I hope you had a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year! I can’t quite believe it is 2013, amongst other things- this is the year in which I am returning the UK. With the start of a new year and preparations to leave Peru, I have been reflecting on the past year. I’m amazed at all that I have learned and experienced. Our God is truly an awesome and very gracious God. He has been my rock and my strength and been with me every step of the way! Psalm 139 v 9- 10 is part of one of my favourite Psalms from the Bible and I am able to say with confidence ‘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 spent a lot of December working on the A Rocha Peru website, updating both the Spanish and English parts of the site. I feel I have learnt a whole new skill set as well as another language! Do take a look at www.arocha.org/peru to see some of the work that I’ve done. I am also starting to tie-up my work on the education materials so that when I leave it can all be used and continued by other people.
At A Rocha Peru, we had our end of year celebration with the Board, members and volunteers on 12th December. We spent a lovely evening outside in the garden sharing what had happened over the last year. I spoke about our environmental education work. I didn’t have any time to prepare a speech but I still managed to give a good summary! It is always amazing to look back and see God’s hand at work and how times of uncertainty have turned into times of trust and growth. The following day, the five team members that work in the office A Rocha Peru went out for a tasty seafood meal. It was a lovely way to celebrate Christmas and the end of the year together.
Christmas in Peru is celebrated over the night of 24th December, welcoming in the 25th. On Christmas Eve, my church held a Christmas service and then I and a few others stayed on and celebrated Christmas together. At 11pm we sat down together for a turkey dinner with rice and potatoes. Followed by some homemade mince pies! At 12 we went out onto the street to watch all the fireworks that were being set off to celebrate the arrival of Christmas. I then went home to sleep for a little while before getting up to go and enjoy Christmas dinner with the Latin Link friends. We had a great day together, playing games, eating and giving presents. They really are a family away from home to me. I had a few days off between Christmas and New Year, so I got to enjoy the sunshine and spend time with friends. On New Years Eve, Christine, Sarah, Sharon and I went down to the coast to watch the fireworks and welcome the New Year in. It was a fun evening and watching the fireworks along the coastline was amazing if not a little risky!
I am now into the countdown before I leave. It all seems rather surreal. I leave my flat at the end of January and then become a bit of a gypsy until I leave. I finish my time with A Rocha Peru on the 15th February, and then I have the Latin Link Peru Conference and a week in the north. I am really starting to feel that I haven’t got too long left.
Thank you so much for all the letters and parcels that you have sent me during the past two years, they have really been such treats to receive and I have felt very blessed by them. The time has come to say ‘ Please do not send out anything as it cannot be guaranteed to reach me before I leave’!
Thank you so much for reading this and for all your support,
For those that Pray-
– For a lovely Christmas and New Year being surrounded by friends and ‘family’.
– That God is sovereign and holds A Rocha Peru in his hands
– For all that I have learnt, experienced and been challenged by in 2012
– For all the 25 things I was thankful for in my advent challenge, plus the many more things I could have added each day.
– That I would complete all that needs to be done and finish well at A Rocha Peru.
– That God would be my focus as I start to think about and plan to return to the UK
– That I would remember all that I have learnt, experienced and been challenged by throughout my time in Peru
– That A Rocha Peru would continue to be guided by and trust in our Heavenly Father in all that it does
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.