When Jaclyn and I decided to be missionaries, two years in a foreign country seemed like an eternity. That commitment soon got stretched to three. Surely three years would be enough to change the world, right? When the three year mark drew close, we felt like we were just beginning to hit our stride in ministry in Peru. So at that point, after much prayer and counsel, we decided that we would stay until sometime in 2019.
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.
July has come and gone so quickly for us. It was a busy month that ended with a lot of goodbyes. We ended our two months with our four interns and said goodbye to them at the end of July. A few days later, the Morgans along with Benji, the apprentice that had been here working with us for the past year, moved back to the States. We are now a two-family team. Our new team picture is above. Please continue to pray for the Morgans' and Benji's transitions back to life in the States and for the rest of Team Arequipa as we adjust to our new normal here in Arequipa as well.
The time has come for a season of transition for my family. We have worked here in Arequipa with hopes to make ourselves available to God and bless this city in whatever ways possible for 3 and a half years and have decided to move back to the United States for the next phase of life that God has in store for us. We believe it is the right choice and the right timing for our family and our ministry here.
With 2 kids, 5 checked bags, 4 carry-ons, and a stroller we made our maiden voyage back the States for our furlough. It was very daunting making our first trip as a family of four, but the kids did great, sleeping 90% of the Lima to Miami leg of our itinerary. Speaking of itineraries our furlough looked like this:
We’ve lived in Arequipa for two years.
I was nominated to write about our Arequipa-versary. The golden date in missions is two years. After two years culture shock becomes easier and you will be comfortable in the language…or so they say. But I’ve learned a few things in these two years. 1) Culture shock will never truly go away because I will never truly be Peruvian. 2) Language depends on the person.
The time has come to pack our bags and say goodbye to the place we have called home for the last two years. We came with no experience, not knowing what to expect, but willing to learn and grow and see what God was doing in Peru. The time has flown and we understand clearly now why it is advised you spend at least 2 years in the place you choose to serve.
Katie and I were “sent off” by the Central and Cedar Lane churches a little over seven months ago. We loved getting to spend the summer with these two churches so goodbyes were hard. But we said goodbye knowing we were headed to the place for which we had been preparing for years. In January and in April of this year, the house churches in Arequipa had their own two send-off Sundays.