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.

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.