The other day, I got to catch a sniff of the smell of fall here in Lima. Yep!, That's right, as you are enjoying your time at the pool and in the sun, we are moving into winter. It is weird to me because even though we are moving into another season, there really is not much change in life here except getting a little colder, people are wearing heavier clothing, and the skies become cloudy and grey with only a tease of the sun every once in a while. It got me thinking about how those of us who have lived with 4 distinct seasons seem to celebrate or welcome in each season with some type of excitement (even winter, with the first snow). It made me wonder why we do that. Or maybe I'm the only one that does this??
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 4 seasons, and I'm not talking about the hotel! Why? Ecclesiastes 3:1 states: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven". (read 1-8 for full details) Death,dormancy (waiting),new life, growth, and pruning ....It mimics our life and our Christian walk. The changing of the seasons helps to remind me that all these "seasons" in our life are normal. What season are you in? Are you celebrating the changes of your life seasons with excitement like some of us do with the 4 seasons or do you dread them? Are you truly taking the time to relish the season you are in before the next one comes, or are you just wishing it away, ready for the next one. In all the seasons, there is beauty and joy to behold, only you have to look for it with eyes wide open...with the eyes of Jesus. Otherwise, you can get bogged down and depressed with all the negatives that each season brings. For example, instead of enjoying the sound of crickets at night or the beauty of the lightening bugs, all you see are the mosquitoes and ants! Instead of enjoying the beauty and softness that a snowfall brings, all you see is all the shoveling you will have to do. My point is, without fail, the seasons will come in nature and in your life. You can minimize their affect on you personally (in nature), by moving to a place without such dramatic changes, but the fact is, that there still will be change from one to the next and you will have to adjust. The same is true for your life and your walk with God. Right now, I'm in a season of significant growth and pruning. There are SO many needs here for therapists and other educated medical professionals. It is easy to be pulled in multiple directions trying to help as much as I can. But, I can't be everywhere and do everything and sometimes I find myself not celebrating my season of growth the way I want to. Sometimes instead of being excited about the opportunities, I get overwhelmed by the need, or discouraged by the lack of change that one person can make. My vision for what I am doing here and how I can be effective is narrowing but not yet clear. One prayer request for me would be that I can connect with the right people to help me prune and grow and to make this vision I had 4 years ago become very clear.
In the past 2 months I was able to go back to Huaycan and help evaluate and provide a home program for a sweet little girl, Jenny, who has a congenital deformity in her arm. Along with the therapy my dear friend Julia shared with Jenny the story in John 9 about a blind man from birth. If you are familiar with the story you know that Jesus' disciples asked him, "Who sinned, the man or his parents that he was born blind?" And Jesus replied, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him." What a great joy it was to share this with her and her mother! I pray that Jenny clings to this story as a source of encouragement to her life and to remember how much God adores her.
I continue provide therapy for a few kids at the orphanage. Each kid has been making progress compared to the first time I saw them. All the kids are using the picture symbol program that I received (from a donation) to help better communicate their wants and needs and one is improving his motor skills as well. I have also been working on a few projects to help connect the church with the orphanages. The first project involves making a manual of ideas of activities for groups (from the church) who want to serve in an orphanage. I also share ideas on how to adapt the activities for kids with disabilities. The second project is more specific to the one orphanage I currently go to with 103 kids with disabilities. The majority of them do not talk, but understand on some level. Many people do not know how to engage with someone who does not respond back or is unable to talk. Therefore, I am creating a special card for each kid after I meet them with information about who they are and some things that they like. The hope is that each child can have an introduction to each volunteer that comes to serve at the orphanage. (see picture below)
Lastly, I want to send a huge THANK YOU to those who responded to my requests for supplies. I was able to buy a printer with a special donation and also received a good amount of Velcro for my projects. I can't tell you how thankful I am for your quick response! Your support in this way has helped me to work more rapidly on the projects below! Many people have asked if there is anything they can send me for my work. For that reason, I've created a "WISH LIST" on AMAZON.COM Labeled Lisa's wish list for THERAPY/PERU. Most of it you will find are common toys. I want to explain that these toys are THERAPY TOOLS, not just something I would like to have. Why do I have this list? Because these items are either not available here or are way more expensive. My sister is coming down here to visit in September. She has designated one 50lb suitcase just for me. If you would like to mail her anything on my wishlist, her address is listed as: Traci Ryan, 6736 Ingalls Ct. Galena, OH 43021. Please don't feel as if you must do this, I'm only sharing it here since so many people have asked how they can help.
Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and prayers as always. I KNOW that the ways that you are supporting me from where you are, make the difference in how I'm able to serve God in Peru.
Thanks so much! Remember.... ENJOY the season you are in and give praises to God while you are in it.
Blessings and Love,