I wanted to give you an update, but as it turned out it was easier to share with you the prayer to the Lord that started in my quiet time this morning and was completed tonight.
It is really long sorry. I miss you all. Not feeling really well tonight, we leave for Ecuador in the morning. I appreciate your prayers.
Love and miss you all.
PS I hope this makes sense and the grammar is not too bad, really tired.
Good morning Lord, it has been a long time since I have had an opportunity to sit before you in this way. I have so missed this time. Forgive me.
Lord, what a wonderful gift you gave us these last few weeks as we said good bye to the ones we love. I have a new picture of what the church looks like. It is beautiful. I will always remember, and always be grateful. I will forever be indebted to those teachers who taught me with their lives of worship, service, and praise. May you put a double portion of your love on them and their families. I truly wonder if we would have been able to take this step of faith without them around us holding us up, and encouraging us on.
It has been just 5 days since we left the states. I have to admit that on the bus ride from the airport if I thought it once, I thought it about 10 times. "what in the world are we thinking."
As always the first day here is always the hardest for me. As soon as I see the broken city of Lima in all of its despair I just want to run. The smell that brings that unforgettable odor that kicks me right in my gut, and then with the heaviness of breathing in a city full of pollution my thoughts race to "why are we here." "We must be crazy." I remember telling myself not to think too hard, just trust. You were quick to remind me that things always look better in the light than in the dark.
The ride to Ola Grande went fast, things were familiar, the heaviness of the unknown was very real. The accommodations were as expected and brought some resemblance of comfort and security, but it was not until the dawning of our first day and the smiles and hugs of our Peruvian friends did my heart start to melt.
It was not long after that at breakfast when we began to hear the testimonies of the teams already on the ground and seeing the work being done in their lives. It was exhilarating to see this providential transformation that seems to happen to all of us once we can break free of our self, and serve in emptiness. I want to be a part of making that happen for others I thought.
Never did I imagine that within 8 hours of being on the ground that we would be seeing and playing with the kids from Hogar. Usually for me this does not bring the effect that it has on others. This time however things were different. I think for the first time I felt attached. I think in the past I kept myself at a safe distance, because I knew I would have to leave soon. As I reflect now, I cheated You, my friends and myself of the joys of fellowship by cowering to protecting my heart. Forgive me.
After loving on the kids and watching a couple dances we would moved quickly to Hannah's Home . Wow, what marvelous work the team has done! As I stood on the second floor of Hannah's Hope and looked back towards Hannah's Home I could actually see in my mind the complex full of activity. The beauty of the landscape and completion of the buildings was bringing and environment of safety, rest, and refuge. The sacrifice of solitude, work, and loneliness of the team here cannot be imagined or ever fully understood. Within minutes of this observation we were fully engaged in a game of soccer with the kids. The complex was actually coming alive, it wasn't just a dream.
It would be on our second day that we would see the power of your sovereign hand move again. You have moved so quietly yet so strongly through this whole process. We would meet the couple that was offering us their apartment. They were not looking for renters, but family. Lord, could you really be doing this? The apartment was beautiful, secure, and felt like home. As we walked to lunch with our new friends, the neighborhood seemed to come alive. For the first time in this walk of faith I began to feel what everyone was saying. We really were on a great adventure. The fears of the unknown continue to fall away as you make our way straight. You really can be trusted. Thank you Father.
Saturday would be the day that we would see our roles with ChildReach come alive for the first time. I am still not sure how You put that day together, put to be able to spend a good 6 hours with our new team in fellowship, testimony, prayer, and even a little work. Tears flowed, walls fell, and hearts were bonded. Wow, no man could have planned this day better. Thank you for going before us in the hearts of the team. Lord, we are all broken people, some needing hearts healed more than others. Thank you for starting that process. Lord, may You press on and not lets us waiver from the ultimate goal of love, unity, and worship of You. May we serve in humility and strength. May all that we do bring You glory. May you bless the work that we put our hands to.
As Sunday dawned and I reflected on this being the day that you rose from the grave, and new life. I was able to experience my first rainbow in Peru. Rainbows are not that unusual in themselves, but as it rained in a place that it normally does not rain I enjoyed the fresh sprinkling of your love in what seemed to offer hope in a dry land, and the rainbow offered the promise of a new season of life for us. Very exciting.
Later that morning we would experience you in worship in a place where we are aliens. Yet even with the language being different the spirit was not. We truly are home, and actually home is wherever you take us as long as You are there with us. We will never be able to replace family and friends in the states, but to know we are where we are supposed to be brings great comfort and joy.
Lord, You have also been so faithful to the biggest prayer on our hearts. Tony and I are actually beginning to move as one. Wow, in my little faith I never really thought it was possible. Thank you for the gift that she is and her tenacity to press on to what she knew was the only way to walk, as one. May you keep Your angels round about us. May we continue in the good work you started in us as a couple.
Lord, thank you for Your faithfulness. I know this is only the first week, but really not. This process started three years ago to the month. You have yet to let us down, not once. More so you have blessed beyond measure.
Lord, may we look with anticipation for each day that is before us in fellowship with You. May we be eager to search for Your ways, and Your heart. May we be obedient to just walk. May we always know that it is only by Your power, and for Your glory that we breath. When the days of suffering come, and they will come, may we stand strong and true, and continue to worship You in spirit and truth.
Glory to Your name. Amen