This is a fun picture of Sarah taken while visiting Sacsayhuaman with my brother’s family. But what I also wanted to get in the picture was all the colorful ponchos. It started to really rain with thunder and lightning while we were there, and the enterprising Peruvians were ready with bags full of ponchos of different colors. If you can, enlarge the picture to see all the gumball colors in front of the ruins.
Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.
Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.
Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.
Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and he is on the throne.
Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.
It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
and Jesus call us to heaven’s perfect peace.
Edward H. Bickersteth, Jr., 1875.
In this past year I have been praying for more peace. And then I have been trying to act like I have it. Specifically I have been seeking the type of peace that only comes by faith in God and his Holy Spirit. I remind myself each time I feel the anxiety that God is in control of everything. And is there anyone better to trust? We have felt stress as we have processed the move away from Curahuasi and the work at Diospi Suyana. I know we all have times of worry and anxiety, and I want to admit that I experience it too. I do not always deal with it from a place of faith and trust.
But God is faithful. I wrote an email a few days ago about our needs when we come back home. That email was written in a moment of worry. It was humbling to write, but it needed to be communicated. And as I wrote it I could not help but wonder (worry?) how everything would work out. A day later as we were driving away from the airport after dropping off my brother and his family, Allison started to get a little emotional in the best way as she read an email from friends who had found us a furnished house, and another friend had already loaned us his big SUV. We were taken care of! In less than 24 hours. It is the grace of God through his people! Thank you to him and to you! And once again I am left wondering why I cannot get it in my head and emotions that God will take care of his people. Worry less, work more, trust God.
Yesterday, I put half of this crew on planes back to the Estados Unidos. The other half lives with me. 🙂 What a great visit! What a long visit! My mother was here 3 1/2 weeks and my brother with his family 2 1/2 weeks. They got the opportunity to see the best of Peru including Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, and Macchu Picchu. We were also able to share Curahuasi and the areas that we call home. It was a blessing to have them! And we have one week to get everything sorted out before returning to the EEUU ourselves. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.
I have family members who decide to give up things for a year as part of their New Year resolutions. I think it is great and remarkable. How do you go for a year without something as great as cheese or soda or chocolate? It is a work of self discipline to be admired! My children are a bit shocked by the whole idea, and they do not really understand it. David blurted out one evening that instead of subtracting, he was going to add something for the New Year (specifically he mentioned more candy). For some reason that idea stuck with our family (not the more candy part). We want to add something for the upcoming year, whether that be writing more encouraging notes, turning our minds toward trust and hope more often as we working on the process of renewing our minds (Romans 12:2), or acting out more in friendship. We want to become more and not less. We want to demonstrate more of what God has intended us for.
I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me – Philippians 3:12b
Many of you know we are coming home in just under two weeks. We will be in Dallas for several months while Will works on maintaining his continuing medical education requirements as well as takes his family medicine board recertification exam. During this time we will be putting the kids in school. They are actually very interested in going to school in the US, and they wonder how they will stack up! This is a stressful time for our family, and although we persist by the power of the Holy Spirit in faith, trust, hope, and joy it is a bit more of a battle during times like these. We know God is in control, and we turn our minds to this thought over and over again.
We do have some needs as we come back that we would like to share.
- A car to use for several months that will fit six people.
- A place in which to live. If you know a church that rents a house to missionary families that is already furnished, that would be ideal.
- Depending on the house or apartment, possibly some furniture we could borrow for several months.
Thank you for your help and continued interest in our family. Please pray that these main needs will be met. We look forward to seeing you soon!