Several weeks ago I met one of the most interesting and "alive" men I've ever met in my entire life. Then he became a friend. Then he became a good friend. Then he left for another country.
The man is Sean DeMars. He and his wife Amber and their daughter Patience have been called of God to take the gospel of Christ to a beautiful but remote & unreached people in far away Peru. Below is his most recent missionary report. But I warn you... the report is just as funny and "earthy" and faithful and challenging and colorful as Sean is himself.
Please join me in praying for the DeMars. And if you'd like to receive their updates yourself or support them in any way, let me know.
Hello again, friends. We pray that all is well with everyone back in the states. We pray that God is richly blessing you in the growing knowledge of Himself. Ah, where to begin?
We are now in Iquitos, a city in northern Peru...smack-dab in the middle of the Amazon. We are staying with a local Pastor/Evangelist named Jorge. He and his family have been gracious beyond measure. Their house is unlike anything I have ever seen before; unique doesn’t even begin to describe it. The world is so amazing, I regret spending twenty five years of my life living in such a tiny corner of it.
Friends, in thinking about what we ought to write about, we are often overwhelmed. When we set out to write our updates, we feel like we are trying to pick and choose between hundreds of amazing, interesting and dreadful things that we want to share with you. So, with that in mind, we’ve decided to change the format of our updates. From now on, we will be keeping a running diary. This diary will be very transparent. It will be a running monologue of events, thoughts, hopes, prayers, etc. We think it will not only allow us to share more of our lives with you, but it will also allow you to see what we see, and feel what we feel.
And the final reason we are approaching this thing from a different angle: We have limited internet access. Therefore, it will be much more expedient for us to keep a diary on our laptop, on a daily basis, and then copy + paste when we finally get internet access.
Today is Sunday, July 8.
book of the day: Wrestling with Einstein (I think, I don’t have the book near me)
We went to church with Jorge, the local pastor and evangelist. It was a very interesting experience. The music was absolutely beautiful. Really. All of the songs had so much flavor. The texture of the music was so rich. We couldn’t sing along, but it was still enjoyable.
Still Sunday, the time is 2000.
I just got done eating a wonderful meal (rice again! Yay!) I had a hard time eating due to the fact that 2 minutes prior to supper being called, I was attempting to break up a fight between 9 of the local guys. They were all drunk. I don’t remember all that happened, really. I do remember 2 guys yelling at each other...for a while. So long in fact that I really didn’t expect anything to happen. I thought they were going to go their separate ways when, all of a sudden, one of the gentlemen attempted to punch the other. Within a matter of seconds, it was an all out nine man brawl. I ran from the porch and was immediately disoriented. I tried to grab one guy when the guy next to me fell and was jumped on by three other guys. I went to break them up when, all of a sudden, the pitbull and golden retriever next to me began to fight. The pitbull ripped off the golden retrievers cheek. Finally I grabbed one guy (who smelled like a brewery), pulling him off a pile of guys. He swung around (I’m guessing to hit me), saw how big I was, and just walked away. At this point things really got out of hand so I just stepped aside.
Patience has begun to use clothe diapers. So far, so good. This will cut down on our expenses tremendously. The price of a 24 pack of Huggies brand diapers here in Peru is 65 Soles. That is about 25 US Dollars. OUTRAGEOUS!!
Today is Monday, July 9.
We’ve been praying about language school for well over a week now. We’ve decided that we are going to pursue. This isn’t going to be cheap, but we realize that we are here, first and foremost, to communicate a message. The orphanage is good and necessary. Surely it is a witness to the gospel we proclaim, about a God who fathers the fatherless. Pastoral education, water purification, church planting, etc. These things are all good, and they all give God much glory, but they are for naught if the gospel isn’t proclaimed with words. Therefore, we have decided to invest our money in the area we feel most prudent: communication.
Jorge has gone out to get us our plane tickets. They are considerably more expensive than we thought they would be. Feeling anxious as we watch hundreds of dollars being used. We have spent virtually no money on ourselves, yet the money keeps draining. We are praying and asking God to help us to trust in him; to believe his promises. He has promised us to be with us to the end of the age. We are fighting to believe that.
Reading George Mueller biography. Feeling encouraged. Feel as if the LORD is saying “Sean, trust me. Do you see the way I care for the sparrows? Do you see the way I’ve cared for saints in the past? Do you doubt my love for you?”
“No Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief.”
sidenote: Jorge’s family has a giant jungle rat living with them. His name is Douglas. Scary as all get out. Amber, of course, thinks he is the cutest thing alive. They’re going to eat him when he gets a little bigger. Should be fun.
Today is Tuesday, July 10
soundtrack of the day: Beautiful Eulogy: Satellite Kite
Thinking about some of my friends back in the states. Also, it’s awesome to be in a place where CHH means absolutely nothing.
Thinking I could definitely use a Spencer Miller down here.
Today is Wednesday, July 11
book of the day: How Long O Lord by DA Carson
Montezuma has taken his revenge on me, and, apparently, the dish is best served with stomach cramps, the chills, and a whole lot of toilet paper.
Today is Thursday, July 12
soundtrack of the day: Josh Garrels: Love and War - B-sides and remixes.
Today I (Amber) ate turtle eggs. Boiled turtle eggs. Not the worst, but...ya know...not good either. I’m proud of myself, I didn’t even gag!!!
We were supposed to go to the barge today, but we have to wait until tomorrow.
Got our plane tickets for language school. We’ve also worked out the cost. It’s going to be quite expensive. We’re trusting the Lord to give us the means to accomplish the end he has called us to.
Today is Friday, July 13
soundtrack of the day: 70’s Gold (particularly The Temptations and the Four Tops)
book of the day: David Brainerds Diary edited by Jonathan Edwards
I (Sean) was taking a midnight wiz last night when, Douglas (the jungle rat and family pet of the Montero house), decided he wanted to visit me. Being a jungle rat, of course, he didn’t announce his arrival in a formal fashion. No. Rather, he approached my ankles and, with about as much innocence as a rapscallion, he ever so gently caressed them with his enormous whiskers. Needless to say, I wasn’t expecting a visit from Douglas mid-stream (he didn’t even call first...he just showed up. How rude!) Did I scream? No. You would have been proud of me, were you unfortunate enough to have been there. Harty har. Did I spasm violently, thereby hosing down all of the inside of the bathroom? Yes. Yes I did.
Read some of David Brainerds Diary for devotion this morning. Encouraged to see a man so afflicted with depression used so mightily by God. Rejoicing for David that he will never be “of low spirit” again.
Some of the kids asked me if I was The Hulk. “Yes, of course I am” I replied. “Don’t make me angry!!!” ;) It’s not just the kids, either. If I had a dollar for every cab/motorcar driver who has grabbed my arm, well...I would have a lot of dollars.
Yesterday Jorge, in passing, mentioned the possibility of starting a seminary in Maypuco (the village where we’ll be living). Needless to say it caught my attention. Something to pray about.
Today, I (Amber) hand washed our clothes for the very first time ever. It was quite the workout. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, so I just kind of put our clothes in a bucket with soap and water and thought... “What would a washing machine do?”, and that’s what I did. It worked!!!
Today is Saturday, July 14
Patience turns 7 MONTHS today!!!
Today is Sunday, July 22
We just got back from our first week in the jungle. It was interesting. Here is some of the misadventure we experienced in that week:
- I got horribly sick our first day in the pueblo. Much vomiting.
- We spent two days in our hammocks, on the barge. That was fun.
- We ate rice.
- We set out with the philanthropic goal of feeding 1 million mosquitoes. We met and exceeded that goal. Huzzah!
- We ate rice.
- Patience had a 102 degree temp for 3 out of our 7 days in the jungle. Then she vomited. Then she got diarrhea. It hasn’t stopped yet. We were scared, but God is faithful.
- I saw spiders the size of pterodactyls. Several of them.
- We ate rice.
- We did more (necessary) manual labor in one day than I ever did in any one day of my time in the military.
- We ate rice.
- I killed an alligator with my bare hands. Ok...something touched my foot in the river and I cried uncontrollably. Really though, we did eat fried gator tail.
Seriously though, we worked hard, ate well, and did our best to give God much glory during our time in San Juan. We look forward to seeing what our life will be like in Maypuco, under the good providence of a loving God. We need His Spirit to equip us, for sure.
Today is Monday, July 23
Patience had to go to the doctor today. Her cough has gotten really bad; a lot of congestion.
Amber has a fever, too. 101.6.
At least we all got sick (two times for me!) within our first month...that should buy us at least 10 years of uninterrupted health, right?
Today is Tuesday, July 24
We’re off to language school. Praying for much strength from the Holy Spirit