So. Today after a PACKED class with THIRTY-FIVE KIDS in Yungay, the girls were telling us goodbye, and I´m pretty sure I´ve never gotten so many kisses on the cheek in my life! Shayle, Karen, Estephanie, Madeleine, and several others kept hanging on for dear life, begging us not to go. AAARRRRGGGGHHH. As if I haven´t been crying enough the past few days anyway!
Every time I even think about the fact that we leave Yungay a week from today, I break down in tears. These kids have stolen my heart. And not just the kids - I don´t know how in the world I´m going to be able to leave Joel and Hilda and Maria and Alice and Manuel and all the other brothers and sisters in the church here. I love Peruvian culture. I love taking all morning to cook lunch (to be served at 2 p.m.). I LOVE buying chicken from the meat market where you know that chicken was alive moments before they bag it for you. I love spending 30 American cents for 2.2 pounds of bananas. I love kids reprimanding me for not knowing how to play volleyball. I love learning how to play jax in the middle of the street in front of the church with a group of girls. I love fasting and praying with a group of believers in the church - urgently petitioning the Father for the lives of His children in Peru. I love seeing people come to know the Lord personally - be it through a medical campaign or through English classes or through visiting a restaurant every single day for ice cream and juice.
And yet I know there is still so much more back at home. I know the same things I´m doing here can be put into action in Louisville, Mississippi. This discipleship thing doesn´t end when I set off the plane in the US of A.
So, again, my friends, I ask you to pray. Pray for the 300+ people who came to the medical clinic yesterday and heard the Gospel - some for the first time. Pray for the kids in our classes here in Yungay and Mancos - for the faithful ones and for the newbies who are hearing the stories of Jesus and His love. And pray for us, that God will continue the work He´s started here (including the work in our own lives) and that the joy of the Lord will be our strength as we struggle to say goodbye - or at least hasta luego.