Friend of Team Arequipa (as well as co-founder of TA and CUDA, co-founder of Luminous Coffee, but of course, better known as friend of Team Arequipa), Greg McKinzie wrote a great piece for Fuller Studio connecting his 6+ years in Arequipa reading Mark with Peruvians to what he's studying now at Fuller. Here are a couple excerpts to whet your appetite:
I plugged in our 220V waffle-maker and waited for the green light to turn on to indicate that it was at the right temperature to scoop in a ladle-full of delicious, pre-waffle perfection, batter into the collection of metal squares below me…
I’m getting ahead of myself. The best churches I know in the US are “seeker-friendly...”
We have now lived in our current neighborhood for 2 years. In the past two years God has blessed us with some true friends and great neighbors. However, there were still some people that live on our street that we didn’t know yet! So that is why we decided to throw a block party and invite all of the neighbors.
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.
One of the assignments of my internship with Team Arequipa this summer was to do a project related to missions in an area of my own interest. I chose to survey missionaries from around the world with some questions related to language acquisition. My objective was to understand how missionaries learn new languages and the specific ways in which ministry goals and cultural adaptation are contingent upon language acquisition. I sent out my ten-question survey through SurveyMonkey to as many missionary contacts that I and my mentors for this project could think of. A mix of 26 short-term and long-term missionaries from 11 different countries and territories shared their cross-cultural experiences as it related to language learning as well as cultural/ministerial goals. I explain some of my most interesting findings in this article.
One year ago I had recently graduated from Harding University with a degree in Spanish and Missions. I was looking forward to an exciting new year spent with Team Arequipa. However, I didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into, and I mean that both in the sense of how I would be filling my days and with all the events that would happen over the next year. In the past year, I have come to love this city and culture, improved my Spanish skills, been in the midst of two missionary families transitioning back to the States, lived alone for the first time, eaten incredible arequipeño food, learned how to cook (kind of), avoided rabies, learned I was allergic to the rabies vaccine, climbed a volcano, seen a world wonder, read a few impactful books, learned how to share my faith, worked with house churches, come to a better understanding of what holistic ministry is, seen the various parts of what makes CUDA a great NGO and ministry, and experienced what life as a missionary could be like -- and I could keep listing things all day.
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. We always love hearing from those of you who have read it! It is very encouraging to us to know we have so many people praying for us. These have been a busy couple of months. We have included some pictures in this newsletter from the past month. Mother's Day is always a big holiday here in Peru and we were able to celebrate it with some of our Peruvian friends.
For the past three summers (and the Smiths and McKinzies before that) we have taken interns from several different universities from the States. This year we welcomed four interns at the end of May who will have been with us for 8 weeks. During these 8 weeks they have gotten to take Spanish lessons, do a week long homestay with a Peruvian family, visit the Living Libraries, experience Arequipa, and be involved in the Bible studies and work that we do.
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.
Professor Gottman and his team has conducted strategic, scientific research for decades. It can now boast of "forty-two years of longitudinal data on the importance of marital friendship". His work has confirmed the universality of the Seven Principles and this book is the culmination of this work. His research, through the use of the "Love Lab", has taken into account an incredible range of factors from hormone release, cardiac rhythms and sweat production to questionnaires, observations and interviews. The Gottman Institute also provides therapeutic and educational work that has helped countless couples.
Just over a year ago, our relationship with Renso and Paola, Camila and Nicholas grew from a casual greeting on the street to the beginning of friendship when we were invited to Renso’s birthday. Several months later, after more times spent in each others’ homes (think pizza nights, among other things), times of conversations regarding faith, vocation, and family, they approached us about getting together to read the Bible with their family. We took our time reading through the story of Jesus recorded in Mark, being confronted and challenged by Jesus’s teachings, love, and authority. You’ve gotten glimpses of this growing relationship.
At the end of April we all flew up to Lima to meet up with other missionaries from Peru for a retreat. There were missionaries from Lima, Huancayo, and Cusco in addition to our three families from Arequipa. Gary and Francis Green, who work with Barnabas International, were also at the retreat to lead us in spiritual formation time. It was so neat and refreshing to get to be with the other missionaries that are all in different stages of their time in Peru but who all understand what each other are going through.
The Program for the Care and Education of Diabetics (ProCED) is a community development program designed to 1) prevent diabetes and raise awareness in the community, 2) identify people who are at-risk or who have diabetes but don’t know it, and 3) holistically support diabetic patients and their families with the information and resources they need to manage the disease and prevent complications.
Before I knew that the technical term “narrative theology” existed, I knew that it was important to understand the Bible as narrative – as story. I learned that important lesson a while back from this simple little book. That’s the beauty of it: no technical theological jargon. It’s written to simple people like me and it cites not Karl Barth or Stanley Hauerwas but Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee. The basic premise is that the Bible tells a story and we have a role to play whether we know it or not. If we don’t know what’s going on in the story of heaven and earth, we’re going to feel very lost.