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. Amongst 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 centeredness. 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.