Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Growth in the Darkness

I’ve said before that my time here in Peru has by far been the most difficult time in my life. But, I think I’ve grown more spiritually here in Peru than ever before. I was joking with Heather (my cluster support Mom) the other day saying “You know people have told me for years that I have an old soul and have wisdom beyond my years (both a blessing and a curse in my life). But, at the rate God is growing me I feel like I’m going to leave Peru feeling like I’m a 102 years old or people will be telling me, “My, my Brittany how you’ve aged.” I laugh at this yes, but more than I laugh I praise God for the work He has done in my life.

My devotional explains it perfectly, it says: “It is indeed extremely doubtful that a person’s soul can really know the love of God in its richness and in its comforting, satisfying completeness until the skies are dark and threatening. Light emerges from darkness, and morning is born from the womb of night.”

“And it is also a real and unquestionable fact of human life and culture that a person’s character is strengthened most during the darkest days.” ~Malcolm J. McLeod~

Romans 5:3-4 (NIV) says: “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope.”

Growing and loving Him more each and every day!
In His service,

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our First Week

Esther and I have been working in 9 de Octubre for about a week now, and so far so good. For the next month our week will look something like this…..

Monday: FREE DAY!!!

Tuesday & Wednesday: 10am-11am Discipleship class with Jenny
11am-12:30pm Evangelize
12:30-2pm Lunch (out)
2-4pm Evangelize
*Dinner on the compound at 6pm*

Thursday & Friday: 2:30pm-3:30pm Discipleship class with Rosa
4-5pm Discipleship class with Blanca and Demetrio
5pm-6pm Dinner (out)
*Lunch on the compound at 12:00pm*

Saturday: Discipleship classes and maybe some outreach projects
12:30-2pm Lunch (out)
*Dinner on the compound at 6pm*

Sunday: Church at Colinas (Our mother church)

This is just to get an idea of what we will be doing, more than likely it will change a little from week to week. But it gives you an idea at least.

God has been so good to us, we already have 4 people who are or will be starting discipleship class. There is also a Nazarene family in the area who are willing to help in any way possible. We are hoping to eventually have some classes/church services in their home.

Esther and I are doing wonderful, we are working as one. We have had some really good laughs and some good discussions. One day I even spoke up and told her I didn’t like something she’d done; this was a big step for me. We see things VERY differently, but we have a mutual respect for one another.

Blanca (who will be starting her first discipleship class on Thursday) owns a little store; she sells snacks, soda and other various items. One day this week we stopped by to talk to her and get a cold drink. After we finished talking she asked us what we’d like to drink. Esther asked for a couple waters before she realized I had my own. But it was too late, Blanca’s son (Demetrio) was already bringing two glass bottled waters……..with gas. Esther had forgotten to say without gas, but I was fine with it. Little did I know that this was Esther first time to drink water with gas. She was really struggling to drink it and finally when Blanca got up to tend to something Esther turned to me and said “I don’t think I can finish this.” And me being the nice partner I am, I said “But, you have to or you will be a bad missionary.” She laughed and said “okay but it may be next year.” When Blanca came back we asked her how much we owned her and she said “Nothing, this one’s on me” my partner turned to me and said” in that case I will finish mine.” I decided I should be nice so I finally I asked her if she was done (knowing she wasn’t but because Blanca was right there I had to ask) I said I will finish yours.

We had a good laugh at this in the taxi on the way home. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for being able to do something my Peruvian partner couldn’t; even if it was only drinking a bottle of water.

More stories to come as we continue in our ministry!
With Love, Brittany

Thursday, May 6, 2010


From: ~Streams in the Deseret~ By: L.B. Cowman

“Dear friend, God may send you some valuable gifts wrapped in unattractive paper. But don’t worry about the wrappings, for you can be sure that inside He has hidden treasures of love, kindness, and wisdom. If we will simply take what He sends and trust Him for the blessing inside, we will learn the meaning of the secrets of His providence, even in times of darkness.

Remember, diamonds are found in the rough, and their true value cannot be seen.”

Although I don’t understand all that God is doing right now, I’m choosing DAILY to trust Him. It’s not easy or without its sacrifices, but I have hope that it will be worth it in the end. Little by little my heart is being healed.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 was Esther and I’s first day as missionaries. We were very blessed to already have some contacts in our location, so Tuesday morning we went to visit our first family. A grandmother and her three grandchildren, the mother died a few years ago and the father ran off. Jenny, the 15 year old granddaughter is 5months pregnant with her 20 year old boyfriend’s child. This is not uncommon here, by the time girls are 20 they have 2 or 3 kids.

Yesterday we had our first discipleship class with Jenny and through that lesson; Jenny made a decision to accept Christ into her heart. I know what you’re thinking, hmmm discipleship class first and then a decision, interesting. I thought the same thing. It’s no surprise that this was my devotional this morning.

From: ~Voices of the Faithful~ By: Beth Moore and Friends
New life?

“How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” Romans 10:14-15a (NIV)

After evangelism training in rural areas of Mozambique, we split into teams to share from home to home (or casa por casa here). I was on a team with an American volunteer and two Mozambican believers. We were in the middle of nowhere with 10 to 15 minutes of walking between houses.

At the last house, we were invited to sit with an elderly couple and some teenagers. I asked the old man if he had ever discovered new life. He said, “There is no such thing as new life. There is only suffering and pain.”

With his permission, I began to share about Jesus, an unfamiliar name to them. One of the teenagers, named Carlos, was especially attentive. I asked how he could have eternal life, and Carlos answered, “I’m not sure why, but I think it’s through this Jesus.” We continued talking about the gospel, and the couple and several teenagers wanted to give their lives to Christ.
After we prayed, Carlos looked at me and said, “I’ve had this thing in my heart for a long time. You told me today the answer I was looking for.”

That “thing in his heart” was the Holy Spirit seeking him. However, there was no way for Carlos to know what to do unless someone came and shared the truth with him.”
-Katie, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa

At first I was so against going “door to door”, I just felt so uncomfortable. But then the more we did it and I saw how hungry people were to hear about how they could have a different life, an eternal life, I realized if Esther and I aren’t going to do it, who will?

This devotional really helped me to see that better and gave me encouragement that the Holy Spirit is working. I have a very strong feeling that there are people in 9 de Octubre who have “this thing in their heats” and they are waiting for someone to tell them what to do.

With Love and blessings, Brittany

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Heart Broken

It’s only been a few weeks since my last blog, but there is so much to tell. So I’m just going to jump right in, starting with my time in Arequipa.

When Melissa and I arrived in Arequipa (5 weeks ago) we received news that our best friend Laura was being flown to the states for medical treatment. We were devastated upon hearing this, but were reassured she would be able to return. I received an email from her yesterday and she is doing GREAT, and hoping to return very soon. Please keep her and her family in your prayers, for personal reasons I cannot share specifics.

Melissa and I both had meetings with our boss while we were in AQP. Because of many different things our boss and Melissa came to the decision that it would be best for Melissa to return to the states. Melissa had been thinking and praying about this for a long time, and so had our boss. Melissa left AQP April 13th and then left for the states on the 16th.

As most of you know Melissa and Laura were who I got closest too. The two weeks that all this went down was by far the hardest two weeks of my time here in Peru. I’m going to try and paint a mental picture for you. For those of you that are married, think back to your first year together. Everything was great, you had moved in to your house or apartment, you were CRAZY in love and wanted to spend every minute together. And then 8 months later something happens, maybe a tragedy, or your first big fight and one of you decides to leave. You come home to find their dresser cleaned out, their side of the bed is made and all their pictures are gone. The house is empty, but every time you turn around you are reminded of them because you had spent the last 8 months together building memories in that house.

Your heart would be broken, right? Well, mine was/is. When I came back to Iquitos and saw Melissa and Laura’s beds empty, and their dressers cleaned out I thought I was going to get sick. I climbed into my bed to cry, but there was no room for me because my bed had been filled with gifts. But the greatest gift of all was under my pillow, a book Melissa had written for me. As I read it I cried and cried, the pain was too overwhelming, there was nothing I could do but cry. And that’s what I did everyday for the next week. I’m still in touch with both of them, but it’s just not the same as having them here.

As if this wasn’t enough, this week our group was split apart. When we came there were 12 of us, 6 going to Pucallpa and 6 staying in Iquitos. Now we have 4 going to Pucallpa, and 5 staying in Iquitos. On Friday 3 of our North Americans and their partners left on a boat for Pucallpa and the last pair will leave in the morning by plane. We had all gotten closer than we ever dreamed. Our group has been through some REALLY BIG storms and we have had to rely on each other, we are each other’s family!

All of this put together has been weighing very heavy on my heart, but I have done my best to be strong and not show how truly hurt and broken I am. But, yesterday I had a break down after going to the internet and reading emails from Melissa and Laura and receiving two phone calls from our friends on the boat. When I got back I went up stares to our cluster support family’s house and had a good cry. I can’t even express to you how broken I feel right now, my world here has been turned upside down.

I don’t know how to close this but to ask for your prayers for not just me, but for my whole group. Below is a list of all the pair’s and their location.

Katie B and Priscila
Juliana, Delila (Melissa’s old partner) and Laura
Drew and Victorino
Bran and Britaldo
Esther and I
Cluster support family: Kevin, Heather, Anna, Micah, and Sophia

Kristy and Nancy
Katie A and Emperatriz
Tim and Daniel
Kevin and Samuel
Cluster support family: Ryan, Sarah, Isaiah, and Landon

With Love and Thanks, Brittany

On April 29th we graduated from our bible classes. At the end of the ceremony the whole church laid hands on us and sent us out to be missionaries.

This Tuesday Esther and I will go to our first location (9 de Octubre, 9th of October). We already have a few names of people who are eager to hear more about Christ and are willing to have us disciple them. We are praying God continues to lead and bless us in our work.