Monday, May 31, 2010

Reflections on William Carey

I have class five hours every day.

Some days, that is really hard. Because we listen to a lecture in Spanish for hours straight. That can be exhausting.

But it’s also kind of awesome. Because we are learning how to do what we came here to do.

The first class we took was Fundamentals of Church Planting. Because right after Love Extreme, we will begin the work of planting churches here in Arequipa.

And our current class is Cultural Anthropology. I took a class like this in high school, and got college credit for it. But it really is different learning the study of culture while immersed in a culture. It is different talking about culture shock when you are experiencing it every day in one way or another.

So anyway, I like class most days. I know, technically I’m a college dropout, and I should want freedom from classes. But actually, since I “dropped out,” I have been reading a ton, and trying to learn more. And I get to learn about what I’ve always wanted to do, while actually doing it. Best of both worlds.

Last Thursday, we watched a movie about William Carey. This was one of the things I wasn’t thrilled about, because I’ve studied William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions, several times at SNU. Nothing new about learning his life again.

But I was wrong. It’s a different thing to study a biography of some famous missionary while you are on the mission field. Because you realize, he is not
a saint who experienced something totally separate from what I am going through. Like, did you know that when William Carey preached, the people couldn’t understand him because his speaking was so bad? This missions hero also struggled with language! And actually, he had everything going against him from the beginning. There wasn’t a missions agency to send him, and when he suggested it, he was told, “Sit down young man! If God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid or mine.”

But he went anyway.

He told God, “Here I am. Send me.”

His wife didn’t want to go. He struggled when he got to India. He had money problems. He had trouble learning the language. His kids were badly behaved. His son and wife died. He had everything going against him.

But he’s our missions hero.


This ordinary man with everything going against him translated the Bible into five languages. After years without a convert, he was able to share the gospel and lead many to Christ. He began schools. And he ended the grotesque practice of burning widows on their husbands funeral pyres.

But he is not that different from the missionaries I live with. We are the same. We have said, “Here I am. Send me.” We have surrendered our lives to God. And he will give us the strength to do what he has called us to do, the same way he did for William Carey.


There are countdowns on my computer. I have four of them on my dashboard. And I actually made them before I left for Peru. The first one was a countdown until I left for Peru, but now it counts how long I have been here. At this exact moment, I have been in Peru for 3 months, 25 days, 14 hours, 23 minutes and 20 seconds.

The other three, I made for my mom one night. I think I made them the night before I left for Peru, and she came in my room and told me that she didn’t want me to leave because she would miss me. So I told her she wouldn’t miss me. And then I made a countdown until she would arrive in Peru to see me. Then I made a countdown until my vacation. And finally, I made one until I come home after my two years in Peru.

And I’m not sure if they actually help her much, because when I would say, “Guess what, Mom! It’s only 27 months until I come home from Peru!” I’m pretty sure that didn’t comfort her much.

But now it is only a week until she gets here to spend almost a month with me for our biggest project, Love Extreme. She’ll get to see how I live now, what I eat and where I walk around everyday, and she’ll get to see where I will be planting three churches in Cusco. So I am really excited to see her, plus she is bringing me warm clothes and chocolate!

But these countdowns remind me that time keeps passing. Things are changing at home. Like, my mom can’t find my sweaters because she cleared out my closet to use it for herself. Or my brother’s hedgehog died. Or my dad jus had a birthday. Things keep changing. For me as well. My jeans are looser, my hair is longer, I speak Spanish better. Time is ticking by on my countdowns.

And the same is true with missions. There are billions of people in the world today who don’t know of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And the countdowns of their lives are ticking by. And we’ve all heard people say that the time of Jesus’ return is quickly approaching. Now I believe that Jesus will not return until every people group has received the gospel (Matthew 24:14). So for the most part, I don’t worry because there are still 6,000 unreached people groups ( But I do believe that countdown is going as well. And I just pray that God would give me a holy anguish (Romans 9:1) for the people who are separated from Him. That it would actually cause me pain to know that there are people who do not know of His saving grace. That I would have a broken heart to realize that the countdowns of many people’s lives are ticking, and if they hit zero, they will be separated from God forever.

Father God, we know that time is in your hands. We don’t want to worry about tomorrow, because you take care of the sparrows, so how much more will you care for us. But Lord God, the other side of time is that it is running out. So Lord God, give us a holy anguish for reaching the lost with your good news of the kingdom. Help it to pain us to know that people are being lost. And let that drive us to do everything in our power to share your grace with those who are being lost. Amen.

Friday, May 28, 2010

No Time For a Real Update

I don't have time to give you a real update; we have classes everyday for five hours, and have a conference to go to today and tomorrow. So I'll leave you with some pictures.

And it's my Dad's birthday today!

above: The whole Cusco team
above: we had dinner with our former host family. This was my family my first 3 months in Peru!
above: The view from our roof in Zamacola.
above: My former roommate Brandi. She is going back to the States tomorrow to seek treatment for the pain in her neck and back. She should hopefully be back to us soon, but keep her in your prayers.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Family Members and New Partner

Each gringo (white person) now has a Peruvian partner! That means our team/family has doubled in size!

My partner's name is Ester. She is 29-years-old, from Lima, and has been a physical therapist for the last seven years. We already get along really well. It's actually amazing how well each of the partnerships work so far; God definitely had a hand in bringing this team together!

I am so excited for our work together for the next 2 years!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

*Today Is The Day*

Today is the day we:
-move to Zamacola Church of the Nazarene and the 40/40 Training Center
-meet our Peruvian partners!

This is such an exciting day! For me, the Peruvian partners have been such an abstract concept for so long. I have been thinking about who she will be and praying for her for almost a year.And today, I will meet her, and we will add 12 more people into our family.

Pray for us today and into this weekend. This is a huge transition. Some of us are worried about our Spanish, now that we have to use it all the time. Some of us are worried if we will get along with our partners. Some of us are just worried about the living situation--16 girls in one room! Needless to say, it is a transition. And this is going to be a busy weekend with orientation, team-building, and classes starting on Monday. So please, keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

La Metáfora de Martimonio en La Biblia

For Spanish, my class has to do a final oral presentation. Ours has to be at least 20 minutes, including different tenses, and utilizing our vocabulary and correct prepositions.

I wanted to prepare something that would help me later in my ministry, so tomorrow, I am talking about the metaphor of marriage in the Bible. I've talked about this on the blog before, but I wanted to put my speech on here, mostly to show off :) but also for my friends who speak Spanish. Here goes, and feel free to pray for me tomorrow morning!

El ritual de Comunión es muy importante en la iglesia cristiana universal. Es especialmente común para los católicos y otras denominaciones que reciben Comunión cada domingo. Somos muy acostumbrados a esta tradición. Pero durante la Última Cena, los discípulos estaban pensando en algo totalmente diferente. Para ellos, fue como Jesús estaba pidiéndoles un compromiso matrimonial.

En las tradiciones de los Judios en el tiempo de Jesús, había un proceso que se tuvo que hacer antes de que podrían casarse.

Primero, el hombre tenía que econtrarse con el padre de la mujer con quien él quería casarse. Ellos decidía un precio, o dote, como cuantos chivas o ovejas él pagaría.

En la Ley Judía, una mujer no podía ser forzada entre un matrimonio. Ella tenía que aceptar el compromiso. Entonces, el hombre le ofrecía una copa de vino. Si ella bebía el vino, ellos estaban comprometidos.

Entonces, cuando Jesús estuvo ofreciendo la copa, los discípulos oyeron, "¿Se casarán conmigo?" Y ellos pudieron decidir si quisieron aceptar o rechazar su compromiso. Entonces, cuando bebieron la copa, estuvieron diciendo, "Sí, nos casaremos contigo."

Después en la tradición judía, de ese tiempo en adelante, la novia se llamaba "la que fue comprada por un precio." Y el novio tenía una gran responsabilidad. Él tenía que construir su casa. Ellos no podían casarse hasta que él hubiera construido la casa. Y durante este tiempo, ellos no hablaban. Entonces el padrino de boda podía dar mensajes que se mandaban.

Entonces, en la Última Cena, Jesús y los discípulos se volvieron comprometidos. Y inmediatamente después, él les dijo que él tuvo que salir para un tiempo. En Juan 14:1-3, les dijo que preparar una casa para ellos, pero después iba a regresar y los llevaba a la casa para estar juntos. Y durante este tiempo de separación, él fue a mandar el Espíritu Santo como el padrino.

Entonces, ahora, estamos en el periodo de esperando para nuestro novio, Jesús. La Biblia dice que la iglesia universal es la novia de Jesús. Y cuando él regrese y nos lleve al cielo, vamos a tener una boda y una celebración.

Pero, ¿porqué es esta información importante?

¿Porqué quiero compartirla?

Por que esta información ha cambiado mi vida completamente. Por que ahora, cuando peco, no sólo estoy violando una regla en un libro antiguo, no soy fiel a mi novio. Esto crea una relación muy íntima con nosotros y Jesús. Y tenemos que recordar que somos "los que fueron comprado por un precio." El dote costó Jesús toda su vida.

This is part of my speech. If you speak Spanish, feel free to give me some feedback! Thanks!

¿Qué significa 3 meses en Perú?

We arrived in Peru on 5 February 2010, and today is 5 May 2010.


Entonces, ¿Qué significa tres meses in Perú? (What does 3 months in Peru mean?)

Well, for starters it means I write the date backwards. ¡It also means I use upside-down question marks and exclamation points!

It also means I speak Spanish! I have been in Spanish school for 3 months, and we finish on Friday. This means I have been taking lots of tests, and have a presentation to give tomorrow. My class is at an advanced level. Today, we finished all of the grammar of the Spanish language.

This is a great time to add that 3 months in Peru means I can't spell, speak, or write in English anymore. Above, I spelled language with an "e," which actually works in Spanish pronunciation. Just like "milkshake" can be spelled "milksheik," like I saw on a sign today. But the point is, I make so many typos these days, because I have lost my English.

The fact that I have been in Peru 3 months means I have eaten some weird stuff, including frog juice, guinea pig, intestine soup, and many other things. You should check out my videos on youtube if you haven't see them yet (

Three months in Peru means I have gotten used to being stared at ALL THE TIME. Seriously, you can't walk down the street without some serious stares. The joys of being a gringa...

It also means I have gotten used to what we in the States would call crazy driving. But it's not crazy anymore.

Three months in Peru means we move and meet our Peruvian partners next week! This is an exciting and scary change for us. Keep us in your prayers!

Also, it means I have become super cheap! Spending more than 5 soles (less than $2 US) sounds ridiculous these days. But we are living on a budget, and cost of living is significantly lower here.

On a more serious note, it means I have studied a lot about religion here. I had some pretty intense days of conversation in class about religion, and have learned a lot.

Three months in Peru also means I don't have much of a bubble anymore. When we go anywhere we have to greet everyone with a kiss on the cheek, and before we leave, same thing.

That's all I have for you for right now. I'm really enjoying life in Peru, and excited for what we have coming up!

Let me know if you have any questions about life in Peru. And, can I just ask you to leave a comment? It is really sad when we work on a blog/newsletter/whatever, and feel like no one reads it. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Sanctuary of God

I spend a lot of time in my Christian walk pondering the idea "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him." That idea is from John Piper. 

Now, I don't know about you, but I want to glorify God with my life, and I'm fairly sure you do too. 

So I want to be completely satisfied in Him. He is enough for me.

But there's this psalm. Psalm 73, and the author is complaining hard core. He is whining about how the wicked prosper, and he works honestly day and night and just gets pain and suffering. He's complaining that his life isn't fair. 

But right in the middle, he stops complaining.

Something has changed.

"Then I went into the sanctuary of God."

Wow. You read the psalm, and it's a pretty abrupt change. 

He ends with this:

Yet I am always with you; 
       you hold me by my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel, 
       and afterward you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you? 
       And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail, 
       but God is the strength of my heart 
       and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish; 
       you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God. 

       I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; 
       I will tell of all your deeds.

Let me really emphasize this. This is the guy who JUST said, "Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence." He was about ready to leave God, and say, "Forget this! My life would be so much better without you!"

"But then I went into the sanctuary of God."

So often, we get disillusioned with our lives of holiness. "Seriously, God? You expect me to live like this when I could have so much more fun living like them?"

It is so easy for us to go running after other things to satisfy us. SO EASY. We use facebook, twitter, work, church, other people's opinions of us, sex, drugs, and rock and roll to satisfy us.

"But if our deepest desires cannot be satisfied in this world, we must have been made for another." (CS Lewis)

Then I went into the sanctuary of God.

Once I caught a glimpse of his beauty, his majesty, his glory, and his love, I couldn't look to anything else in all of creation to satisfy. Only the Creator can satisfy.

So I find myself constantly praying, "Lord, satisfy me in the morning with your unfailing love so that I won't go running after other things to satisfy me today."

These thoughts are on my mind because I really feel like I entered into the sanctuary of God this morning. We had an incredible time of prayer as an Extreme Team this morning, and encountered God. And after that, I couldn't get beat down by the attacks of the enemy, by the drudgery of going to school, by anything else that is a distraction. 

Because I got a glimpse of the beauty and holiness of God, and that changes things.

I can only be satisfied in the Cosmic God of the Universe, and when I seek him, He is always enough.

(If you know me, you know there is pretty much always a song in my head to go along with my thoughts. As I was writing this, I had three come into my head. They are "My God's Enough (Psalm 73)" by Barlowgirl with Todd Agnew, "Satisfy" by Tenth Avenue North, and "Show Me Your Glory" by Third Day. If you are going to be praying that prayer, I'd encourage you to listen to those songs.)