What an incredible summer it is already turning out to be.
So. I´m kind of at a loss to even know where to begin this update. God has done so much here in Peru already - and we´ve only just been in Lima four days. Over these past few days, the REAP North team here in Peru have been preparing us for sharing the Gospel and making disciples in this culture that is so different from our own. We´ve talked about the worldview here and what it means to make disciples in any culture. We´ve learned how best to share stories from the Bible in a way that is meaningful and memorable so that people can spread the Word themselves. We´ve gotten to bond as teams - and let me tell you - my team is stinkin amazing. I love every single one of these girls. It blows my mind every time I try to imagine the foreknowledge and sovereign plan of God in putting us all together in such a complimentary way. Jordan is passionate and energetic and such a bold go-getter, I´m sure she will challenge me to leap out of my own comfort zone this summer in thousands of ways. Olivia is so intentional and relational and genuinely curious about people - such a beautiful gentle and quiet spirit. Karen is brilliant and deep and quirky in all of the best ways - she sees things that other people miss, and I definitely need that insight. Mary is absolutely hilarious and incredibly good-humored and has some pretty great boldness to step up and share what the Lord is leading her to do - crazy amazing girl. Lynnlee is beautiful and honest and so courageous - she has already challenged me to seek out being more intentional in opening up more myself in this team. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship for the six of us.
Noemi meets us at the hostel tomorrow and we take an 8-hour bus ride to Huaraz where we´ll meet Tommy Smith, the missionary in the state where we´ll be serving this summer. Then Tuesday we´ll head on to Recuay, meet Humberta, get settled, and start living life with the most beautiful people in the world. We´ll have opportunities to teach in schools, lead ladies Bible studies, hang out with a group of university students, build relationships with teenage girls, and generally just reach out to the community around us, getting to know people and sharing stories from the Word of God, knowing that His Word does not return void, and through His Spirit, He will draw people to Himself.
And I have never felt such peace about any summer in my entire life. I know this is exactly where God has me this summer. He has already begun opening doors for service in Recuay and the surrounding villages. He has already unified this team of girls - which is sometimes an almost impossible feat. And satan has already noticed and is already bombarding us with spiritual warfare - that is sometimes a bit more physical than I´d like. Yep. I´ve been sick already. Haha! It´s lovely, I know. But God is so faithful! Prayers and support from my beautiful teammates and some rest and I feel absolutely back at 100%. In addition to these physical trials, my teammates and I are already facing tinges of homesickness and crazy distracting dreams, so please know, YOUR PRAYERS ARE SO NEEDED.
Pray first and foremost that whatever comes this summer God would be glorified. He is the reason we are here. We long to see the nations worship Him for who He is. He is so worthy.
Pray also for this team. For Jordan, Olivia, Karen, Mary, Lynnlee, and I, as well as for Noemi and Humberta, our translators. For Tommy and Mindy, our supervisors. For Pastor Victor and his wife Filipa. and for my ¨family¨in Yungay from last summer - for Joel and Hilda and Maria. That we would first be disciples ourselves - denying ourselves. taking up our cross. following Him. unified and showing His love. And while you´re at it, we wouldn´t mind your prayers for health and safety - that nothing would distract us from this task that the Lord has given us.
Pray for those who God is drawing to salvation in Recuay and all throughout the Huaylas Valley. Pray that we will have discernment through the Holy Spirit to see them and to have the words to say to lead them one step closer to Christ.
¨Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.¨