I'm back from Peru

When people ask me how my trip to Peru was, my natural instinct is to reply: 'It was great!'  That's a quick, easy response.  And one in which most people are satisfied with.  They nod, smile, say 'Glad to hear it', and carry on.

Yet I want to say so much more.

Peru was more than just great.  God's work in me while there was more than just great.  He taught me many lessons.  Not just about another country He created.  Not just about a different culture.  But about small and large things alike.

He showed me that a small meal where much love abounds is more satisfying than a feast where animosity reigns.

He showed me that the power of affection is so much stronger than rivalry.  That loving someone regardless of them loving me back is an irreplaceable experience.  And that true love and care is absolutely and completely self-less.

He showed me the incredible beauty of how the church of Christ is not a building, but in every one of His children, and when you cram and squish over 40 people into a little cafe in a tiny town at the foot of the largest mountain of Peru, God is even there.

He showed that language is not a barrier and that in a room with two different languages being spoken, we were all praising the same God.  The God who made each of us so alike and connected through Him, yet so completely different and unique from the next.

He taught me that 'home' is not where I was born or where I currently live, but where He has placed my heart - or pieces of it.

He taught me to live in the moment.  To not be preoccupied with the minute before, or the hour ahead, but to give myself fully to whatever second He has placed me.  Whatever moment I was in, to live it fully.

He taught me how something as dirty and hard-working as making adobe bricks, or washing dirty clothes, if done in and with love, is a beautiful act of ministry and servitude.

These are just a few of the things my Abba showed me while in Peru.  And they are all lessons that He wanted to teach me there - so far from home, in a place I was going to for the first time, and with people I didn't know.  And I wouldn't trade one second of any of my time there for anything in the world.
It wasn't perfect.  It was hard.  It was testing.  It was an experience.  But through it all, He is faithful.  And I rested so completely and fully in that truth.  And I shall continue to, by His grace.

Peru is another home to me.  And I plan to go back as soon as God makes it clear when.


In which I show you pictures of Oregon

(No, I'm not home yet.  I just decided to post this because, well, I miss Oregon and writing about it and showing others helps my homesickness for its lushness.)

I know I talk quite often about how much I love Oregon. But I feel I haven't done my home state justice by not showing my readers enough pictures of it.
This post won't have many words. I shall let God's creation in Oregon speak for itself...

(Oh and head on over to ThoseFellows.com to read my guest post: 10 Things I Love About Oregon)


And I'm off!

Today is a first for many things.  

My first time flying alone for more than 4 hours.  My first time out of the country.  My first time to Peru.  Yes, it’s finally here.  The day I’ve been planning for since last November.  I am going to Peru for 17 days.  

When the LORD first made it clear to me that this was what He wanted me to do, I was like ‘okay, but I have absolutely no idea how to raise all the funds for my trip, so I’m handing this all over to You to provide for me’.  And He did.  I raised all the money I needed - and more!  It’s been an incredible and very humbling experience to see HOW He has provided for me.  From something as large as a friend who I haven’t seen in years sending me $100, to something as small (yet significant) as work boots that I needed going on sale from $70 to $29.  His hand truly has been in all of this and I am so, so blessed.


Here are a few specific prayer requests that I am asking people, if possible, to remember to pray for me about.  Thank you so much if you do.  It means a lot to me.

- safe travels
- no complications
- that I find my luggage
- that I will be a witness to any of my unbelieving family members
- safety while touring
- that time with family will be well-spent
- that I will be bold for Christ no matter who I’m with or around
- that I don’t get food poisoning
- that there are no complications meeting up with my team on the 7th
- that the bus ride goes smoothly and I don’t get carsick
- that I connect with all my team members
- that both teams get along well (30 people in all)
- that we arrive at Kusi safely
- that we connect well with the boys
- strength against spiritual attacks
- that the LORD would speak through me when I help lead worship in the evenings
- that we get a lot of work done
- that our presence will be more of a blessing than a burden
- safe flight back to the US (Texas)
- emotional strength saying goodbye to all my team members
- safe flight back to Portland (home!!)


Father God, I am presenting myself to You to be transformed.  I pray that You use me in whatever way You desire to.  Make me to be sanctified in Your truth.  Help me to learn much from You during this time in Peru.  Help me to always focus on honoring and glorifying You with everything I do, say and think.  Renew my mind in Your Word.  Show Your glory through my life.  Speak through my words.  Bless others through my touch and my smile.  Give me patience and strength.  May You always be praised.  Forever.  Amen.


Everyday Blessings // 23

>> roadtrip to the beach with friends
>> cheese
>> guest posting (read my guest post on Monday over at ThoseFellows.com)
>> getting good deals on clothes and other necessary items for my trip
>> encouraging and refreshing talks with best friends
>> laughter
>> band photoshoot
>> recording a new cover
>> pears and cottage cheese (seriously, it's super yummy)
>> new tanktops
>> Oregon rain
>> resolving and settling frustrations
>> new camera card
>> getting my hair layered and styled (don't worry, it's still long)
>> family visiting from out of state
>> outdoor cooking
>> getting hugged by a child
>> baby's breath
>> new flipflops
>> that overwhelming feeling when I stop and realize just how blessed I am


How is your June month ending for you?:)