Well, you will soon learn that teamAREQUIPA has moved to Tyler, TX as our first true step in the process of heading to Peru. We’ve been here a month already, and the time has flown by. So far, so good.
Just as a recap, we came to Tyler by our own choice. Shiloh Road Church of Christ had committed a sum of money to help support us for the second half of this year, which we had intended to be time spent with a sponsoring congregation before our move to Arequipa in early 2008. Plans change, especially when they are in God’s hands, so when the second half of the year began, we had no sponsoring congregation to work with but had clear calendars and a desire to focus on team tasks. The four of us sat in our backyard in Memphis and came to the unanimous conclusion that we would come to Tyler, basically uninvited, and offer our time and effort to the ministries at Shiloh. We set a date of late August and started packing.
Once in Tyler, we hit the ground running, with Kyle putting in office hours and filling in some teaching slots before our moving truck even got here. We began attending meetings and devotionals and teaching classes and planning missions-focused events. They even gave us an office to use, so we feel very official.
One of the neatest things that we have been able to do is a weekly meeting dubbed Mission: Possible. It is solely for the purpose of garnering attention and providing information about ourselves, our vision, and our methods. Our desire is to spark a love for the people of Arequipa. We don’t want teamAREQUIPA merely to consist of two families. Rather, our dream is that we will have a large team of people passionate about God’s work in Arequipa, and we will merely be the field agents.
For those who are less familiar with our backgrounds, Shiloh is home to Kyle, Greg and me. By the time we were in high school, our families were all attending Shiloh, and we became good friends in the youth group. Coming back is especially meaningful for me, as I was born and raised in Tyler and grew up at this church. It really is my church home; even though I have found other church families, this one raised me, and it is special to be back. The last time I was here for any significant period of time, I was in high school. Now I am married, have a baby, and am in a ministry position with the team. Thus, we are reintroducing ourselves. I have enjoyed swapping motherhood moments with the women whose children I used to babysit. We sit in meetings with the ministers who taught us. We teach and mentor the youth group, even though we were in their shoes not very long ago. It is such a blessing to fill new roles in this familiar place and will provide us with an excellent learning experience.
We are excited about the plans and purposes God has for us at Shiloh. Our hope is to grow in our knowledge of Him, to gain experience in ministry, and to solidify a long-term, committed relationship with the church. For Shiloh to be a significant part of our support would be so special. These are the people who instilled in us a love for the Lord and a desire to see His kingdom grow. We now want them to join in our dream of His kingdom taking hold of Arequipa.
All in all, it’s good to be back home.