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“But isn’t it dangerous?”

This is a question that I continuously am asked as I tell people about the work that I have the privilege of doing in San Juan de Lurigancho, Lima, Peru. Most people seem to immediately jump to concern for me and my safety as I am serving 3,000 miles away from home. While I am so beyond thankful to have people in my life who want to look after me and protect me, this question really leaves me unsettled.

San Juan de Lurigancho is one of 43 districts of Lima (Peru’s capital) and is known as being one of the poorest areas in all of Lima. It is the most populous district in Lima and is jammed packed with houses and cars that go all the way up the mountains. It is also known to many people who grew up in Lima as “the place to stay away from." Just the other day, Deanna and I were trying to get a taxi from Central Lima and (I kid you not), 10 taxis in a row refused to take us to San Juan de Lurigancho before we finally found someone who would.

Looking at all of these facts it’s easy to define this place by its dangers.

But San Juan de Lurigancho is so much more than that.

In my 8 years of coming here, I have fallen in love with the people and the culture that you find in the poorest district in Lima. They have been nothing but kind and supportive of me and my mission while I’m down here. From cooking me traditional Peruvian meals to teaching me traditional Peruvian dances, I have always felt a strong sense of love and unity in the people of San Juan. It has become like my home and I am so thankful for that.

I am not saying that things have been perfect; there have definitely been times where I have been nervous or may have felt unsafe. However, if living here for the past month has taught me anything it is that we cannot serve FEAR and GOD at the same time. I cannot hold on to my security and comfort of my Kennesaw apartment, and answer the call that God has put on my life at the same time. I have to step out in faith, knowing the risks, denying the fear within myself and knowing that God is bigger than the risks.

“But isn’t it dangerous?”

“Maybe, but my God is bigger”



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