Thursday, May 29, 2008

Laura Dytynyshyn

So, I got an email from one of our alumni, and decided that I should post it. It's great to highlight what some of our alumni are doing. Please let us know how you too are serving the Lord, whether overseas or at home, whether as a vocational profession, or in your profession.

Dear Family and Friends,

I have just walked home from an evening church service, safely accompanied by a few friends to my door. I gaze up at the sky, admiring a beautiful starlight night, smiling as I see the big dipper upside down. I cannot stay out very long as I will get eaten alive by the bugs here, but this is life in "la selva" (the jungle region of Peru). Two weeks have already gone by since my arrival in Peru! Praise the Lord for safety traveling and protection so far. I love it here!

The first weeks have been full just getting acquainted wit my surroundings and soaking everything in. A few challenges for me have been the heat and the generous quantities of bugs! I suddenly require so much more sleep than I used to! Although, these past few days are getting better. It has also been a challenge to recognise the people that I meet and starting to build friendships with them. Thankfully I live in a small town so this has allowed me to see the same people. I am learning as much as I can about the town, the people, the language, the culture, the missionaries and the challenges they face.

I live in a poor town of about 1500 people. The church is comprised of mostly children and teens, but very few adults. The focus of the ministries at this time are youth and family issues. Marriage is uncommon here, girls tend to have children quite young, and are often left as single mothers. Many times when they find new partners, the new partner does not want to care for the children who do not belong to them, so the mothers abandon them. Many children are brought up by the grand-mothers or an aunt.

My role here for the time being, is helping out with the girls club. We just had a mother's day party, where all the mothers were invited for a presentation of what the girls have been learning over the past few months. This included home skills, songs and verses. I will be teaching the bible story tomorrow. I am also working in the garden, preparing, planting watering every day as it is dry season here. Our next theme will revolve around agriculture.

I am enjoying getting to know the staff here at TEC. There is one American family and two Peruvian families. I am teaching english to a few of them. They have encouraged me and given me freedom to organise any activities that I would like with the youth or children of the town and since I am the only person living in the guest house right now, I am free to invite them into my home. So I have a group of 7 girls from the church ages 12-19 coming to my home to cook a meal and for english lessons on friday evenings. (It was funny last time, because although I just used the vegetables that I found at the market, half of the girls had never tasted broccoli before!). I am also trying to decide what to do with the younger girls, as our times together require more entertainment. Last week we baked bread, but I am not sure what's the best at this time.

Please pray for this town as the only way to break these cycles of poverty, suffering and abuse are through the power of Jesus-Christ. Also pray that I would really be attentive to the Lord's voice, in what He wants to teach me and how I can glorify Him. Pray especially for my girls group as the staff would like me to use the time for dicipleship, so for guidance and wisdom in how to approach this as well.

Thank you for your prayers and support. I would love to hear from you so feel free to write me. Internet access is limited, but I will do my best to answer. Unfortunately I can't send pictures do to the time it takes to download.

With love,