Saturday, May 3, 2014

"Why are you going to Peru?"... FAQ about my Peru Trip

I don't know why it's taken me so long to write about my missions trip to Peru. So, I thought I'd share with you a little bit more about why I'm going on a second missions trip since going to India almost a year ago.

I thought it would be fun to make this blog consist of my answers from Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about my Peru trip. Yes, I have been asked all these questions. Either I have really supportive friends or really nosy ones ;) I'd like to believe they're supportive! lol. Here are the FAQ:

1. Why are you going to Peru?
When I was in India, as I was walking in downtown Kolkata on a Sunday night after church, I suddenly began to wonder what missions in Latin America would be like. My heart was moved and was delighting in the work that we were doing in Kolkata (working with women rescued from the sex trade and children rescued from homelessness). I began to desire being involved in outreach work in Latin America. Why Latin America? Not sure. Maybe because I'm from El Salvador. I've never felt the desire to do missions in Latin America. Remember, I'm new to this whole missions thing! So, the first time I got that desire as I was walking in Kolkata, it puzzled me. I brushed off the thought and kinda hoped it wouldn't return. Yet, at random times during the trip, I kept wishing, desiring and wondering about missions in Latin America. To be honest, the thought off missions in Latin American was bothering me a bit, so I began to pray about it: "Okay, so I don't know why I keep getting these thoughts or desires to do outreach in Latin America, but God if this is something that you are planting in my heart right now, then I pray that you may make it happen in your timing. It's in your hands. Amen" Usually God takes a while to make things happen, right? So, I truly thought that if this were something the Lord would be leading me to, then maybe a mission trip to Latin America would be far in the future. Plus, I didn't plan on going on another missions trip soon after India.
Our team in downtown Kolkata
Fast-forward two weeks after I got back to Canada from India, I heard about a missions trip  my school (Tyndale) was planning to Peru. Immediately, I thought about the desire I had in India to do outreach in Latin America and my prayer of putting the potential trip in God's hands. I thought it may not be a coincidence that Tyndale was having a trip to Peru. I think it had been years since Tyndale went to Latin America. I put the potential trip Peru in God's hands. Eight months later and I'm off to Peru in a few days to be introduced to missions in Latin America!

2. Where in Peru are you going?
Lima and Arequipa. The majority of our work will be done in Arequipa.

3. Who are you going with?
A team from my school: 3 students, a staff member and me. We vary in age and backgrounds, yet we go with the same mission: to partner with Jesus' mission in Peru
Our team, eating at a Peruvian restaurant

4. What are you going to do there?
Our team will mainly be working with youth and young adults as we teach ESL which will serve as a bridge to build relationships with the people. We will also have opportunities to share about Jesus Christ, the Gospel and our testimonies. The missionary we will be working with has been so kind as to ask what else would we like to do. Immediately, I said "street outreach!" My hope is to see who the marginalized are in Peru.

5. How long are you going for?
17 days

6. Do you have any fears about going?
Yeah, might think they're silly fears, but they're real fears to me!
1) I'm afraid of getting made fun of for my rusty Spanish! I'm hoping that after a few days of being immersed in a Spanish context, I'll flow much better ;)
2) I'm afraid of having comments made about my weight. Being a Latina, I know how comfortable Spanish people can be talking about weight and telling you that you need to shed a few pounds! I've become accustomed to the Canadian way of not mentioning weight at all. Oh well, I may come back motivated to work out after a few comments!

7. Will you be going to Machu Picchu?
Not that I know of. It will be a bit far from where we will be doing our work.

I have been asked a few other questions which I am not adding to this blog post because they're a bit silly! You know who you are!

Now, I'd like to ask you a question: How can you support me? 
Three ways: 1) Pray for our team. That impact would happen; impact on the students to learn ESL, impact on the people we share the Gospel, impact on the missionaries we'll be working with (i.e. receiving encouragement and help from us) with and impact on our team. 2) Encouragement. If you have encouraging words or advice your'd like to share with me about Peru or missions, please do! 3) Financial donations. You can donate here: Send Arleen to Peru

At my Peruvian birthday fundraiser

Thanks for reading and stay tuned as we keep you informed on our trip. Check out our first 2 vlogs: Vlog 1 and Vlog 2