Monday, September 19, 2011

Peru: Compassion Sponsor Tour- Beginning

I'm sitting in bed with the sounds of city traffic below me, yet this is no normal city traffic. It is the honks, beeps, tire screeching sounds of the developing country of Peru. The voices of citizens echo across the streets, and even being six stories up sounds as if they are right next door. These sounds exceed the normal curfew of 11:00pm, and continue on through the night into the next day. The whistles blow and alarms sound, and I am reminded that I am of insignificance to the world. The people on the streets are busy with life, the buses have to be somewhere, and vendors are out to make a buck. I sit scrambling around trying to figure my thoughts of the past four days. Knowing I don't want to forget a single impression, yet wanting to let it process and embed deeper into my being.

And I sit thinking were do I even begin to express the meager thoughts from me.

The high end security was fresh as the tenth of September began, and with the eleventh looming nearer the area was tense... until you reached gate D16. 44 people all with one purpose with one goal to get to Peru and to be blessed by the work of Compassion International (little did I know this would soon become an understatement). My seat of choice at the gate was by a wide smiled Shan from Japan.  I small glimpse into the life I want to live at some point. A young beautiful homeschooled girl with more wisdom than any 15 year old I know sitting next to me on the plane. The presence of humor and adventure in the roommate chosen for me.

All apart of God's intricate plan for our lives, and I just sit reflecting on how this is going to bring me into His will.

The day was long with travel, muscles anxious to escape the confines of the micro space, and longing to see what lies ahead in a country that houses 8.5 million people in one town, Lima. The evening births morning and the walk begins through the streets were my husband once walked 15... 16 years ago. The city has changed, the people more skilled more developed, and I am just walking, breathing it all in.  The church entrance is full of pastries, people, knowledge, and longing. Modern technology in the middle of a world stricken with poverty, people here for one purpose to worship the Creator of this very moment. The moment when people of from two different worlds embrace, and come to the feet of an Almighty Father.

The time is short, the impression is sweet, and I wonder will I ever understand the true calling for my life. Balaam, a man of selfish ambition brought to humility and surrender through a donkey's intelligence. The market is full, the vendors are bartering, and the white people looks confused as words are spilled and numbers thrown in a foreign tongue. A nativity scene in the window ahead seems like  wonder in this mass chaos.

The evening races in, and I'm off to bed...

To say that the evening was slept without interrupt would be a fabrication because the night is young in a city of entertainment. The coffee is sweet and soothing to my heart as I seat reading 1 Peter...

Is it legal to read my Bible here... "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you." Should I put it away just in case it is... "But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed." Why would I even consider putting my Bible away and I am reading this passage? It isn't even illegal.

I take the ability to read the Word out in the open for grated. I take the silence around me at home for granted. I take the water I can drink from the faucet for granted. The ride on the bus is bumpy and long. The traffic is bumper-to-bumper, a fight to see who can honk first once the light is green, and I stare out the window. The Compassion Office colored in blue and the presence of God is magnifying right through. The staff lead us in worship, and the ball in my throat makes it hard to swallow. The realization that the people that make it possible for me to write to Smith are in this very room. I fight back the tears hearing the how the gears to this master clock. It is a well oiled machine that seems unbelievable to listen to it's inner workings.

They worship with such honesty that you turn to look inside the core of yourself at your own honesty. There were three areas in the office that really just brought into perspective for me: the director's office- a big room with her desk and large table for meetings with staff, the child's information staff- these are the people that get to know your child from parents to health issues, and they are the ones that take your child's photo for the packet you pick up. They are the ones that captured the image that I fell in love with. They were gracious enough to make me a Peru Sponsor Child... it was cute. The last area that really got to were the staff that read you letters and get them to you and your child. The paper you see your letter on is all them. The connection with these Compassion people was immediate; it was the fellowship of brothers and sisters of Christ coming together to love His people. Instantaneously, I fell in love with people that I didn't even consider in my time as I wrote my letters, as I printed out Smith's picture for our family wall... these people are family!

The center for children was a church with great pride as children draped the entrance with balloons, shouts, and smiles. The applause was deafening, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable. The wall up three flights of stairs to the smell of hard work awaited us as our group met with the Level 4 students (high school- my crew). As they began to share with their learned skills of beading, recycling, and cooking it was apparent that Compassion was irreplaceable. As the girl spoke of their hard labor she handed me her recycled flower, and it was at that moment that I received the hardest thing in my life receiving. I took the flower, turned away, and sobbed. It was then that another shock wave hit as the director of the school embraced me, the students embraced, and the specialness that they were giving me was what it felt like to truly receive.

I mean to seriously receive, a group that fight poverty daily, a people that think I am worthy of their gifts, and it was truly too much to bear. But with each hug I hugged harder soaking it in, allowing it to penetrate my heart, and it was then that I saw the heart of Christ in the body of a 15 year old. The waves good bye, the children sprinting after our bus desiring just one last look, and we were gone...

One heart torn in two different dimensions fighting to come together to make it whole again after the eyes have seen the human condition.

**Saturday, Sunday, Monday**


Jill Foley said...

I went to Peru last year (August 2010) I hope you have a wonderful time. If you see Cecilia (translator) tell her hi for me : ) and Soledad... such wonderful people there in Peru.

I'd love to know which projects you visit.

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