Publications Laura-Lee Lovering

This month it was great to see the news that Peru's international airport was reopening to flights from the US,

although flights to Europe are still not permitted.

I'm praying that everything works out for some good friends to be able to come home to Nauta for Christmas. Laura-Lee Lovering Light With or Without Electricity December 2020


Hi folks,

How are you?

Thank-you to everyone who expressed concern over my health this last month.

After a diagnosis of infection with two different types of intestinal parasite and a couple of courses of medicine, I'm feeling much better.

I've also been back upriver several times and am pleased to have not suffered any further ill effects, even though my hosts can't resist trying to feed me (see Jungle Breakfast Bowl photo)! Thanks to the tireless efforts of our local colleague, Felix Manuyama (see photo below), radio continues to be our principle ministry tool here in Nauta and December will see us undertake the third On-Air Training Week.

Personally, it's been a challenge to adapt my highly participatory and visual teaching materials on Creation Stewardship and Water and Basic Hygiene to a radio format.

There's really no adequate way of describing what a drop of dirty puddle water looks like under a microscope! However, it was satisfying to see the impact on the radio technician of my verbal description of the effect of a child with diarrhoea using the river as a toilet whilst other children play and a mother hand-washes clothes in the water down-stream - still a very likely occurrence not just in the river villages (where sanitation may actually be better due to the lower density of people) but here in Nauta too. If the radio technician's response is in any way representative of the other listeners that day, I'm hopeful that a few more people have had their awareness raised. One positive aspect of COVID-19 is that everyone is now an expert on how to wash their hands, so that part of the teaching requires less convincing than before.

In December we hope to bring in a psychologist from one of the Iquitos Baptist churches to talk about the impacts of the pandemic on mental health. Meanwhile, our neighbourhood, "La Union", will celebrate its 13th anniversary on the 8th of December and for the second year they have requested that the Training Centre organise a Thanksgiving Service.

We hope to be able to have a Christmas puppet show as before, as well as pulling together a music band and some input from the two churches that also meet in the neighbourhood. It's very encouraging that the community takes the initiative to request this from us.

Even with the improved internet (Nauta now boasts 4.5G!), living conditions in Nauta are still subject to unexpected, rapid changes that appear to put the clock back, albeit for relatively short periods of time.

For the last few weeks, Nauta has been suffering power cuts from 12-48 hours duration.

The first cut was the deepest! Power went off on one Sunday afternoon about two weeks ago and didn't resume service, practically citywide, until the following Tuesday afternoon.

Thankfully I cook on gas and am well-stocked with rechargeable lamps and candles, but the fridge-freezer wasn't too happy and my phone, laptop and Kindle were dead by the Monday evening.

It reminded me of my first few months living in La Union in 2012, when our neighbourhood didn't have electricity yet.

Nostalgia aside, the power cut also managed to damage a component of the water project system which means that we're back to manually operating the timing of the pumps until we can find and purchase all the parts which we need.

The pandemic has resulted in higher prices and a lower availability of construction and technical equipment in Nauta and Iquitos, but we're confident that the Lord always finds a way of providing what we need! At the end of November the Association of Baptist Churches of Loreto (ASIEBAL) celebrated their sixth anniversary and we enjoyed a happy gathering at one of the churches in Iquitos.

It was lovely to see so many people gathered and it was likely that we were breaking all the national rules - we did a lot of singing and plenty of greeting one another in the normal local way.

However, there was a real sense of celebration and thanksgiving to the Lord that we able to be there to mark off another year of fellowship together.

Your prayers are very much appreciated for all of our health and safety on the river trips, including the good company of travelling buddies when journeys can be anything from an hour in a 3m wooden, roofless pequepeque, to 13hrs in a 'bring-your-own-hammock' ferry.

Please do continue to pray for ASIEBAL. In January, Pr. Percy Vasquez Flores who has been President for most of the years of the Association's existence, is due to hand the baton over. It seems likely that it will go to Pr. Rousbelt Quicube, another one of the younger pastors in the group, whose wife, Isabel, has recently become President of the women's group.

I hope that the two of the working together will be mutually strengthening, and that some of the traditional barriers between the collaboration of the women and the pastors in the Association might be lowered a little.

Finally, thank-you for your prayers and concern for the brothers and sisters here in Loreto.

Continue to look after one another and to trust in the One who is the Author of Life and Light.

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:4-5 Have a blessed Christmas,

Love Laura.

In the meantime, I took the decision to study again and am currently in the first semester of MSc Tropical Forestry with Bangor University.

Having spent several years talking to rural pastors and church leaders about the state of their local timber stocks and what might be done to halt the decline, I thought it was time to investigate this issue further! This is also an indication of the rate of development of communications here in Nauta as I would not have even considered trying to study a distance course at this level 12 months ago.

This Baptist Church website is powered by Church Edit