Dear praying friends,
I thank God for each and every one of you who have supported me, both financially and in prayer! Thank you! I arrived in Lima without a clue of what to expect, and not knowing what God would be teaching me. Even though it has only been three weeks since I left you, God has already been teaching me a lot! Patience is the first thing. I currently am living in a totally different culture that honestly, I don’t understand. Traffic signs and police officers are not obeyed. Both seem to be friendly reminders that you are on a road. Did you know that in two lanes you can fit two full sized cars and a bus? I didn’t realize that was possible until about ten minutes after I got off the plane. Also, the people are very friendly but they will rob you blind or rip you off. Generally, I am left alone because I am six to twelve inches taller than most full grown men. Another thing you need to know is that there are dogs everywhere. Most are strays or hang out in different neighborhoods. Many will run in small packs of two or three. Not all are friendly. I learned this the first week when a Siberian husky found its way into our kitchen. I heard my roommate yelling at it and I came in just in-time to see it try to attack Titus. At the time, Titus had no shoes on so I stepped in because I was wearing boots and Titus wanted to keep his toes. Long story short: Dog tried to bite Cole, Cole kicked dog hard enough that dog went sliding out door. All of this is not a complaint! I just wanted to let you know that it is very different and is taking some time to adjust.
On the way down, we were picking Spanish names for ourselves.They wanted to name me Caleb because Cole doesn’t translate. I didn’t care so I went around introducing myself as Cole. It turns out that Cole does translate, but not as a name. Cole is pronounced the same, but spelled differently. The word is col, and is used for cabbage or salad. This explains why I had so many funny looks when introducing myself the first two days. You would probably laugh if someone came up to you and said in English, with a heavy foreign accent, “Hello, my name is Cabbage.” People won’t laugh at you here because it is impolite. The kids on the other hand will! The funny looks and laughs drove me to change my name to my middle name which does translate. To the Peruvians, I am Allen, which is easy to remember because their president’s name is Alan.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you who have sent me emails and letters to encourage me. I just completed a course in Linguistics and am taking a two-week module on the Major Prophets. Please continue to pray for me, that I would learn Spanish quickly and that I would have more opportunities to share the gospel. I was able to share with a catholic taxi driver today and it was somewhat frustrating not being able to answer all of his questions. Language is the major barrier and the sooner it is overcome, the more opportunities I will have. Thank you all for your prayers!
In Christ, Cole