Tuesday, October 26, 2010

David Speaks to my Heart.....

A few weeks ago I was reading through and meditating on 2 Samuel chapter 22, "David's Song of Praise". David sings this song of praise after God gives him victory in two battles. David had to clear the blood stain Saul had left from when he massacred the Gibeonites because the "blood stain" caused a three year famine in David's kingdom. So David went to the Gibeonites and asked what he could do to make things right. The Gibeonites requsted that David's army kill seven of the descendents of Saul to make amends. So David's army completed the task and buried the bones of the seven descendents and God answered their prayer to revive the land from the famine. And after this battle, the Israelites were in battle again with the Philistines. There was a giant man on the Philistine side who had six fingers on each hand and six toes, but despite his extra extremities, (haha!) God gave David victory as David's brother killed the giant.

So that's the background to 2 Samuel 22. It's good to know why David was singing this song of praise. I would really encourage you to read this chapter which this song of praise can also be found in Psalm 18 with only a few differences.

My favorite part of the Psalm is verses 17-25 in The Message, here it is:

"But me he caught-reached all the way
from sky to sea; he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate; that enemy chaos,
the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved-surprised to be loved!
God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I cleaned up my act,
he gave me a fresh start.
Indeed, I've kept alert to God's ways;
I haven't taken God for granted.
Everyday I review the ways he works,
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."

I like these verses as they are a powerful testimony and it made me think that some of you might not know my testimony. So without going into too much detail, I would like to share what God has done for me in the past few years!

Most of you know I grew up with awesome parents who strive to follow the right path and live daily in communion with our Father. They are such a great example for me and I look up to them both so much. I am so grateful to God for my upbringing and parents, I am a lucky girl! But despite my parents doing almost all the right things (sorry guys, your not perfect, but close!), I decided to follow my own desires as this world teaches us at a young age. Its all about what you want and with my selfish attitude, I liked the message of the world better than the message from God. So at the age of 18 I started heading down the path of what I wanted. And there was a specific moment when I was 20 that I had a choice, I was at a fork in the road and the signs said "God's way" on one and "my way" on the other. I tried to compromise and have both, but when I couldn't have both at once, (as you can't walk on two paths at once), I chose MY way. I turned my back on God and walked away from him. But thanks to God, He didn't give up on me. He tugged on my heart for two years, calling me back to Him.

So at the age of 22 I started to feel the void and this is where I feel connected with David's words. I felt a void and called on God "In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears". (v. 7 NIV). God took hold of my life, he reached down and saved me from "the void in which I was drowning" (v. 18 MSG). Then I had another opportunity to choose God's way or my way, and this time, I chose God! It was the hardest thing I had to do in my life because this involved letting go of MY plans and a person (specifically a boy, of course), I loved. But I realized God loves me more and that my relationship with this guy was hollow and doomed as God was not involved. So, "God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him" (v. 21 MSG). I placed the broken pieces of my life at His feet and with joy, He took the mess I had made, and put me back together.

Now I am a new girl (yep, I'm 25 and still a girl!) in Him. God has forgiven me of my past and "he gave me a fresh start" (v. 21 MSG), and "God rewrote the text of my life" (v. 25 MSG) when I chose His way instead of mine, when I realized how much I need Him, when I realized how void my life is without Him, "when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes" (v. 25 MSG).

And now I strive daily to follow His path and lean on Him because, "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him." (v. 31 NIV) He pulled me out of the mucky water where I was living, he has cleansed me and given me a fresh start, even gave me an undeserving opporunity to be used for His Kingdom expansion in Peru. "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my ways perfect" (v.33 NIV).

God has given me victory from my past! Horrray to our Savior!

Monday, October 25, 2010


This past week has been full of changes and emotions with a member of the Arequipa team going back to the states, preaching in spanish for our final exam in class, saying goodbye to the Cusco team as they left for Cusco, moving into the apartments and to top it off, we found out Sunday night that one of the pastors, the house dad for my good friends Garren, Trevor and Micah, during our time in spanish school, passed away last night. His name is Genaro and he has left behind his wife and two children as well as the church body. Please pray for the family and the church (Umacollo Iglesia del Nazareno) at this time.

So you might wonder, why is the title of this blog "Shane". Well, the last memorial service I went to before today was for my good friend Shane Washington in December. And going through this sad time down here makes me think about and miss Shane more than normal. But it also reminds me that Shane is a huge part of why I am here in Peru right now. Shane's passing made me realize the importance of time and the urgency of the gospel. I miss Shane and I still cry some days and think about our long conversations and the fun we had. But I'm glad to be reminded that he is a part of my life now and forever. Better yet, he's a part of my reason for coming here!

I wrote a letter to Shane in my journal in the end of December to help deal with my thoughts and feelings. Here is a part of what I wrote in my letter, keep in mind this was while I had been thinking about and praying for a missions opportunity but before I knew anything about Peru or Extreme....

You have given me a few gifts from this situation, I am learning that this life is so temporary and I can’t hesitate in doing God’s Will, I must do it now, the minute I have been called. Also, I’m learning so much I think, do, and worry about doesn’t matter. I need to get my priorities straight. And, this has emphasized the magnitude and gift of God’s redeeming love. I thank God for helping me learn through a tragedy. It’s the difficult times that we rely on Him and grow closer to Him. Shane, I’m going to miss you but know I will always remember and love you. God crossed our paths for a reason and I’m grateful for the time I got to spend with you.

Kristen, Nathan, Shane - Rockies Game September 2009

Friday, October 22, 2010

Goodbye Zamacola....

Tomorrow morning the Arequipa and Puno teams are moving from this place, Zamacola, over to apartments a block away. The girls will have an apartment and the boys will have an apartment. So in order to say Goodbye (and good riddance), to the place I have called "home" the past 10 weeks, I thought I would show you all where I have been living. I'm all packed up and ready to haul my material life a block away to a place that will feel more like "home" where I can sleep better and have more personal space!
The front of the church, Zamacola Iglesia del Nazareno.
Our "house" part of the church (the third floor). The windows on the top floor are from the girls room.
What you see when you walk in the front door. The stairs to the left are to the pastor's hose, past the stairs to the left is the dining room and kitchen, the spiral stairs lead up to our rooms and to the right is the classroom.
Our classroom, I sit right here in the back. That's my blue notebook, dictionary and Bible.
The inside of our fridge. Yep, that's a sack of raw beef and a bowl of raw chicken. I'm sad there wasn't a whole chicken, head, feet and all like ususal!
This room is where we eat and hang out to watch movies. Through the cutout in the back is the kitchen.
The girls bathroom. Don't be decieved, it is disgustingly dirty most of the time.
Dressers outside of the bathroom doors because there's not enough room in the bedrooms.
The hallway to our bedrooms. The first door is to the boys room and the door at the end of the hall is the girls room.
My dresser in the girls room. Its like a little hallway of dressers and mine is the one closest to the wall on the right. Henrietta has the one opposite of me and I call it "the hole". We cannot get into our dressers at the same time.
The view when you walk into the girls room. (Please not this is the room clean!) There are 6 sets of bunk beds 3 high and we have 14 girls living in this room)
This is my bed, the second bunk, of course, the bed that is not made! Its the only place I can call "mine".

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Look & Water Stories.....

So, have you noticed my new blog look and my new title? I asked my friend and Puno brother, Trevor, to help me out with a better title. And since I have convinced everyone down here that I'm a Princess, he came up with ideas all revolving around a Princess theme. Literally, many people down here call me Princessa. ha! I love it! So when Trevor gave me some name ideas, I saw 'The Princess and the P" where the green pea stands for Peru! How creative! (Please note the Peruvian flag in the Pea was my idea so I did contribute something!) Also, what a coincidence since Mom and Dad used to call Brooke "Braveheart" and I was the "Princess and the Pea". But hey, who's in Peru right now and has skydived?! So like normal, I want it all and would like to claim both nicknames. haha! But give all the credit of my new name and blog look to my good friend Trevor Allen!

Ok, now I would like to tell you two fun little stories from this week involving water. It was not a good week for me in regard to water. Either too little or too much!

The first story, I was watching Chad and Amanda's kiddos, Thomas and Ella while Chad and Amanda were at their weekly cluster support meeting. This is a normal routine but this week they were finally in their new apartment and had their washing machine hooked up. (Please note I do not babysit for money but for use of a washing machine!). So Chad told me to bring my clothes over and do my first load of laundry in their new machine while I was watching the kids. Actually, it was quite and easy day. I read two books to the kids and put them down for their nap. So I had nothing to do, I opened Amanda's computer and started watching a kids movie to pass the time. (Rough huh?!) Then I thought, wow, the washing machine is quite noisy. I walked into the kitchen to check it out and I found a pond of water in the middle of the kitchen floor! (This would be the story with TOO MUCH water!) The way we hook up washing machines here is a hose from the washing sink to the machine and a hose from the machine to the sink to drain the water. Well the hose that drains the water into the sink slipped off the sink and instead of draining into the sink, drained all the water onto the kitchen floor. I freaked out for a second, pulled everything off the floor and noticed the floor drain, thank goodness! I spent the entire time they were gone sweeping water into the floor drain. I felt awful, but luckily when they got home Chad and Amanda said that this has happened to them before as well.

Now for the other water story. I got up Wednesday morning and hopped in the shower. Since we are trying to keep our water bill down and to savor any warm or tepid water, I usually turn the water off while I'm soaping up. So I was all soapy and had shampoo in my hair, facewash on my face and I go to turn the water back on....nothing (This would be the story with TOO LITTLE water). For some reason when we have water problems here the showers are the first to go and the last to come back. So I stood there for a few minutes hoping it would come back. I tried the water again, nope. So I had to use my dry towel to get off all the soap and my partner Franci brought me a bucket of water from downstairs to get the shampoo out of my hair.

So there's some little tidbits about my week. Next time you do a load of laundry without flooding the house or take a shower without running out of water, say a prayer for me! hehe!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Open Heart Miracle.....

So we had a short week of school last week, we only had class on Monday and Tuesday. What a great break and relief it was! An because we had time off, some of us went with our cluster Dad, Chad, to Puno to hang out in our future city and search for a house for all 14 of us. We left early Wednesday morning, (before the butt-crack of dawn!). Francisca and I overslept our alarms for 3:30am and Franci (as I now call her) woke me up at 4:07am. All the boys were practically ready and waiting for us since we were planning on leaving at 4 . So I threw on my clothes, went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth and ran downstairs with my backpack ready to leave. When I got downstairs I noticed my jacket was inside out. I told Chad, "I'm not wearing my contacts so I can't see and my jacket is inside out but I've got clean teeth and my clothes on so I'm ready to go!" haha! But we made it to the bus station on time, especially since the bus left an hour late at 6am!

We got to Puno, had lunch at a "Menu", which is the cheapest way to eat out, usually S/. 3.50 (about $1.25). A Menu is a restaurant that serves what's on the menu for the day, usually two different main dish options and a large bowl of soup. Like on Wednesday, the options were cow tongue or chicken. Obviously, I ordered the chicken, but I tried a bite of Chad's cow tounge! I did not like it but now I can say I've tried cow tongue!


About half of us explored the city while the other half went looking for houses. We walked about 5 miles that first day and 8 miles the next day. There is a lot of walking to do in Puno but I love it. Except for the hills at 12,500 feet, I run out of breath quickly! So basically we just hung out around town, found some new slides, walked, and shared time and conversation together.

I do have an exciting God Story from Thursday. Franci, Trevor and I were walking around town and were heading to meet up with Roy and Garren. Roy and Garren had been walking around and had just passed up two touristy tiendas and instead went into one specific tienda to check out the merchandise. They entered and while Garren was chatting with the owner he mentioned he was here as missionary and that we would be moving to Puno in a few months. Just about this time Trevor, Franci and I walked in to meet up with the other boys. As we were looking around Franci heard the owner, Hector, ask where are our church locations to Garren. Franci turned around and began to talk to Hector about our beliefs and that we are all born sinners and need to repent to live in Christ and have a relationship with our Creator. Next thing I knew we were praying with Hector a prayer of repentance and acceptance of Christ in his heart and life! He was very touched and crying during the prayer and after we prayed he told us he felt peace! He also told us this must have been the Will of God because he normally doesn't open the store before noon and it was about 11:30am. Also the fact that Garren and Roy had just specifically passed up a few tiendas before entering this particular one. And that we arrived and Franci heard The Spirit urging her to speak to him. This was not coincidence, this was the work of God!


We haven't even moved to Puno yet and God is working in this city! This experience was very engouraging to all of us that God is working through us and that He is preparing the city for the 20 months of evangelism on which we are about to embark in January. Our God is awesome, merciful, mighty, amazing! He is preparing the people in Puno by opening hearts and clearing roadblocks; we were able to see this first hand on our Puno trip.


Isaiah 57:14 NIV

And it will be said: "Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people."


The LORD Helps the Helpless

Isaiah 57:14-19 CEV

14 The LORD says, "Clear the road! Get it ready for my people."

15Our holy God lives forever in the highest heavens, and this is what he says: Though I live high above in the holy place, I am here to help those who are humble and depend only on me. 16My people, I won't stay angry and keep on accusing you. After all, I am your Creator. I don't want you to give up in complete despair. 17Your greed made me furious. That's why I punished you and refused to be found, while you kept returning to your old sinful ways. 18 I know what you are like! But I will heal you, lead you, and give you comfort, until those who are mourning 19 start singing my praises. No matter where you are, I, the LORD, will heal you and give you peace.

Also......Here is a link to Engage Magazine where Trevor's take on the story has been published! And Dad, please note the title!!! I am going to use this as a justification for shopping for the rest of my life! ; )


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Baptism & Orphanage....

Baptism in Yura, Peru
Alto Libertad Iglesia del Nazareno

Torre Fuerte Girls Orphanage