I know good jokes shouldn’t need explanation, so I’m going to just that. Title explanation: a play on words, surprise surprise, about the song “Snow (Hey Oh)” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The way I spelled Trujillo is almost how it’s pronounced, minus the “y,” and it’s true that the east coast of the USA’s cold friend Jonas did not visit me. I promise the rest of this blog is better than that lame pun so please keep reading.
Happy belated New Year! Between Christmas and the coming of 2016, I said farewell to Lima and arrived in Trujillo, the third largest city in Peru, where most of my time in Peru will be spent. Let me tell you a bit about what my time in Trujillo has consisted of.
I now stay with a missionary family of 4 – my first host family that has kids young enough to live at home (sorry to my past host families for giving away that you’re old ish). The husband is from England and the wife is from Canada. Side note: they actually met at Tilsley Bible College in Scotland where I spent a month studying for part of my program. I’ve always wanted to be an older sister, so I’ve had a blast hanging out with their two kids. They go to Centro Biblico Trujillo – a church that doubles as a school and also holds Christian retreats and discipleship courses quite often.
January 4th – 7th and 11th – 14th: Experiencing a Peruvian New Year’s and settling in for a few days was wonderful, but now it’s time for my mission involvement to begin. I spent these days at Hogar De Esperanza (Home of Hope) orphanage. Thirty one children of all different ages spend their days together at this co-ed orphanage. It’s summer time in Peru, but the orphanage runs on a scheduled day in order to keep a enjoyable, organized structure for the children. After the kids wake up, eat breakfast, and get themselves ready for the day, there are devotions led by a worker at 8 AM. The kids then break up into groups by age to have classes – first reading/writing and math follows after a snack break. Lunch time comes next. Then, the fun part of the day, workshops! Crafts, baking, sandboarding, a sport etc. The workshop depends on the day and age group. After a bit of free time, sixty tired feet make their way to one of two houses on the orphanage property (one for girls, one for boys) for dinner and a good night’s sleep. I spent my days there mostly with the youngest group – 8 energetic, loud, fun, crazy toddlers. The workshops, lunch time, and free time provided opportunity to hangout with the older kids which was great. My favorite parts during my stay were sandboarding with them, playing ukulele with them, letting them play with my [blonde] hair, taking photos and selfies with them, and teaching them hand games. By the end of a day I felt drained, weary, frustrated, overwhelmed, but also extremely aware, full of love, reflective, and humbled. Witnessing all this orphanage provides instilled in me much hope for these kids. That hope emanates from, of course, the practical things such as food, clothes, a place to sleep etc. the kids receive. Furthermore because of the way they run the orphanage to provide education, hobbies, and an overall positive and structured environment for them. But most of all and most importantly because they reveal the eternal hope of the gospel to these kids and ultimately strive to raise them in such a way that they grow into disciples of Jesus. It’s obvious that the Lord’s presence is there and working through the workers and volunteers for numerous reasons, but most clearly through the contrast of demeanor between the younger kids and the older ones. Please pray for this orphanage and ministry – that God will fill everyone there with peace that surpasses understanding, reveal to them His love as their Heavenly Father, continue giving the resources needed to upkeep it, and provide safe, real, Christ-centered homes for these children. Here’s the website for Hogar de Esperanza: http://www.hogardeesperanza.com – check it out, especially the “How to Help” page for more specific prayer requests and information about any donation you’re interested and able to give.
My Spanish is improving much quicker than I expected! It definitely hasn’t been as much of a barrier as I thought it would. That said, of course it is still a pretty difficult aspect of my being here, but it’s not crippling. Living at the orphanage and being forced to use whatever Spanish I could find in my brain definitely helped me learn. Thanks very much for the prayer about this, I know without a doubt that the Lord has heard your prayers and provided ease (and probably a better memory) for this difficulty. Continued prayer for the language difference is much appreciated.
Besides spending some days at the orphanage, I’ve also spent time with my wonderful host family, seen some of Trujillo, got my haircut to a lob (the oh-so-trendy long bob), taken lots of photos, eaten yummy food (my host mom loves to bake!), met lots of people including other missionaries, read a few books, gotten to know God better, and continued falling in love with Peru. My next blog post will be about the 10 days I spent in Cajamarca, Peru so please read on!
Sending lots of love and every blessing,
P.S. I had put up photos of my time at the orphanage on this blog and on Facebook, but was informed that to protect the kids and due to child protection law I can’t put the photos online. As much as I want you to see the kid’s beautiful smiles and silly selfies, I don’t want to end up in a Peruvian prison and I definitely don’t want the orphanage to get in trouble so the photos remain only on my phone’s memory and in my memory. Enjoy the photos I am able to upload!
P.S.S. Check out my new page called “AP Stats” which stands for April’s Peruvian Statistics. It includes a list of numbers of funny things that have to do with my experience here. I’ll continue adding to it as my time here marches on.
P.S.S.S. I made a list of New Year’s Resolutions! I hope and pray to fully follow through with all of these thought out goals. Here’s a few of of them that I thought I’d share so you know where I’m at and can keep me accountable if you want
– know God better (a life long resolution)
– read 30 books (3 down, 27 to go)
– read the whole Bible (it’s going super well so far!)
– master ukulele (eh, this one will take some time which I don’t have a lot of)
– find a spiritual mentor (this is covered for my gap year, so it applies for when I get back home)
– try/retry 5 new hobbies and stick with them (knitting/crocheting, calligraphy, geocaching, unicycling, running, gardening, cooking/baking…the possibilities are endless!)
– love people with Jesus as my example (again, a life long resolution)
P.S.S.S.S. Ha, just kidding. You may exit this page now.