The goodbyes have begun as I said ‘adios’ to the Shelley family who I lived with for several months in Ica. As they return to Florida in the USA, it was sad to see them go as I am not sure when I will see this lovely family again. I headed down to Ica a few weekends ago to say a final goodbye to friends. It was great to see people again and catch up on news. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to live and work amongst some great people in Ica and I will never forget their patience, kindness and the fun I had with them. I am so thankful that I got the chance to go back one last time and know that for them it also meant a lot.
Work with A Rocha Peru is slowing down for me, I have finished work on the website, sorting out our books and resources in the office and I have just about finished the educational material that I have been working on. It will be sad to leave A Rocha Peru; I know much is going to happen in the coming year. There will be changes in the team, new projects, greater reliance on God and these are the things I know about! I look forward to seeing how things progress in the future.
I no longer share a flat with Christine. Living this past year with Christine has been such a blessing for me and will miss living with her muchly. I am now staying in the Latin Link visitors flat until the conference.
I head to the Latin Link Peru Team conference on 17th February. It will be great to see people again and to catch up on news. Before then I say goodbye to folk at A Rocha Peru and to two other striders, Joanne and Linda as they pass through Lima on their way home. These coming weeks are going to have lots of goodbyes, something which I don’t enjoy at all. I know it is going to be hard going at times, but I want my eyes to be fixed on Jesus. He will be the one constant in my life and he is my source of strength in everything. One thing I know for sure, Peru has captured my heart, it is going to be heart-breaking to leave, but I pray that this may be a time of thanksgiving and joyfulness as I thank people for all they have done in my life.
It is incredible to think that 2 years ago I was preparing to come out with a mixture of excitement and nerves and now a lot of the same feelings are returning as I prepare to come back to the UK. In many ways I feel there was more known about coming out to Peru than there is in heading back to the UK. I feel more nervous about coming back to the UK then I did coming out, but I know that I am not coming back alone; Jesus has gone before me and will be with me, every step of the way.
Thank you so much for all your support it really means a lot to me and it does make a difference,
P.S. Below I have posted an ‘essay’ I wrote for a cultural project on The Shining Path terrorist group in Peru. Do take a read.
For those that pray-
-for all friendships I have made in Peru over the last 2 years
-that Jesus is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow, that he has me in his hands and I need not fear the future
– that I have experienced and learnt so much during my time in Peru, pray that I would not forget these things.
-that God would be my strength and focus in all my goodbyes over the coming weeks
-that the Latin Link conference would be a great time for the Peru Latin Link team and I would enjoy my holiday before I leave
-that I would finish well and settle quickly back into the UK
After some language training to improve my Spanish I will be taking up the role of Short Term Coordiantor (STC) for Peru. The STC coordinates the Latin Link Step (teams) and Stride (people) programmes, placing them in projects lasting from a few weeks to two years. Based in Arequipa, I will be getting involved in a local church and my local community.