Fortunately, it gets to be me, and already I have been blessed by the team in my first few weeks with them. No doubt, God has some great things to teach me in Arequipa this summer.
I grew up at Shiloh a few years behind Greg, Larissa, and Kyle. I got to know them pretty well through their friendship with my older siblings Rachel and Seth, and I still look up to them in many of the same ways I did back then. Having Tim Henderson as a common mentor is quite a strong bond, as well as a great basis for this new relationship we're getting to develop here in Peru.
Before coming down for the summer, I finished my second year at Abilene Christian University, where I'm studying Vocational Missions and Spanish. Last fall, I spent the semester in Montevideo, Uruguay. While there, I learned some of the finer points of international living (and just how over-rated comfort zones can be). College so far has been quite a ride spiritually; God has taught and re-taught me His Word and His ways through some challenging professors and encouraging friendships. Amazing fellowship with the Southern Hills and Kingdom Life Fellowship congregations has been a formative experience, much like the years I spent with my Family at Shiloh.
Many people who choose to intern with foreign missionaries are fairly certain of their calling to do something similar. I can't say, though, that this applies to me. I do know, however, that the international body of Christ is something that God wants me to experience right now, whether or not this is what He has in store for me down the road. It could be that some day, God will come calling for me to take Jesus to--and find Him in--other parts of the world. Or it could just be that right here, right now, is where I need to be to learn something that I need for my spiritual journey, for life back home. Either way, I will go where He leads, I will learn what I can while I'm there, and I will try and show people love along the way. For now, this means helping the team in whatever ways I can, sharing community and communion with them, and learning from them and alongside them as we take part in the work that God is doing in Arequipa.