No te preocupes. No te preocupes. DON´T WORRY. That´s one phrase I´ve gotten "down pat" this week.
YUNGAY is possibly my new favorite place in the world. Every picture I´ve ever seen from friends´ mission trips to Asia or Africa - yeah, it´s all here. From freshly plucked chickens hanging by their necks and whole skinned pigs in the market (complete with stray dogs meandering around, hoping someone will drop something) to the most adorable kids and the most colorfully-dressed women EVER - it´s all here in Yungay. A small-ish town with probably more stray dogs than people, Yungay is home to more kids than I´ve seen in my whole time in Peru - which just reminds me of God´s faithfulness... We´re staying in a super nice hotel (relatively, with HOT WATER that we just figured out how to use today) complete with a wonderful next-door neighbor, Mr. Gallo, the rooster whose biological clock is a bit off - he starts his singing at 1 a.m. admist the growls and barks of the almost constant dog fights at night. Yeah. It´s one crazy place.
But the reason why I love Yungay so much is because of the PEOPLE here. Pastor Joel and Hilda. I have no words. They are the most hospitable people I´ve ever met. Yesterday Hilda made us breakfast (tortilla de huevos y hot dog. really good believe it or not) and then we went shopping for lunch, which she taught us how to make (aji de gallina - best peruvian dish EVER) and after spending 7 hours at their house, we came back to the hotelto do some laundry - BY HAND, mind you - and then went BACK to Joel and Hilda´s for prayer meeting in the church that meets in their living-dining room. Yeah. AMAZING.
These people have invested in my life more these past two days than any other person in my life, with the exception of my parents. Hilda has told us stories of her growing up and has encouraged us to WAIT, WAIT on the Lord. Joel has made us laugh and has thanked us with his crazy big smile just for being here and serving the Lord with them. Claro, claro. Está bien. Está bien.
And still, it has not been easy. Four girls living together in a hotel room all summer is prime time for some HILARIOUS conversations and great new jokes, but there´s also a lot of opinion, a lot of attitude, and a lot of selfishness - just on MY part. In reading through Matthew, the Holy Spirit has brought to my attention so much self-centeredness in my heart, and for some reason it is so difficult to turn that over to God, to beg Him to give me a clean heart. I have so much pride rooted deep in me...and as much as I want to be RID of it, it´s like Christian spoke about with his cancer - the chemo for sin is pretty painful. As David writes in Psalm 51, I pray that God would create a clean heart in me, restore to me the joy of His salvation, renew my spirit, and make me willing so that I may be able to teach the beautiful children here about the love of Christ that changes our lives for the glory of God - the only One who deserves it... And there´s so much more that I´m struggling with... the temptation to stereotype people and not truly see them for who they are (or who they could be) in Christ... The language barrier is so much more than not being able to communicate - it´s the whole idea of what a person who speaks a certain language should be like... And I never realized it until I came here...
SO there´s a lot on my mind, and my thirty minutes of internet time is up, so I must go for now, but know that I am so thankful for your prayers. After reading Ogles´s last two posts (and crying just a little) I´m reminded of just how important your prayers are - for the salvation of the people here (which that in itself is more important than words could say!) and also for my own heart - for my ability to TRUST GOD, to WAIT, to remember as Hilda reminded us today that I should not be afraid because the Lord my God goes before me.... I need not be afraid. So continue to pray, as I know you have been faithful so far! God is good. God is HERE! And our God is greater than any prejudice or fear I have...
Tomorrow we go to Carhuaz early for some logistic work with a fellow missionary from Huaraz and then when we get back to Yungay we´re going to advertise our English classes at some schools here. Lots of parents have already been asking about us crazy American girls. Here´s what the schedule looks like tentatively for the rest of the summer:
SUNDAY - church all day with Joel and Hilda - every third Sunday we fast for Yungay and for the country of Peru from morning until 3 p.m. - feel free to join us! :)
MONDAY - morning to prepare spiritually and to teach English - evening Bible study in a neighboring village a few minutes´ walk away
TUESDAY - morning for more preparation - English class for children at 4 p.m.
WEDNESDAY - morning prep (again) - MARKET FAIR DAY - prayer meeting at 6 p.m.
THURSDAY - prep - class at 4 p.m.
FRIDAY - prep - Bible study 45 minutes away walking in the evening
SATURDAY - class at 10 a.m. - MARKET FAIR DAY (I think... can´t remember!)
There´s so much here that is unplanned and casual. Meals take two to three hours to prepare and at least an hour to eat. So lots of eating and cooking. Which is fun! haha! So much more to say, so little time. More later!
Know that your prayers mean so much more than you know! Love you all!!!