I preached tonight at a church in a desert community outside of Lima. Hannah, Colton and I sang. It was a lot of fun, since the music sounded great. Hannah has a great voice and Colton is really getting good on the cajon--a wooden box you play like a bongo. (It's a joy getting to make music with your kids.)
Lena and I ministered at this church exactly one year ago. It was the second church we preached at in Peru. I remember it as a nervous time--we had been here one month and had no idea how to get to the church. When we'd stop for directions, people would say, "You're going there! OK, but make sure that you lock your doors and windows and don't stop to talk to anybody. It's dangerous there!" When we got there, we thought it looked dangerous and that everyone spoke Quechua (the indiginous language of the Inca indians). It was a dramatic experience of culture shock. Now, a year later, we didn't have to ask for directions and we weren't afraid. It was just a small town outside of Lima with really nice people. There were, by the way, many Quechua indians there. The difference is that I'm now accustomed to them.
The whole night was a victory for us, given the amount of growth that has taken place over the last two years. When we left the states, Hannah and Colton were too young to sing and play with me in a service and none of us could speak Spanish. Now, Hannah leads worship, Colton knows how to creciendo (a musical term that takes it's root from the Spanish word for "to grow), and I can give an altar call in Spanish. At the end of the service, many came down to the altar for prayer. Hannah, Colton and I kept playing music, while Lena and our friend, Phyllis Rose, prayed for people. It was the realization of many of our dreams.
I thank God for the "blessed adventure" of being missionaries.