When preparing to leave for the mission trip with HomeWorks, I’ll admit – I was nervous. This trip was full of firsts - first time travelling internationally, going to South America, and going on a mission trip. From the whirlwind of finals to coming back home and then leaving a few days after, I didn’t really have time to process what exactly was happening – but on the plane ride to Ecuador it finally set in. Feeling a bit overwhelmed I dedicated my trip to God and asked Him to use me as His hands and feet.
We were sad to part as late-night competitive card games and joking on the worksite would be sorely missed. Another incredible bond was created with the local Peruvians who were on our building team. By the end of the two weeks these folks were like family – we worked together and prayed together, shared meals and fellowship, and even though there was a language barrier – after a few days we knew what the other was trying to say even without words. These relationships made it very difficult to leave when our time came.
This experience made me realize quite a few things even though I was there for a relatively short time. Firstly, we are extremely blessed here in the United States. You can read about the poverty and look at pictures in articles but you can never realize the magnitude of it until you are physically there. There is so much I have taken for granted every day, a roof over my head, medication, clean drinking water, electricity, and HOT SHOWERS! We need to realize just how fortunate we are and see that we have been given so much! However, despite these “deficits” these were the most joyful people I have ever encountered with a never-wavering love of God, which made me reevaluate where I place my happiness – is it in God or in material things?
This trip to Peru with HomeWorks was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had encountering the Lord in His people, anyone thinking about going should do it – you won’t regret it. You’ll come home with calloused hands, aching muscles, and a wicked farmer’s tan but also with the fullest heart you could ever imagine!