How do I process it all? I’m not sure I’ve ever lived a fuller week and a half in my life.
Six flights. Two van rides. 12,500ft elevation. One church planted. Many lives touched. Countless faces engraved on my heart.
Friendships: forged. Bonds: challenged and strengthened. Convictions: tested. Understanding: changed. Vision: cast.
Mission: just beginning…
In many ways the trip to Peru was not easy. Most of our team had never been on a foreign mission field, or to a developing nation. It was the first time Vince and I were able to serve side by side in a foreign country, and the first time we were away from our children.
I had a lot to learn through this trip.
My eyes were open to cultural differences that I would need to work hard at to prevent them from ministering to His people. I know it will take time to understand how that applies to the ministry He has for me in my ‘Jerusalem’ (Acts 1:8).
I learned that I cannot base my convictions on my feelings, that I must be grounded in His word and truth.
Do I know why I stand for what I do?
Is He challenging my comfort zone?
I’ve allowed my culture, and I the wrong I see in it, to filter how I see our call to service elsewhere. If the system is broken or struggling here, should we not be careful of how we perpetuate it in other communities around the globe?
His people are all over the world. Their worship looks different. Their churches look different. Their methods look different.
Christ as the center is the only common ground we really need.
Working along side of Julio was (and continues to be) a lesson in humility for me.
We have a common problem as Americans, thinking that what we do and what we know is superior to others who are different. Others who have less must need more of what we have.
I think that is where we do ourselves a great disservice. We stand to miss out on opportunity for understanding God’s heart better.
The trip to Peru showed me that He could use me in this season to reach people for him. Not with anything extra, but with the little bits of my everyday routines.
While walking around the streets, mothering my daughter was a conversation starter. The women I met were curious about how I was wearing Annalise. Similar but different to how the Peruvian women wore their children. They often met me with smiles and with questions. It was an opening to conversation, if I would give a little of my time and return a warm smile.
Little girls were drawn to us to ask about Annalise. She was similar but different, they liked to touch her hair, to talk about her eyes. If I would indulge their curiosity and give them genuine attention, I would have the chance to introduce them to our national team members from Luz de Gracia, so that they could create connections that could be built upon in the near future.
I feel privileged that God allowed me to serve Him in Peru, and I do hope that I will return to Chupa, but I am affirmed in Him that my primary mission field is here at home. I do not think that obediently serving Him always means going out on foreign mission trips.
I pray that I use my time at home for His glory. That I would disciple my children, with not just my words but my actions, pointing them towards my Savior.
I pray that He forges our family together as a powerful missions team… wherever He has us.
To serve side by side with the missionaries that we support allowed me to see with my own eyes how we could support them better even from home.
I didn’t have a ‘mountain-top’ experience while we were there, but God did speak to me and is working in my heart. I’ve come home with questions for myself and my church.
Where are we in serving our own community? Who needs to know Him better, not because of our words, but because of our lives? How do we turn believers into disciples? How do we strengthen families in His name? How do we see the family as a unit instead of needing many programs that separate its members? What does true evangelism look like? In His word? In my life?
I cannot deny that I came home changed by my experience.
Am I going to sit by waiting for change to happen around me, or will He use me as a catalyst?