Peru, Day 1
James 1:27 – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Today was officially day 1 of our Peru missions trip. This year’s group is very different from last year’s, but just as enjoyable. We have a very different social set and a very different skill set, but even with the differences that we all have, God is still using us. We had a very long travel day yesterday. We were supposed to leave Miami at 4:15 and arrive in Lima at 9:15. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans. We boarded the plane early, got everything as loaded as we could, and sat on the runway for over 2 hours at the gate, loaded on the airplane. We had fun while we were there, talking to one another and cracking jokes and meeting the people around us.
By the time we got to our hotel in Lima, it was after 1 AM. We started our day at 8:30 AM in CCF’s lobby and ended our day at 1 AM (2 AM, Maryland time). We were exhausted.
The hotel is nice, but the walls are paper thin, a common theme in Central and South American hotels. The traffic outside is plentiful and I think everyone has to make sure their horn is heard, even at 3 in the morning.
But today was amazing. We visited the children’s home of Camino de Vida.
They currently have 19 either orphan or at risk children in their care. They range in age from 6 up to 21. Many were here last year and I had the opportunity to fall in love with some of them all over again.
What was awesome, is that they currently have 6 boys at the home. These boys are mostly older and when they have nothing better to do, they play soccer…ahem, sorry, football. We decided on a Gringos versus Peru soccer game. A few of the (old) men got together and played against these 18 year-old men. It was a hard fought match, but America once again won the world cup! With a score of 5-3, the old men showed those young bucks just how soccer should be played.
Afterward, however, we found that we couldn’t do anything that didn’t involve feeling every muscle in our bodies. Even Pastor Christian, a man who flips tractor tires for weekend fun, had to sit down and take a break after the game.
Meanwhile, the women played with the girls. Whether it involved sharing photos of loved ones back home or playing a game of Scrabble that would teach us gringos Spanish and the Peruvians English, everyone went away with a great sense of accomplishment, love and purpose.
One of the amazing things is that I get to spend time with my girlfriend while also spending time doing God’s work. It is an amazing opportunity for us to bond.
Tomorrow will be another fairly easy day (although I have taken 2 Ibuprofen to offset the pain I received while playing soccer today). We will be waking up and worshiping with Camino de Vida the morning, going sightseeing, and then going back to worship with them at night.
It has only been a day and already we are feeling the effects of the Holy Spirit. Our God is so AMAZING that only He can bring 7 of us down here from the USA and change both our hearts and the hearts of the Peruvians.