My flights are booked! I fly out on the 10th July from Gatwick airport. I am excited yet my mind feels messy as I go through to-do lists, sort out my belongings, organise myself to spend precious times with family and friends and try to process leaving the UK and going to Peru.
I am now based in Exeter until I fly out. Dad drove me and my belongings down from Edinburgh on the 8th June. Saying goodbye to Edinburgh made me realise how much of a home it had become. I feel like my mind is in a bit of a dichotomy at the moment as I miss my friends in Edinburgh muchly and would love to go back. Yet I have such a strong longing to be in Peru. Thank you to all my friends and my church (Ps & Gs) in Edinburgh for making me feel so loved and supported. I have taken with me many treasured memories. Thank you!
As I look forward, my first few days in Peru will be based in Lima, the capital city. I will have some orientation with Paul Turner the Peru team leader for Latin Link, continue the process of getting a visa and catch up with friends. I fly down to Arequipa on the 14th July before I start language school. Learning/refreshing my Spanish will be my main priority for the first few months.
In Arequipa I will be house sharing with Ruth McKee. I got to know Ruth while we had one term together at Redcliffe Bible College. I am looking forward to seeing her again. Ruth has been in Peru for 2 years, so it will be great to have someone to show me around.
I am looking forward to having some rest days in Exeter, time to be still and to breathe. I am enjoying being back in Devon, cream teas and a slower pace of life are just what I need at the moment. I am learning to see God in the everyday and trying to become more aware of His presence in what seems to be the mundane parts of life.
I would like to finish this post echoing some of the words I wrote in 2010 before I went to Peru for the first time. “I am hopeful that good relationships will be formed and that God will provide a Christian community to belong to. I pray I will settle in quickly and I become involved in my local community. The words of Psalm 139:9 are a great comfort to me: If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” I am not doing any of this alone.
I am incredibly thankful for all your support, encouragement and prayers.
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.