Calvary Chapel Iquitos

February / March 2008 Update

Hi Everyone,

We had great furlough, We are back in Iquitos and back to work again.


On the way back to Iquitos I stayed in Lima two weeks to take a class at the Bible College, The class was "Inductive Bible Study" taught by Leo Maestro; it was a really good class and I'm glad that I was able to take it.


While in Lima I was pleasantly surprised that not only did enough funds come in to build the church and Pastoral house in the river community of Panguana, but it looks like we will have enough left over to have the benches and podium made too, what a blessing!

The construction will be in two projects, first the church and then the Pastoral House. The first project has five phases and we have started with that already.

Panguana (The river community)

Phase 1

We were lucky that the community was having thier yearly anniversary, they were in need of funds for their celebration, so they offered to clear the land and build the frame and roof of the church for $500. It was a deal, because as a community they could do all of that work in about two days. And both the clearing of the land using machete's and the building of the frame and roof is specialized work that we don't really know how to do (yet).

(click to enlarge any of the pictures)

The frame and palm roof of the soon to be church
(Phase 1)

Phase 2

Jeremy was anxious to get to work, so he headed out with Saul and his two sons to Panguana with 25 bags of cement and they put in the floor. it is a little hard to work now because it's the rainy season, but they managed to get it done. Just getting to Panguana with all that cargo is a bit of adventure, and to top it off thier boat caught on fire on the way, but they made it there safe and sound.

They also had to get all of the cargo, which inlcuded 25 bags of cement, boards for the frame, food, drinking water, sleeping gear, etc to the church. They had to pay laborers to carry the cement, but it was worth the 2 soles a bag. Carrying a bag of cement for 35 minutes in this heat is a good test of what kind of shape you are in, plus since the water has risen, you have to cross thru some dark water to get to Panguana during the rainy season. 12:52 PM 3/29/2008

Unloading all the cargo that they needed to take

Did I mention it's the rainy season

Getting to work

They spent four days in Panguana mixing and pouring cement by hand, if you havn't done it, I recommend it as a really good work out. First you get 7 buckets of sand per every bag of cement, then you have to move the pile 3 times. By moving the pile 3 times, mixes the sand and the cement. Then you make a sort of volcano and start adding the water. did I mention you have to go to the nearest river and get your own water. Then you mix the water and prepared mixture.

Brining water from the nearby stream

Once mixed, just add water

The first section done

They camped out at the church, keeping an eye on the tools and materials, also keeping the animals away. It turns out that the pigs that run loose are going to be a big problem for us, that is why we had to add phase 5, fencing in the property with bob wire.

Of course they had to prepare thier own meals, luckily there is no shortage of chickens in all the river communities. Saul had a dual role of foreman and cook, luckily the girls helped peal potatoes and chop garlic and onions. Are you wondering if they washed their hands? Don't ask, I never do when they offer me a meal, I know the answer.

What! no McDonalds nearby

Chef Saul preparing the meals, with the help of some of the girls

A well deserved lunch

You have to have mosquito nets out there, if you want to wake up with any blood left

I got there on Thursday afternoon when they were finishing the last section. Luckily there was enough cement left to put in an entry way from the sidewalk to the church. I did the hard job of the children's program while they did the easy cement work :) then we all cleaned up and had the mid-week service for the adults. We were all finished about 9:00pm, as we usually do, and ready to hike out to the river to wait for the first available boat back to Iquitos. The first boat usually arrives around midnight and we are back in Iqutios around 4:30am.

Jeremy's been in the jungle too long, something's living in his hair

The cement floor is all done

The finishing touch "the entry way"

The four amigos after 4 days of hard work, ready to get back home

Pastor's Conference

We have a big Pastor's Conference coming in July. This time we are just inviting River Pastor's. It is such a joy being with these guys they are so humble and full of God's Spirit, I am humbled just being in the same roon with them. They have it hard, most of them have no formal training and some have not even graduated high school. Most have no contact with other church's and are on their own, doing the best they can for their community.

We want to come along side these men and give them some training with this conference and also with the upcoming Bible College. We want to offer them classes on MP3's that they can take back to thier communities and study at their own pace, they can turn in thier homework when they come in to town. We also want to encourage them and have a place where they can come when they are in Iquitos; a place to ask questions, use commentaries and other materials to prepare thier sermons, a place to pray and fellowship before heading back to the isolation of their communities.

There doesn't exist anything like that for them right now and there is no way for them to come into the city and take a class every Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00, they have to work to support thier families and come into the city occasionaly to sell thier produce.

So Jeremy and I are really looking forward to making a few river trips to meet more Pastor's and invite them to the upcoming conference. They will be very pleased to find out that CC Joshua Springs is sponsoring them with room and board for the four days of the conference, other wise most of them would not be able to attend, since the cost of food and room here in Iquitos is very expensive for them.

Team News:

This part Praise Report, we have finally after much searching found a house to rent. It was hard finding a house, because the prices have really gone up since I first got here four years ago, that with the value of the dollar going down, had put us in a bit of a crunch. But we found a nice place and will be moving in this week.

Street Kids

Please pray for Christian (16) (cabezon; his nick-name, means big head) I saw him last night he looks terrible, He has become addicted to the cocaine paste that they smoke down here, it is called pasta. He is of course stealing and has become bad news. It was so clear that he is a slave to Satan and needs to break free from those chains. He needs much prayer to break this spiritual hold on him.

Praise Reports:

Prayer Requests:

Opportunities to partner with us:

If you would like to contribute to any of the following ministries\expenses:

You can send donations to the following address:

	Friends of Calvary Chapel Bible College, Peru 
	1771 E. Palomar Street
	Chula Vista, CA 91913 
	Memo: "Iquitos - River Ministry" 

Financial Status:

The dollar has hit a low I haven't seen in the seven years I have been coming to Peru. When I started coming to Peru in 2001 the exchange rate was 350 soles for every $100, and that remained pretty constant through 2003. In 2004 the dollar started dropping slowly, and it was about 321 soles per every $100 last year at this time, but in the last six months we have seen a great drop in the dollar and the exchange rate is now around 275 soles for every $100.

Thank you all for your prayers and financial support.

         and God Bless   

                Albert Smith 

Calvary Chapel Murrieta 24225 Monroe Avenue Murrieta, CA 92562 Memo = Peru, Albert Smith Or for Jose Garate Memo - Peru, Jose Garate (the river Preacher)

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