Monday, August 5, 2013

Peace and Joy in Abundance

Wow, I'm having a hard time believing that we've been in Peru for just over ten months! And here we are now just a week away from our big trip back to Canada. This week will be spent packing and getting ready for the trip. We really don't have a whole lot to pack, so that should be easy. It's the traveling with three kids part that scares me a bit, not sure how well our 4 month-old will handle traveling.  Praying that it will be as smooth going as the trip here was.  Saturday night we get on the bus to begin the long trip back, and if all goes well we should be landing in Toronto Monday night.  We are all SO excited!  Mateo has been asking every day, about ten times a day, if it's time to go in the big airplane yet...I guess to him it still feels like a long way off!  The kids have missed grandma and grandpa and all their cousins. They have two new cousins yet to meet, and our families have yet to meet our little Tahlia.  Seeing all our loved ones I'm sure will be the highlight of the visit. This has definitely been the hardest part for me these past 10 months; being so far away from family, especially during the time Tahlia was born.  Not having them there to be the first ones to meet her and hold her was tough.

But, as much as I have missed them so much,  Somehow this has also been the most peace and joy filled time of my life.

This amazed me over and over as I kept asking "How is it possible?  How can I miss them SO much yet at the same time be so content, so at peace, so filled with joy, Lord?"

And every time His answer was the same: "Because you chose ME".

Jesus said: "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37,38)

"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life." (Matthew 19:29)

The answer is so clear - Jesus wants us to choose HIM over all.  To love HIM most.  To follow HIM at all costs.  It's all about HIM.  When we choose Him we choose peace and joy, and receive the promise that "we will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life."  Wow. ThankYOU Jesus!  His promises are so GOOD.  Maybe he has blessed me with a hundred times as much peace and joy as I would have had had we chose not to follow him here...what an amazing thought! And in times of doubt, this has been a constant confirmation for me that we are exactly where we are supposed to be . And there really is not better place to be than right where God leads you to be.  He can use us wherever we are when we follow his lead, when we go where He tells us to go, whether that is across the street, or half way across the world.  For us right now it just so happens to be in Pacasmayo, Peru.  We get the great privilege of showing the love of Christ to the precious kids at Casa de Paz.
We feel honored and blessed that God chose us to be here.  It really has been the greatest adventure!

Sometimes we still can't believe we are actually here, and how crazy it is how we got here. We came with no plan, no real idea of what exactly we would be "doing" here or for how long. We only knew that this was where God was calling us, and we wanted to serve in whatever ways needed.  So in faith we went, trusting that God would reveal His plan for us when we got here.  And He has been, one day at a time, one step at a time.  Every new day has been so different, each filled with it's own trials and victories.  It's been a time of learning.  Learning to trust more, to love deeper, learning to lean on our heavenly Father, to rely on Him for our every need.  One thing I have learned is that we can't do anything for God that doesn't also benefit ourselves.  When we bless others, we get blessed in return.  We came here to help and to bless others, but in doing so WE have been equally blessed if not more, and it has helped us in so many ways to grow in our faith.  God works through us and in us at the same time, it's perfect!

God is so good, and He's doing great things, and we get to be a small part of it.  How awesome!  We look forward to sharing more of what God is doing in Peru, and can't wait to see what He has in store for the next chapter...I have a feeling that this is only the beginning.. :)

And as we continue on this great journey the Lord is leading us on, our prayer is that in all things and always, God would be Glorified.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Well the time is coming up quickly now for us to head back to Canada for a visit. And it brings a whole mixture of feelings. Sad to be leaving everyone here, a little nervous because both us and Avis will be gone from here for a month, and even tho you line things up the best you can you still get scared that something might go wrong. Especially when there isn't enough money to carry them through the month. But when you put it in Gods hands then it 's his problem. Very excited to see our families and friends, show off our new baby Tahlia, share about life in Peru and catch up on all we have missed. But also a little nervous, I know it's the enemy but thoughts enter your mind like, what if I didn't live up to what everyone thought we should be doing, what if they will be disappointed in us, after all we are asking for support for the things we do here. And what if once we're in Canada where the grass is green and life is easy we won't want to come back here anymore. The mind is a roller coaster of thoughts, so many things we think that we never say to anyone. We chose the things we say in hopes to build ourselves up, we keep from saying things that make us vulnerable. I think maybe we aught to change that, stop protecting our reputation, and we might find our reputation to be honest and humble. All in all we can't wait to get there, I pray that it will be a God filled trip.

Lots of things going on around here, we had an offer from someone to take over the school, it was a good offer. Right know the teachers that run it give up to fifty of our kids free education for the use of our building. Our contract with them runs out this year so we are in prayer about which direction to go, do we stick the current teachers or do we hand it over to a new group. There is some detail around this that makes it a hard decision so please pray for God to guide our minds. 

There is a plot of land that Avis had purchased years ago, but someone had lost the paperwork on it so it seemed for a while that she had lost the land. (Peru works a little different than what we are used to, it's hard to understand how you could lose the land) but this last week it has resurfaced, there are other people that bought land there as well and they are fighting to get water brought in, Avis spent thousands of dollars digging a ditch to lead the water up to her land but as of yet there is no source. There is too much involved to explain it all in detail but I have high hopes for this, our new secretary knows a lot of people and is really good with this kinda stuff so I am thankful God has brought her in. God always has a good plan even when we think we are in a time of despair. 

Everyone has been feeling sick lately, I haven't gotten off my tush for days. I don't know if its a demonic attack but there is just no energy, I'm tired all the time and just wanna sleep, and my bones and muscle hurt, it's no fun. Avis and a couple other people are going through the same thing. Our kids threw up a couple nights. But it's all good, the enemy can't win. You know what's nice is when you already know ahead of time who the winner is, it gives you courage and strength to move on. Praise you Jesus, thank you all who pray for this ministry. Bless you in the name of The Lord.