quinta-feira, 9 de abril de 2009

A Christian Surfers Short Term Mission Trip to Peru

Written by Elzette Prinsloo (WA)

Where to start! What an incredible adventure God sent us on. From Perth to Sydney (apart from Ali) to NZ, to Chile, finally reaching our destination 28 hours later, very excited but exhausted we reached Lima-the city where Christian Surfers Peru is. After waiting only a few confused minutes at the airport 3 CS guys came to pick us up, Aldo (National Co-ordinator), Roberto (aka Muelas) and Michel (the best surf photographer in Peru!).

We were lucky enough to stay with local Peruvian families and stayed in Lima for the first few days just to adjust to this new culture. Our first day we spent in the water, experiencing Peru’s waves (what a blessing!) Gem was lucky enough to take her first steps on a surf board in Peruvian water, being taught by Sofia Molanovich’s ex coach! What a lucky duck. Day 2- Ali joined and the days to follow were spent experiencing the city, Peru’s awesome food and getting to know our beautiful local families.

Lindsay and Cat had the incredible opportunity to meet Lindsay’s sponsor child in Lima, this was an experience they will never forget and Lindsay’s heart was moved during this special time. We visited our first Orphanage in San Bartollo (which looked like Greece in Peru!). This orphanage was started by a beautiful woman, Lucy, and is supported by Christian Surfers Peru. It exists for street kids and we spent time with the kids, playing games and trying to improve our Spanish.

They were so beautiful and keen surfers! It was then we hopped on our 16 hour bus trip to the north of Peru to reach Lobitos. This is where the temperatures increased, the water decreased and we needed God most. We were so blessed to have 5 of the CS boys travel with us; these guys were the angels that were prayed over us. It was like having brothers, dads and friends around us who interpreted for us and kept us safe.

We learned so much from these guys and thank God for them. Lobitos is a very small surfing town and we met up with Jean Pierre to help him with the organisation he runs for children in the north. We taught them how to surf, songs (some in Spanish), face painting, games and did an Aussie puppet show about God’s light. We found God had different plans however and wanted us to move on after 5 days, this was a hard decision but God was so faithful throughout and we knew we needed to trust Him. (2 Cor 1:9) It was incredible to take each step in faith and to see where God would bring us next.

Making our way back to Lima we visited 3 different towns where we spent time with the kids, our incredible friend Muelas, who is such a blessing organised these for us. Mancora was a fresh breath from God after being in the northern dessert; we visited a clinic for disabled children where Lindsay and Cat could put physio and OT skills to practice, massaging the kids who had physical disabilities.

Cat was able to work with a man who had a stroke and needed help, Ali and Cat had a wonderful time talking to him and through helping him he said he has found new hope in God- Praise the Lord! These children left imprints on our hearts and we experienced incredible God moments, He was speaking to each of us in a very different way.

After this time we returned to Lima and spent some more blessed time with our new found families, we even got to do a singing ‘item’ at the CS meeting! It was time to say goodbye and head to the centre of Peru and Bolivia to experience some of the treats God had in store. Linds felt God put on her heart to go back to San Bartollo for a few days so she met up with us 4 days after in Cusco. Now we have hit mountain and winter country and I realised how unprepared I was with one jumper and only 1 pair of jeans.

We had the privilege of experiencing Machu Picchu (Ali’s dream come true!) and visiting Cat’s brother in law in Bolivia. Getting to know each other and experiencing Gods love through the girls was what blew me away, I found my first crying partner (Gem!). All of us cannot begin to tell you all the moments we experienced together. We honestly felt like God picked 5 different girls and thought “Hmmm..how and where can I take my beautiful princesses to talk to them, change them and treat them”. What an awesome God we serve, He is full
of adventure, always faithful and will never forsake us.

Peru stole our hearts and we will never be the same again!


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