2 am in Peru (central time)Praise God from whom all blessings flow. I arrived safely-- no glitches, no snags, no hang ups, totally and amazingly uneventful. I arrived in ATL at 3 and found my gate and began to make a few last minute phone calls. My mom and I discussed that this was going to be the 1st time I had traveled out of the states and not had someone meet me in ATL to travel with. This seemed to trouble my mom. Well, God is faithful and good even in our smallest prayers. Kristen called from Peru about 5 min later just to confirm she would be there to pick me up AND to tell me that Mike the missionary was on the flight AND 6 other college guys-- 3 of which were from Samford. So, I was able to call my mom back and let her know God had provided and I was not traveling alone. The flight from ATL to Lima is a little over 6 hours. I had great plans to sleep and while I dozed on and off God had different plans for me-- I did a lot of journaling, praying, and I started Elizabeth Elliot's book "Through the Gates of Splendor." Below are a few excerpt from my time journaling.
I started "Through the Gates of Splendor"-- how did such a young man (Jim Elliot) have such clarity about God's direction in his life? It's a testament to God himself. God I pray that you would grant me an unquenchable desire to see your name taken to the unreached peoples of the world. I have no idea how this will look/play out but I don't have to fear because you have said I will never leave you nor forsake you.
I got tripped up over this quote "What if the well filled church in the homeland needs stirring? (speaking to people's suggestion that Jim stay in the states to use his gifts to teach americans) They have the scriptures, and the prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their bibles"
God redeem us as a nation-- rectify our lost ambition and hollow dreams. God I beg you to keep my generation from wasting our lives on stuff-- cars, homes, and giving our kids everything money can buy buy failing to do the one thing we've been called to do-- point them and those we come in contact with to the One who created and calls them to Himself.
I spent the last part of the flight thinking, dreaming, and praying. The flight touched down at 11:10 central time. Our wheels had barely hit the ground before they were informing us that we would not be able to de-plan until we had all filled out forms for the health department regarding Swine Flu. When we pulled up to the gate every airport employee-- baggage workers, maintenance, ticket clerks, immigration officers ALL had those face mask things that I thought you only used when working with heaving chemicals or something. I felt like I was in a movie as they came down the plane aisle with masks and gloves handing out forms.
Once through immigration, baggage claim, and customs we finally entered the airport area and I began scanning the huge room with hundreds of people there to pick up passengers for Kristen... I finally located her she was standing inside the roped off area and she too had one of those masks on-- her and brittany, the other girl already here, thought they would try to look like everyone else in the airport. We got the 6 boys dropped off at their hostel for the night and we are now at her apartment in Lima. We will leave in the AM to go to the camp where we will do training until the 31st of May. The rest of the teams, an additional 90 something people, will arrive late tomorrow night and then will travel out to the camp. Kristen, myself, and several others will go ahead to the camp in the AM to prepare for the rest of the group. We will return to Lima before we head out to the villages on the first. I do not anticipate having internet before then.
Here is a picture from this morning when the kids prayed over me and commissioned me to go and to take the gospel to the nations. A moment I will never forget. One 5th grade girl prayed that God would show the people of Peru that He is Holy. Amen.
From this 5/24 at Brook Hills-- lots of woman I love.
Ashley aka mini me being a champ and carrying my pack to the car to take me to the airport. She would later call me and tell me to be careful carrying that thing. My pack weighs 42 lbs as of leaving the states.
Me. In Lima. In the apartment. Happy grin on my face because it smells like South America and I love that smell!!!