the votes in, here are the lastest results:

  • Ollanta Humala - 30.85%
  • Alan Garcia - 24.70%
  • Lourdes Flores - 23.60%

Monday, April 10, 2006

Peruvian Elections: First Round Over

Peru Canidates
Ollanta Humala, the radical nactionalist, clearly won the first round. The big question now is who will be in the run-offs with him: Lourdes Flores or Alan Garcia? According to the lastest results with 71% of the returns in, the following are the top three finalists:
  • Ollanta Humala - 29.19%
  • Lourdes Flores - 25.29%
  • Alan Garcia - 24.98%
The director of Oficina Nacional de Procesos Electorales (ONPE, in English: Electorial Process National Office) has said that it will probably take 20 days until they know 100% of the results.

In my last blog entry, I did not mention anything about Alan Garcia because I did not think he would do as well as he has done. In his thirties, he was the president of Peru from 1980 to 1990. Alan GarciaDuring his administration he took out many foreign loans that Peru could not pay back. So we the foreign collectors demanded payment, the economy collapsed. Peru suffered some of the worst economic times under Garcia. For example inflation went out the roof, all bank accounts froze for several months, and people had to stand in line for hours just to get milk. It was also during this time that the Shinning Path came to power, sparking a terroristic war that took 70,000 lives. Many think Garcia is nuts for running again, but obviously his charismatic speaking abilities has cast a spell over many of the populous.

Last Sunday we were shocked that most the churches were closed for worship. The Peruvian govenment bans all meetings of any sort 48 hours before a presidential election, that includes all houses of worship. After visiting three different churches in our Sunday's best, God gave us a wake up call. Obviously the people value election day more than the Lord's Day. A good reminder why we are here!

The runoff between Ollanta Humala and the second place runner will take place in the next few months.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Study Break at Machu Picchu

Smiths at Machu Picchu

This past weekend, we went to the world-renown Machu Picchu. It was a great break from the rigours of language acquisition. We took a train at night and when we arrived at Aguas Calientes it was pitch black. When we woke up the next morning we had no idea that we were surrounded by some of the most breath taking mountains we've seen in our life. Psalm 19:1-2 came to mind...

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." (ESV)

Surely God's voice has been heard in general revelation by all who came to see its beauty. Nothing I've seen more clearly tells of God's transcendent power and majesty. Perhaps that's why Machu Picchu has more visitors than Cairo, Egypt each year.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Adeline at Machu Picchu
Adeline could not wait to get in!

My Girls
Picking through a window

Pretty Girl
Abigail resting from all the hiking

The girls playing in one of the doors

Sandi and Adeline taking a rest.

Since there were drop offs everywhere with no railing, it was a job looking after the girls! We found one place where there were walls all around, so the girls could run in safty. Click here to see a video.

In two weeks from today, we will be heading back to Trujillo. We are very ready to live in our own home. Its been nearly five months now that we have been living out of suitcases and we're ready to get more settled. Please also remember Peru's upcoming presidential elections next week (April 9th). The two top candidates will have a run off at the beginning of May. I'll post a blog after the candidates have been narrowed down.

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