This post is sponsored by the jackhammer outside of the window at the Pats Place where we are staying. In fact, this post is sponsored by all of the jackhammers across all of Peru. 90% of all jackhammers sold in the world have to be sold in Lima, Peru. They are everywhere. Maybe this means their building up the infrastructure of the country?
Anyway, today we started with worship experience which I was in charge of because Stephanie is feeling ill. That’s a lot of pressure because Stephanie was doing a phenomenal job. I believe I ushered in the presence of the Lord before we moved into a prayer circle for each other.
We prayed for around 45 minutes to an hour as we laid hands on each other and prayed for the person in the middle of the circle, called the "hot seat!". It’s hard to describe what this is like other than to say the amount of energy and movement from God spirit was palpable. We had our morning trip to the University canceled so it was a blessing to be able to spend this time together lifting each other up and loving on each other. We have been on the run since we got here so it was really nice to have a more relaxing morning where we could pour into each other and grow closer. Doing life with these people the last few days has been amazing. I feel like I’m getting a small glimpse into what heaven will be like surrounded by believers and praising the Lord at all times. That being said, hopefully heaven has fewer speed bumps and jackhammers than Peru.
We have moved into our personal quiet time and after this we will be visiting our second orphanage of the trip. Later this evening we have another church service to attend. I really enjoy the fact that we go to church every single day. It really helps stir up the spirit of God in me in the morning during our team worship experience and we pour out the anointing at each of the churches we visit.
This one is tough. Not exactly sure what to say after our recent experience at Centro Sharma orphanage. On one hand the kids are so happy to see you and grateful for you to be there it feels like you’re a superhero when you walk through the door. The bigger kids all enjoyed hugging us and speaking what little English they knew to us. Taylor even mentioned one of the older boys asked her for her phone number. I guess he also confessed that he loved her so she out here in Peru breaking hearts. Hopefully that young man will recover once he learns she’s left this country.
Next we spent time with the babies and they were just getting ready to eat their lunch at 2:30 PM. This is where the interesting experience starts. When we showed up the entire room was crying. These kids we all under two years old at the oldest and most of them probably under the age of one. They were brought what looked to be adult sized portions of chicken, rice and beans. A few of them had to be fed by us since they could not feed themselves. Alison asked one of the workers if this was the babies only meal of the day or if they got dinner? The worker responded that this is their lunch and they would get dinner later - which we would learn was a small bowl of soup just before their bedtime at 5PM.
While we were having conversations with the workers we noticed that nearly every single child needed to have their diaper changed. In fact, I was holding one of the young girls when Taylor told me not to move because there was poop so close to my arm that if I moved it I would’ve gotten it on my arm. I had to follow Alison back to the babies room to give the child to the worker so she could change her diaper and grab her without any feces hitting my body. It was as if we didn’t show up, those kids would’ve never got a clean diaper.
Fortunately, after lunch we were able to go into the yard and play with the children. I was tackled from all angles by about five of the older children - which was hilarious but also added to ankle injury I turned on the second day. As a sidenote I also have a stye on my left eye which I’ve never had before. Peru is taking its lashes at me but I know that God is here and these are temporary bumps for His ultimate glory.
The toys that the babies were playing with were for kids much older than them. We held and loved and hugged on these babies as if they’ve never been held and loved and hugged before. You could see in their eyes that all they wanted was to feel loved, be touched and encouraged. It was a little weird because the worker was working very hard and seemingly doing a good job but I also wondered if she worked like this all the time or just because we were here with them today.
As we went to leave, we brought the babies back inside and Allison and Taylor noticed that there was a bruise on the back of one of the young girls. I was holding the little girl and we pulled her shirt up to see huge bruises in the shape of an adult handprint over her little back. Taylor and I went outside to take a picture of what looked like a an abuse situation and to have it as evidence in case we needed to use it.
It was very difficult to leave those kids after knowing that there may be some abuse at an orphanage for these children are already struggling with self-esteem issues from having no family. It was even more frustrating to hear that someone had seen Taylor and I taking the pictures and ran to the director of the orphanage to let her know. The director then told Alison that when she comes back next time that she will not be allowed to take pictures.
As I write this blog we’re still trying to decide what to do with the pictures and consulting with the woman who runs Pat’s house here (Laura)on next steps. When we arrived back at Pat’s Place I had to run upstairs to keep from breaking down in front of the whole group. Without a doubt, this was the most painful emotion I have felt while here.
Not only are those little babies orphans, but they can’t take naps (the workers make them stay awake until bed time at 5PM), eat one giant meal a day (these little ones ate like their lives depended on that meal) and are subject to abuse from those working there. I pray that Jesus shows up there to change hearts and we were able to provide at least some kind of wake up call for the Director and best of all, we provided a lot of love for those little ones.
9:41AM (the next day)
This blog post today in arrears because we did not get home last night until 1 AM. We were at the same church as our Sunday morning service and when we walked in right when the service was about to start they were 3 to 4 people in the audience. However, true the Peruvian form, by the time Chuck started his sermon the place was full. Unfortunately, Stephanie felt sick all day and did not join us at the church service and Dana stayed back as well.
Chuck’s sermon was about relentless faith and he used 3 stories from the Bible to prove that relentless faith works. He spoke of the paraplegic who was lowered down into Jesus’ home (the faith of friends healing someone), the healing of a woman who touched Jesus garments to heal her daughter (the faith of a mother healing her daughter) and then finally a woman who had been bleeding for three years and touched Jesus it was healed of her disease (the faith of a woman healing her ailment). The final story was acted out as the congregation stood around Chuck while Taylor acted as that woman who crawled through the crowd just to get a touch of Jesus so that she could be healed.
Since everyone was already standing, Chuck asked them all to come to the altar and remain standing. We then went into a time of prayer for the healing of physical pain and prayers for our hearts to be healed and wounds given over to Jesus. Chuck did a wonderful job displaying what a father’s voice and attention sounds like when you say the name of Jesus. He gave an example of when his granddaughter called his name in an unexpected situation while walking down the street in Peru and he stopped in his tracks, turned to her, smiled and asked “what do you want?”. He mentioned that Jesus does the same thing for us every time we call his name. Jesus stops to pay attention to us and we have his undivided attention. Much like Chuck wants to help give whatever his granddaughter asked for Jesus wants to give us our desires so that we can use them to glorify God. Chuck did a great job in many people raise their hands that they had received their healing.
After the service Edgar drove Chuck to the airport and we all rode along. The highlight of the evening was getting Papa John’s pizza from the airport while Chuck went through security and we waited for him. You could see Edgar (our driver) and Luis were especially excited about the pizza as they essentially sprinted towards the Papa John’s station when we got there. All in all, it was nice to see Chuck off before he got on the airplane. The rest of us are staying back for a couple of days to continue doing God’s work before we leave here on Friday night. I cannot believe we are only a day away from that. This trip has been incredible and a blessing. Part of me doesn’t want it to end anytime soon.
Side note: On the trip back to Pat’s place from the airport, it was interesting to see how many people were still out on the streets. In fact we drove by a soccer field with its lights on at 12:30 AM and two teams out there playing a match. I didn’t realize Lima, Peru was as big as it is. Luis, our translator, mentioned that Lima has 10 million people in it. If feels like we’re always in the city regardless of how long we drive which is been up to an hour or more sometimes. Peru is an amazing country that seems to never sleep.