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I love the streets of Lima. The people are so incredible and not even on purpose. Seriously, they don’t have to try and awesome just oozes out.

I have had some really cool interactions on the streets the last couple of days. Sort of side note, I still sometimes think things like, “Should I really be doing this?” “I’m not even with a certain ministry, can I really start something?” “Maybe I should go back to the states and make mucho money.” I think thoughts like this when I’ve walked for miles searching for one apartment for rent and…nothing.

Nonetheless, the things that happen to me can’t be normal. Maybe it happens to everyone?  But I think it’s God’s fault, which makes those menacing questions go away and allows me to relax knowing I am where He wants me to be. I often remind myself, this life isn’t about this life. I’m living for something else.

Yesterday, as I was walking on my apartment search a little boy ran up to me and started chatting. He told me I was invited to his birthday party. I told him mucho thanks. He was with his uncle, so I got to stroll and share life with them for a few minutes. He wanted to race, but let’s face it, Chick-fil-a gave me a few extra pounds while in the states, so I wasn’t up for a race. Glad I didn’t because apparently this kid was prone to accidents. He had scars all over from things like hitting and sliding under a car while riding his bike.

Today I went to pick up a few things from the market downtown. I got to talk to so many people and had a blast! People always ask what I’m doing here so door wide open to share about the love of God! Two conversations stick out to me. One was with a Catholic woman. We agreed that we worship the same God. I usually don’t do this, but I brought up the one difference that I didn’t understand was praying to Mary vs. worshiping God alone. We talked about different churches having different traditions. I told her I actually very much appreciate so many of the Catholic traditions, but I get so caught up on that one thing because we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone. I think we’re friends now. I bought a few things from her and she gave me something extra as a gift.

After the market I went to the big plaza in the middle of downtown where the President does all his business. I just sat there and got to talk to two groups of people. One was a group of English students who needed to make a video of them practicing English. The next group I consider new friends. I definitely plan to spend more time with them! There were three of them and, we talked about all sorts of things. Somehow the conversation got on my views of purity and sex and what’s happened in my life. I told them that I’m holding out for marriage. They presumed that in my religion I wasn’t allowed to do certain things. My answer to them was it’s not that I’m not allowed…but I want to honor God with my life. I want to love God with everything I am. If he says there is a correct way of doing things, I am going to go after that. One of them was trying to hold out but didn’t know why, so hopefully she has some vision for it now. The others…not so eager to change their ways. That’s ok! I have no right in the least to judge those outside the church. That’s about the time that Jonathan, one of the guys ,told me my new nickname was the virgin. Great, thank you. I’ll try to get married so that you can give me a new nickname. I just so enjoyed getting to know them and sharing a bit of what’s happening inside and the reason for the hope that I have.

It’s so good for me to be around people who don’t believe what I believe. It makes me examine things. Why do I not do everything that others my age are doing? Some things I want to do. Some things I’m not interested. I’m so far from perfect, but I’m convinced of this…that our God is worth loving with our entire being. Oh Lord, give me grace to do that.

Reading my highlight moments, please don’t get confused. I have so many battles and internal struggles and confusion, but God is graciously helping me navigate. As believers, when we fall, we confess and move on. That’s freedom, eh? Not so intertwined in rules that we can’t breathe, but walking such a way that we seek life to the true fullest extent, which is a life that honors God and carries His restoration to others.

Now I feel like going on a discourse of my imperfections, but I’ll save that for some other time.

Praising God for bringing people my way and praying to be useful. Keep your eyes open! People all around us need love and restoration. This life is hard, give ‘em comfort!

 

A few updates:

  • If you don’t get my update letter, send me a message at keithqsmith@gmail.com. If you got it and haven’t opened it, don’t miss out!
  • Christmas for Orphans in coming up!! So many of you have donated items and now we are raising finances to build a new bathing facility, new tables, etc. The goal is $3000 and God has provided $950 so far! You can donate here by clicking here. The more we get, the more we can do!
  • I’ve had a busy, busy time back in Peru getting logistics prepared for the small team coming to serve the orphans and planning with the orphanage directors, etc. I’m headed back to the state son Monday for Thanksgiving and to play UPS man as I bring back all the things you’ve donated!
  • My brother-in-laws dad passed away unexpectedly this past Saturday. Please pray for him, his mother and all the siblings. Pray for comfort!

 

Praying, praying, praying for monthly partners as international ministry develops for me. $10, $50, $100…it all adds up! Give what you can. All donations are tax-deductible. Use this link to enter a reoccurring donation.

 

Blessings! Keep it up, everyone.

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