Travel, travel, travel...These first two days have been such an amazing whirlwind! Monday started out for Emma and me at 5:30am, after a late night of packing and double checking our packing, so we could be at the airport to meet the rest of our team at 7:15am.
After a three hour flight to Atlanta, a couple hour lay-over, a six hour flight to Lima, immigration, customs, and a quick drive to our first hotel we got to bed after 19 hours of travel.
Tuesday started with breakfast then straight to the airport for another flight to get us to Talara, Piura, Peru. We finally got to our hotel around 3:30pm and got some rest time before heading out to Negritos (just a 15-20 minute bus ride away. I'm (and I would guess the whole team is) glad to be done travel for the next week!
Beyond words...After dinner Tuesday night, we were off to a welcoming service at Iglesia del Nazareno de Negritos. It's such a challenge to write this post. It's very difficult to put into words what I experienced. I will do my best, and if you find it lacking, that just means you'll need to be on the team the next time we come to Peru! :)
Love. Love is probably the only way to explain the entire night. We love these sponsored kids and the people of Negritos that we raised money, and for some paid the difference out-of-pocket, took time off from work and away from our families to come visit. They stayed up late to pack out the church (standing room only overflowing outside the building) to meet us, hug us, and welcome us into their city and lives.
After programs and songs of worship, the best part of the night kicked off. We were all let loose to meet and talk with each other! Emma and I got to meet our sponsor children, Ana and Alvaro. Giant hugs were given. Fun conversations about school and favorite games were had. Pictures, lots and lots of pictures were taken. All the girls wanted to take selfies with Emma. It was so much fun!
The only comfort I found after being told we had to leave for the night was that I knew we'd be back tomorrow morning. I look forward to more precious experiences and lacking words to explain the joy and love that is piercing my heart.
I am in the middle of God's beauty poured out through His children's love for each other through Jesus Christ.
- Pastor Jeremy