Let the Games Begin…

My parent’s garage as I sit here and type…

Actually…that looks good.

Our goal:  to fill 7 of these (plus a few more smaller bags)…don’t worry, it won’t be hard…at.all.

This picture cracks me up!  Here’s my hottie husband…the BEST packer…EV-ER!



Yes, it’s true.  About a week ago, we purchased our tickets to head back to our home in Peru.  January 27th is the big day, and it feels like it is approaching FAST!  It was exciting, and yet, as I wrote an email to my teammates that night to let them in on the news, I began to cry.  Then, I cried again the next night in bed.  Why is it that all of a sudden the idea of living with my parents a few more months seems a tad bit inviting?  To be completely honest, I’m a little scared to go back.

The first few weeks we were in the States were good.  We loved seeing family, driving in our normal traffic/driving environment, having grandparents to love on the kids, eating all of the foods we missed, shopping at all of our favorite stores, etc.  But, it was not hard at all to think of going back to Peru just a few short weeks after arriving on September 14th.  Then, time began to pass.  And pass.  And…pass some more.  We traveled a lot.  It was tough.  We were tired.  The kids sometimes did great in the car, and in other moments, we felt terrible for putting them through so many car trips.  Then, we began to visit the library on a weekly basis here in Abilene.  Cailyn began calling the guest bedroom at my parent’s house, “Corban’s room”.  I broke down and bought HUGE lotion and baby wash/shampoo bottles to save money…instead of continuing to buy something small that would fit in our suitcases.  We were blessed to have a few play dates with new and old friends – play dates that have continued to happen week after week.  I began helping mom prepare weekly menus for our dinner times.  Justin got in a routine of working – fundraising work.  We experienced a Stateside Halloween, then a  family and familiar-food-filled Thanksgiving, which preceded our wonderful, cold-weather Christmas.  Then, the New Year rolled around…and has now gone.  In between all of that, we have “settled” to some extent.  Why not, right?  I mean, we had no idea when the Lord would take us back to Peru.  We couldn’t live for 4 months in a completely unsettled way.

So, here I am.  Excited to go back, but nervous about having to get used to Peru…all…over…again.  Yes, this time will be very different than the first.  That’s for sure.  But…there are still those thoughts and fears that float around in my head about going back to our house and home in Peru that can haunt me in moments.  They can bring me to tears.

The other day I just listed all of the things I would miss about being here in Texas.  I needed to.  It HAD to be lifted off my chest.  Then, to be fair, I listed all of the things I was looking forward to when we go back.  Because that’s what I have to focus on, I’m going to list them here, too:

  • There are going to be 7 adult teammates and 8 precious kid teammates there to welcome us, and we LOVE them all!
  • There are 4 amazing AFC interns that have joined our team in Peru for the next 6 months, and we are SUPER pumped about that!
  • I have a gym membership at Gold’s that I plan to put to GOOD USE…PLUS, my gals there exercise with me nearly every day…SO helpful!
  • We really miss our Peruvian friends!  It will be so good to pick those up again…especially since most of them have no way of contacting us while we’re here.
  • I am so ready for my kids to be in their own rooms (Cailyn has slept in the same room with us nearly every night while we were here), and we are excited to have our own bed, our own kitche, living room, etc!  ***This is NOT to say that living with mom and dad has been bad!  Actually, God could not have given us a better experience.  I truly believe that!
  • I miss all of the walking to places.
  • It’ll be nice to honk that horn in the car again! 😉
  • Cailyn and Corban have some sweet, sweet friends there.  It will be so good to see them continue to develop those friendships.
  • We will be living with a routine again…hopefully. 🙂

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I wrote in my journal.  I immediately realized while writing that there were more things I could list about my excitement of going back than there were that I had written in my “I will miss” paragraph.  Now, I know missing family might override a lot of them…haha…but we won’t count that!

So, long story short…I am working through mixed feelings of leaving TX once again.  I think I might cry this time.  The only other time I’ve cried when leaving or having family leave us was when mom and dad left after having been in Peru for Corban’s birth.  I think that was mostly because I was used to their help and love with the kids!  I feel like that’s the difference between this time (now) and all of the others.  I have grown used to seeing the kids ADORE their grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc, the extra attention they get, and the familiarity with family.  Before now, we had not been around family long enough in this capacity for them to gain that sort of relationship.  What a bittersweet experience.

I can say with certainty that God has blessed us as we’ve watched our kids grow into new little people in the last 4 months, and while we wouldn’t go so far as to say we’d do it all over again (haha), I am glad God has given us a new perspective in many areas/ways over these months.

SO…what now with finances?  Well…uh….haha.

No, we are very excited to announce that God has nearly brought us to our goal for 2011.  So many of you have been a part of that journey, and we thank you.  We have numerous people to thank as we begin this year of ministry!

As far as 2012 goes, we are STILL SEARCHING. We want to be clear that we are not going back because we have a (or a few) new supporting churches on a permanent basis.  We are going back because God has made it clear that our family is needed and needs to be in Peru.  We prayed over when we should return, and both Justin and I felt God saying…the end of January.  Thanks to the A&M Church of Christ, our tickets were purchased to go back, and we want the leadership and members there to know that we feel extremely cared for by your family there.  Our family there.  Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts…thank you.

We do have some pending conversations with a few churches about a more permanent support situation, and we know that it will mean a trip back to the States at some point this year most likely.  We do not know if that will end up being our entire family or just Justin.  We will have to see.  We would very much appreciate your prayers as we wait on the Lord’s leading.  Waiting can be difficult at times, but thankfully, that is one area that God has grown us in since we’ve come back here.

Please pray for us as we spend these last 2 weeks here.  Pray for our families as we say goodbye once again.  Thank you to all of you who have made these last 4 months bearable, good, and even great in moments!

Peru…here we come!


5 responses to “Let the Games Begin…

  1. ARE YOU SERIOOOOOOUS?!?!?!?!?!??! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It goes without saying, but I have missed you SO much! With the holidays and everything we have really missed hanging out with the team but especially you guys!

    I know there will be SO much to do when you get back, but as soon as you’re back and sorta settled, I would love nothing more than to have lunch!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love, Love, Love you!!! Cant wait to see your beautiful face!

  2. Praying hard for you and your family!!! I am so thankful that you get to go back HOME, but I can only imagine how bittersweet it will be. I am praying that the Lord will give you peace that only He can in the next 2 weeks and that He will provide you with great joy as you approach January 27.

    You will of course be greatly missed, but the Lord has work for you to do in Lima. I can’t wait to see the ways He continues to use your family. It was such a blessing to spend time with you over the past 4 months! Love you, friend!

  3. It has been too long friend. You have been so sweet to comment on our stuff during furlough time. There was no internet at my parents so we had a little absence of good communication. We think about you guys all the time. We were only home for 7 weeks and I can’t put my finger on some of the feelings I am experiencing. I feel displaced, but I am content that it is a good place to be. Arequipa is home for my little family. It was so good to put the girls in their own beds and place dirty dishes in my own sink tonight. I can empathize. We are so excited that you guys are coming this month. I know your team looks forward to that. We continue to think and pray for your transition. Love you!

  4. Alison,

    Your home has also served as a place of hospitality in Lima. Just thought I’d help add another reason to go back! Imagine the ways God is planning to continue to use your team.

    Love you guys. We’ll be praying too!

  5. Congratulations on being able to have some closure about going back to Peru! I know that part must feel like such a relief, but I can only imagine how tough it must be to leave your family and friends back home after settling in again. We’ll continue to keep you guys in our prayers for a smooth transition!

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