Today started with another wonderful breakfast, worship time and devotions. Kayla led devotions on Daniel - he paid the price up front for his faith and was blessed with favor by God later.
Our first visit today was to San Marcos University. An elite engineering school, the best in the country. It is a public school, and free - anyone who can pass the difficult exams can go, but the number they take is limited. It's the equivalent of MIT. The students here practice their English asking us questions and video tape a conversation with us for a grade. They are encouraged by their school to seek outside of themselves and their own personal success to understand their impact the success of others and their country. A goal is to have them invested in humanity and community. We had many conversations and some were very eager to hear why we come to Peru, what we do professionally. Some wanted to know about Jesus Christ and His love. They say they hear about Allah, Buddha, God and had many questions. Some gave their life to Christ!
Our next visit was a heartbreaker. We visited the Shama Orphanage and spent time in the nursery and playing with the small children while the older children were at school. To say these children were precious is an understatement. To see children who've been given up and no longer wanted by families grieved my heart.
One little boy, Jose, clung to the boys and men on our team - his desire for male relationship, his own Papa, was clear. He was held by Hudson and didn't want to be put down. He clung to Keenan's leg while he held another boy and followed him. Keenan pushed him in a swing and any time he felt that Keenan stepped away for another child, Jose would turn to find him with a look that said "come back, don't leave me". At the end, he clung to Brent and wouldn't let go then burst into tears as we left. A few of us women tried to comfort him but he was pushing us away - he wanted a Papa or big brother. My heart is torn in two. I've been to other countries and seen poverty and orphans, but Jose is different. I'm hoping to have more to this story later.
We were ALL touched by the children at Shama, and we all left a piece of our heart behind. This visit was to bring clothes and supplies and to help the workers and love on the children.
We finished the day at Iglesia Cristiana Y Misionera Buenas Nuevas. Brent, LeAnne and Keenan all gave their testimonies and Mario gave a powerful message. Just a note here about Mario, he is FROM San Juan de Lurigancho as a child. He is an American Citizen but felt the call to return to his roots on this mission trip. He came from an atheistic mindset, gang related friends and activities. You should hear his testimony! Ask him, he is more than happy to share. During and after the service, we laid hands and prayed and saw much healing.
This is Mario, aka Super Mario - yes, he DOES have a brother named Luigi. Seriously, he does, Truth.
Soul Wins for Day Five: 3 !!
Today's contributors: Brent, Chuck, Mario, Bette, LeAnne, Rebecca