Buenos tardes! Hello from Peru! Sarah here from Crosspoint Ministries mission team!
Yesterday's travel was as smooth as could be, no major hiccups - except a few pat downs and bags thoroughly searched.
The Freedom House team out of Charlotte had our first stop out of Raleigh to Atlanta where we met up with the Atlanta team! We got to meet our amazing leaders Alison and Chuck as well as two of our guys, meaning Donte and Brian weren't completely outnumbered anymore!
Our next flight was to Peru! It's crazy how much more peaceful a six and a half hour flight in a middle seat, in the middle aisle is when you know God put you there. We had excellent service on the flight and received tons of food, including a snack, a meal (with a choice between three different entrees and deserts), and last but not least a pretzel roll with turkey and cheese! We also received a pillow, blanket, an eye mask, and ear plugs! We thought we were in first class-well I did!
We finally landed in Lima at 12:38am. We were greeted by lots of love-including a pastor and some of his church members crosspoint has had a close relationship with for many years. All of the men loaded the luggage onto the bus-driven by Edgar! Edgar has driven the bus for crosspoint missions for many years. Edgar was accompanied by his wife Yumi and one of their three boys! Laura was there from Pat's place, where we're staying. Two of our translators met us at the airport as well-Miley and Lady! What a welcome! We had about 40 minutes to drive in order to make it to Pat's place. While Alison gave us an introduction into why we are here and how they started coming here to San Juan, Chuck gave us a Spanish lesson that he said would be sure to help (just add an "o" or "mente" to every English word and you'll be fine).
Once we arrived at Pat's place (a place of refuge for women who have escaped abusive situations) we had to be quiet since the mothers and children were in bed and had to go to school today. Warning-Alison warned us not to flush the toilet paper. She said we get ONE mess up-wouldn't you know it, I used my one mess up. It could've been way worse but DON'T FLUSH THE TOILET PAPER (it was traumatic).
We settled in our bunk beds and drifted to sleep at around 3:30 with a 7:30 wake up time.
We had breakfast at 8:30 which consisted of amazing coffee (seriously amazing), bread, and eggs made by the women at Pat's Place! After breakfast, we had our personal quiet time, which was completed once we heard Thomas playing his guitar-who also led us in worship. I don't think any of us had any idea of what to expect from "team worship" but let's just say I'll have my tissues in hand tomorrow. Alison led a ministry time on denying ourselves, picking up our cross daily and following Him. We pulled the "barrier" out of our heart that was in the way of denying ourselves and gave it to God. He replaced these things with His love, peace, and forgiveness. This was the perfect preparation for what we were about to encounter.
Next, we got on the bus (all of us-including our peanut butter and jelly).
We went to a community named "Paradise". The entry of Paradise consisted of going through a cemetery unlike anything I had seen before in the side of a mountain.
Once we got to the school, we walked in and children ran to us with HUGE smiles and open arms! Again, I wasn't prepared for such beautiful love to be shown-I'm glad I had my sunglasses on! The students LOVED having us there and wanted to ask us all kinds of questions (which is where Chuck's Spanish lesson came in handy-sure enough)!
We first met with the mothers of the students. Alison led an introduction of who we are and why we were at the school (to share the love of Jesus to them). Alison introduced Corletta, who then gave an AMAZING testimony-after which EVERY MOTHER THERE prayed the prayer of salvation to receive Jesus into their hearts and leave their past, their shame, and their guilt behind. The Holy Spirit was moving in that school today! Thanks to the ladies sharing today, the mothers in "Paradise" now realize that life here and life of women in the US both have struggles which need God's intervention, protection, and healing. We gave out toiletries to each mother there as we said "Adios".
We split up into three teams and went into the classrooms at the school where the students (three and up) loved showing us their English and loved seeing us try Spanish and dance a little with them!
On our way out of Paradise, we gave candy to anyone we came in contact with-children and adults alike. One group of secondary students (the age group I teach back in the states) chased us down for candy and got in trouble. As we got back on the bus and exited Paradise, we saw those same kids "working off their candy" in the empty field by squatting and walking in a squat with their hands behind their head-in long sleeves might I add. That candy HAD to be worth it!
Before we headed back to Pat's Place, we stopped at The Metro-which is like a Walmart here. Before we got off of the bus, we popped open the peanut butter and jelly and passed it around the bus to make lunch. The lovely women at Pat's place sent us off with rolls, chips, water and an orange so we slapped the PB&J right on the roll. We stocked up on Inca Kola and headed back to Pat's Place!
We're getting ready for dinner now,
our team is going to two different churches tonight. A few of us will be sharing our testimony. We cannot wait to see people's lives transformed and God do His work!
We truly appreciate our friends here! Catch us tomorrow with another post about our day at Brasos Abiertos!