Tag Archives: Peru

Peru – I went. I saw. I lived.

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I’m BACK! As most of you know, I spent November 7-16 in Lima, Peru, doing mission work with my church. It was a long, hard trip – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually exhausting – but I’m so glad I went.

You always go into these trips thinking you’re going to be helping people out. And you do – but you also get a lot out of it as well. These trips always teach me perspective – you often get bogged down by your “troubles” (I say that in quotes because they’re always blown out of proportion, never as bad as they seem), but then when your eyes are opened to the world around you, you realize things aren’t so bad. In fact, you have it pretty good.

That’s definitely what I walked away from this trip with. A sense of perspective, a thankful heart, joy and some accomplishment. Yes, I was able to help out a lot of people – but they also helped me.  You really can’t put trips like these into words, but the photos speak volumes.

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Here are a few of the highlights from the trip:

1. The plane rides. You think a 6 hour, 18 minute flight sounds sucky? Not if you have your own TV screen and a choice of AWESOME movies. That really made time fly!

2. The American people. Yes, the people I went to Peru with were great! They were really funny and full of great stories – but my favorite American person was my roommate, Clara. She’s my new adopted mom!

3. The Peruvian people. These are some of the warmest, most friendly and loving people I’ve ever met. We were always greeted with love and affection, and told goodbye with lots of squeezy hugs. A SPECIAL love goes out to the translators we had every day – Jhonatan, Linda, Adrianna, Oscar and Miguel. These guys are SO SO SO fantastic, and really love Jesus. I wish I could have brought them home with me!

So what did we do every day, you ask? Each morning, we drove an hour and a half to Pachacutec, a really, REALLY poor area about an hour and a half north of Lima. We hiked sand mountains (LITERALLY) to tell people about Jesus and invite them to church. In the afternoons, we held Bible studies at the church and in church members’ homes. Then, we held healthy lifestyle and healthy parenting classes before hopping back on the bus, traveling non-paved and insanely busy streets until we arrived back at the hotel. One day, we did an evening service in the middle of the gang-infested heart of Lima – that was scary, yet awesome. I gave my testimony that night, which I’d never done before in front of a group of people. And on the Sunday we were there, we attended a Spanish church service in Pachacutec – and I was asked (told) to lead worship. You guys know I can’t sing a lick, but I got up there and did my best! Plus, these people may never see me again (until we get to heaven, when I will totally be a great singer because our faults will be erased), so it’s all good!

You’ve probably also heard that 5 our of the 8 people in my group came down with SEVERE food poisoning. It was NOT pretty. Thankfully, neither I nor my roommate were among the sick – thank you JESUS! By the last day of the trip, they’d recovered enough to go sightseeing and make the long flight home. HOORAY!

During our trip, lots of people gave their lives to Jesus. We talked with hundreds of others. We heard from a missionary about his plans for the further reach to Lima. We heard a choir of Peruvian women sing in a private girls’ German Catholic school – they sang a song written by a Frenchman, in Latin. How’s that for culture?! And we all came back a lot more thankful than we left. How appropriate for this time of year!

Peru Bound!

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That’s right! Tomorrow I leave for Lima, Peru, for a 10-day mission trip with some fellow members of Immanuel Baptist Church. I am SUPER excited for what God has in store for us in Lima – I know He will do some big things in me and through me!

Of course, you go on mission trips to change people’s lives. Literally, when I started living for Jesus, my life changed forever – and I’d love to bring that to someone else. However, having been on a mission trip before, it can end up feeling like God made a bigger change in YOU than in the people you’re serving! It’s impossible to go into a third world country, see the things you see, hear the stories you hear, etc. and not be changed forever. It really puts things in perspective and allows you to focus on the blessings (and responsibilities) God has given you.

I’ve been asked a lot – specifically by my non-believing coworkers – why in the world I would fly to the other side of the planet to talk to strangers for a week. My simple answer? Because the Bible tells me to. I’m unapologetic about my allegiance to the truth of the Word, and it very clearly states that we are to go, make disciples of all nations and that faith without works is dead – so that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

Will I be uncomfortable? Maybe. Probably. I love talking about Jesus and want people to experience the abundant life that I have, but sometimes I get a little shy, and the language barrier is intimidating. When I get uncomfortable about sharing the Gospel, I just chalk it up to the Devil trying to defeat God’s power – God has already won me over, so Satan is trying to prevent God gaining one more person in his Holy army, through me. So in a way, being uncomfortable – and then proceeding with what you know to be God’s will – is a great thing! It’s defeating the enemy through God’s power – and that is an awesome thing!

I would appreciate anyone and everyone’s prayers while we’re gone. We travel all day November 7, do mission work all day November 8-15, and then travel November 16. I should be back in Little Rock around noon on Friday, November 16 (barring any plane delays). Please pray for the people of Lima – that their hearts would be open to hearing and receiving the gospel. Please pray for the members of our mission team – that we would be filled with boldness and the Holy Spirit. Please pray for travel mercies, good health and good spirits throughout the trip. And please pray for Chad while I’m gone!

Love you all!

Countdowns Galore!

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Two things I love: Vacations and Vacation Countdowns. And I have a bunch of both!! My heart is happy :)

First – AUSTIN! I will see you and your lovely residents in a mere 10 days!!

Second – VANCOUVER! I will see you for a business trip in 1 month and 7 days!!

Third – VEGAS!! I will wreak havoc on your town, along with my family-in-love, in 2 months!!

Fourth – PERU!! I will be on a mission trip to your beautiful country in 5 months and 3 days!!

WHOO HOO!!! I can’t wait to have photos of ME in each of these places :)

Big Step Closer to Peru!

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You guys – God is amazing. I know, this is probably not new information for you, but it bears repeating!

Like many people, one of my biggest issues is trusting God to take care of my financial situation – in other words, relinquishing control and trusting Him. I am generally pretty good and handing things over to the Big Man Upstairs, but I like to clutch my finances to my chest like a frightened child to its teddy bear. As if I were saying “No, God. Let me handle this. You’re not big enough.” Right. Because that’s true.

Any way, Chad and I prayed about and decided to join the Peru 2012 GO Team, a mission trip in November 2012 with our church. Needless to say, spending 9 days in Peru is not cheap – from flights to airfare, to lodging and food, it adds up to a hefty price tag (especially for a young couple!) But God kept telling us to do it, and we trusted Him to provide a way to get there.

Just this week, I received a surprise financial gift that pays for more than half of our trip. That’s right! One of us is fully funded for the mission trip to Peru next year! God is so faithful, and it is instances like these that remind me who is ultimately in control of my life (and it isn’t me!). It’s also moments like these that I need to remember to clutch to my chest in future circumstances – proof that God will provide, and there is no fear in Him. You’d think I would have learned this lesson from my LAST mission trip, where a complete stranger wrote a check for the EXACT amount I needed to go to Costa Rica, but alas – the human mind is flawed.

Thank you, Jesus, for providing everything I have ever and will ever need! I am so excited to serve the kingdom by going on this trip, and I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for us!