Month: January 2013

Peru Wrap Up

I apologize for leaving this blog empty for so long, as well as not talking about my Peru trip after the first day. Honestly it’s difficult to find words to describe the trip without either going way too long, or just saying it was amazing.

One of the best parts of the trip continued to be the main session worship times I mentioned in my first post on Peru. Hearing truth declared from 500 mouths all speaking Spanish was a life changing experience.

I also really enjoyed time spent having conversations with people in the coffee shop of the church. I loved getting to know people who lived outside my American bubble and hear about all the struggles and triumphs in their churches. It’s beautiful to see different parts of the Body of Christ and how God is working around the world.

One of the most fun moments came on the trip’s final day day. We had built in a sight seeing day into our schedule, so we used that day to take surfing lessons. I can proudly say I did successfully stand up on the board, and on my second attempt. It was one of the most fun and tiring things I have ever done. Ryan brought a GoPro camera, so there is video footage of our trip being assembled. I’ll make sure you see it as soon as I get it.

As amazing of a trip as it was, it was not without struggles. Most the difficulties I faced were related to my personality and how I approach situations. However, I feel like I learned more in the challenges than the parts that went smoothly.

I think because it was my first real mission trip, I expected to come home feeling super fulfilled because of how successful I had been as a teacher and worship leader. I know this is a self absorbed way of viewing a mission trip, but it’s the truth. I wanted to feel good about myself. I don’t think my entire motives for the trip were selfish. I genuinely believe the trip was in line with the giftings God has given me, and He sent me for a reason.

The problem was while I am a musician and a teacher, Peruvians (mainly teenagers) have very different needs from the American adults I usually teach on the subject of musical worship and electric guitar. The combination of struggling to understand/meet their needs and speaking through a translator made it difficult to get feedback on how the classes were received.

I wanted to see the impact I had on the conference attendees. I wanted to know I made a difference.

But that’s not how life works.

God calls us to be faithful stewards of the talents He has given us. He calls us to say yes when He asks us to go. As my friend Carl always says, God doesn’t need us. He invites us to help Him with His work because He is a perfect Father who loves us. We can sow seeds (and in our brokenness, even that is a feeble attempt), but God is responsible for what becomes of those seeds.

This is something I knew in my mind, but had never experienced in this way before. It was a hard, but much needed lesson.

If any of my new Peruvian friends read this, please don’t take this as looking for approval or reassurance. This is me trying to be honest about my whole experience, including the hard things God taught me.

I leave you with a video from the conference featuring us leading worship. It’s a small peek at the beauty I experienced in my week in Peru.

Have you ever experienced a mission trip where you weren’t able to see the fruit?


Peru Update #1

Greetings from Lima!

(Warning, this post was written late at night. I’m quite tired, so please excuse…everything I say.)

By the time this post goes up, I will be about to go teach my first class at the conference. Can’t wait to update everyone on how that goes. It should be very interesting teaching a class with a translator.

Everything is going really well so far though. We left Nashville Tuesday morning at 9:30AM. We flew 2 hours to Newark, and then 8 hours here to Lima. I haven’t ever been on a plane for that long before, and let me just say, it was grueling. We were pleased that all of our luggage arrived safely (though Peru did decided to tax us on my pedalboard).

The weather here is amazing. I’m definitely not missing the Nashville winter weather (or the snow and ice we flew over as we landed in Newark yesterday). It is unfortunate that we don’t have air conditioning most places though. I feel like I’m back at summer camp, perpetually sticky.

The people here are incredibly nice, and the language barrier hasn’t been too bad. I remember enough Spanish from school that I can at least understand some conversation and chime in occasionally. Plus we have translators, and Ryan from our team speaks great Spanish.

The food so far has been great as well. It’s hard to go wrong with meat and rice.

It’s also been amazing to watch God provide for us. Somehow my power supply for my pedalboard didn’t make it here. Whether I left it at home, or it got lost in the customs mess, I don’t know. However, someone at the church actually had the exact same power supply and got it for me. I’m floored that that is here.

Last night we led worship for the first time, and it was beautiful. Almost 500 people, many of them teenagers singing along passionately. It’s always astounding to me to hear something like this. It broadens my narrow view of our huge God. He is so big enough to receive praise in every language, in every country in the world.

Please continue to pray for us. Pray that we stay healthy (I’m trying hard not to drink the water!), and that God would continue to use us in this time. I’ll try to continue to update, as well as post pictures. However, for some reason, the internet doesn’t like me uploading them.

Peru Hiatus

When this post goes up, I’ll probably be on my way to the airport. I’m leaving today for a week long mission trip to Lima, Peru. A group of 6 of us from my church here in Nashville will be going to teach and lead at a worship conference. It’s my first mission trip out o the country, and I’m nervous, but incredibly excited.

I apologize for the lack of posts here lately. Between the holidays and getting ready for this trip, I feel like I’ve been going non stop since before Christmas. Something had to give, and since this blog is just a hobby at the moment, it has been neglected.

I’ll do my best to post from Peru at least once, but I don’t feel like internet access is guaranteed. So I’ll post a big recap when I return.

Please pray for our team, for our health and safety, and that we would be able to equip and encourage the worship leaders and musicians there.