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.