For Team Arequipa 2.0

We made a ten-year plan.

I don’t like leaving things unfinished. I do it all the time, though. Good intentions, resolutions, dreams, and plans. They are scattered around like rubble. Although Meg and I believe God is writing the next chapter, I have to admit that our story in Arequipa has that all-too-familiar unfinished feeling. Yet, to witness others being written into the story here reminds me that it’s not ours after all. It is, instead, the story of God’s faithfulness.

Therefore, the blessing I would speak has to start this way: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” You have come to join a struggling little community of disciples, not altogether different from the one that first read those words. God began the good work here. It was not ours to start or finish.

Accordingly, you have come to worship and serve as members of our Peruvian family. For this you have been called and sent by the Spirit and the church, and I bless your every good intention, resolution, dream, and plan. “For it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Remember this above all, at every turn. God’s faithfulness is before and beyond you. It is the meaning and power of your own work. It is the guarantee in the midst of doubt and weakness, through unfinished plans and unfulfilled intentions. Press on. Hold fast. Stand firm. Because our Lord Jesus is faithful.

God give you ears to hear and a grateful heart.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

God give you courage to seek the kingdom and sow the kingdom, and nothing less, at all cost.

“And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

I love you, my friends and coworkers. God bless your hands and feet, hearts and mouths. Love the family fiercely. Love our neighbors relentlessly. Love the Lord our God with all that you are.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”

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For Team Arequipa 2.0

Christmas in 2015???

I have already stated that this is a weird Christmas… our last in the beautiful AQP. I can’t help but wonder where we will be calling home one year from now. If Greg is accepted into one of his top three choices for doctoral work, there is no telling what Xmas 2015 will look like. (If he isn’t accepted, we are happy with living in middle TN leading up to Christmastime.)

Pasadena, CA (not much different than AQP)

pasadena

Boston, MA (I will have to emotionally prepare for this snow.)

beautiful image of snow covered street with christmas lights on a snowy afternoon in bostons beacon hill

Dallas, TX (not much different than TN)

dallas

 

Christmas in 2015???

Photoshop Peru

We have always gotten a good giggle out of our official photos taken here for new ID’s or passports. They majorly airbrush our faces and put color on our cheeks and lips. Today, Maggie’s teacher gave me her USB to copy off the graduation pics from her class. I got a really great giggle out of seeing these! I thought I would share. I love that they photoshopped entire scenes back behind them. It doesn’t look fake at all. 😉

Maggie Graduation Pic BEFORE…

 

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and AFTER…

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This next one is my favorite.

Maggie’s class picture where it was actually taken…

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And the new and improved photoshopped Arequipa edition…

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Isn’t that great!? Ha!

Photoshop Peru

CT–AQP “lasts” 2014

One thing that experts say is good for expats to do before leaving one of their “homes” is to make a list of their favorite places and plan a “last” visit in order to say goodbye. My kids will return to the states with their Pop and Gram on December 28. We have 29 days left to say some goodbyes. It is a good thing that some of them overlap.

The boy. Our sweet, Cohen Timothy. You entered the world as an Arequipeño looking like this…

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You will leave as an Arequipeño looking like this…

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taken in the Yanahuara Plaza by Eternity Fotos

You couldn’t be more excited to go to Pop’s farm in less than a month. You have no clue what is about to take place.

You cried that Manuela wouldn’t be at the house the last time we returned to Arequipa. You are upset when you don’t get to say goodbye to her when she leaves for the day. When we dropped Etelvina off after spending the afternoon with her, you cried that she wouldn’t come to the house to spend the night. (Ha!) You have such a tender heart, and you have won the hearts of two Peruvian grandmothers for sure. You will miss them so much, but you are so young, your memories will probably only be captured by the pictures we have taken, and believe me, I have taken plenty. 😉

I still thought it would be fun to ask you about your AQP favorites. You have completed an entire year of preschool all in Spanish with your 3 year old class. We are so proud of you. You will change so much by the time we return for our first visit back.

Places to visit:

  1. the playground close to our ASA house
  2. the café (unfortunately, it shut down a few months back)

Foods to eat:

  1. Ají de Gallina
  2. chicken enchiladas (apparently AQP style)
  3. apples and strawberry/vanilla yogurt
  4. Queso Helado

What is one of your favorite memories of living in Arequipa?

firetruck birthday

What is your favorite Arequipa dish?

 Ají de Gallina

What will you miss the most about living here?

 Daddy and Mommy and Manuela (you apparently understand that we aren’t going with you in December)

What are you most excited about moving to the states?

the playroom (Pop and Gram’s) and playing with bicycles and basketballs outside and their playground castle

Anything else???

I am going to miss my playroom upstairs.

 

CT–AQP “lasts” 2014