Welcome to Peru! (Photos)

 

Some photos to tell  you the story of my first days in Lima. These were taken in San Borja and Miraflores, two districts of the city of Lima. I am living in San Borja as you will see in the photos. Miraflores is a nice district for shopping and other things, we took a short bus ride there for the afternoon.

Always Remember in Latin America!

Always Remember in Latin America!

The Mission Office!

The Mission Office!

My Apartment building

My Apartment building

 

The Worship space in our Mission.

The Worship space in our Mission.

The city streets of San Borja.

The city streets of San Borja.

Traffic early in the morning before it gets really busy!

Traffic early in the morning before it gets really busy!

lomo saltado

lomo saltado

Myself and Rosa at lunch at a Menu (pronounced may-new).

Myself and Rosa at lunch at a Menu (pronounced may-new).

A huge bull in a park!

A huge bull in a park!

My first view of the Ocean!

My first view of the Ocean!

The very, very full bus. The bus began to drive away while people were hanging on to the outside.

The very, very full bus. The bus began to drive away while people were hanging on to the outside.

DSCF4507I hope you guys are able to enjoy this photo version of my adventures this far!

Safely in Lima!

Hey Everyone! I have made it safely to Peru. This week hopefully I will update you with pictures and stories about our week of missionary retreat and training in the Dominican Republic. But I thought I’d give you a small update about my first days in Lima and what my life has been filled with.

Our flight got in to Lima at like 6 am on Sunday morning. Everything went smoothly with my flights and all my bags got here as well. I don’t yet have a visa, but we will start the paper work this week. The immigration officials gave me a 90 day tourist status. Please pray that we are able to get all the paperwork completed with the government.

When we got in, we had news that there was flooding at my apartment so we went there right away to check it out. Thankfully, the flooding was coming from a different apartment and we had only been blamed because we were away for a week. We praise God that the apartment was not flooded, and pray that He will guide us in dealing with the landlord about the cost of the running water. I picked up a cold during our travel and so the rest of Sunday was spent sleeping and trying to recover from the travels.

This morning, Monday, we took my things to my apartment. (I have been staying with Pastor and his family until Rachel returns.) Then, we exchanged all my US dollars for soles. Pastor gave me a tour of the offices and the part of the city where we will be working the most.

By lunch time Rosa, a Peruvian member of our church and member of our mission team came and picked me up. We rode the bus down town and visited Miraflores: a rich, shopping district of the city right on the Ocean. It was beautiful. We had Peruvian food for lunch at a Menu (pronounced may-new). It was delicious, I got a appetizer, drink and entree all for about $3 US.  We then shopped a little, walked around the city, went down to the Ocean and saw much. Hopefully, I will get you some pictures on the blog soon but until then please check out my facebook page, I have a whole album of photos there. Just send me a friend request and I’ll share them all with you that way.

Now I am headed to bed, so that I get over this cold. Please pray for my health so that I am able to keep up with everything which needs to be done in the next few weeks.

Missionary Sending Service

God's Blessings Caitlin!

This past weekend I was blessed to be honored at my home congregation, Salem Lutheran Church. Sunday morning they held a Missionary Sending and Blessing Service. As I leave for the mission field I am aware that I am not going on my own but I am going as an Ambassador of Christ and a servant of the church. I am being sent by the entire church body of the LCMS and by Salem Lutheran Church specifically. I have been greatly humbled throughout this whole process of preparation by the vast numbers of people who are praying for me and supporting me. It was wonderful to feel the excitement and joy in my home congregation as they realized the reality of their part in sending a missionary into the world.

Pastor Menz, Myself and Professor Roethemeyer

Pastor Menz, Myself and Professor Roethemeyer

Professor Robert Roethemeyer came up from the Fort Wayne seminary to preach and join us in this celebration. He taught two of my classes, one in the fall of my first year and then one last summer. Professor Roethemeyer also helped lead a study aboard trip to our sister Church in India which I participated in. He and I have had much time to get to know each other during these events. He has played a key role in the Lord’s shaping of me and my goals for the future. Associate Director of Deaconess Studies, Amy Rast was also there to represent the seminary and support me. Amy and I have spent much time talking about the relationship between social work and diaconal work as we are both social workers. Her great experience in the field has been a blessing to me already and will continue to be one while I navigate the relationship between the two fields.

Representing the Seminary: Professor Rev. Roethemeyer, his wife Kay, myself and Deaconess Amy Rast.

Representing the Seminary: Professor Rev. Roethemeyer, his wife Kay, myself and Deaconess Amy Rast.

The service really brought home to me the reality of the call which I have accepted. During the service, I was installed as a missionary of Salem Lutheran Church. Pastor Menz asked me a series of questions similar to the questions in the rite of baptism.

“Will you undertake this service of love, relying upon the Blessed Trinity to guide and bless you in it? Will you devote yourself to hearing and meditating upon God’s word? Will you seek every opportunity to confess Christ before others and to share the hope that is yours in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as you have come to know it in the Scriptures and the Small Catechism and will you seek to adorn that Gospel with a godly life?”

To which I could only answer “Yes with God’s help.” It is my earnest prayer that the Holy Spirit keeps me and enables me to do all these things to the glory of the Father.

The final question caused me pause to search for my voice, as the reality of this call and all that it means for my future hit me. “Are you ready to assume the work of this missionary service?” Am I really ready? My bags aren’t packed, I know so little Spanish, I didn’t pay enough attention at Orientation, I don’t have good enough notes from classes…. My mind was a whirl with so many doubts about my own abilities. I felt so very small in that moment, and yet in feeling small there was comfort; comfort in the fact that God is the true author of every event in our lives. It is his work that I am doing and not mine, I cannot judge myself on my scale of pass or fail but only He can determine that, and He will, in His time and His way. Too often we try to judge ourselves by our own standards and too often we fall short. We often forget that it’s not about us; it’s all about Him. Paul so eloquently says:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” Romans 3:23-25

It does not matter if I haven’t yet learned Spanish or if I forget everything they taught me at seminary. What matters in the end is only that I rest in my baptism which joins me to Christ. We are justified by faith alone. With this justification, comes sanctification, or holy living. Our ability to proclaim the wonders of the Lord are a part of this sanctification which the Holy Spirit works within us. It’s not about me but about the Trinity. Remembering this, I know that I am ready. Not because of anything in myself but because of Him and what He has done. I am ready to be His missionary; I dare to answer:

“YES I AM READY!”

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