Ten years is a long time. It is hard for me to believe that we moved to Arequipa ten years ago. We were two young families with two baby girls, and not a clue what journey was ahead of us. I wear a necklace every day. I am asked often what it is. It is a sterling silver Peru charm with a heart cutout. Peru has a huge piece of our family’s heart, and we think of our Peruvian family and the memories that we created there often. Just like I had no idea about what would happen in Peru, I also had no idea how God would use Peru to prepare us for now.
Many of you are supporters of the Daggett and Blair families. You may be unfamiliar with our story. I am passionate about sharing the goodness and faithfulness of God to those around me. He taught us so much in Peru. I love sharing with people that I prayed my freshmen year in college that I would become a missionary in the public schools. It was hard for me to “give up” on that dream when I decided to marry Greg. But I was comfortable with our dream to do mission work in Peru and knowing that I would be in a ministry of motherhood for those years. Little did I know that God had the library work in the future of our time in Arequipa. It just so happens that I did end up becoming a missionary in the public schools. Apparently, I didn’t specify the country in those freshmen year prayers. God is full of surprises. He does more than we ask or imagine.
Our family moved back to the states in 2015. It was a difficult move. Our oldest called Arequipa home, and her younger two siblings were born there. Greg and I had celebrated more anniversaries in Peru than in the United States. But we moved because Greg was pursuing a PhD in theology, and we felt that the work was in good hands. What in the world was in our future?
Greg was accepted to Fuller Theological Seminary. We moved to Pasadena, CA. Though the move was super hard on our oldest, we have created a new “home” here in the Los Angeles area. Our children have thrived in a public school here with over 70 different nationalities. Our kiddos have a world view that most adults never attain. It is neat to see how they interpret what goes on around them and the grace they give to others that don’t look like themselves. I have loved watching Greg thrive in his studies. Our experience in Peru has certainly contributed to his thinking and work. He leads the time in Spanish at our church in Hollywood. The same Mark study he developed to use with Peruvians, he now uses with Latinos in Los Angeles. And me… the girl that prayed to be a missionary in public schools? I now teach in an inner city Los Angeles school that serves a population of first generation immigrant families from Central America. All of my parent teacher conferences are in Spanish. If you had told me ten years ago that I would serve in Los Angeles as a bilingual teacher, I would have called you crazy. He does more than we ask or imagine.
Greg and I are so thankful for God’s faithfulness. We have seen his story continue to unfold in Peru. We celebrate the stories of our Peruvian brothers and sisters, the stories of CUDA, the stories of the missionaries still there. But we also continue to see his story unfold in how we continue to follow him wherever our path takes us. God prepares us for his mission. It is our job to open our eyes and be available to his good work. Who knows what he might be preparing us for. A lot can happen in ten years.