Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Winding down

oh why can't Peru be closer to home?

"Have I not commanded you? Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you may go." Joshua 1:9

Do I really have to say goodbye? I am suddenly realizing that this may be one of the hardest things I have ever done. As coming home was 2 months away, images of all the comforts of home flooded my mind; my favorite restaurants, seeing family and friends, and blending into my own culture all sounded so appealing. But as my departure date is less than 2 weeks away, I realize that my favorite foods have been replaced with new dishes, and that in order to greet loved ones at home, I will have to say goodbye to loved ones here.

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Ha. I came to Peru with plans to spend the majority of time in Lima; as of today I have only seen the Lima airport, as I ended up staying in Cusco for my entire term. I was unsure of what I would do on the field, but I just knew I didn't want to work with young children since I had no experience or real interest in that...and now everything I have poured myself into for the past 8 months revolves around children, and I cannot imagine what it will be like to say goodbye to them so soon. God called me here to do things I never thought I would do, much less enjoy, and I am so thankful for the time I have had here.

Please pray for me as I prepare to come home and transition back into life in the States. The changes in daily life will vary from simply leaving behind a mountain climate in the height of winter, and meeting the Texas heat head on, to leaving the presence of constant poverty and meeting a life more luxurious than my friends here can even imagine. Please pray that I will appreciate my own culture and the life God has given me, without feeling guilty or idealizing poverty, and that the lessons I have learned here will remain with me throughout my life. I want to remember these people and to be faithful in praying for and encouraging them for many years to come.

Thank you all so much for your encouragment and support over the past 8 months. It is such a privilege to have been here, and I thank you for being willing to be used by God as senders and encouragers in so many ways throughout this entire process. I look forward to sharing more stories and pictures from my time here with all of you in person.

Also...some long-overdue updates:

We recently went to the circus here in Cusco with some teenagers who help me out with the children's program and it was an absolute blast. We laughed a ton and just had a great time. It wasn't exactly Ringling Bros., but we saw some great stuff.

A few weekends ago, Susanna and I went on a trip with some friends from church to southern Peru to the city of Puno on Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. It was a great time. The highlight was definitley the floating Uros islands, which are constructed of reeds and completely floating on the surface of the lake! These islands have been around since pre-Inca times and were the most incredible thing I have ever seen!