Sunday, November 26, 2006

God's Mucho Mas Mejor Plan

Today my friend Mandy and I went to a church in Lancaster to hear Ruben Carasco, the pastor from Cusco speak. He and his wife, Haydee have been in Pennsylvania this month speaking at different churches. I never would have imagined meeting them for the first time outside of Peru but God's ways are mucho mas mejor (very much better - it's not really grammatically correct to say this in English or Spanish but it reminds me of my Swiss friend Lilian :0). I really liked them and I look forward to getting to know them even more within the next three years. Mandy said that she felt much better "leaving me in their hands." Ruben was joking around with her about what kind of protection they could offer me...the police, a bodyguard...etc...

This morning Ruben talked about vision and how when God gives us vision, impossible things happen and He shows that He is the God not just of theology but the God of the practical. One thing that Ruben spoke this morning was that we can say: "God is the God of the Impossible" all we like in church but do we actually live like that? Do we make room in our lives for God to do the impossible or do we hem ourselves in so comfortably so that we don't even give Him the chance?

I was so excited this morning because I could understand pretty much all of Ruben's sermon! Of course, my talking to them in Spanish was a little pathetic. Thankfully, Mandy was there to help fill in the words. I can't wait for language school in Arequippa!! When I was in Venezuela, everything was so overwhelming! I remember sitting in church and missing half of what was being said. It's as though you are living in fog. I was so frustrated some times and thought I would never get past the fog!

It feels good to be going to Peru with an understanding of Spanish and knowing that I'll be able to catch up faster because of that. I can't wait to work on all the details that I need to fill in the gap! To dig into those verbs and I can't wait to be surrounded by people speaking Spanish. Okay, so I'll stop looking at it so "romantically"... Yes, it's going to be hard sometimes and I'm sure I'm going to make a fool of myself. I'm SURE I'll make a lot of mistakes! woohoo for mistakes...

I found out from the mission agency that I can leave when I reach 80% of my support. It's great because I'm at 70% right now!! Perhaps this means that Peru is right around the corner. It's going to feel so surreal when I actually get on the plane and finally say goodbye to everyone here. I'm so excited and even though I'm torn about being here for Christmas, I really hope I get to leave some time next month.

We'll see! Through this whole thing I've learned not to hold onto my plans with a tight closed fist but with an open palm up to Jesus while saying: Lord, whatever you want!

HIS PLAN IS MUCHO MAS MEJOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Trail Much Sought After

On Wednesday I walked the last section on the Perkiomen trail. My last section was from Oaks to Audubon and God blessed me with a gorgeous day. Even though the trees have lost most of their leaves, sections of this trek were still pretty with the twisting bare branches and leaf laden ground. I felt victorious about completing the trail until I tried to get back to my car. I had parked in the Perkiomen Valley Park and walked across the field to get to the path. I thought that on the way back I would just catch the trail back to where it connected to the park instead of walking across the soggy field. Well, they were doing construction and many areas were fenced off. So, I walked past the field on the path... I walked by the park...I saw my car and I kept walking hoping that there would be an entrance into the park. I kept walking until I walked passed the park and realized that if I kept walking I would soon be in Valley Forge!!! It was so torturous to see my car but not be able to get to it because there were two sets of fences between. I momentarily considered climbing the fences but realized that if I was caught they probably wouldn't care that I was tired and didn't want to walk all the way back the trail and then across the soggy field! I turned around and walked back down the path and then across the field. By the time I got to my car, I didn't feel so victorious anymore, just tired and glad to be done walking and sooooo glad to be back at my car.

I really am so glad for being able to walk the Perkiomen Trail. I'm glad that God has given me the time to take such long walks. It's amazing how the fresh air and being with the Lord in nature clears your head and helps you to have peace. Yesterday I was feeling very antsy and impatient so I took a walk on the old Banbury trail (a short trek compared to the Perkiomen Trail adventures). God filled my heart with peace and assured me that this time of waiting has been good and that He is building things in me that He will use later in my life.

Praise God for walks...
for fall leaves and woods...
praise God for quiet talks with Him along the way...
praise God for warm weather and for exercise!!!

"But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31 (nkjv)

A map of the trail that I've walked. It's 20 miles long; so that means that I've walked at least 40 miles this fall! :0)

Two reptile friends that I met along the way!

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Here are some pictures from the Perkiomenville to Green Lane section of the Perkiomen Trail. I've completed one end of the trail and I just have one more section until I've walked the whole thing!

"I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation." Psalm 13:5

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song." Psalm 28:7

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." Isaiah 2:12

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Not Alone...

I was wrong in my last post. I am not alone here in front of this wall. I am surrounded by friends and family who are helping me to chip...chip...chip away. How could I forget them? They are the reason that there is any chipping going on at all. Whether through one time gifts, words of encouragement or commitment of support, they are helping to remove this wall.

This is the best part about support raising: the ones who come to help. The people that God raises up to and bless the work He is going to do in and through me in Peru. This is why in a way, I was glad that God called me to serve as a missionary who raised support. Because I knew that it meant that God was going to use others in my life to bring about his calling for me. Isn't that awesome? I heard a teaching long ago that talked about how we cannot truly discover and walk into our calling in God's kingdom apart from our connection with the rest of His body, the church.

It reminds me of something I wrote in a letter when I was going out on another adventure 4 years ago to a different South American country. It was a story of a little girl with a large banner that had her life's calling written on it. Well, she couldn't unroll it herself and the whole could not be unfurled without the help of other people. It's still true and I am glad that this whole thing can't happen with just me.

How could I have forgotten so easily? Thank you friends!

I am not alone.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Perfect Timing

Chip, chip, chip....chip, chip, chippin' away! I feel like a little girl standing in front of a massive wall. My job is to remove the wall but all I've got is a hammer and chisel. So, chip, chip, chip... and it sure is taking a while. It seems that this wall is never going away. Even though I'm over halfway, I still feel like I'm chipping, chipping, chipping....slowly. Maybe I should just appreciate each peice that comes off but mostly I feel tired of this wall.

Last night I was being planned into my church's Christmas Eve service. They want me to dance and be a part of the drama. Wait... am I still going to be here at Christmas? I don't know really and I'm a little tired of my life being so up in the air. I would like to be in Peru in December but do I know if my support will all be in or not. It sure is coming in slowly... chip...chip...chip...

I know that God has His timing in all of this and that I'll get to Peru when He wants me to. I do TRUST Him! After all, He sees the big picture better than I do and He knows what is BEST. However, I'm a little concerned about the way this timing thing is working out. The original plan was for me to go to language school for three months and be in Cusco in time for the beginning of the new school season in early March. Now time is getting a little crunchy and I'm praying that God will work everything out the way that He wants to.

This season of waiting has been good for me. But it sure is hard not to be antsy and instead to really be content in the middle of it. I pray that the Lord will give me strength to enjoy this time and depend on His timing and not mine.

Oh, here are more pictures from my latest Perkiomen trail section. This is from Collegeville to Audubon.

I love the reflection of the trees in the water!