A place where you can get a glimpse into what God's doing in my life whether I am here in the states or abroad.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Another week has passed and I have realized that I have left another piece of my heart in Peru. With each village I visit and each person I meet I found myself falling more and more in love with this place. While I know that right now I can't stay forever there is a part of me that wishes I could stay and make my home among these people.
The team from Texas (Micah's team) and April arrived last Thursday very late at night but without incident. We took them to the hotel and then returned to the apartment to pack a bag and catch a few hours of sleep before we headed back to the hotel in the am to get the team ready to leave for the villages. All went smoothly and 8 hours later we had arrived in Huangascar-- all tired and all ready to get out of the vans and trucks after being on unpaved roads up the mountain for 3 hours.
We all stayed in Huangascar the first night and then the next morning the group of 26 divided into three groups: one group would stay in Huangascar, one would go to Madean, and another to Vinac. After the two other teams left Huangascar-- it was 6 high school age kids, April and myself and the adult leader from Aledo Texas, Brady. The next two days were spent ministering to the people of Huangascar. We found the pueblo very empty because of some festivals going on in villages above ours, but God was faithful to provide kids to play with, love on, and the opportunity to share the story of creation and the 10 commandments with. We also got the chance to play some volleyball. I am horrible at volleyball so I tried to just stay on the sidelines and play with the kids. Huangascar is located on the ridge of a mountain surrounded by mountains-- we all stopped multiple times daily to talk about how incredibly beautiful it was, how big and creative our God is, and one student said over and over again that the mountains and the view spoke so loudly and clearly that he didn't understand how anyone could not know there was a God.
Day 3 was spent in Chocos-- a village about 35 minutes away. We walked around the pueblo and had conversations with women and teens who were out on the streets or had their doors open (most doors are open if the people are home). We found it hard to find men to talk to since they work in the fields during the day and were informed that a lot of the time the men drink during the day while they are in the fields working. There have been several things that have broken my heart for these people since I have been here but I think the strongest and greatest one is the lack of male leadership and commitment to their families. I can't tell you the countless stories I have heard of woman whose husbands cheat on them, are alcoholics, are abusive to their families, or just emotional negligent. I find myself compelled to pray that God would raise up men in other parts of the world or Peru that would call men to live out their biblically mandated roles.
Day 4 was spent in Azangaro walking around the pueblo sharing the gospel and then playing in the plaza with the kids and sharing the gospel with them. This was the teams favorite day. It was the first day that everyone was back to "normal life." The schools had been out of session on Monday for a teachers day so Tuesday was the first day that there were just a ton of kids and people out and about.
Day 5 we went to meet up with the other groups in the other two villages. We got the chance to see what their ministry had been like and got to partner with them. My part of our team was in Median. We got to share the story of David and Goliath and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the elementary school. After a full day of ministry we headed down the mountain to Huangascar where we had a worship service in Victoria's home. It was so encouraging and such a blessing to get to worship with them.
We traveled back to Lima on day 6. We all took much needed showers and then went to have dinner.
Day 7 I got to spend the morning with April exploring Lima-- it was like we had gone back to when we were in college and studying abroad. She is always such a joy to be around. I am so grateful she got to be here. After some time to explore we headed to meet the team at the Inca Market-- Then the only time left was a quick trip by the apartment to get April's belongings before we were off to the airport with April and the Team.
Some of the highlights of the week:
Victoria- an 85 year old woman this year who was born and raised in Huangascar. She opens her home for Percy and Maura to have house church. She loves praising our Lord and Savior and is passionate and excited to meet young people from the states. She encouraged us all to fervently pray for Peru and showed us what it looked like to love and worship with all that we are.
April- what a JOY and HONOR it was to have April serving beside me this week. April and I studied in Spain, traveled in Europe and studied abroad in Ecuador together. This was my first time to leave the country for an extended period of time and not have her by my side as I boarded the plane-- so it was such a blessing when it worked out for her to come this week. She adds an extra sense of excitement and adventure as she loves life and takes great joy in the small things. It was awesome to get to share the gospel side by side in Spanish after having labored together for literally 4 years to learn the language so that we could express the love of Christ to these people. We had time to chat and reflect on life in our down time and enjoyed sharing things like Coca Cola Light and Choka Soda crackers. I will miss her dearly as she heads back to the states but will be incredibly thankful she got to come and encourage and labor beside me.
We spent today recovering, doing laundry, and packed our stuff to head out for the last 3 weeks of our time here. I won't be back to Lima until the 28 of July. I am excited about our last few weeks-- we will spend a lot of time traveling. Tomorrow we begin a 15 hour journey to Huancopi-- then we are off to Chupa-- and then to Oyolo-- getting to Oyolo will include at 6-8 hour hike. Literally the roads go no further and thus you must walk.
I ask that you pray for wisdom and discernment in every step we take and every form of transportation we get on. I also pray that God continues to teach, mold, and shape me to look more like Christ over these next 3 weeks. I also ask for you to pray as I begin to process and think about returning home and life in the states. There is much to think on and much to be excited about and much reason to beg God to change my heart and desires to reflect His.
I am so grateful and blessed to have so many praying for supporting me. Your prayers are priceless.