Yesterday, our group took the thirty minute walk to REAP North´s translator ministry for some English conversation and a cookout. Reminded me SO MUCH of CONNECT! Once we arrived at the ESL school, we were led into a room where probably thirty or more Peruvians waited to talk with us native speakers - Southern accents and all. I sat down with Giovana and Mac - a 21-year-old education major and a 17-year-old environmental engineering major and we immediately hit it off. One of Giovana´s first questions was "Are you a Christian?" and when I responded YES, she said, "Great - me too and I have a few questions. See, I have a group of disciples that meet with me every week in the park to study the Bible and one of them is a homosexual. What do I say?" ...wow... She and Mac and I spent the next several minutes reading through some passages in Romans and James and talked about our purpose as Christians in this culture. Both had become Christians thanks to faithful believers who sought them out just to study the Word together. And now Giovanna is fasting for 15 days, just because of her passion for Peruvian young people to come to Christ.
How often do we take the initiative in the States to study the Word of God together with believers and "seekers" alike? One of my teammates for the summer is HERE in Peru thanks to the faithful guidance of a girl who plopped down to eat pizza with her on her first day of college and led her to a closer relationship to Christ. Why is this not something that I do day in and day out? And how often will we deny ourselves of the riches of this world to pray that God would draw people to Himself?? WHY NOT?!
The past few days we have also learned a TON more about what we´ll be doing this summer, and I get more and more excited moment by moment. Our basic goal in Yungay is to support the church there through whatever means we can. We´ve been "trained" in teaching ESL, we have studied important stories from Scripture, and we´ve been challenged simply to GO wherever the Spirit leads. Ok. This is kind of difficult for me, this taking initiative with not so much guidance. So here´s a BIG prayer request - that we will be INTENTIONAL in going out and building relationships with the beautiful people of Yungay... that God will lead us to "people of peace," people with a little more than just basic English skills (for the sake of our communication even though we know that God is sovereign over the language barrier and our Spanish is gettng better bit by bit)... that we will finish the task that God has called us to - the task of sharing His Gospel.
Your prayers really are what get us through the days here! In reading through the New Testament this summer, Matthew 9:35-39 keeps popping out (hooray, Garaywa girls!) and God as shown me that Jesus didn´t ask His disciples to pray for the harrassed and helpless people specifically but rather He told them to pray that God would send out WORKERS - essentially to pray for themselves. PRAY for those who are working in the fields day in and day out... and those fields don´t just include the Andes or the Amazonas - those fields are the offices and workplaces you enter everyday. They are the schools full of children who need guidance and love. They are the grocery stores and shopping malls full of people trying to satisfy themselves.
SO GO and make disciples of all nations.
Pray for Peruvian believers. Pray for believers in the US. Pray that we will all live up to the calling we receive.
Heading out tomorrow for YUNGAY! Eight hour bus ride on the top level of a double-decker bus through the mountains (thankfully it´s a pretty big road we´ll be driving on!) to Huaraz, night in a hostel there, grocery shopping and meeting Yungay on Tuesday!
Love y'all! Hope to update more soon!