So after a crazy first week of ministry here in Recuay, we girls got a weekend break with our supervisor Mindy in Huaraz. Beautiful weekend! We played the Name Game over some delicious American-ish food in a nifty little cafe, we muted cheesy Spanish soap operas so that we could create our own dialog, and we enjoyed wonderfully hot showers, comfy beds, phone service to call home, and chocolate-peanut-butter-oatmeal no-bake cookies. Mmhmm.
Saturday, we made the three-ish hour trek to Llanganuco Lakes above Yungay where I served last summer. As we pulled into town, I felt as if I were coming home after being away for ten months. There was a wedding procession just coming out of the Catholic church in the plaza! Pilar has snazzed up her restaurant and now has a HUGE place on the corner. And Yungay now has STAIRS and HANDRAILS to cross the street. Crazy. Movin´ on up! It was all I could do not to RUN through the market to the Iglesia Biblica Bautista where Joel and Hilda live. I got one block away from their house, and I burst into tears, as usual for me. The closer I got to their house, the more children´s voices I heard. I wish I had words to explain just how full my heart was to see kids who had started coming to our Bible classes last summer THERE with Joel and Hilda, playing soccer inside the church, knowing that they had accepted Christ since I had seen them last. They sang for us two of their favorite hymns - Trust and Obey being one of them - and to see them crowded around Joel as if he were their dad... wow. What a beautiful family I have in Yungay.
Sunday we went to church in Huaraz, got to encourage the believers there, and met some college students who want us to come hang out on Saturdays with them at their Bible study. Super exciting! And our whole team was just generally encouraged by the community there in Huaraz - singing familiar praise songs in Spanish, having great Biblical teaching, being fed (literally and spiritually) with brothers and sisters in Christ... and it´s beautiful to see how that church has grown since last summer too! Christie and Alexis - we got to have a snack with the church family up in your old apartment! Oh, what memories!! :)
So now we´re back in Recuay - and it was beautiful to hear my teammates saying Sunday night as we returned and had our family meeting that it felt good to be home - even with the colder temperatures here and the less reliable hot water and our crazy ladder-less bunk beds... It´s good to be home. So pray for us! For continued unity, which has been such a blessing already! For continued focus on the work God has us here to do. For health. For abounding love for one another and for everyone here in our home for the summer. And pray for the people we´re working with here around Recuay... especially Nelly, a 13-year-old who we met on our first day here... and for Miriam, the 14-year-old from Ocunan who accepted Christ last week...
And read 1 and 2 Thessalonians. The Lord has been using it to speak volumes into my life these past few days. I would write it all here, but my time in the internet is past gone! :) Love you all! Continuing to pray for all of you as well!!! Remember... He who has called you is faithful. He will surely do it.