Today is Monday. We picked up Natalie on Friday in San Marcos to spend the night in Los Angeles for our early morning flight. When Ryann came to pick up the car, he noticed we were in room 316. The perfect unplanned room for the start to this mission trip to Peru. A reminder that God sent His son to save us for our simple act of believing in Him. A peace that this trip is His and we are His willing servants.
Our team arrived in Trujillo, Peru almost 24 hours later. We were a lot exhausted but extremely pumped to begin our outreach. The day before us was filled with a healing service and then youth group with pizza tonight. Sleep was not a problem when we returned to our beds at the church that night.
Sunday we had a relaxed morning of conversation and coffee as we shared our life stories and hearts with each other. Departing around 2pm we felt energized and ready for the day. It was humbling to arrive at a church with dirt floors a couple tables and stools that had to be shared among several other locations around town. The ceiling of tin covered most of the building but definitely wouldn't keep rain out. Flyers in hand we headed out into the neighborhoods to invite Peruvians after we set up our vacation Bible school stations. By 4:30 the building was packed with kids, parents, grandparents and music. It is incredible the way they set up sound systems and work together to bring Christ's excellence to these people. The guitar player was outstanding and worship was inspired. After the herds of kids had made their colorful crafts we all gathered for more worship, Ron's testimony and then a healing service. In spite of our language barriers people came forward to share their struggles and receive our prayers for them. Ron stood beside me when a lady who was blind from a gunshot wound came forward. I was beyond moved as she took my hand and pressed it to the top of her head. God knows Ron and I lost a son to a self-inflicted gunshot to his head. That this lady healed us with her touch as much as we touched her is a truth that I will carry in my heart forever. Our loss is real. Her pain is real. God brought us together for a moment and moved us.
What a privilege to watch our daughter, Natalie, as children cling to her and see her tender heart for these people who have such brilliant smiles even though their circumstances are so hard. This team, our team, each of us will never be the same after this opportunity. It is clear that the saying of you receive more than you give when you freely give is so true. I know we will be much more blessed by these beautiful people than we could possibly bless them. But that we get to be Christ in the flesh and show them that they are valued enough for Him to send us all the way from the United States is powerful.
Before we left I asked for prayer for stamina and good rest. I have never slept more sound and I have been able to keep going late into the night even with the emotional situation. I am grateful for such strong prayer partners in this mission. Gracias.