My name is Benji Nicholas, and I will be in Arequipa for the next year as an apprentice with Team Arequipa. To let you know a little bit about myself, I was a missionary kid in Kenya from the time I was born until I was 13, and my parents were there 18 years total. We moved in 2008 to Jackson, TN where they still live and are members of the Campbell Street Church of Christ, my home congregation that is partially supporting me this year.
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:
Kool & the Gang would have loved Arequipa. Almost every week of the year here we could sing: “There’s a party going on right here, a celebration, to last throughout the year”. There are tons of celebrations here. Some are characterized by traditional rituals, but many share common features: music (religious, local, traditional, mariachi-type, and pop), cohetes (what my husband calls “fire crackers on steroids”), cakes, sodas, and beer, and the hora loca, the ‘crazy hour’, a time to dance, make noise and wear funny hats, masks and ties that signals the ‘nearing’ of the end of the party.
The interns are here, the interns are here! Every summer starting in the summer of 2009 Team Arequipa 1.0 hosted interns from various universities. We decided as Team Arequipa 3.0 to continue this work. This year we are hosting 4 interns for 8 weeks. We have 2 interns from Harding University, Lizzie Tripp and Paola Quijano, 1 intern from Oklahoma Christian University, Hannah Henley, and 1 from Abilene Christian University, Sam Jones. We are excited to be working and learning with these students for the 8 weeks they are here!
any of you have followed our journey since returning to the states. My last blog post is found here. Since moving to California, I haven’t blogged much. We have almost been in CA for an entire year. That is unbelievable to me. Our 2015-2016 year has been overwhelmingly full, and I would love to share more of our story.
ast year the small house-church network we share life, faith, and service with set three goals for the year. Among those was the goal of being more dedicated to reading scripture in small groups. We formed two groups, one to read through the New Testament and another through the whole Bible in a year starting last March (the beginning of the school year here in the southern Hemisphere). Here's how it went, and how it's helping us grow the second time around.