Mission Trip

it's like you're my mirror

Taken completely out of context, I sometimes imagine that God is singing this over and over again to us. Obviously how this post relates to Justin Timberlake is next to none... but I couldn't help but let that line from the song roll around in my head after our morning team devo time this past Saturday.

what are we doing here?

That is the question that many of our team members got from friends, family and loved ones. It can seem strange, to spend thousands of dollars and travel thousands of miles to Lima, Peru, just to spend time in an orphanage and painting walls in a factory. It doesn't always make sense to everyone.

But what are we doing here? We all have different reasons for why we came to Peru - but when it boils down to it, we were motivated by the same thing: God's love. We've experienced it and know it, sometimes more deeply than other times. There is so much joy that comes from experiencing His love with others and sharing it with others. (even that can seem a little selfish v selfless - because we know that when we leave Peru, we will have experienced God and how he loves in a new way).

On a practical note, this trip is also an investment. The time we spent cleaning and fixing the missions house is an investment into future missions and the teams that will follow. The time we spent with the kids and beautifying the orphanage is an investment in the orphanage and the children who will one day live there. The remodel and design of the Krochet Kids Peru mentor space is an investment in the women who work there and the women who will one day work there.

reflecting God's image

Genesis 1.26-27 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

I love this. These verses tell us that God was so intentional about creating us in His image: a reflection of Him living and breathing on earth. Our example was Christ. In Colossians 1.15, Scripture tells us that Jesus is the image bearer of Christ. He is our example of what it means to love others as God does. Now, we get to be reflections of Christ. To others who may not have experienced the love of God, we are the image bearers, mirrors. And we get to experience Him through one another as well. Thats why we are called to first, love Him with all our heart, soul and mind, and then to love others as ourselves.

to close, I just wanted to share a bit of our time at the orphanage. This orphanage is very close to the hearts of Danny and Steph, and their two girls. It was an amazing blessing to spend time with the kids, just playing with them and getting them out of bed. One of our team members, John, even cut their hair! This orphanage is not government-funded (Peru has many of those) and they take in children who have mental or physical disabilities. Many of these children were left to die at hospitals because their parents abandoned them and the hospital couldn't take care of them. But as we were reminded before we arrived, each child is made in the image of Christ and loved dearly by God.

It was so much fun. We got the kids out into the play area, into the ball pit. We drew pictures and played catch. We joked and told stories. For those who were not able to move from their portable beds, we stroked their hair, held their hand and just let them know we were there for them. It was a humbling experience and opened our eyes to just how blessed we are as Americans, living in the United States. I don't think we will ever forget their faces and their spirits.

Lima_casaHogar

Lima_casaHogar

prayer requests: our team is sick! pray for healing!

I'm excited to share in the next post, the work we are doing at Krochet Kids Peru!

- Phyllis (or Joceline, as Danny calls me...)

#peruvida

How far can you get in 22 hours? Our first Peru short-term missions trip traveled more than 4,000 miles in 22 hours to arrive in Lima at 1am on Friday morning! Coming from Minneapolis and Nashville, our team of 12 arrived exhausted but excited to see what the Lord has in store for us for the next 9 days. Here are a few things we knew before our trip:

  1. The line at immigration was going to be crazy - at least an hour and a half of waiting with the hundreds of other travelers arriving in Lima
  2. Our hosts, Danny and Stephanie, are awesome (and so are their two little girls, Madeline and Macy)
  3. Due to the location of Lima, fresh fruit and fresh seafood are some of the best here
  4. Lima is known as the foodie capital of the Americas
  5. Within the city limits, there is a huge financial disparity among the 9 million city-dwellers

It was definitely difficult to retain any information when we arrived (we were in a daze from being up for so long), but we were picked up by Danny and two others who brought us back to Danny and Stephanie's house in the neighborhood of La Molina. Danny's two pieces of advice: watch out for geckos, but don't kill them... watch out for scorpions, and definitely kill them. With those thoughts dancing around in our heads, we went right to sleep in our guest house on the hill.

Friday was a whirlwind. We did some cleaning up around the guest house (which will be used to house short-term missionaries from Substance and other organizations in the future), which included sledgehammering and swinging an ax. Sanding chairs were involved, chairs that will brought to Krochet Kids on Monday when we start our work helping them build a mentoring space.

We met as a team in the morning, to get more information about our week and to get to know our hosts a little better. Danny and Stephanie moved to Peru two years ago as missionaries, with their two girls. They are both pastors at Vida en Surco, a portable church in the Surco neighborhood. Their passion for missions and their love for God was infectious and got us excited to serve in whatever way we could for the time we are here.

expectations

What do you expect when you hear about or go on a missions trip? This was the question that we were asked. Are you expecting incredibly crazy miracles where limbs grow back and water comes bubbling out of a dry well? Are you expecting hundreds of people to hear the gospel preached and for many of those to make public declarations of faith?...

God does amazing things, there is no doubt. But Danny reminded us that miracles aren't necessarily in the spectacular, but sometimes the miraculous happens in little ways. It can be in the few hours that are spent with children at the orphanage, loving on them and playing with them. It can be in the roof that is built so that the kids at Krochet Kids can play outside in the summer. It can be in the short, but sweet conversations that we have with the women who work at Krochet Kids.

It is easy to miss these moments, if you are only looking for the spectacular. But we are excited to share with you over the next week and a half some of the miraculous that happens in the little ways.

****

Peru - Day 1

(left to right)

1. arriving at the airport at 1:30am 2. breakfast included 3 different avocados 3. our hosts, Danny and Steph 4. chatting at the breakfast table 5. getting ready to do some work 6. alicia is doing some sanding 7. trying Inca Cola for the first time 8. tasting fresh fruit from the market

- phyllis