This blog post is a little late, I know. I apologize to those who have been looking for a “debrief” post about my trip. I first want to again thank everyone who prayed, gave, and encouraged me before I left, during the trip, and even upon returning to the states. I am truly grateful. Now that the semester is over, I have some time to share about my great experience serving in Lima, Peru. So here it goes…….
But first! A picture!
As I reflect back, there are a few things that really stick out. People always ask: what did you learn on the trip, what did you do there, what was it like in another country, how was the food, or even how did God use you to help people or share the gospel? Now I don’t want to shoot down those questions, they are all valid questions. And I enjoy answering them. However, something I think most people who have been on a trip like this walk away thinking is: Instead of me going and making an impact on lives there, God used the people there to make an impact on mine.
We were blessed to stay at a local church in the heart of Lima, Peru. The moment we stepped off the bus, we were welcomed with hugs and some yummy homemade Peruvian food. I could probably spend hours writing out everything that happened on the trip. However, I’ll try and narrow it down to some highlights.
We spent the majority of the trip setting up and assisting with medical clinics at different locations in the city. More impactful than the free medical being given out was the interactions with people from Peru, specifically the Peruvian church members. In just a week’s time, relationships were built and love both given and received.
Take this picture for example.
The man holding the cake. His name is Erick. And his wife is next to him in the green tank top. They selflessly served us our entire stay at the church. They were the first people there in the morning to help us out and were the last people to leave every night. This picture is from a night where we celebrated his birthday. Erick is an amazing man with an amazing heart. His selfless attitude was contagious.
Just as we are talking about at New City Church recently, the gospel is for everyone: Jew, gentile, black, white, tall, short, Peruvian, American, and the list could go on. Heading into a foreign country as this, one would think finding common ground could be difficult. But that’s the beauty of the gospel. That’s the beauty of a relationship with Christ.
As paul states in Galatians 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus was breaking cultural barriers while he walked this earth, and even today is breaking them. Our lifestyles may be totally different. We may wear different clothes, eat different food, have different traditions, but we all have one God who “rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves”. And from that can love, serve, and preach to the broken world around us.
This picture is special to me for a few reasons. First, is the young man in the middle of us. His name is Ronaldo. The Lord cultivated a strong relationship between the two of us throughout the trip. Praying for one another, encouraging, one another, and just sharing our lives with each other. The second reason is the other three men standing with us. They were the three other gentlemen who went on the trip with me. Sleeping next to each other on mattresses on the floor leads to lots of talking about our lives, about our walk with Jesus, and even random goofy things that young men do to have fun. We will leave those stories out though because I think there are too many to tell.
I couldn’t be more thankful for the Pastor of the church and his family. Who preached, led us in worship, let us stay in their church office, and provided the things we needed on the trip. I couldn’t tell you how many times the Pastor said he loved us, I lost count after the first couple days. Paul tells us that out of faith, hope and love; The greatest of these is love.
No matter the place, time, circumstance, trial or tribulation. Let it all be done in Love.
Because at the end of the day, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
As always, here is a song that is related to my post. Only those on the trip will understand how special this song is to all of us 😉