To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1 Amplified bible
If you are familiar with Ecclesiastes 3, you'll remember that it talks about that there is a time or season for everything. This has been a constant reminder through the years when I have been unsure of God's timing or plan for my life. A reminder that His timing IS perfect for everything, AND that He does make everything beautiful in its time.
The day we launched at the 5th location, there was a very serious incident with one of the kids. It all happened so fast, I don't know how it started but when I came upon the situation, I found a 5 year old boy having a very severe meltdown where he was hitting, kicking and screaming. Everyone was doing their best to keep him and the other kids safe until his mom came. Initially, his mom was shocked and hurt by what she came upon and tried to leave, but the service was still going on and he was still upset. So she stayed and I stayed with them. Once he calmed down, we started to talk. It turns out that just a few months ago they moved from the US to Peru looking for a fresh start and they are bilingual AND they were new to the church. His mom shared that her son had been having some difficulties, but that it never had happened in their visits to church. I told her God knew already everything that was going to happen that day because it was our first day serving in that location. 2 weeks passed before they returned. I wasn't sure if the would, but was hopeful they would. When they arrived, he was nervous about entering, but because we had made a connection 2 weeks before, I was able to convince him and his mom he would be ok. He entered with me and my team and played and enjoyed his time without incident. Everyone left happy that day. In this moment, God reaffirmed how important this area is to kids like him and their families.
So, now a month after we began, we have 4 kids and 4 volunteers! I love how God provides everything that we need just in time.....
In January, A team of professionals including a lawyer, accountant, therapist, archatect, and many others have joined together to help the director of the orphanage move forward and make improvements for the home. It has been a huge undertaking and we have had weekly meetings to get things moving in the right direction. Again the timing is perfect because with this new team of people, we have been able to grow closer to the kids, the caregivers, and volunteers that are outside the church. Some of the immediate plans we are working on include, having a raffle to raise money to hire skilled nursing caregivers to care for the more medically fragile kids. And after not attending school for over a year, one of the boys named Jeremy who has autism, has started a school that fits his needs.
Amidst therapy and all the difficulties of kids being sick, hospitalized, and without water, we were able to have two really fun outings with the kids from Padre Martinhos. One was our 3rd annual pool day, and the other was an outing to the movies with a few kids. The kids really enjoyed the pool day and it was a fun experience to share it with the kids at the orphanage that Camino de Vida owns. They graciously shared their pool with us so that ALL the kids from Padre Martinos could go all at the same time! It was such a fun day!
The movie was also fun, as a group of missionaries serving from Hawaii blessed the kids with an afternoon at the movie theater. While all enjoyed the movie, one in particular, Sebastian, LOVED every minute of it because it was his first time ever going to the theater to see a movie. He was so excited that every once in a while he would look over at me with the biggest smile on his face moving his arm up and down making sure I saw what he saw. It was an absolutely beautiful moment, and i still have tears of joy knowing we got to give him this simple yet special gift.
Another big project that has consumed a lot of my time is a special project with Free Wheelchair Mission. The organization that CDV partners with to give mobility all around the world. The organization that I first came down to Peru with and opened my eyes so big that I decided to stay. They have chosen us to help with a very special project that has been in the works for the past 6 weeks of planning and preparations. I promise I will share more later about this exciting project, but for now it is top secret. But please, I would greatly appreciate your prayers starting Tuesday 4/18 until April 30 as I will be in charge of the project and some special guests from FWM during this time.
The first week of April I had the privilege of receiving a group from my sending agency The Antioch Partners (TAP). It was the first of its kind and it was really lovely. They got to join in with me serving and seeing what God lets me do here on a daily basis. We also got to go to Cusco and Machu Picchu! One of the greatest parts was that one of the staff members came to visit me 3 years ago when I had just been here 6 months. It was fun for her to see how time had changed the amount of service I am able to do here now.
So as I mentioned, I have lived closely to the words written in Ecclesiastes 3. That there is a time for everything. In my adult life, I have spent A LOT of time waiting. Waiting on God to open my heart and direct me to what He wanted for my life and my future. Much of it continues to be a surprise to me because it is not at all how I pictured it, but instead it is SO MUCH MORE. He continues to give me all the desires of my heart as he promised many many years ago before Peru was even in my life. The really beautiful things is that the time of waiting has come to an end with this NEW time of celebration and action in place. Last week when we were in Cusco with TAP, Clever, my boyfriend of 2 years, my best friend and love of my life, asked me to marry him and I said YES! Now this may be a shock to you that I even have a boyfriend, but if you look back on many of the pictures I have posted, he has been in them....we just didn't make it public until it was official!
While we are still unsure of many things about the wedding, the date (It will be before 2017 ends) what country it will be in, etc, etc...we are sure of one thing, that God has made everything beautiful in its time, and we are so expectant for what our future holds.
Will you please join us in prayer for all these details to become VERY clear very quickly. That God's provision will allow us to have what we need to have the wedding this year with those we love, and that God continues to bless us as we make this step forward together as an engaged couple soon to be married.
As always, I am so grateful for your continued financial support to allow me to do what I get to do here. Without your support, I would not be able to stay here. This does not change now that I am an engaged woman to a Peruvian man. By immigration law, no missionary can work to receive payment in Peru. That being said, it is by the generosity of all of you who make it possible for me to continue to impact the lives of the families I have shared above and in previous posts. Thank you for continuing to believe in how God is moving in Peru.
Thank you and God Bless.