The first time I came to San Juan De Lurigancho was 2009 and I immediately fell in love with everything about it. The people, the sounds, the smell (most people would disagree on that one) all took a hold of my heart and, ever since then, it’s been hard to keep me away. The first few times I came down here I was so focused on helping the people of Peru with “typical missionary tasks”. What buildings need to be painted? Who needs to be prayed for? What supplies can I pass out?
While doing all of these things are important, it really bothers me that I don’t know the names of 95% of the people on those primary trips that I “helped”. To them I was the “rich American who brought supplies and then went back home” and to me they were “the Peruvians who needed my help”. This was a pride issue for me, but I am thankful that, since the, God has showed me that being a missionary is so much more than that. It’s about building relationships with the people you meet. It’s about discovering the heart of the people you have the honor of serving. Even in the bible we can see that Jesus never did “charity”, he served His people because of his love for them. I want to be like that
Through the past eight years I have had the amazing privilege of growing relationships with the incredible people of Lima, Peru. We have cried together, laughed together, and encouraged each other through the good, the bad, and the ugly and I have loved every second of it. As I came down on my ninth and longest trip, I was so nervous about being away from my family and friends for so long. But, as I settled into my new home for the next two months, I discovered that I had developed a Peruvian family in San Juan de Lurigancho. Each of them, unique in their own ways, have helped me to grow in wisdom and in love as we serve God’s Kingdom alongside each other.
Please stay tuned over the next few weeks as I continue to share the extraordinary things going on in the place that holds my heart, San Juan de Lurigancho, Lima, Peru.