Last Sunday we were able to sit and talk with Echo VanderWal, one of the founders of The Luke Commission. I asked her, looking back at all it took to get where they are today, what her advice would be for us as college students. She told us to move where God moves, to have active faith that He will provide, and not to be afraid to fail. This meant a lot to all of us, but I think it meant so much because we had experienced what doing all of those things looked like through TLC.
I’m not going to lie, these last few weeks were really hard work. They were long days and heavy lifting. We had multiple setbacks, faced heavy tension from home, and quite a bit of pressure to fit in to a new place. However, the biggest setback was our tight grip. There are some things in life that we can adapt to easily, and this trip was not one of them.
I’m sure when we get home, we will tell our families how amazing our experience was. There were a lot of tears when we had to leave our new Swazi family. We experienced a body of believers that was actually structured like the church of the gospel, a people devoted to working hard for the Lord, and a people who had pure hearts. We lived under a “no gossip” policy- gossip being defined as anything that you tell someone else that they couldn’t do something about. Therefore, frustration, bitterness, and complaints were kept to ourselves.
Our experiences were great, however, when we sat around the table and discussed what really stuck, it wasn’t how big the elephants were, or how yummy our family breakfast was. What moved us was the byproduct of having open hands. We were softened, shaped, and stretched by someone who is powerful enough to do so.
Greetings all! We returned from our trek Saturday evening and everything went very well. The team did great as we were able to make presentations in four villages and as many schools during the trek. The villages were at 11-, 12-, 13-, and 12,000 feet above sea level. High point of our trek was 14,500 and yes the air is thin up there! Team also made a “sight seeing” hike to 15,200′ yesterday. They all did great with significant hiking on 6 of the last 7 days.
Best estimates would be that we were able to give several hundred households Bibles in their own language and were able to share our presentation with more than a thousand people in the last week. Such an encouraging time to be shared with the AWI team and participating in this, what I call “seed planting” aspect of their ministry. So much more to share in time…! We would appreciate your prayers that those “seeds”, the Quechua Bibles, will grow the faith of those that read/hear “alli willacuyanata”, the “good news”.
We will attend church here in Huaraz today, catch a red-eye bus to Lima tonight, have a day in Lima tomorrow, and catch a red-eye flight home tomorrow night. Prayers for a little rest and our return are appreciated. Speaking for myself I can say that your prayers have been felt in many ways!
It has been a great week of fellowship with the Yanacs, the AWI Association crew, and several communities. We leave for our trek this morning. Would appreciate your prayers for physical and spiritual strength as well that the spoken and written Gospel would be well received! Grace and peace.
–Mark Gathany (Team Leader)
Check out the Paraguay team blog to read more about their experiences. Click here to visit the page: http://paraguyanmedicine.blogspot.com/
We all arrived to Paraguay safely and we are currently with the field workers in Asuncion! We had a great flight from Brazil to Paraguay. Thank you guys!
Pink jacket Paraguay girls are off! #CUGO
Read about how the Alaska team has been doing here: http://fromfarcountry.blogspot.com/
Over the past two weeks our team has spent time visiting English corners, where people of all ages gather to practice their conversational English skills. We have met people from all walks of life and encountered believers, which has encouraged our hearts, and unbelievers, which has given us the opportunity to guide our conversations towards sharing the truth.
One of the most powerful experiences for our team was visiting an orphanage. Here we saw how God has wrapped his arms around the children here. Our eyes were opened to His faithfulness through the kind hearts of the staff and the sweet giggles of the children.