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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ayuma


Shortly after Christmas, my two bosses and I went on an investigation trip to a Quechua village called Ayuma. We had an amazing experience there. As always, we never know what to expect. Everything we do goes against what my culture tells me is acceptable. It never gets easier going into a random community without knowing anyone, without any notice, or any money. We go out relying on the Lord to go before us, preparing the way, leading us to the right house and hoping that someone will be willing to feed us and put us up in exchange for what little help we can provide and Bible stories.



Don't get me wrong, we might not be able to provide much help to them but what we bring them is something worth far more than anything else this world can offer. We go out with much confidence in the power of our message but a little nervous about how to work past culture and language barriers to convey that message. In the end the Lord's Word is always shared and, whether we feel confident about our work there or not, we leave with a peace knowing God is always working through your prayers on many different levels.



While in Ayuma we were very well-received. There were some men there and children who knew some Spanish and tried to translate at times when our Quechua was, well... awful. I have never met such amazing people in my life! I have to admit that before I went to Ayuma I was very burdened at realizing that my heart had changed and that the deep passion and brokenness I had once had for the lost here had slowly dissipated. I pleaded with the Lord to give me that brokenness and a love for these people but the Lord chose to withhold those feelings from me, teaching me to be obedient to Him with or without the feelings.


One of our biggest struggles with being in the communities sometimes is when the people will not let us work. They put us on pedestals because we are white missionaries and feel we want to sit around and just preach or if we work we will get hurt. However, in Ayuma we begged the believers to let us try to help and eventually we were right there with them. I'm not going to lie, it was some of the hardest physical labor I have ever done and I began to wish I wasn't out there. However, we soon realized that everyone in the village was beginning to take notice and see that we were serious about helping. We saw this as our great opportunity and worked all day long as hard as we could.


Our work consisted of pastoring sheep with the women, which was an all-day event, climbing up and down mountains, chasing after sheep that would eat themselves right off a cliff , and my personal favorite - using a warhaca, or slingshot, to through rocks at a group of sheep going the wrong way. We unfortunately only packed sunscreen with SPF 15 so, needless to say, we got blasted by the sun. The next day we helped a widow in her field all day with long sleeves and socks trying as best we could to protect our skin from another burn. That was the worst day for me because not only was I being outdone by a 60-year-old lady with a pick-ax, but my skin was sizzling from the last burn, and feeling the pain of yet another coming on was killing me.


The food there was great, but that's not the problem - it's the amount! I have never eaten so much in my life. More than any of the other communities we were given tremendous amounts of food! In this culture, it is extremely rude and offensive to turn down an offer to a meal. During the meal, you must eat with a smile. We got invited to several different houses to eat huge meals back-to-back. We tried to explain we had just eaten but they don't take "no" for an answer. For one of the meals, we were given so much food we had to leave to throw up.


Overall our trip was amazing and God gave me a love for these people that I can't explain. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be used by God to bring these people truth, joy, and peace in life through Jesus. I ask you to please pray as we struggle to do this through our broken Quechua. They asked me to tell you thank you for praying for them and please continue to pray for their village and the lost villages around them. We will be returning to Ayuma in March and we are all very excited!

1 comments:

Little Lamb in His Splendor said...

Wow, Amy, that is absolutely amazing what God is doing through you.
I know that I'm younger than you, but I've found that one doesn't always have to feel broken in order to have a heart for someone or a group. One can have a joyful heart for them. However, all the same, it's good that He is teaching you to do His work even when you don't feel like it.
I can relate to the eating piece. It's kind of like that here, only one can actually say no. The only difficulty is that you have to say "no" three times (after they offer 3 times).
We really need to catch up! Blessings to you, my sister in Him. :D