Whilst I was on holiday, Ica experienced a 6.9 earthquake (28th Oct) and there have been several aftershocks since. Amazingly no one was killed but people were injured and there is structural damage. Life is returning to normal, however there is still a great deal of fear in the city as memories of the devastating earthquake in 2007 are fresh in people’s minds. Please pray for protection over the city against further earthquakes and please pray that the people of the city will know the peace of our great God in the face of uncertainty.
This peace and hope in God is something that God is working in me by His Grace. I am learning that through the rough and the smooth, the rollercoaster of emotions, changing circumstances that God is my comfort and my rock. I am thankful to God for His promises: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb 13: 5) I don’t always understand why things happen as they do but I trust that God knows me better than I know myself and He knows what I can bare. I am learning to put my trust in my God who has authority over the entire universe, who provides for all my needs, who sustains me and gives me strength.
On the 31st October A Rocha joined in with a local church’s ‘Light Party’, an alternative to Halloween. There were games, puppet shows and plenty of sweets! Over 200 children passed through the doors that night. I was amazed by the vast number of children on the streets ‘trick or treating’ but it was wonderful to be involved in telling them that Jesus is the light and having a party that celebrates good rather than evil.
We are now beginning to plan for Christmas events and starting to hand over the projects to local communities. We are also planning to have the gardens finished by mid-December. A Rocha’s involvement in ‘Project Hurarango’ will end in January 2011 with the aim being for the local communities take on responsibility for the gardens when we leave. I am sad to leave but I know that seeing the communities take ownership of the projects will be worth it! I look forward to coming back and visiting and seeing how they have grown. There is a lot to be done before we hand over so please pray for us that everything will get done and that the help that we need to finish these projects is provided.
Saturday afternoons, running a children’s club continue to be great fun and the children have so much enthusiasm, I pray that each week these children would come to know Jesus as their personal Saviour as well as being able to care for God’s creation.
Gill and I had a great time on holiday; it was such a blessing to spend time with her. We had a lovely time catching up and exploring more of Peru together. For both of us the holiday came just at the right time! I really needed that break!
At the end of my holiday I spent some time with a long-term missionary, Sharon Jones based in Lima. It was also a great chance to see her work and meet the people she works alongside on the outskirts of Lima.
In my last blog I shared my plans to stay on in Peru for another year with you. Next year I will be moving to the capital city Lima and will be staying in my own apartment there. Due to this increase in my expenses I need to raise a further £250 a month plus money to buy furniture, household goods etc to set up a flat and £500 for a return flight. This is quite daunting but I trust that if it is God’s will, He will provide.
Thank you so much for reading my blog updates and for all your support- thank you- you are enabling me to work alongside A Rocha in Peru.
Next week a collection of photos from life in Ica will be appearing so come back and take a look!
Un grande abrazo,
For those that pray-
– that God keeps His promises and will never leave me
– thank you that I had such a refreshing and fun time with Gill on holiday
– that I feel I have some good friends in Ica
– that so many children came to the Light party and heard that Jesus loves them.
– that I am really enjoying and having fun with my work.
Please pray for
-the people of Ica, that they would know the peace of God in the face of uncertainty about the earthquake recurring
– all the planning and preparation for the upcoming events in the run-up to Christmas, pray that we would proclaim confidently that Jesus is Saviour and that people would turn to Him
– for continued and additional financial support for another year in Peru
– that I would trust God with all of my life and that I would daily surrender my life to Him
– continuing development of friendships with A Rocha volunteers and people in my church.
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.