We’ve been talking for months about all the changes surrounding our team and our families. However, we shouldn't overlook the effect that it is having on our church members as they see the “founding members” moving away and find themselves in relationship with new missionaries, wondering what is going to be left when the dust settles. To help with the transition we have been trying to build bridges between the new missionaries and church members.
As I sat in our planning meeting the other day, it dawned on me that my new job as a volunteer with CUDA is to spend all of my time doing, in my opinion, the best part of these doctors’ jobs because they don’t have time. I couldn’t help but feel downright giddy about the prospect. What a gift from God!
The time has come. This is my last Team Arequipa newsletter article. I was listening to “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” the other day while washing dishes. The weirdest feeling came over me. I remember bawling through that song our first Christmas here, because I missed my home and family so much. I know that many of my new teammates will be experiencing this same emotion this Christmas. But this seventh Christmas in Perú, the sentiment is different. Arequipa has become our home, and we are about to say goodbye to all things familiar to us here. The song causes me to bawl my eyes out but not in the same way.
Another one of the changes and a part of our transition into life lived here in Arequipa is forming new traditions. This is somewhat difficult to do especially when it’s the holiday season and you are missing family and special time spent with them each year around this time. Sarah, my wife grew up in Italy and I grew up in the United States and now we live in Peru. There are a lot of traditions, especially holiday traditions, to mix into the pot. We genuinely want to learn and make Peruvian traditions important and meaningful to us, but also not forgetting some of our own important ones from Italy and the US.