We received this update from Diana F., a team member from Taylor University in Peru this week. See more on Taylor University’s travels on their blog.
Hello from Ayacucho, Peru!
Finally after a long couple days of travel, we have arrived in Peru and are completely settled in. Everyone is adjusting well to the altitude, making it much easier to keep up with the children who seem to have endless energy.
We experienced some surprises along the way already, as our flight out of Indianapolis was cancelled. Consequently, we missed our connecting flights to Atlanta and then to Peru. Luckily, the Delta staff was able to help us book a flight for later on Friday to Atlanta and then put us up in a hotel for the night before our new flight to Lima, Peru on Saturday evening. Once we arrived in Lima, we took a 10 hour bus ride up the mountains to Ayacucho.
Everything from that point on has worked smoothly and we have been very blessed by the hospitality of the nationals here in Ayacucho. The team is living in two houses, one owned by the pastor of Emmanuel Church in Ayacucho and the other is the house of the social worker at Casa Luz, the orphanage we are working in for the month of January. There are 45 children at the orphanage. These children may still have a living parent, but that parent may be unable to take care of them, so they end up in the orphanage. The ages of the children range from babies to 20 year olds who are attending university here in Ayacucho. Pastor Jorge (pictured below sporting his school spirit) and his wife are the ones who are in charge of the orphanage. The team has been blessed thus far by Pastor Jorge’s hospitality and preaching.
After settling in, going over plans for the next day, and resting a bit, we were able to go over to Casa Luz to meet the children. Once at the orphanage we were welcomed with smiles and kisses, all of the children wanting to know our names. We spent a bit of time playing with them before singing some songs with them and getting a tour through the orphanage.
Today (Monday) we were able to coordinate a VBS for the children 11 and younger while the teen group got to know the older children and share a bit about our lives with them, play games, and talk to them about self-worth and finding their identity in Christ. In the afternoon we took the children to the park down the street to play and get out of the orphanage for a while. Some of the team played soccer, while the rest split up talking to the children and playing with the babies.
Tonight, we had the pleasure of getting to go to the church, hear Pastor Jorge preach, and experience worshiping with the Peruvian believers. I loved having the opportunity to take a step back and just listen to the many voices around me all worshiping the same God that I serve.
This week we will be continuing our VBS with the children and our workshop type lessons with the teens, while also attending church services and getting to know the people we are living alongside for the next few weeks.
We have been blessed to have three translators helping us and living with us. Without them we would not be able to serve as effectively. The team is a bit tired, but we are healthy. Please pray for continued health among us as we serve. Please also pray that we are able to communicate effectively despite the language barrier.
Thank you for all of your prayers and continued support.