We received this post from the Peru team upon their return at the end of January!
None of us will let the 36 hours of traveling home squelch our the memories of our final moments with the beautiful children that we learned to love or with the teens and adults that we witnessed serve others every day.
Thursday night we were invited to the Pastor’s house for dinner where they shared with us the stories of the children of Casa Luz. All of us were amazed by the strength of their faith and by the miracle of each child. We didn’t fully understand the extent of how God has worked through those at Casa Luz until we heard the specific stories like the one of Milagros, a beautiful 12 year girl who had been showering us with kisses from the moment she met us. When Milagros was born, she was unusually tiny and her grandmother knew she would not survive high up in the mountains. So the grandmother hiked all the way down to Casa Luz in hopes that Milagros would be able to survive there. She weighed 1 kilo until she was one year old. Through much prayer and good nourishment, Pastor watched Milagros flourish and grow into the meaning of her name, a miracle.
Friday and Saturday were filled with fiestas. Saying goodbye to the kids at Casa Luz and Luz y Vida included specially drawn pictures for us, gifts, games, lots of food, laughs, hugs for all and even a clown! For Saturday night, our team conspired with some members of the church to throw a surprise birthday party for Andrew. One that will not quickly be forgotten.
Sunday was our last time worshipping in Spanish with the members of Pastor’s church. Then we left our beloved little world for a day of debriefing.
We awoke on Monday to board our bus at 5 am and traveled almost 12 hours to the airport. There we tearfully let our translators and patiently waited for our 11:50pm flight. While standing in a never ending line, we heard the heart-dropping news that our flight had been canceled and we would most likely not be able to leave until 24 hours later. We immediately began praying that God would provide us a flight, one team member specifically asked for one that would depart within 4 hours of our original time. After much more waiting and watching our fearless leaders scurry around frantically, we heard the news. We were going to Canada! Our flight left at 3:30 am, just 3 hours and 40 minutes after our original flight, thank you very much God. From Canada, our team split into two planes to Indianapolis but we all made it back safe and sound.
We each witnessed God do awesome things on this trip and were reminded again of how powerful our prayers can be, whether it was watching Pastor stop in the middle of farming to ask God for a tractor or seeing a group of college kids huddled, praying in an airport. And we each were touched by at least one of the lives of the Peruvian people. As heartbreaking as it is to know that we may never see them again on earth, it brings us so much joy to think of reuniting with them in heaven. Hasta luego!
Tiehl (Peru team member)