July 14. Only 13 days left in Yungay. 17 in Peru. Learning to count my days and make my days count.
Since Friday, so much has happened I can barely remember it all! Saturday´s class was great with more kids than we expected and a hilarious rendition of Jonah, thanks to one of our students, Kevin. Cool kid. After class we all had time to ourselves (thank goodness) and I took the most amazing nap I think I´ve ever had. Praise the Lord for times of refreshing in the middle of a crazy summer.
Sunday, there was a group of workers from EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND at church - they were working with the orfanato in Ongo - and one of the girls offered us ´´sweeties´´ - toffee covered chocolate from MARKS AND SPENCERS. oh my goodness. I´ve never missed the UK more. haha! The service Sunday was great and so encouraging - Ángel spoke about bearing fruit as believers and really challenged me to allow the Lord to prune from me things that are preventing me from bearing fruit - things like my own selfishness and my own ideas of the ways things should work, my control-freak habits. In the evening service Sunday, JUAN LUIS and his mom came. (Reminder, Juan Luis was hit by a car several weeks ago and has a cast on his leg and a plate in his head after two brain surgeries...as a five-year-old.) We gave him two balloons from the going-away party to take home for himself and his sister, and the kid BURST into the most beautiful laughter I´ve ever heard. He began hitting us all with the balloons and practically ROLLING with giggles. Best. Sound. Ever.
Monday we went to Huaraz to buy some supplies and do some touristy shopping - just to have a break for a while - and I got to eat some very amazing, very Panera-esque tomato soup. YUM. We came back to Mancos for class and had a great time acting out the story of Joseph with the kids, and we all went to bed uncharacteristically early because TUESDAY, we had a new arrival of teammates!
Kelsey, Karly, and Blake arrived in Anta (40 minutes away) by plane at 6:30 a.m. and their translator Marina came to Yungay at 6 - and after much craziness with lack of keys for the gate and lack of money for the comvi ride, we FINALLY got everyone back in Yungay together. And this is going to be a GREAT couple of weeks. Karly and Blake are from the church in Georgia that has adopted Yungay for the next several years, and so it is INCREDIBLY encouraging to know that they will be around to continue the work that God has allowed us to have a part in this summer. Kelsey is from Mississippi (and we know so many of the same people, it´s crazy) and she has felt a call to come to Peru for YEARS and is finally here, after a change of plans or two, of course.
Class yesterday went so very very well (scarily well, if you ask me!) and we taught food words in English and the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - great times. After class was probably my favorite part, though. I stayed around to hang out with some of the girls and got to teach them the BOOM SNAP CLAP. wiki wiki word. Absolutely hilarious. (and yet i´m pretty sure i cried. but that´s not important.) I also got to talk with Geral, Jennifer, and Lupe about their classes in preparation for their first Communion in the Catholic church here. Lupe said she´s not a part of that church and she asked me what is required to come to the Baptist church - absolutely nothing, friend! Come on! So, please pray for Lupe and her family - pray that she will have a greater desire to know more about the Lord and come Sunday. Pray also for the girls going through catechism. Pray that these classes will draw them closer to the Lord, that they will see His greatness outside of the tradition of the church here. Pray that they will seek Him for who He is and not out of empty tradition.
And despite all of the amazing things going on here, this is still a struggle. There are times when it would be so much easier to ignore what God is doing and just want to go HOME. Another prayer request - my dad´s dad (PawPaw Cockrell) is in the hospital with some complications from prostate cancer and my parents have gone to Slidell to hang out with him. As lighthearted as they have been about this, it kind of freaks me out a little bit, honestly. I never thought I would be so torn about wanting to be HERE AND THERE at the same time. So, following the example of my beautiful friends who have been so open about their struggles, I ask for your prayers for myself. It´s around this time in the summer when the exhaustion sets in. This is not easy. I know that like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I´m not alone in the flames. But please pray that my prayers for more dependence on God would be answered in obedience on my part, and NOT in rebellion. I am here to serve the Lord, not to be served myself. Pray that I would be humble, that relationships with teammates would continually be peaceful and harmonious (SO TOUGH with 10 girls living together in such close quarters) and that we would ALL seek to serve God wholeheartedly. Pray especially for our new teammates, that they would find places to jump in and serve.
We also have a church group from Georgia coming July 16-20 AND a medical campaign July 19, so please pray for organization, for the Lord to draw people to Himself.
Whew. Long post. Only two weeks left. Pray that we would make the most of every opportunity, that we would finish the race with perseverance.