Birthdays and Baptisms

Well, I suppose I ought to start chronologically and again apologize for not being totally on top of this post.  I had one opportunity to write it, but I wrote the one in Spanish first and then ran out of time to do the one in English.  Oops!  You’ll have to forgive me.

I would like to start by saying that the short term missions-trip that came in was amazing.  Thank you, all of youins who came out to Puno to help us make contact with more people and hopefully gain more people for his kingdom.  What an amazing work it was to see God’s hand moving through these people.

It was a lot of hard work, the short-termers being here.  There was never really a moment when we were done working.  I was thankful that Sammy and I had all of the impact events in our areas in the first three days of the trip, so we had all of our work done and out of the way pretty quickly.  But, after working all day planning and directing people around we had to go to dinner where we had to translate.  A week after everyone left though we got three days off to do whatever.  We went to Arequipa to rest it up… or rather, watch The Hunger Games, eat McDonald’s, TGI Fridays, tacos and also partake of Starbucks… we visited Starbucks 5 times in a three days span.  It was amazing!

After all of the impacts on the 7th of April we took one of our contacts out to the lake to have her baptized!  This is the second baptism we’ve had in two months.  Poor Eulalia was the only one to get baptized, so she was all alone in her little white gown, all alone in the freezing water… and I thought, man this must be discouraging.  But, when I saw her get dunked and watched her as she praised her Lord after coming out from the water, my heart was blessed.  I was also happy to see how some of the North American ladies had reacted and asked me to translate their words of congratulations to her.  It was such a blessing to see the short-termers’ hearts as they experienced the new culture and lives of Peru.  God bless them, everyone!

those who didn’t play volleyball

…and those who did!

white kids getting their pictures taken

and the whole reason why…

We celebrated my second birthday here in Peru… that’s right, I’m now 25.  The kids my age are thinking… wow, am I that old too, and all the older folks are thinking, what a baby!  Perhaps this photo will give you a clue as to how old I feel:

And yes, you are looking at a veggie pizza… half of it done Pizza Joe’s style.  If any of you are from NE Ohio or even Florida… you may or may not know what this Pizza chain is.

I learned something on my birthday, and I don’t know if I will be able to justly put it into words.  We had set the time to be home for my awesome birthday feast at 6:30 p.m. Unfortunately, what that did to my work ethic was not make it high.  Rather, it made me impatient, but I knew that I was wrong.  I was very conscious of my attitude, and several times I prayed that God would help me change it.  During one of our visits one of our contacts bought me a cake and sang me happy birthday… it was the worst rendition of “Happy Birthday” I’ve ever witnessed, but it was one of the sweetest most blessing birthday gestures I’ve ever received.  I was able to enjoy my time there but put the fire under it to get out of there and finish with the next visit.  In the end, our last visit didn’t get started until 6:30 p.m. and I was not happy.  So, pretty much while Sammy gave the lesson I wallowed in self-pity thinking to myself all the while… doesn’t Sammy know this is my birthday and I just want to get home for my mind-blowingly-awesome birthday bonanza!?  After fretting and fretting the hour away one of the women we were meeting with said she wanted to get baptized… and that’s when God seized my heart and showed me what a nasty, ugly person I was being.  It was the best present I got this year, to hear her say those words, to see once again God’s hand moving in our work, to see Him placing in front of us the harvest of our hard labors.

I am humbled right now that God would even let us see the fruit of all our work.  He doesn’t have to!  He could’ve just made it so that we work out of pure faith, but He has shown us His mercy and has given us the greatest gift to see our “children” get up and walk.

When I got home they had pulled the pizza fresh from the oven… I didn’t have anything to worry about all along.  I was in a good mood the whole night, which may account for the joy-emanating portrait above.

There is a lot of stuff going on… in the team, in the field, in my heart, plans for the future… if I were to tell you everything right now you and I would be very bored… I think.  So, I will save some meat for the next time.

-Trev

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