You know, I’m pretty imperfect. I mess up mucho. Somehow God sticks with me. It’s cool to think through times when I thought surely He couldn’t have even more patience…then HE DOES. After all, He did promise to be faithful even when we are faithless. Never has He not kept a promise. His Holy Spirit guides our steps!
He guided my steps yesterday here in the greatest land on earth.
Travelling on missions leaves you with tiny bits of foreign currency. I had some from the UK, Australia, Mexico and Colombia in my mission trip backpack. It isn’t doing me any good here. You can change dollars anywhere and everywhere in Peru but there are just a few places that will change those other currencies. I went on the hunt! I headed to Central Lima. Central Lima is, I think, my favorite part of Lima. It’s got old buildings, beautiful plazas, and TONS of people. Being in the midst of hundreds or thousands of people going about their day shopping, selling churros or (weed- see below), and just enjoying their day. You’ll also see tons of tourists looking around in a circle, dazed and confused. That’s quite enjoyable.
I knew the general direction to the money changer. I asked every money changer along the way where I could change pounds from Inglaterra. They’d point and tell me how many blocks. I checked all the exchange rates online before I went so that no one could trick me. 1 pound=4.4 soles. One peso=.2 soles. 1 Australia dollar- didn’t look it up oops. It turns out Peruvians don’t like British pounds because the going rate is about 2 soles. That’s less than a dollar even though they are worth almost double a US dollar. Australian dollars are worth about 97 cents but will get your more soles here than pounds. 40 mexican pesos will provide you enough money for a Coke. So I traded my pesos and Australian dollars and kept my pounds for a rainy day in England. Can’t wait til that happens. 🙂 I also held on to my Colombian pesos since I’m so close to that country.
Before I got off the bus In Central Lima for my money changing adventure, I prayed, “Lord, it’d be really nice to see someone I know. Please let me run into someone.”
I enjoy bumping into strangers in Peru but it’d be cool to bump into a friend. As I walked down the crowded street a man approached me and started talking to me. He was older and was promoting his jazz band that was playing in the park later that day. As I started to move on he wanted to go have a beer and practice his English. I said, “No thanks.” He replied, “I have some weed, you want to buy some weed?” I said, “How much?” Just kidding, I said no. He said, “Just a little packet.” I said no, God bless, goodbye. I did kind of enjoy that I looked like I needed some weed. However, that was not the friend I was praying to see that day.
Escaping that high, I went over to the park. As I entered the park I saw a big blue box that looked like one that Teen Mania uses on mission trips to carry soundboxes. I walked over to see if maybe someone stole one (all our boxes say Teen Mania on the top). As I got closer, I saw some familiar faces. Some of our translators were there doing a drama in the park and preaching the Gospel! It was a Teen Mania box and the Lord has answered my prayer!! Random? I’d been thinking about changing this money for a long time and chose yesterday of all days to do it in Central Lima as these friends were preaching the Gospel. Who am I and who are we that such an enormous God knows the desires of our hearts and fulfills them!? He makes sure we get to the right place.
I got to go out and minister with them at two drama sites. I was with my friend Ghermy. He preached the Gospel and led 6 people at the first site to the Lord. I got to share my testimony and encourage them that following God is the only way to go in life. I asked if they needed prayer for anything. They were actually travelling through Lima from a town in North Peru. One man had a sick sister, Yolanda. So we prayed for their travels and healing for Yolanda as well as just a general blessing. By the end of the prayer the man was crying. You could see such appreciation on their faces and that God had really meant to encounter them that day.
At the second drama site we talked to a couple who you could tell were hurting and wanting something more in life. They were so ready to know Jesus in a way that is real and personal!
Today an old man stopped me in my neighborhood. He saw me from across the street and kind of ran at me. I had a little trouble understanding what he said….it was either “I met someone who looked like you…are you the Christian?” or “I have heard of you…are you the Christian?”(Note: neighborhood people talk about everything. I’m sure my every move is watched and reported haha). Either way, I said, “Yes, I am. What are you?” I don’t know why that seemed like a good thing to say at the time but it did. I don’t know what he said back; I hadn’t heard the word before. I’m pretty sure though that he meant he didn’t have a religion. He seemed really happy to meet me and I was happy to meet him. But I walked away from that interaction a bit frustrated though because I couldn’t communicate well. The more I thought about it, however, I could have communicated if I had really taken the time, even if my communication was in very poor Spanish grammar. I just didn’t have my eyes very wide open. I prayed for that man a lot today. Hopefully, I’ll see him again to tell him more about being a Christian. You could go ahead and pray for the old man who chased me down. 🙂
The adventures keep on coming in Peru. Hopefully this week I’ll be going out to a really poor district to work with kids!
Please pray for open doors, open EYES, and miraculous Spanish learning.