New life continues to spring up and overflow here both in and outside of the church. We are blessed to be able to bring a little light to those in darkness through the various outreach services our church does, AND THEN see them receive Jesus as Lord and Savior is the best! We are so thankful to be a part of such a life giving church here in Lima, Peru.
Our last few months has been full for our wheelchair outreach team. I organized and led a team of volunteer trainers in a 4 day wheelchair training where 15 volunteers from various parts of Peru, were certified to complete a wheelchair distribution with Free Wheelchair Mission wheelchairs. They learned about disability, how to interact with people with disabilities, how to receive the proper paperwork from each person, how to properly measure and then fit a person in their very own wheelchair. Clever is a natural at teaching and he was one of the main trainers over the 4 days. Really the training team was incredible, they did most of the talking while I helped organize each day.
This is a big year for us as a training team as we have begun to branch out and deliver at larger volumes the wheelchairs to the provincial areas of Peru that are farther away from Lima. The plan is to provide 4 more trainings this year to other regions of Peru so that we can give more wheelchairs out to those in need without having to send out large teams from Camino de Vida each time we have a distribution outside of Lima.
I’ve been reading a lot in Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua these days. Reading about the Israelites, the story of Joshua and Caleb, and the final entry into the promised land after 40 years in the wilderness. I have to say that sometimes, I feel like it is a parallel of my life.
I welcomed Jesus as my Savior into my heart after college. But then continued make choices in my life that were not what God had wanted for my life. I had one foot in and one out of the church, trying to “get” what others who I knew had, but not really ever fitting in anywhere because I was indecisive. It felt like the wilderness for me, like the Israelites. Searching for the promised land but never quite getting there because I continued to have doubt, disbelief, and fear….just like the Israelites.
Remember the story of the 12 spies who were sent to the promised land to check out what it was like? 10 of those spies saw the land as incredible, BUT impossible to take over because there were giants in the land. I also saw life that way. Only 2 came back with a report that the land was GOOD and flowing with milk and honey. They had a different attitude than the others. They KNEW that God was with them and that they could beat them entering into the land. But just like the 10, I also couldn’t yet trust in the promises of God like Joshua and Caleb did. I have had many people in my spiritual walk tell me that God is with me, but oftentimes, I believed the lie instead of the TRUTH and I stayed in bondage-walking in the desert for YEARS…..just like the Israelites.
If you know the story, God punished those who had unbelief by not letting them I not the promised land. They wandered the desert for 40 years until ALL but Joshua and Caleb died. Thankfully, we have Jesus who died to pay for our sins, so I don’t need to stay in the wilderness or pay in death for my unbelief. Thankfully we have a loving, forgiving God who pursues us until we are fully HIS, and now I am certain of God's goodness!
It’s interesting how the story ends. How when finally Joshua and Caleb are leading the Israelites into the promised land after all those years you would think God would give them a break. After all, they had a different attitude!!! You would think that they would have it easy at this point….like they should be able to just walk right into the promised land and take it. Because they had waited SO LONG….
But, they didn’t get it easily. They STILL had to FIGHT for their LAND. They had to go in and fight (under the protection of the LORD) to take over what was promised to them.
I think many of us think that if we do the right things, if we are sure of the promises of God, if we waited in the wilderness SO LONG until we finally saw God’s goodness, trusted HIM, and obeyed Him, WHY should we have to FIGHT anymore?? Shouldn’t it be easy by this point?????
Maybe this is waiting to get a new job, or enter college, or to get married, or have a baby, or any other things we wait for. There might be a moment when we as humans begin to wonder if we heard right from God the promises He gave us if it is so hard to attain….Or that there seems to be struggles along the way in which we need to make a decision, FIGHT or give up….
Honestly, Clever and I have been going through our share of this. First it was “will he get the VISA to marry?” Then it was “Will I recover from the cancer diagnosis completely”? And now….
In November, 2016 a sweet little 2 week old baby named Kaleb came into our lives. He was left at the hospital by his birth mom because she was unable to care for him in a proper way. We have had the privilege to watch him grow in the now 18 month old sweet toddler he is today. We have been able to help with his physical, emotional, and even spiritual needs ever since we have known him. We never intended it to go further than this but somewhere around 4-5 months, Clever and I both felt the Lord moving in our hearts.
We didn’t know what that meant, so we spent a lot of time searching God for clarity and investigating possible options. In Nov 2017, just before leaving for the US, we decided to apply to foster him. We returned to Peru thinking we would get him quickly, however the law for foster and adoption changed halfway through our process and we had to start all over again. It was an exhausting process and one that is brand new. There is only 1 case before us under the new law to guide us. Here in Peru, adoption and foster are NOT common, so there was a lot of things unknown.
So, after MUCH MUCH time and a lot of fighting for our position and A LOT of waiting, we finally go our answer. Kaleb came home with us on Friday May 4, 2018 to live with us as our foster child! We don’t know how long we’ll have him, but we trust that God knows and we will love and care for him as long as God allows us.
We are thankful that we have God leading our path every step of the way. In one of the most intense times when Clever and I just wanted to give up, we were encouraged again by the story of the Israelites entering the promised land. Reminding us that we needed to go in and fight for what was ours, knowing that God had already gone before us to give us victory.
We ask for your prayers for this new adventure we are on. We ask for wisdom on how to care and love this baby boy each day. We ask for prayers for his heart as these days of transition may be really hard and confusing. He left the only home he ever knew, so even though we are offering him a family, it may be difficult for him to adjust. We pray for a permanent solution to come to pass for all of us sooner rather than later. We pray for unity and provision as a family.
Advice to you….Don’t give up on what God has for you if He has already promised you. If you feel resistance remember the Israelites and how they still needed to take over their land with a fight! You too need to fight for what God has for you! It makes the victory all the much sweeter when you do!!!