Thursday, September 24, 2009

Some things that hit hard...

Yesterday was a great day of rehearsal and break outs for the kids. I love my class and how social they are, even if it is difficult to teach. It has been somewhat frustrating to not feel well because my personality is to not miss out on anything. So I want to keep going, even when I need to rest and settle down-and that is hard. The Lord was good though, and I made it through the day and night last night. I loaded up with TamiFlu, IBU, and a sleeping pill and hit the hay. Everyone is shocked at the medicine I can ingest, but that is what happens when you grew up with a parent that was a pharmacist!

I had to take this time at lunch to blog and tell you of two things that have really hit me hard since yesterday. Ellen and I helped the Chef was dishes after lunch yesterday, and he was so grateful. We talked about his family and how his daughter needs clothes. When we asked him what kind, he emphasized her need for t-shirts. How convicted I felt about my tupperware container of t-shirts under my bed. (I know Anna will really tell me to get rid of them now.)
A few moments later, David walked by to tell the Chef what a great job he did
with lunch and how wonderful it was. The dialogue went something like this:

David: Muchos Gracias! That was muy delicioso!
Chef: Ahhh, Gracias, really?! Well, I find your worthy of such food.
David: No, no, we are not.
Chef: Well, you are not, but you are in Christ, and because of Him you certainly are!

I have been so broken this week as I compare the difference of dependence upon the Lord between Americans and Peruvians. The more I hear them pray, engage in conversations, and see how selflessly they
serve - the more I am faced with the fact that they understand and live out the Gospel in a way that I do not. Several members of our team wear the Mocha Club Shirt that says, "I need Africa more than Africa needs me." That phrase has become my motto for Peru.

When we arrived to the Guzman's, where we are staying, around 9:00 last night, we were greated by a stranger telling us to come in quietly. When we walked in, I was in
complete shock at the sight I saw. We entered a room of about 20 men on their faces crying out to God. I dont think I have ever seen such fervent prayer. As we got ready for bed we noticed the men stayed on their knees. We dont know how long they had been praying before we arrived, but it carried on for at least 2+ hours. As I drifted to sleep, I was encompassed by the sound of these men praying, then singing, then praying, then singing. Later, their wives came up to meet them and they all joined in together. I could not help but try and think of the last time I got on my face before the Lord and what it would be like to happen upon the men of Fellowship in such a prolonged posture. It moved me beyond belief.

Today is the “e-camp” worship service with the kids. We have been preparing all morning for this service tonight. Please pray for our last breakouts with the kids this afternoon, and the service tonight. Many of the children's parents are not believers. It is our desire that the Lord uses these children to lead them to Christ as they worship tonight. The service is at 7pm – so please pray during that time.

*sick update: I am making it. The ladies on our team prayed for me this morning, and since then I have felt better. I still have a fever, chills, and am weak - and I also still have some digestional issues, but the Lord is sustaining me. I am taking TamiFlu and IBU and napping when I can to keep things at bay. Your prayers are much appreciated. I want to participate and serve as much as I can, please pray the Lord would heal me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mid Week Low Down

I just worked on a great update and lost it. Now I do not have much time, so I will have to make this quick. Our time here has really been amazing so far. I continue to be humbled and more grateful for what God has blessed me with. It seems wrong that I have so much.

Our last few days have been packed. I am about to post videos
(if possible) and photos of events from the last few days:

-beginning of camp (kids are much more rowdy than we expected, but so fun)
-feeding the children in Chillon (absolutely heart breaking)
-Peruvian Folk Band (unbelievable)
-house (pictured left) and school visits (below)
-shots from the roof of the church
Last night gave everyone a bit of a scare. I was trying to go to sleep and got up to take some medicine. The ladies insisted on taking my temperature, and found out I had a fever.

Thanks to some sleep, and many prayers, I feel much better. If you read this, please pray my fever does not return and that I stay well. Today is our 3rd day of camp and tomorrow is the "big day." Please pray for us as we continue to teach these kids about what it means to worship God, and as we join them in leading their friends and families in worship tomorrow night.
Friday morning we will go to the market, and see other parts of Peru. Saturday morning we will go to an orphanage, I am eagerly expecting this trip. It is truly amazing that the people of Comas live like they do. We are far, far too blessed.

Above: Peruvian Folk Band
Above: Oatmeal type drink we fed the Kids
Above: Children being placed on stage for camp rehearsal

For more pictures and details about what we are up to, please visit Jessica's blog:

(I hope)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day One::Blown Away

Wow. We are finally here in Comas. I had tears in my eyes when greeted at the airport last night. These people were so very excited to see us and welcome us to Peru. I was very excited to meet Angie (pictured right), a translator of ours, and a friend of many of mine. I am at a loss for what to say because I am so overwhelmed. My heart is already bursting at the seams with love for these people and this culture. I have never witnessed such extreme poverty,
and I have never been more embarrassed to have a North Face jacket. Already, I am extremely humbled, and grateful. We had breakfast at the Church this morning and then went up the hill to look out over the city.

We met many women and children that I immediately wanted to take home with me. I am afraid this trip will only increase my desire to adopt. These children were content, kind, and warm hearted. The kids in Peru hardly have anything. Funny how I suddenly could care less about the safety of my camera so long as it meant they could play with it. I met a girl named Nicole (pictured left) and told her that was my middle name, she was so excited. Pastor Enrique prayed for us on the mountain and talked to us about the importance of it in the Christian journey. Its really neat to see how close you can feel to people you have never met, because they know the Lord.

After our trek up the mountain, we came back to the church for a welcome party, amazing food, and dancing. This afternoon we have had rehearsal for the 5 worship services we will conduct for the Church tomorrow.

Please keep praying for us. We begin our day tomorrow at 6am with the first service. I will update again as soon as possible. I wish words could give enough justice to tell what all the Lord is doing in my heart, but they do not suffice . . .

Friday, September 18, 2009

bienvenidos a miami

Greetings from Miami!!

Boy. It has been a looooong day. I went to bed at midnight last night and woke up at 3:20 to leave for the aiport by 3:40 this morning. Needless to say, I am exhausted. Good News: I do not require much sleep. Bad News: I have hardly gotten any this week. I am not one to sleep on various modes of transportation. So I sit and watch as others slumber. Bummer.

We are on the home stretch of our 8hr layover in Miami. I know, seems crazy, but it saved us lots of money, so we went with it. Our team enjoyed a nice, authentic Cuban lunch at La Carreta today. I ate like a boy. Shocker. It was so good though. I now know how my friend LeighAnn feels living in Miami. I could hardly order my food because I did not understand a word the lady was saying ... because she was speaking in Spanish! Am I already in Peru?! Feels like it! I have only heard Spanish all day.

After lunch we spent time preparing and reviewing songs, dances, verses, scripts, etc. I am just hoping I can sleep on our flight tonight. Lucky for us, there is no time change between Nashville and Peru - we are due to arrive in Lima around 10pm. Thank you all again for your prayers and support. I am so excited to see what the Lord does in and through us! Time to board the plane ...

Monday, September 14, 2009

shooting for the soul

This past Friday I had more fun than I have had in a while.
There are many reasons for this.
I will give 3.
1. I was outside.
2. I was engaging my creative side.
3. I did not look at my phone for 3+ hours.

I helped assist and produce a photo shoot with some friends of mine in Franklin.
I learned alot, but I am still quite the amateur. Here are some of my favorite shots.