This week and last have been all about harvest. I have been a part of school assemblies, all age services and also reflective services. I have been blessed and overwhelmed with the welcome I have received and enjoyed sharing about God’s harvest in Peru.
While reading the bible and praying this week a quote jumped out at me from Casting Crowns:
‘If you’re not praying, you don’t have a relationship; you have a worldview. Prayer reminds us that we’re talking to somebody who is listening.’
I’ve had so many conversations over the years about prayer and how people find it so difficult to pray. People can often make it over complicated which I feel detracts what it really is. This quote reminded me of how simple prayer can be and yet also how powerful it is.
The other quote that just this morning made me think was from ‘My utmost for his highest’ devotion:
‘Service is the overflow which pours from a life filled with love and devotion.’
I have been sharing about my service in Peru on my travels around Britain and the thing that strikes me most is my love for God grows every day. My love for his people and especially those people who are forgotten about by society.
I want to encourage you today to pray, pray and sow a seed into other people’s lives and your own. Prayer draws you closer to your Heavenly Father. As you pray your love grows and you can’t help but serve Him.
Have a blessed week as you draw closer to God and see a harvest in the lives of others and yours.
I’ve gone further than The Proclaimers would have!
Scotland, Wales and England, the tour has definitely got underway.
Over the last few weeks I have driven over 1300 miles, slept in 9 different beds, spoken at churches, prayer meetings and BBQs and met some lovely people along the way. This tour has been all about sharing what God has been doing in Peru but also in my life. Thank you to all the churches I have visited so far, you have made me feel so welcome and blessed.
I never enjoyed public speaking but time and time again I see Gods power and love in action when I stand up and his word flows from my mouth. I’ve said before I’m a gardener not a preacher and I stand by that but I also know we go through different seasons and God gives us the strength for everything He asks us to do.
I still have 2 months of touring Britain and I look forward to meeting more of you all along the way.
Below are the top 5 things that will will take a bit of getting use to, good and bad.
It comes straight out the tap and I can drink it from the tap. It tastes so good. It is also hot in my shower. I think that is the first hot shower I have had in over 3 months and it was lovely.
Lots of different food to try. I haven’t ventured into a supermarket yet as the petrol station alone overwhelmed me. The choices and the prices!
The men around me are not insisting on helping me with my heavy bags. I noticed this first in the airport, not a trolley in sight and 3 suitcases. I partly like this as I am capable to carry a lot of things but I did get use to stepping back to allow men to help me carry things as it would offend them if I didn’t. I will say though I enjoyed the minute we were in Scotland as the banter rose around me and we were all joking together with stangers.
It’s so cold. I’m walking about with a fleece on while everyone else is wearing shorts and t-shirt. It rained all day yesterday but people were out and about. In Nauta everything shuts down in the rain.
The money seems so huge here and there is a new system to swipe your card at tills that is way to easy. I think I have spent more money in these 3 days than I did last month in Peru. I need to find a job!
Well I will now be off on holiday with the family as I still haven’t seen most of them and then I will start home assignment. I hope to see you at a church near you. Have a great weekend.
This week has been all about the last-minute things. I have been painting and feeding plants. Along with this has been the usual admin tasks of closing bank accounts and canceling my Peruvian visa. I am now a ‘tourist’ for the last 2 days here in Peru.
I have also had the pleasure of being able to say my ‘see you later’s’ (never goodbyes) to various people. I was able to fit in a quick visit to Arequipa to see everyone there and tomorrow we have a lunch planed with the pastors and friends in Iquitos.
The rest of this blog will be in Spanish and is a huge thank you to all in Peru who have supported me and will forever be in my heart. (I was told off the other day that since my blogs were always in English my friend was not able to read them).
Gracias a todos mis amigos y amigas aqui en Peru. Gracias a los pastores en Loreto que han sido muy amable y generoso conmigo. Me han dado la bienvenida en sus hogares y han compartido tanto conmigo.
Un enorme agradecimiento van a mis maestras de espanol Lula, Sandra y Aby. Sin sus paciencia y determinacion que nunca habría aprendido el espanol que tengo. Ustedes me han ensañando mucho mas de lo que creía que era posible. Que Dios les bendiga y les guarde.
Peru y su gente siempre tendra un lugar en mi corazon.
Please pray for me as I start my journey on Monday and get back to Scotland on Tuesday evening.
Over the last few weeks I have been in a bit of a daze with so many emotions running around me. With all that is happening back in Britain at the moment I fear I am returning to a very different country than I left. I’m being torn between the amount of work here in Nauta still needing doing and the longing to be with and help my family.
Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on
And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go
As I was painting yestarday singing away to my music this Casting Crowns song came on. The words stopped me in my tracks and made me praise God.
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held
As I go into my last week I relax in the knowledge that God’s got it all, I’m doing what he has asked of me and I need to ‘Just be held’.
So much has been happening I thought some photos were needed!
New painting has been keeping me busy.
Kids playing at the training week
Laura teaching creation care.
The other photos would not load due to the bad internet but i hope these give you a flavour of whats been happening.
What a training week to be my last before heading home next month. It has been an amazing week. We have received the most people since the training started. We are working with pastors from 2 different river community’s.
40 pastors/leaders have turned up and about 10 kids. Laura and I have been racing round trying to find enough bedding and places for people to sleep. Thankfully people are not that fussy and are happy to sleep on a thin mattress on the floor. While I was waiting in the queue for lunch the cook looked a little flustered and said they had ran out of spoons for the soup. I rushed to the house and grabbed the few we had and when I got back they had ran out of bowls. I eventually got to the front of the queue to discover fish was being served, I thanked God that there was no more plates and went back to the house for a fried egg.
Last night we were challenged again when our prayer for rain to fill the tanks cam with great force. As Laura and I mopped water from our house that was pouring in we had to then move some peoples sleeping arrangements as one room had flooded.
The pastors are amazing though and don’t really complain. They are here to learn and that is the main point. They are still laughing and joking and all in good spirits.
Today on the last day of teaching I am sitting listening to Laura talking about creation care, how to look after the earth God has blessed us with.
Genesis 1:1 In the begining, God created the heavens and the earth.
I am reminded why we are actually here, why God had called me to Nauta in the first place and thank God that the work will continue.
Were my words to Laura on Monday afternoon. Every year we paint all the buildings at the training centre, but last year due to one reason or another it got overlooked. We have been meaning to do it and had even discussed changing the color scheme to lilac on the top part and purple on the bottom.
The biggest problems here are the kids with muddy hands and dirty dogs who think nothing of wiping dirt all over our walls. We therefore decided to try a darker color on the bottom to try to combat these issues.
I hunted high and low in Iquitos for lilac but had to make do with a light blue and add a little of my dark purple to achieve the color we wanted. I have been painting all week while listening to music. It’s a hard life I know!
Sadly I was rained off for a full day which ment having no excuses but to tackle paperwork and start putting together what I am going to say to all the churches when I get back. This was a nice change in the end and today im back at my painting trying to get most of it done for the upcoming training week on Monday.
Please pray for all the pastors who will start traveling here this weekend.
The team sadly left yesterday but not without blessing me so much. I was treated to a wee bit of luxury with a night in a hotel with hot water and a yummy breakfast. Upon receiving a bowl of fruit I politely asked if I could have a different bowl without bananas as i was elegiac to them. The waitress was very kind and brought me a different bowl right away. I looked at the fruit and thought it looked a little boring now that it was all the same colour but thought nothing more of it as we all got chatting and eating.
For the last team devotion that morning, the topic was the fruits of the Spirit and how we are like a fruit bowl full of all different fruits. We serve and amazing God and we are all needed for different reasons and we need to stop comparing ourselves to others. God has given each and every one of us our tasks and we need to focus on them.
The thing that I have loved most about this team was the kids that came along. They did not just come because their parents were here but because they were a vital part to the team. I watched the 3 girls, 6,7 and 9 in age not just play about but join in with the work. They acted in the dramas for the kids, they prayed and they lit up my day. They also ended the team time with a puppet show on the fruits of the Spirit. The teenage lad who was also here stepped up and became translator for the group for the latter part of the week and also led us in worship with his guitar.
Each and every member of the group was a different fruit and vitally important to the flavour of the salad. Don’t ever think you are not qualified, just try your best to show the fruits which God has given you.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Wow, is about all I can say. I was too busy yestarday to write this but I also couldnt find the words to describe what has been happening here this week.
Throughout the week the team have been holding medical clinics, hairdressing and also playing with the massive amount of kids. About 80 people came to the clinics for various illnesses and were given medication and prayed over.
The kids here are just desperate for attention and starved of love. Seeing the smiles on thier faces fills my heart with such love and compasion.
On Thursay and Friday evening the team ran a Marriage course. The first night we had no idea how many to expect, we had about 30 women, 2 men and of course 80 children. I helped with the kids and enjoyed a puppet show and coloring together. After hearing the testimonies later that evening as we shared and prayed I had tears rolling down my face. On Friday night God just blew us away. We had 40 women, 7 couples and about 90 kids. The people are seeking God and God is moving. We managed to entertain all the kids for nearly 3 hours with a huge screen projector and popcorn. I have never seen these kids so well behaved and actualy paying attention. Again later in the evening when we were all sharing I had tears running down my face. There is so much pain here, so many hardships and yet I was reminded that in God we live, move and have our being. Apart from Him we can do nothing.
Please join me in prayer for those who have attended meetings over this week. May God continue to move in thier lives. Please pray also for the church here that we may have good leadership to contiue this great work.