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:
- 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
- Our hosts, Danny and Stephanie, are awesome (and so are their two little girls, Madeline and Macy)
- Due to the location of Lima, fresh fruit and fresh seafood are some of the best here
- Lima is known as the foodie capital of the Americas
- 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.
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.
(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