Monthly Archives: September 2010

A Leader Is Born

I used to think I was a pretty helpless case.  Watching movies, sometimes I get jealous of the main character or hero or his courage and how he brings his vision to reality.  On the other end of the tube I’d feel weak and foolish imagining myself pushing through the same obstacles.  I never thought I was adequate.

My eyes have been opened to a truth I never thought I would stumble upon.  For so long I had been the follower, just a kid, someone who would find consolation in the shadow of the leader and letting someone else take control.  Over the past couple of weeks I have been seeing a different side of me.  I am surprise, but also am very thrilled to say that I am a leader.

In my interview process of becoming a 40/40 I confess that one of the subjects I was most uncomfortable talking about was my leadership abilities.  I never took on leadership roles in high school or in college.  The only example I could give them of my leadership was a paper that I had to write with two other people my senior year at MVNU (how I delegated power, assumed the leader position etc.).  I think a large part of not considering myself a leader was how I viewed myself.

Since being in Peru I have found myself forced into leadership positions.  During Love Extreme I was thrown into situations having to direct people about the city of Arequipa that I myself had only been accustomed to maybe three weeks more that these short-termers.  One day I had accidentally taken four short-term missionaries out into the mountains about an hour and forty-five minutes away from out Headquarters.  Also, having a pretty decent grasp on Spanish I am often dragged into having to interpret for people. 

After seeing how capable I am of leading after being thrown into similar situations time and time again I’ve been awaken to the concept that I am a leader.  I’ve also noted this when I’m working with my partner.  There are things that I have to iron out in my leadership skills such as control.  I do like to have control and working with a partner is not about having control all the time.  I’ve been working on letting people have some control and not caring what they do with it, but making it their own. 

I am floored at how liberated I feel knowing that I’m a leader.  I feel like I could do anything.  There is nothing to be scared of.  I’m ready to take on about anything.

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Attention To the Dreamer

Since I was in junior high I can remember being very intrigued by dreams.  The story of Joseph interpreting the Pharaoh’s dreams always stood out to me and made me wonder, how come God doesn’t talk to me in dreams?  I’ve always been a detailed dreamer and when I write out my dreams it takes me a while because I remember a lot of information.  So, about a year ago I went into a Barnes and Nobles Bookstore and found an awesome leather bound journal to record my dreams in.  I remember I had done something similar when I was younger, but I fell out of it.  This happens to be something that occurs with me frequently… that is the falling out of plans, because I started to forget to log my dreams again.

I haven’t had too many dreams that I can remember since being here in Peru, so these past two weeks when I remembered several of my dreams I took notice.  Usually, my dreams don’t really connect with real life.  They may, in a under-the-hood kind of way, be a glimpse into one’s conscience, but these have been dreams that have directly tied into my life.  In one dream I had I bought a car and was driving it around, the next morning my mother sent me an email saying they got a new car!  When I looked it up online I realized it looked a lot like the car I had dreamed of.  Crazy thing is, I remember looking at the odometer in the car and it had 40,000 or so miles on it (I don’t remember the exact number, only that it looked something like 4*,***… does that make sense?)  and when I asked my mom how many miles this car has she said 43,000!  This dream really started to make me pay attention and the next dream I had helped me make a decision about a difficult situation. 

Well, last night I had another dream.  I dreamed that I was being persecuted for doing our mission work in Peru and we were being sent to be executed.  While we were walking I remember thinking how I didn’t want to be a missionary anymore if it meant I was going to die.  I caught myself instantly and knew that I had to be faithful to God and trust in Him.  I remember I was crying and was in hysterics, but I kept telling myself that God wasn’t going to leave me.  I think we escaped, but we ended up getting caught again and then we escaped and then I woke up.  There’s a lot of other details, but that’s the gist. 

I was rather freaked out when I woke up, to say the least, knowing how relevant the others were that I have had recently.  I knew this morning that I needed to write these dreams down in my dream journal (which I so happen to bring with me).  When I sat down to write the down I looked at the last entry… September 22, 2009.  Today is September 21, 2010!  I know it looks like a coincidence, but I think God is really calling me to pay attention to my dreams and this is how.  I never thought I would ask you to pray for me like this and quite honestly I would think I were crazy on the other side of this, but pray that if God is trying to use dreams to talk to me that I would have the ability and wisdom to interpret them correctly.           

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The End of a Drought

My friend Kayla sent me a package… I think I mentioned this in the past post too.  Well, she sent me coffee and I forgot that my friend Ashley had given me a Starbucks personal French Press.  This was the whole reason Kayla sent me coffee too!  Well, I’ve been using it like no one’s business.  Here’s a glimpse of my ecstasy:

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It’s beautiful I know… I weep every time.

On with the serious news though!  We are in the middle of a new class called… Transcultural Relationships and Communication.  We’ve been talking about communication and what it means and also how God communicates with us and why it’s important to communicate transculturally.  So far, class has been interesting… but today really touched my heart in a special way. 

There are some below the surface things that have happened, but to save you the trouble I’ll get to the point.  Cristobal was emphasizing how important it is that we spend a lot of time together with our 40/40 partner… and to be honest, when he was talking I was having an internal battle.  I have not been spending enough time with my partner and I’ve been in denial and stuck in Satan’s lies about the whole matter.  I have had this looming grudge over him for no reason that I could clearly identify.  Towards the end of class I realized how horribly wrong I had been and that I needed to change some of my mindsets.  Here are some lies I was trapped in:

  1. We are from two different cultures… I can’t relate to him.
  2. My American friends can understand me better
  3. He’s too legalistic
  4. He is really awkward
  5. I JUST CAN’T RELATE WITH HIM!

I didn’t make this list until now, and the truth is I really didn’t even know these were lies that I had circulating in my head, they were more like feelings.  Now that I have them in front of me it’s rather ridiculous to think this is where I was.  I mean, this is one of the things I was most excited for… learning about other cultures

After class Cristobal (I failed to mention that he is our professor for the class) told us that we should all talk with our partners.  There is always something to resolve, he said… So, after class I told Joel that I wanted to talk.  We went to the roof of Zamacola and I opened up to him.  I was honest and told him that when Cristobal was saying that we needed to be with our partners more that I didn’t want to hang out with him.  I told him that when I was preparing to meet him that I was excited to meet him and have the great friendship, but what I found was a person from a very different culture.  From our conversation I realized that I had prejudged him.  A lot of these Peruvian guys are very legalistic and because he hung with them I put him in that same slot.  I’ll talk about legalism another time.

It was great to talk to him so openly.  I feel like we made a step in the right decision.  I told him that I want to get to know him more now and that I didn’t want to have to put aside a time specifically to talk… I wanted this relationship to be natural and authentic, nothing superficial. 

Now, I’m on the right track again!  Kudos for Christ!  He loves to work things out.  I should have known.  Other exciting news?  I found measuring spoons aaaaand cups!  Can you believe it?!  I was utterly shocked and have found a piece of my domestic soul in Peru, finally.  We are still not in our new home, we are expecting and hoping to move in by the first of October (a whole two weeks behind schedule).

Also, and I’ll leave you with this, you will note that along the top right hand side of my blog there is a Link that says, “Needs in Peru.”  This portion of my blog is where my supporters/readers/family/friends can check out my needs while I’m here in Peru, whether it be clothing or snacks… not that snacks are a “need” but there are things that are hard to find in Peru and well… you should just click on the link there and it will explain further! 

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Push!

Sometimes, pushing yourself to go to work can be so hard.  I remember when I was working at Bob Evan’s in the states as a server and absolutely dreading the drive to work.  I knew in my head, however, that I was going to be fine and I would be with all my friends and I’d end up having a good night at work, though I can’t say the tips ever made my night I would walk out of the restaurant with a smile. 

After not having to really work for some time now, and I mean real work other than just going to class with friends, I found I’ve gotten a little lazy.  Uh-oh!  Wednesday our pastor at Umacollo church told my partner and I to meet him at Parque el Catolica to get on a bus to go to Paucarpata for our first cell group.  He also invited us last week, but things came up and we couldn’t go.  The truth… I was relieved last week that we didn’t have to go.

Let me briefly explain what the cell groups are.  These are practically our church plants.  A plant starts out with a cell group that we work with through discipleship lessons and baptism then through membership classes.  This is the Level 1 of church plants.  Level two is 12 or more people meeting in a designated place once a week and then Level 3 is 30 people, but there’s more regulations that I’m not 100% sure of so I’m not going to try to expand upon that.  But essentially Level 2 is our goal and 3 is our ULTIMATE goal.  Level 3 is a immature church but more a church nonetheless. 

This past Wednesday, when I heard we were going out to Paucarpata I was not excited to say the least.  It’s about an hour and a half bus trip to the other side of the city.  I started getting frustrated with myself for being so negative and by the time class was over that day I was somewhat happy to be going out to see Saul. 

The more I write the more I realize I have to explain!  Saul is a 20 yr old guy who has come to Umacollo church several times and we’ve run into at the Plaza de Armas as well.  He went to one of the churches first retreats and gave his life to Christ.  He was really excited about it.  Well, he is the one person that we have in our cell group in Paucarpata… he is our main focus.

So, we end up leaving Zamacola, (our residence) an hour and a half late… that’s another story, and pick up Pastor Genaro at Pq la Catolica.  We travel out to Paurcarpata and end up meeting Saul right when we hop off the bus.  I don’t think that we had ever set up a time with him to meet him anywhere that day so I thought that was pretty amazing. 

From the people that I’ve talked to about this whole mess that this became, I’ve found out that when Saul made his initial decision to come to Christ at the retreat he was very very excited.  His parents are not supportive at all about his decision and being so far from the church he has no daily support spiritually.  We couldn’t meet with him in his house so we went to a dark cold park to talk where he shared with us his doubts and worries about his decision.  The pastor was giving him a watered-down talk about our spiritual walks and tried encouraging him by telling him after the storm comes the “good.”  I didn’t really feel like he was talking to him from the heart…

An hour and an half later we are on the bus coming back home and Genaro tells us that there are people like this when they make their initial decision and that we (Joel and I) should come to his cell group in Gustamante with his wife.  When I asked him what we were going to do with Saul he said that since we have his e-mail address then we can send him encouraging messages and pray for him… I believe he worded this… “Well, we can just pray for him.”  This was only the second time that he had visited Saul.  I was perplexed that he was so quick to let him go and leave him by himself.  I felt the Holy Spirit telling me that we needed to push to continue visiting Saul.  Joel was thinking the same thing, I found out later.

This is where I am right now.  This Sunday I’m going to be talking with the Pastor.  The other cell group he wants us to get involved now is the largest cell group the church has running and is also being lead by leaders in the church already.  Please pray as I talk to him and try to tell him that we believe there is much more need to stay in touch with Saul.  Even though it doesn’t matter what the pastor says and I can certainly continue to have a personal relationship with Saul, I would like however, for this to be my main concentration.

My friend Kayla sent me a package… it was so nice.  It is the first package I have recieved since being here, which happens to be a hard thing watching other people get packages allllll theeee tiiiiiiime!  Here’s something special she sent!

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Zamacola Roof Top

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