Thursday, May 5, 2011

3 months

A few weeks ago we hit our 3 month mark of living in Peru. Obviously, it has been a hard 3 months. We are still trying to get our feet under us in many ways. In many other ways we have come so far. The family that got off that plane 3 months ago is not the same family standing here today. We have a home, the kids just finished their first "bimestre" of school, and we can actually understand and speak a fair amount of Spanish. We are not as lost here as we once were.

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Inwardly, a lot of the intensity of moving to a foreign country has subsided. If I step back and remember where I was just a few months ago, I can be thankful that I no longer feel like I am standing on the edge of a cliff hoping not to fall off at any moment. Without that perspective, though, and in the moment of day to day life, I still feel like I am fighting to get by. Change is hard.


New country. New home. New schools. New grades. New language. New job. New culture. New rules. New food. New priorities. New schedule. New realities. New fears.


It is overwhelming. I feel like I need endless amounts of time and space to deal with all of this change properly. But the reality with 4 kids and the need to learn Spanish is that time and space is not something I have a lot of right now. The act of learning a whole new language is exhausting. It depletes what little reservoir of energy I have each day. But then I have 4 little people looking at me desperately, needing me more than ever.


Many days I long for the safe and comfortable again. Selfishly, I want to be able to turn a blind eye again to the poverty of this world. I wish that I could follow God and not really have that affect my life in uncomfortable ways. I don't want to be confronted with the blind child crying and begging for money as I walk through the mall or the crippled man at my car window when I stop at a light. I feel guilty for even complaining that I have to learn a new language or adjust to a new country when I have a home, food on the table, and running water. The burden is so heavy. My heart is always aching. Soon we will begin to move into personal relationships with women in very hard situations. How much more will my heart ache then?


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I stand here in this inbetween. Knowing I have so much, yet so easily defeated when I think of what I am missing. But the reality is that I am not missing much of importance. Safety and comfort only lead to complacency and control rather than humility and dependence. I don't want to be in control of my life and I don't want to be able to provide for myself what God can provide for me. Deep down, I know that engaging in this battle to bring justice is worth whatever it will cost us. And I know that while we will hopefully enable some people to change their lives and overcome the cycle of poverty, the greatest change will happen in us.


As Richard Rohr writes in
Falling Upward, "You see, authentic God experience always "burns" you, yet does not destroy you." (He is referencing Moses's encounter with the burning bush in Exodus 3).

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I don't want to be anywhere else but here, even though it burns. Oh, how it burns. I am thankful for the privilege of being in battle. We are going to witness and experience many harsh and unfathomable things in this battle, but the amazing and beautiful things will overcome. And I don't want to miss God because I chose the safety and comfort.


I want a lifetime of holy moments.

Every day I want to be in dangerous proximity to Jesus.

I long for a life that is filled with adventure, wonder, risk, and danger.
I long for a faith that is gloriously treacherous.

I want to be with Jesus, not knowing whether to cry or laugh.

Mike Yaconelli


**Small disclaimer: As I was writing this post I was really wanting to add lots of cool pictures of Peruvians. You may have noticed that most of our photos don't include people. We are extremely uncomfortable with showing up and shoving our camera in people's faces. We are here for relationships. One day when we have built trust with some people here and pictures with and of our friends occur naturally, we will be able to share more.

4 comments:

TacnaTeam2011 said...

We have also been here in Peru a little over 3 months. We live in Tacna, Peru. We left January 17th with the mission to start an after school program for the children in the area. We are only here until July and from what I know is that you will be in Peru for 5 years? I am in awe of that. We definitely understand how you feel.I hope the following verse will be an encouragement for you and your family. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 7-9
You will be in our prayers :) Blessings!

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I am grateful for your words and the truth. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey.

Sebrina Miller said...

Haven't caught up on your family going ons for several week so it was great to read several entries and be inspired by your journey once again. It is a challenge to me to wonder if i could do the same or even if Father is calling me to do the same, and live amongst those in poverty...as American life gets me down with niggling worries, I realise there is so much to be thankful for, and all Father God calls us to is to follow Him...

Thanks again for your great words.

Anonymous said...

AMAZING! My heart is touched by your entire family's love, dedication, will, courage, and hope. From someone who has a very special place in her heart for the people of Peru... specifically Pamplona... I am so encouraged by your story of faith in action. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I would love to meet you guys. I am heading to Peru for a few days in June before going to Ecuador for a 2 week nursing mission. My email is meganaliciablair@gmail.com. Let me know if I can bring you anything from "home".

With love and prayers,
Megan Blair