I’m a Hexagon   Leave a comment

In mission training, I was taught to leave my culture “the square” as best I can and enter the other culture “the circle” as best I can. So now I’m a hexagon!4788aa0e-dfb3-4c7c-8a2e-43ca4708b36b The good news: I have some of both cultures (language, dress, food). The bad news: I never fully fit in with either culture. Perplexing.

Truly I love Iquitos. I love my calling. I want nothing more than to serve God and proclaim His love and salvation to as many as I can through building relationships with the youth and kids and their families. It’s a long, hard work. And eternally rewarding. And hard (did I mention that before?!).

In the past month, for the first time in over a decade, I haven’t spoken Spanish for most of the day. My kids and I have improved in our English–I’m remembering vocab words I haven’t used in years, as we normally speak Spanish (except to each other) (even in the US, with Josue); in fact, my girls just started speaking in English to each other.  I love speaking Spanish and translating, but my brain gets tired.

For the first time in 10 years, I haven’t eaten white rice every day. My girls are getting exposure to other foods, although we do miss Mama Luz’s cooking! And this is the first time ever that I have had 100% care of both of my girls, plus household chores, shopping, and homeschooling (with help from our hostess/friend of course)…and I continue to do the US-side of the ministry work as well.

I struggle with fibromyalgia—fatigue and so much pain all the time everywhere: migraines, hyper-sensitivity, stresses; as well as back, hip, and leg problems. Exercising and eating healthier help. Still I’m tired. The good news is I can walk—in April I could not.

Some amazing privileges in the US (things one might take for granted living here permanently): car, dishwasher, hot water (not having to boil water for a bath or to wash an oily pot), Wal-Mart (everything in one place), quiet (in Iquitos, it’s always so loud with motorcars, roosters, music, and shouting), electricity that doesn’t go off daily for hours (I’m not constantly worrying about the food in the fridge), not dealing with bugs and heat rashes so many jungle illnesses every moment of every day, not shopping daily for food (although that’s probably healthier), not sweating profusely all the time (A/C is great although we’re usually too cold here), being able to go to a library, museums, gardens, and the pool (there are pools in Iquitos, but it is either so hot or raining, so it’s not easy to go anywhere), or just take a walk (in Iquitos it’s so hot (or raining) and there are a lot of bad guys so I can’t go out alone, ever.

Some amazing privileges of living in Iquitos: people focus on people (not technology, TV, shopping, or stuff), at the grocery store there is only one option (if that) so shopping is fast, we sit down and eat our meals as a family every day, we have access to the Amazon river and jungle less than half hour away, we see real life all around us—poverty, death, addictions (drunks pass out on our doorstep, beggars are abundant, thieves are a constant threat)—not pretty but real.

For me personally, it’s good to come to the States to rest and re-focus. It helps me to be more grateful for my house in Iquitos (fully paid for), a blossoming ministry—churches are seeking out Josue for his advice!, a motorcycle (saves on gas!), a school room and the opportunity to homeschool, a family (I’m a bit of a social misfit, so I praise God every day for my husband and daughters), Internet (slow as it is), a pharmacy and clean hospital with qualified doctors. It’s not a lot but it’s the basic necessities. You really can be content with less (and we have so much more than most people there), and it’s actually hard, in some ways, to come here where there is an over-abundance (and a lot of waste). And truly I love the sky there—it’s big and colorful; my favorite is when the heavens open and it pours down such a heavy rain on our tin roof—like salve to the soul (and the reason we had to re-roof!).

Josue is a hexagon in his own right. He has to balance caring for me and the girls and our American culture, and the Peruvian-based ministry. I really admire him. While I am the bridge between our ministry in Peru and our friends and supporters in the US, Josue is the engine, the battery. He has great vision, creativity and energy. He’s the starter, I’m the finisher, he’s the people person, I’m the planner, he’s got the idea, I’m the realist. Together, with God’s leading, we figure things out and make them work. It takes wisdom, communication, and understanding the other person (language, culture, heart).

Please pray for us. We need God’s guidance, wisdom, health, and calm. We need more help–staff and financial support (we need $1,400/month to meet our budget-this is apart from the sponsorship of children).

We cannot do this alone! We count on you to help us! Thanks for taking a stand! With you, many kids are coming to know Christ. For most of them, many of whom we’ve ministered to since they were 5 years old, we are the ONLY Christ they have. Their parents are poor (making an average of $3/day); many are addicts; and most do not care about the spiritual side of life. Some kids have to BEG or even escape to go to church. It is not easy for them, but most of our kids have accepted the Lord. They are soooo happy, growing in their faith, and now some of the older ones are learning to lead! Hallelujah!

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Posted October 6, 2016 by Seeds of Love in Uncategorized

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