Today I am staring at lists, racing around with last minute errands and slowly crossing items off the to do list one by one. Pumpkin pie, check, dinner rolls, check, clothes washed, check, Homework, almost a check… it might be a late night. My room is a mess, piles everywhere as I get ready to travel back to Peru. To some extent the packing gets easier, but all those last minute items sit on the floor in front of the suitcase far too long. It’s the part after that I really am dreading. The weighing and re-weighing of my suitcase as I move something here, organize something there, and almost inevitably end up with Spanish/English bricklike Bible in my carry-on. The blessing through the craziness of today means a full day of relaxation and celebration with family tomorrow. This will be the first Thanksgiving I will have been home for in 3 or 4 years. I am so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family and excited to be a part of my family’s celebration this year!
On top of the blessing of being home I am also thankful for the way God provided an opportunity to return to Peru. Friday morning I will be avoiding the crazy shoppers and instead flying to Peru. I will be spending the first week in the hot and humid north celebrating the wedding of my ministry partner Brenda. She is such an important friend whom I admire and respect a great deal, and I am excited to finally meet her family and friends and to celebrate this special day with her. Some of my other teammates will be traveling to her wedding as well, so it will be a mini reunion for some of us. After spending a week there, I will travel to the south to visit my many friends and our church plant in Arequipa! I am so excited to see what God has done in and through the people there since we left. There are so many new brothers and sisters that I have never met but whom God is using mightily in his kingdom. It is such a blessing to have this opportunity to go back almost a year later, to encourage the body of believers there. As I have been reading through the New Testament for one of my classes I feel like I can relate to Paul wholeheartedly in his longing to return and visit the believers. All the waiting and uncertainty of this year has been in God’s control as he orchestrated the timing, opportunity, and resources for this visit to Peru. We have a good God who works in and through our confusion bringing about his will, purposes, and blessing. I will be sure to share an update and photos with all of you when I return.
Praying God’s blessing and grace for you this Thanksgiving!
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,[a] that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,[b] both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.