Thursday, November 1, 2018

Our Yearly Mission Trip To Peru

I usually try to share several posts every year after we get back from Peru. I don't always do such a great job of it because life happens and I'm lucky if I get one up. So, that's what will be happening this time.

We've already been back for nearly 3 weeks! I can hardly believe it. The week we spend in Lima always goes by in the blink of an eye. I don't think that anyone who knows me knows how much I love Lima, Peru and the people of Lima. This being my 5th year there has made it almost like a 2nd home. So much is familiar there, the people are more like family, and those around us during that week are ones I just want to love on as much as I can!

Our first day down at Alcance we prepared care baskets for Venezuelan refugees who lived across the street. This pink building housed 60 families! The items in the basket won't last long, but hopefully our outpouring of love will!

The next day was a rather low-key one for us. It was a voting day, and in Lima, everyone is required to vote or they're fined. Everything is mandatory to be closed so we weren't able to do much until about 4pm. We went to the Inka market for some shopping, walked around the Presidential palace, went to church that night, and ate at one of my favorite places, Palachinkes!

Monday was a full day! One of the visions for the pastor at the Camino de Vida Alcance campus is to reach out to the neighborhood. A group of us swept the sidewalks while others cleaned and then painted a man's business down at the corner of the street. It was an incredible group effort!

A little surprise I had been cooking up since about March was to get a ring tattoo on my wedding band finger. Thankfully our friends were in on the secret and whisked me away to the tattoo artist. Paige ended up getting a tattoo as well. It was super cute, but I'd rather give birth 4 times in a row than get a tattoo on my finger again. lol The top was fine, but the sides and underneath were incredibly painful. The date of my wedding (underside of my finger) didn't take well, and I don't plan on getting it fixed any time soon. lol

On Tuesday we went to the main campus at Surco. We were able to learn more about Internship CDV, which one of our missionaries who went with us last year ended up participating in this year! Then we got to hear from Pastor Robert who started Camino de Vida 30 years ago! This was the first time we've been privileged to spend a chunk of time with him. From there we headed to Grace House, which is a home for women recovering from addictions and life circumstances. We've been there several times and this year we were blessed ones again to bring brand new leggings for them to have! It was SO fun watching them pick out their favorites.

Wednesday was another busy day for us. It started out with a lot of tears for our entire team. Several of them had to cut the strongest onions we've ever been in contact with. Those of us who were peeling the yucca at the opposite end of the room were crying as much as those who were cutting them! lol We were prepping the veggies for the soup we going to be serving at the hospital.

Now, I have to admit, visiting the hospital is one of the things I look forward to most! I thought I came seriously prepared this year with toys for kids and babies. Really, I thought I had more than last year. Of course, as every year has been different, we went to a different part of the hospital than we've been to in the past couple of years. We've always gone to a new section each time. It's remarkable how large it is. This time 3 of us were escorted by the director of the hospital. We went to the pediatric hospital and birthing wing! What an incredible experience! Putting smiles on children's faces or blessing a new mama with something small for their baby filled our hearts! We rolled around 2 suitcases full of items to giveaway!!

Our Thursday was one I'll never forget. We drove the furthest I think we've ever gone to the outskirts of Lima. A crew had spent a couple days digging a foundation and a hole for a water cleaner (I don't know what I should be calling it). The day before one of the men had been up until like 2am finishing the concrete foundation. He was there when we arrived helping with the rest of the building going up. It was a prefab structure so that went up fairly easily. The water tubs/containers came and we had to backfill the hole it went into. The other one had to have a little table built for it and the legs buried in concrete.

While that was all going on, we had 3 water trucks come up to the area to deliver water to families who had already been chosen. A lady walking by told us a man who was ill was out of water. These families live without electricity or running water. They have these huge tubs that water is delivered to. We helped hold the hoses as some of the water was delivered, and who knew they were so heavy?!

After the center was built, I was asked to help do the ribbon cutting. Actually, I had been asked to do it by myself. I tried to say, "No," quite a few times, but they were so insistent. I don't even know how I was chosen. To not offend them, I quit trying to reject the offer. I asked Jackie, who had managed the outreach to do it with me. What I should've done was recommend that the man who had done all of the hard work and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to do it with Jackie. I didn't even think of that until it was all said in done. I was incredibly humbled that I was asked to take part in something so special.

Another aspect that was incredibly special was that Rosita, who had cooked for years with Juanita at Alcance had passed away a couple days before, was honored by naming the building after her! It brought a lot of tears to the Peruvians who loved her so much. We ended the day with a celebration with many of the towns people & their children hanging out. Truly a beautiful day!

Sadly, our last day arrived much too quickly. We spent the day building 16 wheelchairs to distribute to people who had been already picked to receive them. Even though we've done them for the past 5 years, for the life of me, I never remember exactly how to put them together. Actually, if I think about it, I've only done them 5 times now.

The joy the people have when they receive a new wheelchair is so palpable. To us it seems like such a small thing, but to them it's freedom and opportunity! Being able to help them into their new chair, to love them for those brief moments, and to pray for them is something that I can never quite put into words. It's something you have to experience to understand.

We went out to dinner one more time, and celebrated Stalin's birthday... one more time (we'd celebrated it nearly every day at whichever restaurant we went to) before we headed to the airport. Our last day is always bittersweet. I'm thankful for the time we get to spend down there, but I also miss my kids. I love how we can do God's work every single day, but I also like the quiet of our home.

We said our farewells to Paige & Stalin while Moises rode the bus with us to the airport. I can't believe my 5th trip to Lima is in the books. As soon as we leave, I'm always ready to go back! Hope to see everyone again in a year!


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.