There is Hope For You – From the Diospi Suyana Hospital Website

We are glad to be serving at this Christian facility, here in the middle of Peru, high in the mountains, surrounded by both the beauty of God’s creation and the desperateness of poverty that is a result of this fallen, sinful world.  We are thankful that God saw worthy the lives of many here to build a hospital to be a beacon of hope in Christ to those who might not otherwise see Him.  The name of Christ is not just something we say, but he is the person and God that is the root of all our work and motivation.  At the hospital we are not humanitarians, but Christians trying to serve God and man through the love and Spirit of Christ working in us.  There is hope in this world, and it comes through Jesus Christ.  See the following from the new Diospi Suyana Hospital website.

There is Hope for You

You are more than a grain of dust in the universe that will be blown away by the wind of time without sense or meaning. The story of Diospi Suyana points to a higher power. The Bible says that the worth of our life is God’s love itself. For many this sounds too good to be true.

The mission hospital Diospi Suyana came into being as one of the most modern hospitals in Peru without any guaranteed budget and without debts. The basis of this unbelievable success story was our trust in God’s reality. Divine providence and a series of miracles gave birth to something wonderful, which has received world-wide acclaim as a testimony to God’s faithfulness.

If God can make much out of little and everything out of nothing, then he can intervene in our personal lives in the person of Jesus Christ. One verse in the Bible sums up what the Christian faith is all about: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Faith in God is more than a sop in the dark hours of our lives, but it gives the answers for our past, our present and our future. Continue reading

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Today is my forty-first birthday (not anymore by the time I post this) so I have been reflecting a bit.  First of all, it was a wonderful birthday.  Will is in Lima, car shopping, but the kids were up by 6:15, ready to wish me happy birthday with homemade cards.  After thanking them, I told them I wanted to go back to bed.   I heard some clanging around in the kitchen and drowsily decided to ignore it.  They made me breakfast in bed and came in to see me while I was “resting” at least four times.  We had a three new friends come by to wish me a happy day and many people sent Facebook messages.  My dad called in the morning and I wasn’t even sure we could receive US calls, so that was a nice surprise.  We went on a long beautiful walk with Inka.  We made cinnamon rolls.  We watched Cars in the parents’ bed at the end of the day.  It was super nice.

I mention what the kids and I did all day because I feel like God has been reminding me again what an important job I have in being their mom.  I’m not saying our kids are going to solve all the world’s problems, but to Will and I they are pretty remarkable and they are worth all the investing we do.  We had the director of the new Diospi Suyana school over for lunch the other day.  (On a side note, he was wonderfully overqualified, which seems to be a pattern with many of the missionaries here.)  He mentioned that although he will be the director of the school, he will of course teach several hours a day also.  He said, “I am a teacher, one hundred percent.”  Since we were talking about my teaching at the school as well, I heard it in a sort-of conspiratorial “You know how we teachers are, you can’t keep us out of the classroom” way, and my reaction was, “I like teaching, but that doesn’t describe me.”

Over the course of the afternoon I thought, “You know what, I am an ama de casa cien por cien.”   Ama de casa just means housewife, or even “house master” in Spanish, but I like how the word makes me think of the verb “amar,” to love.  I am a house lover.  That is not very liberated or PC, but I have decided to embrace it.  I am baking bread, perfecting pizza, constantly washing clothes, dreaming of decorating, o.k., no more silly alliterations.  I have decided to take this big ol’ beautiful house in my arms and squeeze.  I admit that there are voices in my head about having more of a ministry in town, about getting involved in other things, about having a “healthy” view of our family, or sometimes just flat-out feeling like the tedious tasks are a waste of time.  But God knows that I am trying to do what He says and that I will listen if He asks something different of me.  My favorite ama de casa, my mom, made a huge difference from right there in her kitchen, so I have to believe that being a middle-aged, (literally) stay-at-home wife and mom is important (or if not the task itself, the obedience is).  I pray that Will and the kids will be able to receive that my being a wholehearted ama de casa means that I love each of them.

With God’s help, I shall embrace Peru, embrace rural living, embrace the beauty, embrace the hardships, embrace the doctor’s wife role, embrace the rainy season.

Why am I telling you all this?  I am a woman and we often like to process out loud, yes.  But also I feel like someone out there may need an encouragement to look around at the place that God has placed them and decide to embrace it, to just throw themselves into it and not feel guilty that they are not doing something else.  God loves you and He loves the time and place that He has for you.

Acts 17:26-28 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”

I love how these verses say that God put us in certain places so that we might seek Him and find that He is not far away.  I pray that for all of us in the coming year.

Lots of Sunsets to Lift Your Spirit

As it turns dark here in San Jose, I am recalling the coming of night during our vacation with my brother Sam and the Smith family.  Its great to watch the sunset on the Pacific coast.  You have a hard heart if you don’t feel like there is something bigger than you behind all of this beauty.  So here are some pictures to lift your spirits.  Click on a photo to see a slide show and bigger pictures.

John Wesley’s Holy Club Questions

John Wesley and Charles Wesley created a club while they were students at Oxford where they methodically tried to live out their Christian lives.  Apparently they were mocked as the “Holy Club” by their fellow students, yet despite this persisted in striving to live lives of holiness, generosity, and social consciousness.  Thanks to Scott Benedict for the heads up during chapel at school regarding this list.  The questions are worth reading and reflecting on as we examine how our lives express our devotion to God. Continue reading

Revisiting an idea from the past. God is made known through our weaknesses.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

I was reviewing a blog of some friends who are headed to Peru, and I reread this post.  I was challenged again by this crazy pursuit of learning Spanish as I recognized how far I have to go to learn this language.  It is a lot of work, and for a mind that is becoming set in its English speaking ways, I think the transition is even tougher.  As I read the post, I was reminded of a speaker who came to speak at our school during chapel.  He spoke Spanish, but not well.  He had come to language school in his 50’s or early 60’s, and as you would expect, learning Spanish had been difficult.  Even now, after being in the country for a couple years, he struggled with his Spanish grammar.  Yet he expressed joy in the difficulty, and he spoke to us of how God’s power is made perfect in weakness.  When we suffer and demonstrate our frailties and our inadequacies, when we allow people to see how broken and weak we are, and when we cannot do the job well . . . when we are lacking in all these ways, yet we persist in obedience and love to do the work that God has called each of us to do, he is glorified all the more.  When the missionary spoke in his broken Spanish, in front of his former teachers and the current students, with all his imperfections on display I was completely drawn to his obedience.  I was more drawn to his obedience and surrender to the will of God than I have been to those who master the language.  And so I remind myself daily that God makes himself known to the world through the brokenness of his people, as they walk out their faith in love and humility.

The Quechua – The Last of the Incas

View the pictures below for a look at the people we will be serving in Peru.  In many ways it feels like going back in time.  I recently read a book ,The Last Days of the Incas, that explains the utter destruction of the Inca empire by the Spaniards and the desolation of the people immediately afterward.  In many ways, for those in the rural areas, things have not improved since then.  When reading the book, I was impressed by how much has been forgotten regarding the history and what was in the land – the cities, the roads, etc.  I think the worse thing forgotten was/is the people, and they have suffered.  I am glad to be working there to show them that God loves them, and I hope we can bring the compassion of God with us as we serve them humbly, as best we can.  (I am thankful for these pictures from the Diospi-Suyana website.)

Do you like Science?

I like science.  The study of science is an entry point into understanding the way God works in our world.  When you study science, from physics to biology, from quantum mechanics to the life sciences, you gain an understanding, however incomplete, into the mind of God.  It is a glimpse into how he makes things work.  For your enjoyment, I have a few links into things that continue to be mysterious to us, yet fall well within the mind of God.

First, a story of natural crop circles, and how termites mold the ecosystem of the desert to both their own and the deserts benefit.  Read about their “fairy circles.”  Another unusual insect story from nature is the story of the cicadas.  You may be aware that a brood is coming above ground this spring, the first time they have been seen in 17 years!  And how about some pictures of the aurora borealis, one of the greatest God proclaiming events on earth.  It reminds me of the Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”