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?