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.
Last year, at the end of January, Jake and I visited Peru. The first day we were here we went to the beach for celebration Sunday with the church. It was a fun day but we didn’t really know anyone and couldn’t go much further than “Hello. What is your name? How are you?” This year we started planning the annual beach trip at the beginning of January. I was so excited!
One of my favorite movies of all time is Fiddler on the Roof. It’s a story of a Jewish man named Tevye and his family in a small, turn-of-the-century Russian village. It’s cheesy and it’s a musical, but the reason I like it is that Tevye’s whole life revolves around God. He’s a peasant milkman, not a rabbi or a priest, but every facet of his life is shaped by his relationship with God, with whom he’s constantly talking. I want to be like Tevye.