Thursday, July 14, 2011

We have not been on here in such a long time and the more time that passes the harder it becomes to post. Neither Geoff or I are great at loading pictures, and we admit that this is no excuse for not posting something. We apologize. With this said, we have decided to recommit ourselves to blogging...again...and will be posting weekly from this point forward. We should probably begin by catching everyone up on our lives, ministry, and cultural adjustment.

We have been in Lima now for a year and a half and much of this time has been focused on learning the culture and the language. At this point, we are still trucking along in the language learning department. Although we see progress, we are far from fluint and have "those days" when it feels like we don't know a lick of Spanish. We can be hard on ourselves for being here as long as we have and still not knowing the language.

It is easy to compare ourselves to young single adults who seem to pick up the language much easier than us. What is wrong with us? Why can't we do this? Then we remember that we are raising a family in foreign country and this takes an enormous amount of effort and energy. We have occasion for using English regularly and therefore forfeit the benefits of true immersion. Welcome to my inner turmoil - "You should be speaking fluint Spanish." "Don't be ridiculous! I'm lucky I can still speak English by the end of a day of raising four kids in Lima..." And so goes...

The kids are doing well and seem to be healthy and thriving. We put Chi back into a Peruvian school recently, and he is already gibering Spanish to himself as he plays around the house. Lily and Eli just began 3rd/4th grade (hard to explain...when you homeschool, you can do crazy things like teach half 3rd grade material and half 4th grade material, depending on where your kids are at in a given subject). Zeke is starting first grade and is fortunate to be getting any attention at all with the amount of time it takes to complete Lily and Eli's lessons. (Don't worry. He is really not being neglected. And will be sharp as a marbel by the time I'm done with him.)

Our work with Word Made Flesh Peru has been challenging. We have been in, what feels like, a perpetual state of transition and change since the beggining of the year, and it is still unclear what the end result will be when the dust settles. We are hopeful that God's will will be done and that the major structural changes occuring will result in a more effective, God honoring and God glorifying minsitry among the vulnerable and marginalized living in Lima, Peru.

We have also been spending our weekends in Santa Rosa (a small town on the outskirts of Lima) where we have been serving our Peruvian friends who are planting a church there. There is some talk about the possibility of WMF Peru becoming involved in the ministry there, and we are hoping that this conversation might open a door for us to move to Santa Rosa and to work through the local church, participating in what God is doing in that community. Only time will tell.

In other news, we recently hosted a team from our home church, First Baptist Chruch of Columbia. Eight of our brothers and sisters in Christ blessed us with there presence and labored beside us for 10 days. It was a sweet time for all of us, and God was faithful among us during their visit. We look forward to receiving more friends next month. (December is a great time to visit. Anyone interested?)

In all things, we are learning to trust God and to submit to His good, perfect, and pleasing will. The challange is to look for and to except His will for the here and now without needing to know the destination (i.e., His will for tomorrow - or months or years down the road). I've got this mastered in theory and now I'm just trying to actually apply it to my anxious heart and distracted mind.

Here are some pictures so that you can remember what we look like and picture our pretty faces whenever you are on your knees interceeding for us (I assume you either are praying for us or will start today...Right!?).

This is Santa Rosa and some of the kids who attend the "Friends of Jesus" club every Saturday.

Lily and Chi on Chi's first day back to school.

Our "new" car that we purchased about a month ago.

A picture from our recent trip to Tarapoto in the high jungle of Peru. Interesting side note: Raechel picked an unwanted souvenir while she was there...Thyphoid. Bummer!