And here’s my latest video blog episode!!!! CHECK IT OUT (well, only if you want to–you don’t have to…but if you want to get a quick peek at what I’m doing in South America this is probably the easiest way)!!!!!!!!

And here’s an excerpt from my latest newsletter:

Here’s a good example of what a typical day looks like for me…

As I scurried over to our Castillo Fuerte Mercy House in La Victoria, quickly dropping off my backpack and saying “¡Hola!” to some of the staff, and then hurrying back to the nearby park, I breathed in the crisp, winter air (which really wasn’t that cold since it rarely even gets below 55 Fahrenheit, though the humidity makes it feel a lot colder). Soon, I was back in the park, joining a few of the teachers and a bunch of kids in a good game of “Monkey in the Middle”. After playing that with the kids for a while, one of them suddenly noticed that the basketball court was open (it also serves as a soccer field, and earlier there had been other people playing on it), and so suddenly the kids went off in a mad dash to claim the court, quite excited to be playing what is currently their favorite game.

Hula jumping August
Having some fun in the park

Though I’m not very good at basketball (don’t expect me to ever actually get it in the hoop!), I do greatly enjoy playing it with the kids, so I was all geared up to play. We were just about to split off into teams when…well, kids are kids, and sometimes that involves a little bit of drama. So I soon found myself waving off at the rest of the kids, telling them to start playing without me, as I stood by the side of the basketball court and talked over why we shouldn’t have a cranky attitude with a very cranky kid. Making sure that people are reconciled is often a pretty big deal to me, so the two of us missed out on the entire game as the kid worked through her crankiness and finally (as we walked back to the Mercy Center to eat lunch) she was ready to offer a few necessary apologies.

After lunch, while most of the kids played board games upstairs as they waited for their classes to start, I pulled aside a couple of the kids to work on their music skills with them. Having been practicing for a couple of months now, they’re actually better on the electric keyboard than I am, but (being kids) they still need someone playing along with them (which usually means that I’m playing with them on the guitar) as they gain more and more confidence in their playing abilities. It has been really exciting to see how much they are progressing, especially as they little by little are participating more in the music ministry during our church services. My hope is that the kids will be able to continue on playing without me after my internship here in Peru wraps up by the end of this year.

Hot Incense August 2017
One of our more elaborate Bible classes…as the kids act out the story with puppets, with lots of props included, too (like that Ark of the Covenant replica in the background behind me).

Finishing up with the music time, I headed upstairs to the big kids’ classroom and tried to keep the attention of a dozen or so kids for 15 minutes as we talked about prayer. It seems like too many kids (and maybe people in general) get quite intimidated at the idea of praying, which was definitely the case that day as I told them that we would go around in a circle and ALL have a chance to pray. Whenever a kid would protest, “But I don’t know how!” I would remind them that, seeing that they were just then talking to me, they could also pray, because prayer is simply talking to God.

And there were many other moments that day (as there are most days) to not simply talk about the love and grace of God (which he offers us freely by grace through faith in his son, Jesus Christ), but also to live it out and model it for the kids, showing them God’s love. And I don’t just want the kids to know God’s love and grace, but I really want to see them sharing it, too.



Two headed child August
Me and…well, they claimed to be a two-headed child, but I’m pretty convinced that they were just two girls huddled together in the same sweater to stay warm.

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