Praise God! All 16 pieces of checked luggage is accounted for and returned to all team members. Since half of our team is in Cusco, the airline managed to reroute half our luggage to them and the rest to Lima to us. Only in God’s perfect timing and planning could this situation be resolved so smoothly and quickly. I was so worried because I couldn’t see how all the moving pieces would work together. But of course God reminds me that He is bigger and looks out for everyone’s need. We might not always be comfortable, but He will always provide enough to do what He has called us to do.
Today was our first day of meetups for those who were in Lima (while I assume those in Cusco began their adventure). John, Lani, Sam, and Scott went with Silvia, a translator, to Mama Narda’s home to chat, eat lunch, and fellowship together. Mama Narda is the amazing baker who makes delicious alfajores (caramel cookies) and a faithful member of the church. The team had fun talking with her and other members about many things, from the serious to spiritual to silly to everyday topics. They had a good time sharing life and experiences together. (I stayed at the base to meet with a friend.)
In the evening, Lani, Silvia, and I headed out to Ventanilla, a district in Peru that was 1.5 hours away by bus to visit Armando and Susanna’s family. They are a faithful family of GLL that was first invited by a SSM missions team last year. We sat down in their living room and between the laughs and questions, we shared about how God was so faithful in our lives and how we witnessed His goodness and greatness in our lives. It was so good to encouraged and be encouraged by this family.
It was so amazing to realize how deeply they understood that coming to GLL was no obligation, but something they truly wanted to do to be faithful in their relationship with God (they travel about an hour to get to church!). Armando shared that he had tried many many religions but what was different about Christianity is that it’s about having a direct relationship with God. And once he understood that pure and full satisfaction is in Jesus, he has persisted in His faith, no matter how hard life has gotten. I am just so thankful that God has been so good to Armando and his family, strengthening his marriage, giving them serving hearts for the church, and giving them all they need day by day. It is so clear that he is overflowing with a deep joy that he has found in Christ and continues to draw from God’s strength each day to be a light to his family and to his community.
It is so clear that more than coming to Lima to encourage the church, God has brought me here to be encouraged and challenged. There are many times where I get so worried about the little details, but God gently reminds me that He is bigger. A small example is where we traveled to Ventanilla with half of a beautiful black forest cake. I was so nervous that it would get ruined on the 2 hour transit, but God provided two women who were willing to hold the cake on their laps while I stood for the long and packed bus ride. When the time came to present the cake, I opened up the cake box to reveal a cake intact and in perfect condition. I guess God cares about cakes too :). I’m sure that God will continue to challenge me in this area many more times this week.
- Please continue to pray over our meetups as we prepare to meet with several more families tomorrow. We are excited to see what conversations God will lead us into. Please pray that we will have discernment of what questions to ask, when to speak, and what to share. And please pray for safe travels as we take taxis and public transportation to some of the meetups.
- Please be praying that members of GLL will be filled with hearts of service. The church continues to grow and more servants are needed to meet the increasing demands. May God call them to use the skills He has given them for His service.
- The number of children and youth are also growing in the church. Please pray that they will understand the importance of living for the Lord and be filled with a desire for a real relationship with God. Lani and John will be working closely with the young adults in the coming weeks, encouraging them to keep pursuing God’s good plan for them.