TA Article July 2011:
A couple of reflections over this last month:
I have really enjoyed the interns this summer. It has been fun to have four extra “girlfriends” to giggle with. I have also really enjoyed having their help in the library work. Each of the girls was responsible for preparing a reading and activity for a library day. When I travel to our Cristo library (which is located way up from our neighborhood), I take one of the small public buses. One Saturday, Stephanie (an intern), traveled with me in the small bus up to Cristo for the library event. We were as crammed as could be in that little bus. I jokingly told her that I felt like I could really be in shape if I rode in the position I did for 10 minutes every day. I was literally aching when I got out of the bus from being so uncomfortable. I saw our situation as a “teachable moment” (that is for all the education majors out there). I told Stephanie that she had the opportunity to learn a lot of things this summer, but one thing I hope all of our visitors carry home with them is a new perspective on the world. There was a little old man (probably in his 80’s) that kept getting so cranky with me because my feet kept getting in his leg room–mind you, he was sitting and I was crouched and standing the entire time. I got so tickled at him because it seemed so ridiculous for him to get to be the grumpy one out of the two of us. But I shared with Stephanie that I would probably be grumpy too if I had to use that public bus system for 80 years. I have the money to take a taxi if I am running late. I have the convenience and money to take a taxi if I have my children with me and don’t want to cram myself and them onto the bus. Who am I to complain about such things? These people have it so much harder than I can ever imagine. The majority of the people cannot ever afford to take a taxi. I could give you countless other examples from our lives here like this, but that is one that I shared with Stephanie this past month.
We attended the wake for Abraham’s father. This funeral caused me to experience so many different emotions. For those of you that don’t know, Greg extensively studied the history of missions in Peru before we ever arrived here. He knew names, dates, locations, etc. When we met Abraham, and Abraham introduced Greg to his parents for the first time it was such a neat meeting. Abraham’s father is one of the founding fathers of the church here in Peru. Greg connected names to places and realized all of this in that first encounter with him. We have always had such admiration and respect for this man. Abraham asked Greg to share his reflection of his first meeting with his father at the wake. As I sat there listening to Greg speak, I was flooded with gratefulness for this man and his legacy. He lived a long and fruitful life, serving God for the greater good of the Kingdom. He raised five children with his sweet wife, and they are all faithful to a calling to live for God. Being the middle of five children, I got a little weepy at the thought of children becoming a living testimony to how a parent lives out their life. This made me think of my own parents and siblings, but it also made me think of myself and the children that Greg and I are raising in the Lord. What am I doing with my life, and what will people share at my wake one day? What ripple affect will me being here in Peru have for the Kingdom or in this world? The other big thing that made me weepy was looking over at Senora Olivera, Abraham’s mother. What a sad day to see your partner in ministry go before you. But on the other hand, what a joy to have lived a full life with a ministry partner at your side, knowing that he is in a better place and you will be joining him soon. Obviously, this made me think of my ministry partner, and I was overwhelmed with thankfulness.