Instead of cleaning out my freezer, I could have been looking over the shredded remains of our home. I could have been facing the loss of everything we own. God protected us from that devastation, and although I rejoiced for a day or so, I immediately fell back into self-pity over a few hours of gross housework? How quickly I forget!
We threw everything in the car—sleeping bags, water, food, a whole bunch of chips and cookies—and headed for the mountains. Though our general destination was only 15 miles away, we drove for about 80 minutes—60 of those being on a windy dirt road. As we ascended into the mountains, we had no exact idea of where we would stay.
Isaura asked me what the Resurrection was. Angela and I looked at each other shocked, realizing that this couple, who had a large image of Jesus’ Cross on a poster above their table, had never heard of the Resurrection. The Resurrection changes everything, and this man was about to die without knowing about it.
When we talked about whether we would stay [in Peru] during this time or try to get back to the States, Robert and I were both on the same page. God, in His mercy, gave us clarity and peace about staying and continuing to serve the people—our own friends and neighbors—during this difficult time of uncertainty for many.
I never knew living in solidarity with the poor meant being locked away from them for weeks! I think about what St. Paul must have felt when he was imprisoned: his ministries were halted by the authorities and he was unable to share the Good News as he planned. However St. Paul did not sit idle during his confinement.
“I certainly didn’t plan for a worldwide pandemic to happen in my first year back in the field,” I shared with her. “None of us knew that this would happen,” she said. “But the Lord knew. And He still called you.” She encouraged me to sit with that, not as a reason to either stay or go, but rather to really give everything back to the Lord and seek Him in each situation.
Some days I feel like I’m not doing much—I have this vision of getting up in front of the congregation, preaching the Gospel from my heart to a church full of people and playing guitar while leading beautiful hymns. Then reality hits: I don’t speak Spanish that well, and I can’t play the guitar. This missionary life has been a lesson in putting what little I have at the disposal of the Holy Spirit, even my weakness.