Like I mentioned in my last post, I spent 10 days in Lima, Peru. It was absolutely amazing and changed my life. I feel like a different person. Normal life doesn't feel normal anymore--it feels dull. I miss the people of Peru. I miss my friends on Team 1 (and our fan club member, Amber).
Okay, I'll start at the beginning.
We did this trip with Never the Same Missions/Big World Ventures. If you haven't heard of them, they are a fantastic organization that does summer mission trips for teens. (Adults can go on it too, but it's geared towards teens and young adults. Adults are there mainly to minister to teens.) During the day, we ministered to the people of Peru and at night, we had a youth conference sort of thing.
On June 24, we arrived at the Embassy Suites in Ft. Lauderdale, FL for leader training. My sister and I hung out with some other the other "kids" while Mom was in training. This involved many, many Dutch Blitz games and some very violent games of Spoons. Also, there were some Coldstone Creamery runs where almost all of the people on the trip went. We filled up the entire store. I'm pretty sure that the people working there hated us.
|Mom and my sister in front of the hotel.|
The next day started intense drama practice. Intense as in from 9am to 6pm with an hour for lunch.
Here's a little excerpt from what I wrote on the second day of drama practice:
I'm exhausted. My legs are sore, my eyes stay open from sheer need to remain awake, and I hear video-game style music playing over and over in my head. Today was a very long day...and it's not over yet. This morning, we had to eat breakfast at 7, meet with our team (GO TEAM 1!) at 8, and be ready for drama practice at 9. Since then, I've had two 20 minute breaks and an hour lunch break. But I'm not complaining because I'm having so much fun! I've met so many amazing new people who are on fire for the Lord! (Our team is so lively and amazing!)
Then on July 29, we flew to Lima. The flight was very longgggg and boring because the airline we flew on didn't have TVs. I also forgot earbuds...
Okay, so like I said in my post last week, traffic is insane in Lima. So, it took us about an hour to drive to the hotel...even though it was about midnight.
The next morning, we had to be up at 7 to go down to breakfast. Team time was at 8 (where we met with our team for devotions) and we left at 9.
|This is breakfast on one of the later days.|
1. Drama days - we performed the drama three times in public places like parks and marketplaces.
|Here we were at a school.|
|Here we're at a park.|
|People watch our drama in a market.|
2. Community days - we spend the day in a community doing some small work projects, playing with the kids (painting faces and making balloon flowers + swords.)
|Me painting a little girl's face.|
|One of the communities was on a cliff.|
We also had a couple of free days. On the first free day, we went to a local restaurant called Cafe Cafe. Oh my goodness was it amazing. That night, the entire mission team went to Shalom Church. It was one the most amazing services I've ever experienced. We had an hour and a half of worship in both English and Spanish. Then, Susie Shellenberger gave a message (with a translator). We performed the drama for the church. Also, there was a dance party at the end, which was super cool. It was amazing to worship with the Peruvian people!
The second free day was an excursion to the Peruvian desert where we went sandboarding (basically snow boarding on sand dunes.) I'm still dumping sand out of my tennis shoes.
|When we were here, all I could think about was|
how much this looks like Katie Grace's novel,
Song of the Desert!
The third free day, my mom and sister went to the market, but I stayed back because I was coming down with a cold and we were to fly back home that night (fun, right?).
Other Cool Stuff That Happened
1. I gave my testimony for the first time.
After every drama performance, someone would explain the drama and then someone else would give his/her testimony. The last day, God gave me the courage to share what He's done in my life.
2. We invited a school to come watch the drama.
3. A lot of people got saved!
There will be people in heaven because a bunch of teenagers and adults took part of their summer to go to Peru. Oh, and one girl on our team got saved...but I'll talk about that in a minute. :)
4. This is cool as in cold. At our hotel, the hot water didn't always work. Not fun.
The guy who organizes the trips says usually the hotels are a step up from where we stayed. However, the hotel we stayed at this time had a lot of character.
You could go out on the roof, which was AWESOME.
5. The guys put on a special candlelit rooftop cake party.
Each girl got a rose, note, and a slice or two of cake. It was so special! There are great, godly guys out there. :)
These things were incredible. The worship. The messages. Oh, they were so life-changing. One night, we talked about not waiting to let go of our sins. Don't wait. And that's the meaning behind the green shirt you saw me wearing while eating breakfast that says "Today. Right Now. Immediately." That was such a moving night. We separated into our teams and let go of all of our sins. There was a lot of hugging and crying (hence the nickname "Cry Night")--especially when one of our team members gave her life to Christ! Oh, it was so amazing. We'd all been praying for her so hard! I started sobbing I was so happy.
|This was on 4th of July.|
That's all that I can think of for now. There might be a part 2 later. (Unless you guys are tired of me rambling about the trip and how amazing it was.)
To close this post out, here are some words from my Mom:
Next year, Big World Ventures is going to Guatemala, and we would love to go. (Many people participate in these trips year after year.) We are praying about God’s plan for us. If any of you feel called to do a mission trip next summer, we would highly recommend this trip for all ages. One woman on our trip is in her 60s and pulled around her oxygen with her everywhere that we went. You would not believe the health problems that she has, but she does not let anything stop her, and God used her in mighty ways to impact many lives. Please let us know if you are interested.