It's a new year, which I welcomed in Lima, Peru with my partner and her family.
And I know this is completely cliche, but I can't believe 2010 is over. But it was a pretty incredible year.
January: I finished off my life in the United States. Raised the majority of my support for Peru in a couple weeks. I spent time with friends and family, packed my entire life into two suitcases, got rid of a ton of stuff, and on the 31st said goodbye and went to Los Angeles for orientation.
February: Had orientation in LA and met the people who would be my family for the next two years. Left for Peru. Had incredibly swollen ankles from the travel. Moved in with a Peruvian family. Tried frog juice. Started Spanish school. Went to Alpaca World. Learned what spiritual warfare really is. Learned to trust God more.
March: Continued learning Spanish. Hit a wall with learning Spanish. Visited Cusco for the first time, and helped with a short-term trip. Tried to enjoy God more. Got through Deuteronomy in my study of the Bible straight through.
April: Visited a slum outside of Arequipa. Continued learning Spanish. Thought I was going blind. Had many conversations about religion in Spanish. Celebrated Easter, my first holiday in Peru. Had communion with my team as we thought about Jesus' marriage proposal to us.
May: Continued learning Spanish. Lost my English. Graduated from Spanish school. Moved to my new home in Peru. Met my Peruvian partner, my other half. Started Bible training 5 hours a day every day. Began learning about how to plant churches.
June: My mom came to visit me. Went to Cusco for the Love Extreme 1 project. Back to Arequipa for the Love Extreme Mega Event. Saw thousands of people come to Christ. Worked to consolidate all these new believers. Pulled two all-nighters working my tail off in consolidation. Attended the first spiritual retreat for new believers.
July: Finished the intense time of initial consolidation of new believers. Went to the beach for a time of rest during the Extreme Nazarene staff retreat. Became a resident of Peru. Continued with school. Led people to Christ in a market next to fruit.
August: Started discipleship classes with new believers. Helped with another spiritual retreat. Went to Cusco to help with another short-term trip. Continued school. Continued getting spiritually attacked. Continued seeing God move.
September: More school. Another spiritual retreat. More discipleship classes. More people won to Christ. Worshipped in the street. Made the devil mad some more.
October: Went to Lima to help with a youth retreat. Turned twenty-one! Got my first parasite. Continued with our cell group. Showed a movie at our cell group to make new contacts. Said goodbye to the cell group we had worked with for four months. Graduated from Missionary Training. Moved to Cusco. Got to know my new home.
November: Started work in Cusco. Got a puppy. Visited a lot of people. Started a couple discipleship classes. Led two women to Christ in the middle of a corn field. Celebrated Thanksgiving on a Monday. Visited Arequipa. Let God lead me.
December: Had discipleship classes in the street. Preached in multiple plazas. Saw 50 people come to Christ after I preached in Urcos. Had multiple kids festivals. Got many funny looks going to Lamay. Got a little homesick. Celebrated Christ's birth. Almost killed a goat with a bottle rocket on Christmas eve. Went to Lima to celebrate the new year.
These are the highlights--mostly good, some bad, and a few in between. And looking back, only one word comes to mind to describe my life:
I am living the dream. No, it isn't glamorous, or easy, or even always exciting. But it is my dream. And I am so glad I get to share it with you all.
Keep me in your prayers during 2011.
**Oh, that reminds me...I want to ask you once again how I can pray for you. Leave a comment below so that I can keep you in my prayers as well.**
Ok, to finish off, here's my "Best of"...My 10 favorite blogs of 2010:
1. A Story of Trust
2. Enjoying God
3. Grace Makes Life Not Fair
4. The Sanctuary of God
7. Grace is Hard
8. A Call
9. All Things NEW
10. The Desires of My Heart