We received this update from Cecelia W., a team member from Taylor University in Peru this week. See more on Taylor University’s travels on their blog.
God has been good to us here in Peru! Our heads are full of memories from a very eventful weekend, and our stomachs are full with a cultural delicacy, Gunea Pig, which we affectionately christened Fluffy and then gobbled up.
After some shopping and bartering in the local mercado (market), Saturday we headed up to a local town called Quinua for the church’s youth retreat. Quinua is about 10,000 feet above sea level and from the rooftop of the “retreat center” (which was really a local hospital) we could look down on Ayacucho and beyond. The view was so vast, we could see the storm that had passed to the east, the coming rain cloud to the west, and the sunshine hitting Ayacucho. Later that night we would be up on that rooftop again, clustering around a bonfire and singing praises to God in both Spanish and English to finish up the retreat for the night, where we talked about self-esteem and finding our true identity in Christ alone with the high school and young adult students. The next day we spent the morning at the retreat again, discussing sexual purity and why it is important and how we can intentionally live the life of purity God calls us to.
After the morning at the youth retreat, we headed off to a memorial in Quinua, which honors those who fought and won the Battle of Ayacucho, back in the nineteenth century. The battle was a key victory over Spain, not just for Peru, but for South America. After seeing the memorial we checked off a part of our bucket list we didn’t even realize was on there–Horseback riding through the Andes. We rode to a beautiful waterfall, and for not the first time nor the last time that day we were amazed by the beautiful creation that we got to behold. Later that day we stopped for a quick look at the ruins of a pre-Incan civilization called the Wari and then headed up to a cave where the earliest human remains in the Americas were found. It was a 20ish minute hike up the mountain to the cave. Due to the heat, the lack of water and the steepness of our path, two thirds-ish of the way up, I thought maybe I would be the next set of remains they would uncover on that mountain, but when we finally made it up to the cave, again there was a view that took our breath away and was well worth the trek.
We finished up the day with worship and testimony sharing at Pastor Romulo’s church, which was a translating fiesta of not only English and Spanish, but also, Quechua.
After a very fun and exciting weekend, we were ready and excited to get back and see the kids this morning and do our last VBS. Pray for us as we prepare to say our final goodbyes tomorrow. It’s going to be difficult to say goodbye, but we know that God stays and in that we have hope.