Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Pregnant in Peru
1 Pedro 5:10-11
El dios de toda grace
que los llamo a su gloria eterna en Cristo,
los restaurara y los hara fuertes,
firmes y estables.
A el sea el poder
por los siglos de los siglos.
1 Peter 5:10-11
And the God of all grace,
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
after you have suffered a little while,
will himself restore you and make you strong,
firm and steadfast.
To him be the power for ever and ever.
Amen.''How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!' ' Isaiah 52:7
It's Tuesday in Pucallpa.
It kinda feels like the end of the line. Even on a map it looks that way. We left SC on a short flight, to a very very long flight, to a 5 hour sleep in a hotel room, to another short flight, to a short drive down a paved road, to a long drive down a very bumpy dirt road, and ended up here in Pucallpa, Peru. On the map, the Rio Ucayali boarders the town on one side, and beyond that is jungle. Miles and miles of Peruvian jungle.
I just love this place. My special new home away from home.
I am so glad that we have many more days until we leave, until we need to get back to our reality of SC. Because this reality is so good to me. I could stay here a long, long time.
It is hot. So green. So jungly. Sweet faced monkeys who grab your things and run. And the people that I have traveled here with are incredibly cool cats.
The missionaries, that live here year-round for years and years on end,....BLOW me away.
Some people read fashion magazines or tabloids and ogle over movie stars or models or singers or whoever. But for me, I met my type of movie star. These missionaries. My new friends and heros.
They are missionaries for SAM Air. South America Mission Organization www.southamericamission.org.
Two of the guys have been serving in Peru as missionary pilots for 22 years. They raised children with their wives here. The wives home schooled the kids for their entire education. Many of their adult children are now missionaries in other parts of the world. These guys have been flying missionaries and cargo all over the Peruvian jungle for all these years.
We sit in a very warm room with fans blowing our sweat drenched bodies as we have lunch together. They marveling about the chips, the chocolate. I hear someone across the table say, 'Butterfinger. I haven't had a butterfinger in 3 years.' Someone else says, 'Look at these orange Cheetos. Our Cheetos are usually yellow.' I smile and marvel at just how long they have been away from the states.
There's a young missionary Mama. 2 little children and another baby due in a week. I am profusely sweating. She? Not at all. She's used to the jungle heat and the climate. I see her staring at my mouth as we talk. I realize why she's looking and wipe the sweat off my upper lip. Now she's back to looking in my eyes. She's a normal girl who loves her husband and her family of soon to be 5. She's a blogger too. I think we would be fast friends if I lived here.
We ask the pilots for some memorable stories, from their over two decades of working in aviation in the jungle. They smile warmly, and then talk. They seem happy to share their stories. I seriously listen intently...with childlike intrigue, to these guys tell of their adventures in these little planes flying deep into the jungle.
They tell of short, non-maintained runways. Of not having nearly enough room to land with planes full of people and cargo. Of landing strips with huge pot holes and slippery muddy, impossible landing areas. Of dead batteries in the middle of the jungle and jimmy-ing it with 'Some Peruvian lady's clothes line. It was hung with some sort of electrical wire. And there were two dead radios that I found. I rigged it up and was able to jump the plane and make it home.' He smiles a million dollar smile and our team smiles back...and marvels.
But through it all, these men always give glory to God. They delight in saying how He safely helped them through it all over and over and over. Of landing in dangerous areas with bullets flying. They speak with such love and adoration for their jobs and their wives. One tears up as he describes it as, 'The best place in the world to raise kids. There's no boundaries. They were raised playing in the jungle.' His words trail off....he is overtaken with emotion. We understand. We believe him.
I cry. No reason specifically... other than being just an arms distance away from someone who has devoted their entire life to God's work. They have given their lives with such joy and love that I am overtaken with their breath-takingly beautiful and downright humble servants hearts.
The tears come, but I am not even aware that I am crying...It's raw emotion. And I feel such sincere love for them it almost hurts.
I will pray for them always.
Today, we all grab sand paper and sand the outside of our missionary hostess, Angela Head, house. She has been a missionary in Peru for 12 years. Her self-proclaimed 'children' watch us, and hang on our ladders....and steal our water bottles...even scissors...as we sand...
And it's hot. And we sweat.
We sand in the heat for hours through the morning. The monkeys watching, and us sweating, as the day gets hotter and hotter.
My heart is in it, in a big way. But my pregnant body isn't. I desperately want to serve Angela, help her with her home....Sand. Be with the team. I adore these people. I don't want to let anyone down. I take deep breaths to calm my yucky stomach. The heat and repetitiveness of sanding, arms up and down...overhead and down low makes even a few of the non-pregnant girls working by my side feel a little woozy. I try to take my mind off of nausea by thinking of my father, who was always working on something. And always seemed to be sanding in my memories of him....I think to myself that he would love this place.
Unfortunately, those hours in the heat sends me to the bed, for the rest of the day. But God wanted that for me. Today. And He calmly and lovingly meets me there in the bed. To remind me that He is in control. And reassure me that it is not I that makes a difference, but He. It is my heart that matters. He wants it to be his.
So very humbled, I rest.
And look forward to what tomorrow brings.
A new day awaits us.