On the 21st we were able to stay at the house. It was nice being back in our own bed. On Tuesday, we left the house at 8 am and went to the bus station to head out to Cobija Bolivia to preach a revival. We went from Lima to Juliaca, a city about 5 hours south of Arequipa. We left at 9 and arrived at 2. We went to get a fast bite of something to eat at a local restaraunt. Juliaca isn´t known for its food but we found something before getting on our next bus at 4 p.m. When we travel in Peru, most of the time we are able to travel on nice buses. Well, we arrived from Lima to Arequipa on a very nice bus, then went from arequipa to Juliaca on a decent bus and the next one was going to surprise us.
Juliaca is right next to Puno where the highest navigable lake in the world is at. It is very cold even in the day time, so we are trying to stay warm while eating lunch. We scarfed it down because it takes so long to get stuff ready when they do everything from scratch. We finished eating and went to the bus station. The bus was supposed to leave at 3 pm but in Peru you never really know if the time they give you means anything or not. We waited outside the bus station until 4 pm and there comes the bus.
I have traveled all over South America in a bus but when I saw this one arrive it scared me. This was a monster bus. It was raised way up in the air. I thought the outside was bad until I got in the bus. We were going to ride on this thing all the way to Puerto Maldonado. This was supposed to be anywhere from an 18 to 28 hour trip. I got on the bus and the seats were ripped into pieces and I thought I was in a movie where the chickens would be getting on with me. I had always made fun of those buses on the movies saying that as long as I had been in Peru I had never seen a bus like that, well guess what NOW I HAVE. 😉
We got on the bus and saw everyone getting on the bus with blankets and stuff and all that we had was jackets and nothing special at all. We thought that Juliaca was cold but we are about to find out that Juliaca is a nice and warm place.
We left and within 30 minutes there were no paved roads, so we were bouncing around like you cannot imagine. I have never been anywhere in the states where the roads were this bad. The only place that would come close would be my papaws farm when we went in the truck looking for cattle. For five hours we went up hill and it got colder and colder and colder. We crossed many tributaries to the Amazon river and saw waterfalls etc. It was beautiful as long as we weren´t bouncing around and we could actually see it.
I regretted having come this way within about 3 hours, but we weren´t able to return. The road was a one lane road that once in a while had an opening for someone to move over so the other vehicle could get by. It was funny because everytime we would come across another vehicle, the drivers would get out and scream at each other until one of them gave in. Evidentally our guy wasn´t a gifted communicator. We were in reverse way too much. I looked out the window on many occassions and could see that one of the tires in the back was hanging off of the side of a cliff in the middle of the jungle. Faith was needed for this trip.
After 5 hours we finally started going downhill. We finally arrived in Puerto Maldonado at 1:30 pm. This is a city that is situated on the side of the Amazon river. It is very very very hot and has no Baptist Church that we were able to find. Pray that the Lord would allow us to raise up and train a man that could go and reach this city with the gospel. One of the young guys that is traveling with me acted very interested and I am praying that if it is the Lord´s will for him to show him how to go about reaching this area of Peru.
We rented a hotel room for the night and decided to stay a night before going out for our next leg of the trip. Please pray for us that the Lord would use us in an incredible way to see souls saved all around Peru. I really believe that the circuit riding ministry that is being started by my brother David Gardner will be an incredible help to reach people around the major city of Puerto Maldonado. Pray for us that the Lord would allow him to arrive quickly and that we would be able to see many souls reached with the gospel.
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