The last week and a half has been filled with meetings, Bible studies, classes, and fellowship. On March 12th we had the opportunity to listen to the director of Extreme Nazarene, Brian Tibbs, talk about the past, present, and future of Extreme to all the staff. This is a very exiciting time to be apart of Extreme and I am anticipating a bright future where many lives will be brought to the kingdom!
I have spent the last two Saturdays playing soccer with the Extreme staff and locals from the four churches. I had never played before, but I figured that it would be a great way to interact with those that I will be ministering with. Eventhough I twisted my ankle and scraped my knee my second day of playing, I really enjoyed the challenge and hope to become more coordinated as time goes on! The picture is of most of our group at a movie night that we had at the Wilkin's new home. My roommate and I have already been over to visit our old housemates three times! They are greatly missed! We also celebrated the birthday of another Cusco teammate, Emily, by having a photo scavenger hunt in the Plaza de Armas. It was all in Spanish, but we all had a great time and now have some amusing memories!
We have also began meeting with our Cusco team for a time on Sunday evenings to worship together and share about our week in addition to meeting as a cohort on Thursdays. I have really enjoyed the fellowship and the worship time that we have experienced. Today after our meeting, I was able to skype with the Faith United Nazarene church back home that has been supporting my time here in Peru. I really enjoyed being able to share with them about my experience and introduce them to my team. I hope to have more opportunities like this to share with those who have invested in advancing God's kingdom in Peru.
Saturday was another great time of fellowship with the youth from the four Nazarene churches here in Cusco. This was the first service that will continue every Saturday where the youth gather together to worship and hear the word of God. It was the most powerful service that I have experienced so far during my time here in Peru! Next week the service will be held at the church that I attend and I am looking forward to the continued fellowship and the new friendships that will come out of this time.
I have officially been living in Peru for 6 weeks and am half-way through our language training. According to the experts, you usually hit culture shock between 6 weeks and 3 months after being in a different country. I didn't think that this would happen to me since I have been able to experience similar cultures before coming to Peru, however I have learned that I am not an exception! This mainly hit me with a few instances with the combi's, waitresses and at the post office. There are times where my Spanish is misunderstood and we end up either somewhere unplanned or with unidentified food. With the post office, I had to go through customs to pick up my first package that I had received from my Mom. It was a grueling process that had me in tears, but I did finally received my coffee, peanut butter, and Reese's! However, if anyone would ever like to send a package, please make sure it's under 4 pounds so it will go straight to me. I am learning to deal with the things that I might not understand and am trying to find beauty in them instead and to embrace the differences!