As most of you know, I was deeply impacted and have been forever changed by my recent mission trip to Peru. Since returning from Peru, I have felt the constant pull at my heart that I want to do more. I need to do more. But HOW do I do MORE? After a lot of reading, consultation/discussion with MANY people (missionaries past/current, many pastors, friends and family), and MUCH prayer, I feel that I am being called to do more. To provide my skills as an occupational therapist to those who are disabled and can not afford therapy in Peru.
Since returning from Peru, I have been in contact with friends from the church Camino de Vida in Lima, who is partnered with Free Wheelchair Mission (the organization I went down there with in May) and was our host the week we were there. I was sharing with some friends from there on Skype about my frustration of how some of these people that we gave wheelchairs to would most likely NOT need the wheelchair with consistent therapy. That if these people were able to receive more consistent therapy they might be able to do more for themselves, and therefore have a better quality of life. My friend Rebeca told me that the church, Camino de Vida, has a vision to provide therapy services to the people they find in need of wheelchairs. So of course, this got me thinking even more of what the purpose of this 1 week trip was for my life. Was it only to bless me with the experience of seeing and enjoying this beautiful country, to give out wheelchairs to those in need, and gain knowledge of extreme poverty in another country…..OR was it bigger than this? Was this the first step to be a servant to God and others in Peru? To use the gifts He has given me to serve these people in any way I am able? This is what I need prayer for……
Since June, I’ve started taking Spanish lessons. I can now ask how you are, what your name is, and how old you are! I can even ask if you have pain! But, I may not completely understand your answer yet! I have a long way to go! But it is a start. I have taken a class on how to share the gospel with others, I have also signed up for the Perspectives class in January to learn more about world missions. I have begun the intensive process of seeking out sending agencies-organizations who would help me with the mission process from the beginning, and support me once I’m down there. I have to be completely honest with you. Before this trip in May, I never had thought twice about doing long term missions. This was not in my 5-10 year plan! So I was just as surprised as some of you may be at this new direction that He is leading me towards . So, I have begun to read MANY books, sought out any advice I possibly can from anyone willing to share it on what this process entails and how to discern what it is that He is leading me to do. It is A LOT!
In order to further clarify this call that I feel God is putting on me, I have decided (with council) to take 2 weeks to return to Lima, Peru. I will be there from December 3rd-December 17th. Camino de Vida has so graciously agreed to host me, and assist me in this discernment process. I will be participating in various things throughout the time there that have some relation to my profession of being an Occupational Therapist. These include but are not limited to the following: Returning to the orphanage that I went to in May, assisting with the special needs outreach at the church while the parents are attending the service, visiting a few homes of people in the community that are in need, and touring a few rehabilitation centers in the area to get a better idea of what is offered already.
So, why am I writing to you all? Telling you all this? I NEED YOUR HELP! I can not do this alone. I need a team of people who are willing and able to support and pray for me for these specific things on a regular basis. I need prayer for safety and health when I am there. That I will have the knowledge and resources to provide some help to the people I will be interacting with. That I can be a servant to all I meet and truly glorify God while doing it. I also need prayer for discernment on this trip. That I can come back to the states and have a better idea of what direction He wants me to take. And then once I’m back have a better idea of how to go about doing this!
I thank God for all of you! I am thankful for your love, support and of course prayers for this wonderful new adventure!
Que Dios te bendiga, (God bless you!)
Show me your ways O Lord, teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5
God's Initial Call!!
This was the place where it all started....Day 6/7. Where I felt God's pull on my heart so much that I shared with my teammate Lori that "I want to live here."! What?!!! Really?!!! I thought to myself, did I just say that? I shared with her things that I thought were obstacles in my life, reasons why I couldn't even consider such a crazy thought. But, she reminded me that ANYTHING is possible with God. If He wants me there, He will make it happen! Thank you Lori for your words of encouragement and reminder of God's awesome power!