“Men make plans and God laughs.” Day by day on this outreach God has been making this quote more clear to me. The first time I read it I had mixed feelings about it. Like why would God give us dreams and not allow us to plan for them, and be prepared for what the future brings. And on the other hand there was this thought in my mind that God knows everything that was and is to come. Why wouldn’t he laugh when we try to prepare for the storm when we don’t even know what kind of storm it is?
“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna to get.” This quote from Forrest Gump holds especially true on outreach. As a team we never know what is around the next corner, whether it be good, bad, or otherwise. The one thing that has been made clear to me is that through it all, God isn’t surprised. He has a plan. Because of this, we have to become like Forrest Gump and in every situation be willing to say “okay” to whatever God asks. This week has been full of unexpected twists, but when we follow God’s calling they always turn out to be far greater than we could imagine. Throughout this past week we spent time at several different establishments including a hospital , a nursing home, and, for the first time this week, a special education school. We arrived at the nursing home on a Tuesday only to find its outer gates locked.
This last week has been all about relationship for me. God has been showing me the importance of loving Him and others well. This week my team and I have pressed into God’s love, and used that to do some crazy things in Ayacucho. The day that impacted me the most was when I set out with three other members of my team and headed into the town square. When we arrived we all prayed that God would show us what we were supposed to do, and one of the girls, Hannah, prayed that the light in our eyes would bring people to us. Seconds after we finished praying an elderly gentleman approached us and stuck up a conversation. We talked about life, family, love, and God for about 45 minutes, and after we finished the man said that he had come over to us because Hannah’s eyes looked exactly like his mothers.
As week number two is already wrapping up, I am just amazed by this opportunity we have here to grow in relationship with each other and build relationship with both our hosts and the people of Ayacucho. This week our host Samuel, has been extremely busy with school (I seriously don’t think this guy ever stops). For instance he has had 12 exams in 6 days. Due to that fact, he didn’t exactly have the time to take us to do ministry with the people of Ayacucho. However, we decided to bless him by painting his house for him. We have been painting everything white. Yep, painting the blue walls, white… the yellow wall, white… the brick on the outside, white… and the white walls, white. Although, on Thursday we got the opportunity to paint some letters on the outside of Samuel’s apartment a bright yellow. But hey, who doesn’t like painting? Oh right, one of our team members doesn’t… everyone else here does so I’d say it’s been a pretty fun week.
Our first week here in Ayacucho, Peru is now complete and ready to be stored in the “did I just get to experience that?!” compartment of my mind (There’s a lot compiling up in there but somehow it never seems to run out of room for more). While the first few days consisted of 9 heavy and consecutive legs of travel, God proved himself faithful, blessing us with a luxury overnight bus ride to restore us 9 weary travelers. We were greeted in the bus terminal by the most adorable Peruvian kids trying to sneak pictures of us from the second floor; apparently we are quite a spectacle here. They finally worked up the nerve to come talk to us and bought little key chains for the guys, most likely out of their very own pocket money. Just a few hours into our outreach and we were already humbled to be a part of God’s great plan for this country. Later in the week, miles away from that bus station, the same kids recognized us in a market and ran over to us with beaming smiles and we were able to share in their happiness through the little Spanish we know.