Peru continued….  

First morning, we woke up to the smell of breakfast and new friends. We had a small three person team from Philadelphia joining us for the week.

It was a very busy week of work. It’s hard sometimes to look back on a trip and write. And almost impossible to write (at least for me) while on a trip. Instead if giving a play by play and every detail of each day I think I would rather keep this simple and to the point.

God spoke to me while in Peru. I watched very dedicated people persevering through things I cant imagine. I can’t image starting a children’s ministry in a cleared away section of a giant garbage dump. Among the smell of burning trash and dirt and grim. The day we rode into ELIM was one I will never forget. Like I mentioned in my last post about Peru, I get motion sick. We rode into ELIM on a very bumpy dirt/ garbage road. People who had been before said ELIM is an oasis, they said it was beauty in the midst of decay. And I must say, I didn’t see it. Not at first. I was getting motion sick and then we picked up a ton of children and they piled into the bus, triggering my minor cloister phobia . Bumping down the road I tried to smile and hide the fact that I thought I might lose my lunch any minute. We get to ELIM and the children get off the bus, my panic starts to subside a tiny bite and then I smell the dump. My eyes welled up and my stomach churned. I felt nauseous and like I was in the wrong place.

My mind, well my mind was talking to God. Are you kidding why is this all about me right now?  Help me suck it up and be happy and have joy for these children. God how can I be thinking of me right now how selfish am I? I was very distracted while there and during many other ministry activities we participated in during our week of service in Peru. God revealed my selfishness and self centirdness. He helped me see this in other areas of my life and the need for change in my heart. He taught me about focusing on Him and how he sees everyone.

I saw the perseverance of the couple doing ministry together and was deeply touched and it ministered directly to my soul. Seeing this couple singing with the children and dancing and sharing so much joy with them helped my heart change and become totally different. It was in that moment I saw the oasis everyone had told me about. The beauty among the decay and black smoke.

I feel like my experience with them helped to replace my heart. Like God reached out and took my old nasty encased in steal heart and replaced it with the new caring, mushy, vulnerable heart. One that cares and loves more and better then I ever thought I could or would want to. I felt this change start before I left and this just finished the job.

So, my trip to Peru was amazing and life changing . We helped a few amazing ministries and now they have a building that’s painted and some new sports equipment. They have more people who will probably be helping on a long term basis and they can better continue leading children towards Christ through sports. And I got a new heart. Seems like I got the best part of this trip. Didn’t even feel most of this till I got home.

So, instead of this post being about all the good we did in Peru. I guess it’s more about all the amazing work Peru did in me.

I will try to get some pictures up soon with more information about the work we did and more about the ministries we served while there. But, this is the message God put in my heart to share about Peru right now.

Not sure if they will read this but I want to say thank you to Brent and Stephanie for all the love they show for these children and for their perseverance and trust in the Lord. Their relationship and how it reflects Gods love is truly one that has changed a heart forever. My heart.

God spoke through the ocean! 

My last day in Portugal I sat by the sea. We ( my friend and I) decided that even though it was overcast and somewhat windy, we would go to the beach as we had planned. It was not what I would call a typical beach day. I was a little hesitant if I’m honest. But, I never told her that. We took some food and a few beach chairs so we could relax by the ocean and take in the beautiful view and refreshing sea air one more time before we prepared to fly back to opposite sides of the world where we came from.

We went to the same beach we went to the day we got to Portugal. But, this time the beach, the tide, the feeling it gave you, was totally different. Just six days ago we had the warm sun washing over us and a wide span of beach to walk along. The waves danced gently on the shore and we explored tide pools that had clams and all types of life living in them. But, on this day the water out weighed the beach and the air was full of a heavy sea smell and mist surrounded everything as the waves washed ashore, leaving behind sea foam that was a result of heavily churning water. The delightful tide pools we explored for over an hour were no where to be found. 

The air was a tiny crisp but refreshing and the sound of the waves was intoxicating. We set our chairs in a spot where we would be safe from the rising tide and wrapped ourselves in the soft blankets we each brought and sat there in awe! 

My interaction with the ocean is very minimul so if you are one who is familiar with the ocean some of this may seem a bit elementary but for me it was profound and majestic to say the least. 

As we sat there, there where two to four rows of billowing waves coming in. These waves would start almost out of my range of eyesite ( I’m sure they probably started much farther then I could see)  They would well up slowly as though the water was taking in a deep breath and then roll into an even larger mass before rolling in over itself as the force of itself became too much to bare. They roll over and make a white feathery crest as they cascade in on them selves, only to well up again and again repeating this beautiful rhythm until at last it would reach the shore. Dispite the massive power and force that had welled up it would meet with the shore gently and wash over it calmly and almost mythotical. 

These waves have emence power and make a huge impact yet they flow around the smallest obstical, effortlessly it gives way to the smaller object in its way. It flows around it and conforms to its shape, sometimes following a completely different path then it had been headed down. 

As I sat there, I silently spoke to the Lord about His power and how He holds this very sea in His hand. How large and bold and powerful He is. Just like the waves. Then He spoke to me about His love for me and how I should love others. 

Like the waves, they start far off in the distance, they well up and can become very intense (like love). Love is powerful and has a large impact on those who receive it. (Like the shore received the waves). It is something we should be bold in and allow it’s great power to inspire awe in us. Yet, real love and true love like that of God is gentle and mild. It’s bold and powerful strong and impactful, as well as gentle and forgiving. Giving way to obsticals and flowing effortlessly down what ever path it comes to. It conforms to any shape, any size, any demand, any obstical. It is wide enough to cover the ocean and deep enough to touch the most harded of hearts. Love, especially Gods love is beautiful and sometimes overwhelming it’s hard to take in all at once. 

My eyes searched the shore back and forth trying to take in every moment and it was difficult. I was in awe and wonder at how the water keeps its rhythm and how the water just knew where to go and how to flow. Much like Gods love, at least to me. Trying to take it all in and wondering how it keeps perfect timing and how He knows how to make things flow for me. He spoke to me so loudly in those waves that it changed my view on love. Love is something we are it is how we flow it is how we use our power, our strength. Love is something to be respected and cherished. And most importantly it is something that we can only do fully if God is the one setting it into motion. When God is at the center of your love for others, it will not matter what you get back in return. The waves don’t expect the water on shore to rush out and meet it! The waves just come in and are gentle and flow. God, loves us unconditionally He flows with us and is with us down every path, even ones He would not have chosen for us. He gives way and takes shape wherever we are in our walk with Him. Slow and steady welling up with love for us. His gentle love changed my heart so much, I almost feel like I have a new heart. A heart willing to love like He does. Or at least to try. I pray for God to fill me and all those reading this, with the bold powerful love that makes a huge impact. I pray He helps me deliver that love with gentle kindness and Grace. That I would have the ability to flow as the waves not easily thrown off course but willing to give way to others. I pray for my love to be deep and meaningful and far reaching like the Lords. 

The business of business (in faith) 

I’m writing this because business is confusing. At least for me, I’m not a business person. But, I feel God has called me to start a business. Not a non profit just a regular old business.
So, you mix faith in things “unseen” with money and business plans and partnership agreement of the “seen” and you get one wacky balance of things. At least I’m trying to keep them in balance.

So, business partner, check! Got one of those, now what do I do with them? Well we need a partnership agreement I suppose and we need to figure out our business structure. Sounds pretty easy. Just write down every single detail of how you make decisions and settle disputes and try to cover all your bases so you don’t have issues in the future. How hard and time consuming could that possibly be? 😳

Thankfully I have a great partner and another on their way. Should probably put a clause in the partnership agreement about me blogging about our business shenanigans.

Now time to figure out what in the world a dividend is and how to make stock available. Seems a little over board but in order to make the right choice the first step is knowing your options!

God help me to follow your will in this, keeping my eyes on you and following your lead. Help me to use the resources you have given me and knowledge I have to do the work to get me where you want me. Amen!