When Missionaries "Disappear"
Have you ever wondered about that missionary family that you sent off from church 2 or 3 maybe even 4 years ago? Do they do a good job at keeping in contact with you? Well, I must say I am a guilty missionary wife who has often failed at keeping up on her “blog posts” or updates. We are a missionary family that unless you know our parents or are connected with us via facebook can easily “disappear!” I assure you by all means that we have not fallen off the face of the planet nor have we forgotten about our friends, church or family back in the states. We simply have been caught up in the ministry here in Peru.
To put it frankly “I FORGOT WE EVEN HAD A WEBSITE!!!” I know, how does one forget, I’m not sure, but as I was responding to some interview questions I suddenly remembered that we had www.sheetsfortheking.com ! What a concept! So without too much detail I will try to sum up nearly 2.5 years of what’s been going on in Peru:
July-December 2016 We continued to go out to Ciudad de Dios every Sunday carrying on with observations of the ministry. In November Jason was officially given the title of pastor of the church plant (we didn’t want this, but in order for him to have leadership it was culturally needed.)
January of 2017- While on a pastoral retreat I decided to homeschool Nathan full time after much prayer and fighting God on my part (I really didn’t want to homeschool)!!!
During 2017 The ministry in Ciudad de Dios began its first actual church services with preaching and teaching as well as worship time. Adults began meeting Saturday evenings at 6 PM and kids continued to meet on Sundays at noon. (This continues to this day!)
March 2017-November: Andrew and Evelyn continued to attend Rey de Reyes while Sarah focused on homeschooling for the first time ever. Both Nathan and Sarah survived the year and had more fun than they originally expected to have!
November 22 2017: We flew back to the states for a 5 month home assignment where we were privileged to see and fellowship with many supporters, friends and family. In January 2018 we shared “a Taste of Peru” with our home church and Jason did a ministry update.
April 18, 2018- we arrived back in Arequipa to an airport full of friends both missionaries and Peruvians! What a huge blessing it was to see everyone even though we had been travelling for 31 hours!
We then took about 1 week to buy school supplies and uniforms, get settled back in and then dove right back into Peruvian life! Kids went to school, Sarah taught Nathan in home and Jason got caught up on all that had occurred during our 5 months away.
It’s amazing how much changed when we landed back on Peruvian soil. I had been told that it would take coming back to Arequipa before I really felt like I had Peruvian friendships here, but I had a hard time believing it… until May! I suddenly had friendships here in our area. Women who I knew on the surface suddenly began confiding in me and I have been able to cry with them, hug them and encourage them in my own home. People now feel at liberty to give me a call and come over for a chat, go out for coffee or late night meals, or just stop in the street and talk to me about their lives. This has been huge for me as I have a passion for helping people out at a heart level, not just surface level.
Another new thing that has occurred is due to the economic and political crisis in Venezuela. We now have at least 10-15 families of Venezuelans in IBC Arequipa. I, Sarah, had a chance to host a few of these people before Christmas to make their traditional Christmas food, hallacas in our home. This was such a special time hearing the heartbeat these refugees have for their country, joys and sorrows of being here in Arequipa as well as cultural learning. It truly was so much fun even in the midst of a very busy time (3 days before a formal concert in which I sang “O Noche Divina”).
As we have entered 2019 I have been working on keeping the kids entertained during their summer break and preparing to homeschool BOTH Nathan and Evelyn this coming year. Andrew will continue to go to school at Rey de Reyes and both older kids will hopefully take 3 classes there as well: music, art and PE. We hope to allow the big kids to grow and maintain friendships with Peruvian kids all the while be a little more active in what they are learning in the core subjects with me.
We have recently put a Peruvian in charge of the church plant’s facebook page so if you want to see what is going on there on a more regular basis like and follow Iglesia IBC Ciudad de Dios on facebook!
WOW and you thought we had disappeared!!