There are a thousand and one things that I could say about this past week and what has gone on here in Peru lately. I suppose I can start by sharing what the Amazon Rain forest was like and then share what the Lord is doing at Puerto Alegria.
All the stories that people here about the Amazon such as there are huge snakes that want to eat you, flesh eating fish like piranhas, and termites and mosquitoes that like to bite your ankles are true. There were boa constrictors and anacondas longer than the length of two lunch tables, there were monkeys (got to hold hands with the monkeys), there were toucans and many other exotic birds, and plenty (I mean PLENTY) of mosquitoes and other bugs. We slept in mosquito nets each night and probably used (as a team) around 10 cans of bugs spray with lots of deet haha. I also feel as though I have fulfilled the "Be A Missionary" song that we always sang in Sunday school when I was little due to the fact that I ate grubs or "Zuri. It was probably the most strange thing I have ever consumed and if I am being honest, it really did not taste that bad! I swam in the Italya River/Amazon River (we also bathed in the river everyday haha). It truly was an adventure.
This home also has been one of the only homes were I felt like I was being fed spiritually so this week past week was a tremendous blessing to me. At each meal, Ray (the house father) read a passage of scripture and we would always pray together. The boy were also able to quote some verses when we read. There was just something special about this home and the Holy Spirit is definitely at work. The team I was with this past week from South Carolina was exactly what I needed. We, as a team, did devotions each night, so it was another opportunity to be fed spiritually and talk with some other university students my age (praise God for some people my age). This week in my personal devotions, I was reading through Hebrews and even through that the Lord was just teaching me how amazing and worthy he is and I am so thankful for the cross and for Jesus. There are so many things that I could say and I do not know how to put them all into a blog post but all-in-all, this past week was the one I was most excited for all summer because I got to live-in and experience the Amazon Rain Forest. Although I was most excited for it, I was most excited for the animals and different culture, I was not expecting to be blessed but such an amazing church group that took me in and made me part of their family, I was not expecting to be taken in by the home and prayed for and loved on when I was the one going to serve these people. I was humbled this week, refreshed this week, given a little bit of home, and I could not have imagined this week even if I tried. God is good all the time and all the time God is good.
(Also, all the photos uploaded under Iquitos/Puerto Alegria of animals are ones that you can see in the jungle right around where we stayed)
This post is one that hits close to home. So at the beginning of the summer I met a young man named Roy at the home in Ica. He is still young and can move a little bit but most of the time, he is confined to a chair. Roy has a disease called Duchenne muscular dystrophy. There is a team that left a walker to aid in his need and to help him walk as long as he can. Here in Peru there is not much availability to the kind of help received in the states, such as the need for an automatic wheelchair eventually. There is another boy at the home in Ica that I have come to love spending time with and eat meals with and his name is Bryan. He is mentally handicapped (sometimes it is very difficult to understand what he is saying due to his condition being applied to Spanish)and is 17 years old. The home can only keep him until he is 18 and there is no known family that can take care of him or any place to put him as of now. These are two boys that the Lord has laid on my heart and I am asking that people will pray. Truly come before the Holy of Holies, who cares more for these boys that we can imagine, and pray for a miracle. I believe in a God who is bigger than any problem we face and is the author of salvation; miracles are not a thing of the past.
Tonight while we were at the mall area, I ran into a homeless man named Cesar. He asked me for food and not money but I did not have any soles to buy food so I gave him so dollars to get exchanged. Any who, I asked him about his story and how he ended up in Peru and he actually was from Miami, FL and he had been deported due to immigration papers being out of place and such. We sat and talked for a little while and I was able to pray for him but I wanted to post about him as well and ask that he also would receive intercession. There are not programs or homes or much of anything for anyone in Peru that is homeless.
My heart is heavy for these three men, for Dallas, TX, and for others that have been involved in shootings lately. I pray the Lord returns soon or the church (the people, universal) would realize that we are called to love and pursue a life that resembles Christ, not comfort. Loving people does not mean compromising what we believe, Jesus did not contradict scripture but he extended his arms to all. I pray that we would not just stand by or make politically statements or pick sides but that people would know us by our love as Jesus says in John.
In other news, I leave for Iquitos tomorrow. Please also be praying for good health in the jungle and a safe flight with the team, thanks!
After a long bus ride through the mountains of Peru, I arrived in Lima this morning and made it to the doctor! I was able to get prescribed medication, I have strep throat. Thank you for all your continued prayers for the trip and my health.
It has been quite a journey so far this summer, from the tastes I have savored to the beautiful breath taking views, God has revealed just a little sliver more of his glory. I just finished spending three weeks in Yungay at the boys' home there and that was incredible. I am thankful (even though I got sick the last week) that I was able to spend a prolonged amount of time there because it gave me an opportunity to build lasting relationships with the parents (Angel and Rosa) and the guys. I became just like one of the boys there and I now call them my brothers. Angel and Rose became Mama and Papa, which I cannot praise God enough for them and the good care they took of me since I was sick. I am excited to go back and see them for three more days at the end of July.
Tomorrow I will be headed to Ica again for a few days with a mission team from Dearborn, MI. They were in Yungay for the past week too. We will be in Ica until Thursday when our bus brings us back to Lima.
Also to tingle your taste buds....I will be flying to Iquitos, which is in the jungle, on Saturday! I will give more information about Iquitos this weekend but just wanted to give you all a little update! (Don't worry, I have bug spray and Malaria meds) Until next post....
PRAYER REQUESTS: Safe travels, I would trust the Lord and know He is working even when I can't see him at work, I would be attentive to the Holy Spirit, GOOD HEALTH FOR ALL OF US HERE! Amen!