Peru 2015- The Journey there (October 11,2015) 

On October 11th 2015, I left with a team of seven other people to go on an adventure to serve the Lord. We began our journey with fresh coffee and a flight from Cleveland to Dallas and then into Lima, Peru. 

All flights ran as scheduled and all team members where excited for the moment we touched down in Lima. We rushed to our confirmed flight to Trijllo, Peru. 

NOTE: I said “confirmed flight” at least that’s what the email said just a week earlier. 

So, baggage in hand and clear of customs we stood asking “what do you mean we have no flight?!” The team paused and took a moment to process the fact that we are in Peru and now had no ride to our destination a good 9.5 hours away. 

We (a team mate and I) had researched bus fare and locations as well as airfare while booking flights. So, the team piled into a taxi and when I say taxi I mean a van with two rows of seats. Eight people and fourteen pieces of luggage go screaming off in a Peruvian taxi into Lima traffic. Traffic that puts traffic in every other place I have been to shame. The rules about speed and right of way are mere suggestions, and no one is looking for any suggestions. Just tons of cars, buses, and semis all trying to get where they need to be before anyone else can get there. Have I mentioned I get motion sick pretty easily? A fast twenty minutes later we are at the Plaza Norte bus depot and mall! This place is huge. 

  
Thanks to the amazing cab driver and the friendly people at the Ittza Bus company we get bus tickets for eight. Two hour wait and 9.5 hour bus ride through and up the beautiful desert/ coast area of Peru we arrive at Casa de Monica. The women who’s house we will stay at for the next 7 days.

I have never felt more welcome or more at home so far from home. These nice ladies cooked for us every day and cleaned up after us. (We did our best to pitch in with dishes and may have gotten a great recipe  or two.)

  

We got settled into our new home and got ready for a busy day of ministry work, breakfast is at 7:30am. 

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World travel? Who me?! 

A good part of my life (so far) was spent day dreaming and wishing I could travel. It was spent at bars drinking with friends talking about all the places in the world we would love to see, “too bad that will never happen.” We would talk for hours about how great it would be to see Europe or Africa would be great to visit. If only we weren’t broke. We would laugh and order another round and go back to complaining about our jobs and how much we make. We would dream up new jobs that we wish we could find. Even though none of us were qualified. 

Used to say things like if I could just get a better job that paid me more money and gave me more time off I could go do what I want to do. I would travel more and so exciting things. Getting paid more to do less. The American Dream. 

Then God got a hold of my life. At the bottom of a dark time with the only option being to look up to Him, He pulled me out of the rubble I had caused for myself and dusted me off and said. “I have a better plan.” Broken and honestly no other options I made the choice to listen. 

Faith is a choice. It isn’t some magical thing that just happens to you. Amazing supernatural things happen in faith, but only AFTER you choose to believe. God said He had a better way. Despite the lack of proof presented to me at the time I wasdesperate and  said “I have nothing to loose, I might as well believe.” I even asked God to show me how to believe. I was still sceptical. I had nothing to offer anyone. I wasn’t the smartest person, I wasn’t organized, I had no drive to do anything. I was just sitting around existing in this world. 

God started to show me my identity does not come from my work, my paycheck, or what other people think of me. My identity isn’t in events from my past or who others think I should be in the future. My identity is who I am with Him (God) now. He created me to be something very specific before time even begin. Why would He do that if I was just out here to exist and live out a boring mundane life? Seems sorta silly to me. 

The more I blindly followed in faith, the more exciting things became for me and the more I realized what I have to offer. Only its not me offering anything it’s God working through me that benefits people. He has gifted me uniquely to do the things I love and am good at. He made me that way. I just don’t realize it or know how to use those gifts. When in doubt refere  to the owners manual. 

Section Jer 29.11 – I know the plans I have for you. 

Section Phil 4:6- be anxious for nothing 

Section John 8:32 the truth will set you free

The truth of who I am and what my life is for changed every part of my life for the better forever. 
Now I have conversations about which country I’m going to next and it’s an actually even happening. People now invite me to things at home and say “it would be great if you can come, if your in the country.” It is sort of unbelievable. I have been blessed with opportunities this year that at one time in life seemed like thugs I could only dream of doing in some far off parallel universe where everything was awesome. Well, that universe has a name and it’s Faith! I feel as though ever sense I out my faith in Christ I have been sent to parsley universe far better then the one I originated in. So world travel? Yes please! Maybe not forever and maybe not ever again after this but this season is one of coming and going living and exploring! Can’t wait to see how God grows me during this time away. Excited for what the future hold after! 

Perseverance 

I resently found myself saying “I feel like I’m doing all the things someone who perseveres would do, only I haven’t accomplished my goal and persevered yet!” 

Then I looked up the definition of perseverance. Funny thing 

 

If you read this, persevering is nothing more then a fancy word for KEEP ON SWIMMING!  It says continued effort despite difficulties or FAILURE. 
Not that I have failed. We only fail when we decided to stop swimming. When we no longer continue to try, when we cease making an effort. The enemy (the devil and my flesh that loves to be lazy) would have me believe that because something is hard and takes time and patience that I am doing something wrong or I would have meet my goal already. The truth is, some things take a lot of planning and they take time to develops. The time is not waisted and to spent in vain. It is necessary and wise to plan completely. 

My past attitude was one of instant gratification and all or nothing. God is growing me and showing me persistence, patience and balance. All those things are completely out of my comfort zone. I want it now and at a low cost. God wants these same things from me but in the future and at its highest quality. God help me wait on you so I can have your best for me and not my half measure, rushed together, poorly planned lame idea of a future. Thankful you know better then me.