This is a guest post from one of our Peru Team members, Patti Lyon.
Hello from Peru! Words cannot describe how grateful I am to be on a life-changing trip here. I was a bit nervous about committing to going on this trip. With Jeremy working two jobs, taking care of the kids and preparing to preach the weekend I was going to be gone about made me say no. I knew Jeremy could handle it but I want to support my husband as a wife should by being there when/if he needed me. I knew if God wanted me here, he’d make it happen…..and He did.
What an amazing day today was. The anticipation of spending the majority of the day with our sponsor kids was so exciting. I had been told how fun the day was going to be by those that had came on the 2012 Peru trip but until you do it yourself, you just cannot wrap your head around it.
Today started with a drive to Playa Blanca- Punta Veleros, Los Organos which takes a little over an hour. The beach is beautiful and the sand is so soft. We arrived with the bus full of our Compassion sponsored children behind us. I wasn’t sure how many of them had visited the beach before or even swam in a pool. As far as I could see, all of the children were having a great time. Their sponsor’s were grinning from ear to ear. God’s love was all around and was radiating from all of us. Everyone had fun playing in the pool and at the beach. There were soccer balls being kicked, sand castles being built, connections being made and relationships becoming stronger. I just wanted to sit and soak in the emotions of everyone around. We went back and forth from the beach to the pool.
Towards the end of the day we gave our kids their gifts. They were so happy opening the backpacks and bags of gifts they were given. I know for me, it was fun telling them about toys they had never seen before, like the Slinky’s and glow-in-the-dark bracelets that I gave my family’s sponsor children, Ana & Alvaro. The kids didn’t want to leave and get back on the bus. It was hard seeing disappointment in their eyes but we would see most of them later at “Surprise Night” the church was having at the center where we had VBS earlier this week.
We went back to our hotel and cleaned up and left for “Surprise Night”. It was such fun watching them dance native dance’s of Peru. We ate food that was brought as part of a potluck that families had brought. It was delicious! We danced and laughed.
These people are filled with so much joy and happiness. I feel as if they are blessing us beyond how we are blessing them. They are giving much, from nothing and are joyful doing it. We have so much to learn from them. Lessons of serving God without expecting anything back. They do it because they love the Lord and they love His people. They don’t act inconvenienced or upset about bringing us food. It’s impossible for me to tell you how amazing these people are.
One thing I cannot go without saying is, if you sponsor a child, please take the time to write to them. A letter means as much, if not more, than a toy. Pray for them and their families, their community, their church, their teachers. I’ve seen sadness in the eyes of children that have sponsors they’ve written to, that haven’t written them back. Make it a priority to do so. I’ve made it a point to write to ours the first Friday of every month. It can be a little or a lot. Just send them something from your heart. They cherish those letters like you cannot imagine. Our little girl, Ana, sleeps with hers under her pillow. She’s so precious, as is our little guy, Alvaro.
Thank you, Jesus, for these children and the people of Negritos. They are to be treasured.