A Race for the Cup

Do you enjoy scavenger hunts?  
Is it thrilling to follow leads and search for clues?
Maybe you have a future 
as a missionary!

When we traveled to Trujillo for language school we were given a mission: obtain a ciborium, a small monstrance and a pix necklace bag.  Our mission came complete with the following message,

"Trujillo is a big city.  You shouldn't have any trouble."

The first week in Trujillo flew by as we navigated the new city on foot locating the essentials: language school, markets with reasonably priced healthy food, laundromats, places to play, etc.  As we wandered about the city we noticed stores that sold religious items and mentally noted their location.  A month is a long time, so we felt no rush to secure the needed items. After all,

"Trujillo is a big city."  We "shouldn't have any trouble" finding what we needed.  

During the second week we visited the religious stores as we happened upon them.  Using our new language skills we began inquiring as to where our needed items could be found.  The scavenger hunt officially began.  The woman at store #1 didn't have them, but was sure her friend at store #2 did. Our directional vocabulary was put to the test as she described the route: down the street, around several corners, past several landmarks and there on the left...or did she say the right???  After locating store #2 the shopkeeper apologized for her inability to help.  She confessed that she didn't know their inventory well.  We'd have to return when her husband was there...but when was that?  Why was this woman using so many words that we didn't understand?  Ugh!  A few other promising leads consumed a gross amount of time, but ended up being dead ends.  As week two came to a close, the reality of our limited time set in.

The Archbishop's office is the blue building.
The door we needed to find open is right in the middle.
Monday morning of week #3 we landed a HUGE clue: the archbishop's office is in Trujillo.  Bingo! All we had to do was find him.  Surely he would know where to buy the needed items.  Our excitement dwindled when we found the exterior door locked...multiple times.  As investigators dedicated to our mission, we returned until we were let in.  A very helpful nun politely explained that although Trujillo was a big city, there was nowhere that sold these types of items for churches.  We would have to go to Lima.  Lima??  We couldn't go to Lima.... so then what?

The nun suggested that we have them made and sent to Trujillo.  Having gold vessels hand crafted and shipped from another part of the country seemed a bit over zealous given our time restraints, but realizing our options were limited we agreed. The nun contacted the man, described our mission, provided him with our email address and assured us that it would all work out beautifully.

That night when we received an email from the craftsman our hearts fluttered with excitement. Maybe, just maybe, this scavenger hunt would be successful.  The email included images of the most beautiful monstrance.  A bit of analysis revealed the monstrance's identity - it was the five foot tall monstrance used by Pope Francis in Rome.  Along with the photos was a quote for thousands and thousands of US Dollars.  What happened?  Some important details were obviously lost in the translation.  Immediately we responded (in Spanish) to his (Spanish) email and asked him to make us a small monstrance and a simple ciborium.  We provided measurements and other requirements.  Days passed with no response. We felt discouraged, but wouldn't give up.  We pestered the man with emails until we finally received a message saying that he could make what we needed IF we went to a particular bank and deposited money into his wife's account...weird.  We felt a bit skeptical, but trusted the nun and had faith that the Holy Spirit was the designer of this scavenger hunt.

Saturday morning (6 days before we left Trujillo) I walked to the bank, stood in line for almost two hours and then explained, in my limited Spanish, that I needed to deposit a large sum of money into a stranger's account.

Each time I began to second-guess our decision I glanced down at the shirt I had purposefully worn:

Keep Calm and Trust in God

It was Thursday.  We were scheduled to leave on Friday.  Still nothing.  Ugh!

Finally we received notification that the items were done and ready to ship.  Please Jesus, make clear the path between the craftsman in Lima and the Archbishop's office.  Please Jesus, hold open the exterior door of the Archbishop's office which appears to close/lock at random times.  Please Jesus surround this whole situation with a legion of angels, that we may return to San Hilarion with the items we need for our church.

Thursday night we packed all our bags in preparation for our departure the following day.  We left room for the ciborium, the monstrance and the pix necklace bag trusting "that it would all work out beautifully" just like the nun assured us.

Here is the hand crafted ciborium and monstrance
for our church in San Hilarion.

Friday morning Chris went to the Archbishop's office and sure enough, there was a box waiting for him.

We found all the clues and solved all the riddles.  Our scavenger hunt was successful.  Mission complete!!

Thank you Jesus!!

A great big "THANKS" to all our prayer warriors.  When you pray for our mission to be successful, you may not know exactly what that entails on any given day, but still your prayers are heard and answered.  


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