Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Worst Missionary Ever.....

Some days I feel like the worst missionary ever. Actually, I really don't like that word "missionary" anyway. As I see it, I'm just a girl....yes, I'm 25 but still think of myself as a girl! I'm just a girl in Peru following the path to which God has called me and many days, following reluctantly.

Many times I don't feel like going to church here. I don't glean much from church here as it can be hard to focus in spanish after a week of spanish classes and the messages are generally quite simple as we are dealing with baby Christians in most cases. But these are not excuses, there are no excuses, I should want to go to church to be with these people and think about them and not myself.

So God hit me smack in the face with my selfishness this Sunday. My partner, Francisca, was preaching Sunday night and where she goes, I go also....literally. So, even though I didn't want to go to church Sundy night after spending most of the day Saturday at a baptism and went to church Sunday morning, I didn't really have a choice. So at first, when we got home from church on Sunday afternoon, Francisca told me we needed to leave at 5pm to go to church again. I was bummed I didn't have more time to rest especilly since I literally had no more underwear so I HAD to do laundry by hand!

Before I fell asleep for a nap, Francisca told me we would leave at 6 instead of 5. I thought she just misjudged how early we needed to leave so she pushed it back and I assumed church started at 6:30. (Let me also explain, that on Sunday nights at 7pm we have a Puno group Bible study and time to be together. This time is very needed each week for my mental health and to strenghten our group bond. So I was especially frustrated that I had to miss the Bible study because Francisca cannot travel to the church alone.) Back to the story....I took a nap and woke up a few minutes before 6 to brush my hair and make sure I look decent. I was running a few minutes late and saw my cluster dad, Chad, on the way out of the house and expressed how Francisca was really bothering me that day.

We headed out to the street and caugt a taxi. When we were in the taxi, Francisca told me she decided we should leave at 6 to give me more time to rest and that the service actually started at 6 so they were probably waiting for us since she was the one giving the message! Francisca put me first! She gave me more time to rest up even if that meant she had to run into the church late to give the message she spent all week preparing! And more....she knew how important it was to me and to our parents to be at the Bible study so we got to the church at 6:30 and everyone was still singing praises to our Lord. Then Francisca preached for about 20-30 minutes and when she was done we immediatley walked out of the church, caught another cab, and went to our parents house (Chad and Amanda's) for our weekly Bible study and time together. And we were only 15 minutes late!

Oh how God loves to slap me in the face sometimes, to wake me up out of my selfish little world! I was grouchy and annoyed when I should have been supportive and joyful. Francisca and I have many, many differences. And sometimes its hard to work together and sometimes our differences frustrate me. But she cares so much for me and I see this clearly in her actions this past Sunday. God has reminded me I need to be more loving and caring toward her. I need to stop being so selfish because, "If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you'll lose it, but if you let that life go, you'll get life on God's terms" Luke 17:33 MSG

And then, on Tuesday I read a devotional online from Oswald Chambers (revised into contemporary english). And this quote hit me, "A missionary is created for the purpose of being God's servant, one in whom God is glorified." We are ALL missionary's. Even though I don't like that word, I am a missionary. Even if I was in the states right now, I am a missionary. Even if I'm not ready with the knowledge, I am a missionary. Even if sometimes I don't want to go to church, I am a missionary. This life is not for me, I need to give up my life and my selfishness in order to gain life on God's terms and to glorify Him.

So this has been my slap in the face this week. Francisca was a servant to me, a missionary to me, when I didn't deserve it. She showed me God through her selfless actions, she was a servant washing my feet. I hope you can be reminded as well that YOU are a Servant and Missionary too!

"And since I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you." John 13:14-15 NLT

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spa Day and Cow Heads....

This morning we woke up to no running water in our entire district of Zamacola. Uck! Can I tell you how disgusting it is to not have running water with 28 people living in one place! The toilets turn into outhouses and everyone smells and has dirty hands. I was especially frustrated this morning as it was my day to take a shower. Yes, I said "my day to take a shower", I don't take showers everyday! With cold water, 14 girls, and 2 showers I have become accustom to taking showers every other day. Since moving into the church from my Peruvian family's house a month ago I have not had a hot shower. I have had one warm shower, many tepid showers and some darn cold showers.

So, back to this morning. I threw my hair up in my baseball cap, kept my sweatpants on and just threw on a new tshirt. Went to class and then after class I ran by the Extreme office to pick up a package that had arrived for me. This was a package from my Mommy and Daddy! I needed a new hairdryer because mine broke. So I got my hairdryer along with some disinfecting hand wipes and a ped egg/pumice stone. (For you boys reading this, its basically like sand paper for your skin). Arequipa is a desert and I can't stand dry feet so my mommy answered my request for a pumice stone.

I was super excited about my package of goodies and went back home to the church to find running water! I was the first girl in the shower and I had hot water...burning hot! I enjoyed my delightful shower, first touch of hot water to my skin in over a month. And then I used my pumice stone/ped egg and some new lotion from my friend Tricia (Momma Tricia as I call her) on my feet. And of course, I used my new blowdryer. I hadn't blow dried my hair in over a month as well! After I was ready with clean clothes and make up on, I felt as though I had just been to the spa! It's quite sad that hot water, a pumice stone, lotion and a blowdryer is what I now consider a spa day! But it was refreshing and I still feel cleaner and more satisfied than I have in a while. Thanks mom and dad for the presents!

After my "spa treatment" I did my homework with my partner, Francisca. Since we are in a class this week about relationship building, our homework was to spend time together this afternoon. So we walked over to the market close by. We had a good time talking and just being together. I hope you enjoy the pictures, especially the one of three cow heads hanging on hooks as if they were hand towels or jackets! What a way to end my spa day!

Higado......Liver.......S/. 9.00
Panza........Stomach........S/. 6.00
Blando......Soft Meat.........S/. 5.00
Tripa......Intestine.......S/. 5.00
Cabeza......Head........S/. 7.00

And of course.....the three cow heads! Disfruten! (You guys Enjoy!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Las Estrellas

Cool air breeze, dark night sky, stars sparkling, and the Holy Spirit as I walk down a road in a part of town called Alto Libertad. I couldn't have asked for a better night.
Now that the "honeymoon period" is over, I am no longer just in spanish school and a tourist. Now I am in Bible classes with homework....yes, back to homework! Usually we have to read about 80 pages a week in spanish and create a power point and presentation on our book/chapter/topic. So I have been a little grouchy and especially missing home the past two weeks or so. But tonight was just what I needed!
Fransisca, my Peruvian counterpart, and I left our "house" to go to our cell group (aka, small group). We got to the neighborhood and went to a house where we invited some ladies last week who came to the Bible study. But they were not there this week. So we went to the house where we hold our cell group and we got our friend Julia who is the most adorable little viejita (old lady)! She is short, skinny, wrinkled, wears an apron, her pantyhose are always baggy and she has the cutest voice ever. Hermana Julia walked with us to the house of her grandchildren to invite them to the cell group. Cati, her oldest granddaughter couldn't come because she has a test tomorrow but Sergio, her 14 year old grandson said he would come. This just astonishes me! (Or just for you fathoms me!) In North America I couldn't imagine a 14 year old boy coming to a Bible study with his grandma and some strange missionary girls at his aunts house. But thanks to God, he did come! And next Wednesday is his 15th birthday so we are planning a birthday party so he has to come again next week!
We had our Bible study and Fransisca talked about why we call these groups cell groups, or in spanish: celulas. And she talked about how a cell in our body is so tiny but is powerful as it works with all the other cells to contribute to the function of the entire body just like in the church.
So after singing, praying and reading The Word of God together in our humble meeting place. Our hostess brought out a banana cake/bread she made in her solar oven and shared with everyone. And the ladies in our group remembered that I don't take sugar in my tea or drink juice. So Julia prepared a special glass of tea without sugar for me! As we were eating our cake I was thinking about some of the scripture we read during our study, about breaking bread together. How wonderful to break bread together in the name of Christ with a young man who we can anticipate will become a disciple, a lady who has many years behind her, a four year old girl and her mother. Three generations of this family are learning about how to have a relationship with our Creator for the first time!
God reminded me tonight why I am here and that He's going to use me to reach these Peruvians. He is giving me a heart for these people and allowing me to see them through His eyes.