I write this from Lima, where I am based for this week. A new group of striders have recently arrived in Peru and I will be helping with their orientation. I will also be having some exciting meetings at the A Rocha Peru head office here in Lima. I am enjoying being in the big, bustling capital city of Peru and catching up with friends based here. Lima has a different climate to Ica and dare I say it, I am enjoying the cooler temperatures and cloudy skies.
Every time I write this blog I am always surprised how quickly the month has flown by and by all that has happened each month. The months seem to be flying by here and yet it feels like I am only just getting stuck into my work and life here.
I love my work with A Rocha, the mix of outdoor work, planting seeds and trees, office work, and planning, to working alongside people in youth and children events and spending time with the A Rocha volunteers.
Saturdays continue to be my busiest day of the week, the morning often starting work at 6.30am to avoid the heat of the day! We work on the garden for the Tinis programme, cleaning and preparing the land so it is ready for planting. At 9am we meet up with the girls from a local secondary school mid-morning. Next its home for lunch and in the afternoon we have the Tinis children’s club with about 10 children. Each week we do something that helps to create the garden, for example painting plastic bottles to use as plant pots then we read a Bible Story and have a discussion on what we can learn from the story.
Each child is keeping a diary each week of what we do and what they are learning, it has been great to see the progress they are making each week. In the evening it is straight onto the young adults group with church. Where we chat, play games or watch a movie and study the Bible together. Often I don’t see my bed until after midnight!
I now have responsibility for the educational programmes with A Rocha in Ica, which is a privilege and testing my Spanish but a task I enjoy. I pray that through all our work that people who see and know the reason we are doing this is because we care for God’s wonderful creation.
Friday afternoon and evenings continue to bring me great joy as I get to know the youth of ‘12 de Marzo’ as we spend time playing games together and learning from God’s word. They are always so welcoming and great fun to be with. 12 de Marzo is a very deprived area on the outskirts of Ica and is so named (12th March) as that is the date when the area was created. There is the hope that one day a church will be planted in this area of Ica.
On the 23rd September, it was Angel’s 18thbirthday party-what an event!! (Angel is the cousin of Pastor Jose and lives with us.)The church was highly decorated and packed with people for a concert of music and drama. There was plenty of food and it went on way into the night.
I am learning to be aware of God’s blessings every day. I am constantly amazed at Gods goodness to me. I have so much to be grateful for, I have running water every day, I have my own bedroom, I receive emails and parcels and I have a loving, heavenly father that will never leave me or forsake me.
I am very excited as on the 16th October, Gill, a good friend and old flatmate from Edinburgh is coming out to visit for just under two weeks. I am taking two weeks holiday to spend time catching up with Gill and exploring more of Peru with her.
Thank you SO much for reading this and all your support,
I do love hearing from you and your news!
For those that pray:
-That God provides ‘treats’ just when I need them, especially a two week holiday coming up at the end of October.
-That relationships are continuing to grow within the church and A Rocha.
-That I have been brought to Peru by God and He is teaching me so much.
– For lots of wonderful supporters who pray, read my blog and write to me-they really make a difference and I couldn’t do any of this without them.
-Pray for energy and that when I sleep that it is good, deep sleep and I wake refreshed and ready for all the day will hold.
-Pray that my Spanish continues to improve and that I have the discipline to continue studying the language
-Pray for all the children and youth that I work with, that they would come to know the living God as their Lord and saviour.
-Pray that Gill and I would have a great two weeks together in Peru , that we would encourage one another, be a blessing to each other and have time to relax and rest.
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.