With this blog, I wanted to give you an update with what has been going on and about my vacation to the States. The pictures may be a little scarce, because my camera was pick pocketed from me at a running of the bulls event. But without further ado, we continue on. Thanks and enjoy.
Since May, my last post, my partner and I have been going strong discipling people, making contacts, and altogether working our rears off. We’ve seen one church plant area flourish (Rinconada de Salcedo) while being rather stagnant in the other two. It’s very discouraging sometimes, but as I get into talking about vacation, I’ll elaborate on how I have been encouraged.
Every week I preach (yes in Spanish) at our church plant areas, not in the mother church in the city. It has really helped my Spanish vocabulary, my memorization of Biblical references, and my spiritual walk altogether. I preach on what I love about the Bible, and it has really been speaking to me, even more than to the people. I’ve grown accustomed to my daily studies and devotions. But preaching really stretches me and makes me think about how to explain what I am understanding.
That’s basically the short gist of what we’re doing: working our butts off, Rinconada is flourishing, I preach on a weekly basis, and my camera and computer were KIA or MIA.
During the month of July I was completely restless. Counting the seconds until I would return home to see my family and friends. I had a humungo list of restaurants that I wanted to eat at, and visions in my head of how awesome it would be. And vacation was awesome! But I definitely have learned that the idea of it was even better. Peanut butter, yea I missed it, but the idea of eating peanut butter was better than the actual peanut butter itself.
The day finally came when I got home. And the closest feeling I can describe that I had was “overwhelmed.” Not culture shock, (I actually don’t believe in that now) but just this huge impact of everything: carpet, doors, bananas, AC, driving, trees, TV’s, dogs, fat people. It was all just so unique, all that I had forgotten.
When I first got to the States, I was in love. I didn’t even want to think of Peru. Then, to be honest, I started to think about not going back to Peru. Just calling it quits because I had such a negative opinion of Peru. Especially after hanging out with friends and talking to so many people. But after about 2 weeks, I started to get an “itch.” An “itch” to be back. Not excited nor happy. But a little “itch.”
The second Sunday that I was there, I was to say something in the English service at my church, as well as the whole Spanish service. There were three really encouraging moments for me that Sunday:
1.) When Pastor Terry prayed for me and just touched my heart with his unique words for me. That impacted me, to be prayed for in English by someone you never hear pray for you (thanks PT if you’re reading this.)The itch I had began to grow stronger, and I actually couldn’t sleep the night before I left. It really was a miraculous change to go from an almost hatred of Peru, to this strong itch to get back into the game.
2.) Another moment was when this dude came up to me after church and genuinely thanked me for what I do, because he couldn’t do it. He told me I was needed, and I could just tell he was genuine.
3.) And then after the Spanish service, Rafi, the Spanish pastor told me that I have a “gift.” The gift of tongues or languages. Rafi told me that I sound like I’m from Peru, not like I’m an American missionary. This really encouraged me to get back down there and use this gift to expand God’s kingdom (a great group of people going to that church by the way, I can’t wait to get back and get involved with them.)
As I sit here on the plane to Houston, I’m looking to the year ahead. I’m looking to what can become of me and the people I’m going to be around. Ya know, I’m just trying to put my heart into this, not focused on the end results. And that’s how this time will be worth it. Garren Moore will put his heart into the work he was called to do, and you can’t go wrong doing that.
I miss you all, 3 weeks was all too short, but I’ll be back all too soon to start up a mission in the hearts of other people who need Christ. I pray for you daily, and I look forward to Skype and emailing you!
PICTURES: What I packed, at the pool with Lora, my last meal, and me and the brosak.
GOALSI would like to share some long term (year or so) goals that do not relate to my ministry whatsoever. I basically have 3 planned habits over the next year to keep me sane in Puno after we’re done for the day, or before we’ve started. Maybe you can keep me accountable, encourage me, or share some tips.
1.) I would like to be conversational in Portuguese by the time I exit Peru. Portuguese is very similar to Spanish as far as the grammar aspect. They’re both romance languages. It is my dream to live in Brasil, and this is the first step. I’ll be self taught with podcasts and I bought a book.That’s all folks! I encourage you to set some goals as well and tell me about them. Until then, I hope you can enjoy this song.
2.) I would like to weigh 165 pounds by the time I exit Peru. I’m talking muscle mass here, and I weigh 155. Without using any protein or supplements. I’ve already gained ten pounds and I’d like to put 10 more on.
3.) I would like to pass the Actuarial Science Exam P (30% pass rate) as soon as I can after I exit Peru. I bought the study manual, and I’m ready to put my nose into a math book. I don’t know when the next exam will be after I am done in Peru, but the soonest one I want to be able to pass. Somehow God gifted me with the ability to learn languages, and do math!