We have officially been here for three months and just completed our first task: Spanish school. Our last week of classes was a perfect end to our time there.
I had a little trouble getting back into learning mode after my trip to Lima, but it was so good to be back with my family here and to be with my teacher, Elvira. Cailyn and I gave our presentations on Thursday and they each lasted over an hour and a half! Yes I talked in Spanish for that long! I talked about something that has completely changed my life and is the reason I am here in Peru today; my time at Mount Vernon. Our teacher was very interested in the contrasts of universities in Peru with those back home. I really enjoyed sharing about my classes, the opportunities that I had, and the beautiful friendships that formed while there. Cailyn shared about the Jewish marriage customs and it's relation with Jesus which we had shared with the group during a Bible study. It was just as powerful in Spanish and was definitely something that needed to be shared. This led into our final spiritual conversation in class with Elvira and God really helped give Cailyn and I the words to share. The other classes took advantage of the opportunity to share about their faith as well and I am confident that many seeds were planted during these past three months!
On Friday we had a celebration ceremony with the entire group and our teachers. Cailyn and I helped with organizing and it turned out surprisingly well. I was the presenter and was incredibly nervous because that was my first time speaking in Spanish in front of such a large crowd, but I think appropriate words came out. Cailyn and Alex did a few Christian songs in Spanish, including "How he Loves". We each received a certificate and a gift from the director of the school, Carmen. It was a great time of fellowship and our accomplishments were definitely worth celebrating.
We are now in the transitional phase of moving to Zamacola, meeting our Peruvian partners, and beginning our mission training classes. We have until Thursday to relax and enjoy some of Arequipa before our move. There are an array of emotions surrounding this change. Worries about communication with our Peruvian partners, living with 24 people, and taking college level classes all in Spansih! Please be in prayer as we begin our work here as missionaries and take in all of these new changes.
Also, please continue to be praying for my back problems. I am still in a considerable amount of pain and it is beginning to ware on my attitude, but I am confident that God is healing me and that there is so much to learn from this time. I started physical therapy last week and will be going for a while to see if this will ease the pain. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and prayers!!