As I begin to plant my feet in Peru I look back at these few short months I have been here with wonder and amazement at all God is doing. I did not know what these first few steps would look like just ideas in my head. I knew with peace and assurance when God planted me here He had me where He wanted me for this part of the journey. One important part of any journey is learning to listen.
Listening is essential to knowing what to do in any given situation. Without listening, you would not know what steps to take or where to go.These steps to take could be described in different ways. Some of these steps might take longer than others. Or they might be more limited at times. However, if you keep going forward in the way the steps were laid out for you they all lead back to the leader for this journey God. Then why do we tend to want to change the course when we get frustrated or become inconvenienced cause the path does not like the way we had imagined? In the book of Isaiah God declares “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” So when I think why is it taking me forever to learn Spanish, do I get frustrated or discouraged? Or do I learn to say maybe I need to trust Christ more with this and learn to listen better? That is one choice I had to make recently, I had to learn to listen to God and while other people are talking while being more patient with this process. Though I am not where I want to be I have to look to Him to know His ways are certainly higher than mine. The more I am learning the more it has opened me up to build relationships with the children I see every day which motivates me to learn and practice more of my very limited Spanish!
Since I had been to La Roca a couple of years before I had a little glimpse of what things may look like. When I came though the apartments were still being built and I stayed in the bunk rooms. So when I got here I was beyond amazed at where I would be living these nine months.Did I ever imagine I would be blessed to have the simplest things that I would take for granted back in North Carolina? For example, heat or air conditioning? How about a place to cook food? Thanks Miss Ruth for letting me borrow your grill. My options for food have tripled because of this blessing. Certainly, they look different then what I pictured in my mind. More than the tangible blessings the joy He has brought me being here in following Him is greater than all those simple little things.
Even before I arrived God did some incredible things showing me His faithfulness in my life.Throughout my time of getting adjusted to everyday living here in Peru one point has remained the same. Every day I get up to the fact that I get to fall in love with a personal Father who goes beyond being there for me at all times but wants to show me things about Him I never knew before. I am seeing Him at work while falling in love like never before.
When I first came into the classroom I was overwhelmed at the challenge ahead of me. I saw what things might like children sitting down learning with enthusiasm and joy an ideal classroom learning environment but then reality hit. Kids well just being kids. Doing the things that you think kids might do saying Este esmio, making paper airplanes, and eating things that turned their faces red. Not a report you want to hear right? Kind of like in Numbers 13 when God told Moses to send some men to the land of Canaan to get a report for Moses. The men came back and said it’s a land flowing with milk and honey but the people are much stronger than we are. Now did I say that in my head not exactly but the mentality of the job was this is too big for me. So in a sense I tried to do it on my own and was operating out of mine own efforts. I tried everything but as I started to put things in place I knew that beyond the strategies, tips, or techniques you can use something else is vitally important. Prayer. I started praying every day in class before we start that with God’s help He can help us with any difficulty we have in class. I want them to learn to obey not because of me. From that point on, God began to work not only in the class as a whole but several student’s lives. By more people praying for this I begin to see a change never I have seen since I have been here. Now, are there days where kids are up and down? Are there days when I am up in the air about what to do? Certainly, but it shows how important we need to pray not just for our children’s lives but in specific ways as well.
Another way God is working in me is mine own personal walk with Him. The last time I shared was with a group of teens from Los Angeles. I spoke to them about seeking after Christ. Really though God spoke to mine own heart. If we are not filled with the things of God then how can we be used by Him to share that with others? I kept on praying about what to share and at the last moment God brought attention to my heart from Psalm 105 about God being our strength and seeking Him first. I knew I would need to do that all the time here in Peru but never saw the connection between filling our own hearts and to be able in turn in the power and name of Christ share with others what Christ has put in us. What is my life thirsty for? The things of man or the things of God? What a punch to the heart. As I heard recently from a good friend, you cannot give what you do not have. Which leads to why don’t I have more of God in my heart to share?
That is why I am falling in love with Him so much (sorry that is 1st grade teacher for you repeating things over and over). He always shows me things I never knew once before making this journey even sweeter. As I continue this journey and nearing the halfway point which I cannot believe, I want to see more specific ways God is at work here. The language barrier is my biggest challenge right now but pray for God to continue to move in the hearts and life of each child. Help them to see with their cute smiles, wonderful faces, and funny mannerisms with God anything is possible.
I am so thankful and blessed to be on such an incredible journey with a very real and powerful God. For the glory of God and the joy of all nations!