Apr2MonApril 2, 2018 Adele St. John
Hi my name is Adele. I was apart of the 2018 Peru trip. Honestly God has been at work in my life during and since this trip in so many ways I didn’t know what to talk about. So I’m trusting that what I share is what God wanted me to share with you guys.
This was the most important trip of my life mentally and spiritually. My week started off by me being amazed to see how so many people praise the same God as we do. They praised Him in their language, but while we prayed with them and worshiped, God’s presence was indescribable. But God wanted to work deeper in me so as the week went on I was challenged.
As I watched God’s servants in Peru, and the leaders that went down with us faithfully sacrifice their time and lives to let God use them to show our team things, it was a good example to me of what sacrificing for God looks like in obedience. Not only this, but God called on my leadership skills spiritually, which for me has not really happened and it was so humbling. I felt a calling from God that he was directing my life into missions. From encouragement from godly people telling me they can see God using me in that way, I couldn’t deny that he was telling me this. Even from things like praying or sharing my testimony I know that I am called to go out and share the good news. I just don’t know how or when God will bring that into my life.
At the beginning of the week I kind of tried to ignore it. The calling I felt, thinking that I don’t want to have to surrender my dreams and goals up to God. For anyone who doesn’t know me I have been trying to go to the states for shot put on a scholarship and working for that for four years. In my life I wasn’t aware, but that was always one part of my life that I never surrendered to God. So I was terrified to what this calling meant. Satan then convinced me to think that if God wanted me to focus on missions and let’s say, not go to states, that I would be a huge disappointment to myself and to my parents. I was so scared at what God was telling me. Obviously this wasn’t true. I think I really wanted to share that because we are here to live for God. Our pride tells us that’s scary, or not fun or too much of a sacrifice but honestly trusting that God has a plan for you and loving him so much you want to follow it is the most freeing thing ever. I had a break down on the second last day with Niki when God put it on my heart to tell her what he was teaching me and during this whole trip God was present. I felt so humbled after our talk and we went to worship and Dave had just chosen to sing it is well. In that moment I felt I was saying yes God, your plan is well with my soul. I will let go and give it to you.
One of the biggest things I took from our nightly debriefs was when the pastor of Inka Talki named Hoka said “How are you living your faith? Are you all in?” and it hit me. No I haven't been living all in. And I think it was the first time I fully surrendered my whole life to God and whole heartedly wanted whatever he wanted to do with it.
Galatians 2:20 says “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.”
I was hit hard by all this and I had Niki and Dave to start counselling me through it as I finally was obedient in listening to what God was telling me and showing me. God sent his son to die for my sins. I am on earth to live for him and bring glory to him. I came home wrecked to my loving family where my parents and Ena have been helping me work through where God is leading me and what that looks like to follow in obedience. I have surrendered my life to God and this mindset allows me to know that if I go to the states it's to glorify God and if not, it’s also to glorify God. Like my dad mentioned on Sunday, on this trip I really had the verse Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. This is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” come alive in my heart.
I have truly been saved by the grace of God. The only difference between me and the kids I was watching caked in garbage, searching for food was that I was born into the family I was born into. And my hope is in that God sent his Son to die on the cross for all our sins so that one day we could all rise into heaven to be with Him. What a day that will be when those kids get to be with Christ. God declared that we who believe in him are righteous. What a treasure that is to understand the true meaning and how great of a gift that is.
I am humbled for we have done nothing to receive God’s grace. Going back to school has been really hard for me because I am broken. God softened that hard heart of mine and I walk around in a place full of sin and it makes me want to retreat. I feel like because God softened my heart I am a different person. I am thankful God opened my eyes to the incredible amount of sin in my school and in my life. I feel so undeserving of my amazing family, my bed, my food and my water. I have been feeling God’s mercy on me. To know how much God knows I am hurting is what makes it bearable.
In this hurt I am letting God make the seed that was planted on the trip in me, grow to soon bear fruit for his glory. All things in my life I give glory to God, for I am nothing without him. He is my sure foundation. I can see how God is the only one I truly need. The only approval I need, the only one I am living for to bring him the glory He deserves. Everything else in my life is a blessing out of his unconditional love for me.
It was hard for me to understand why I, such a sinful person, seem to have so much more. Some things are obvious to me. Those people in Peru are blessed spiritually making them have to lean into God because they have so little. But in that I was able to recognize what true joy from the Lord looks like and I have some major changes I need to make in my life. God showed me these things through the people in Peru.
Our small group has been reading Generous Justice by Tim Keller and I have found it helpful as to understand why I am feeling this way and what I need to do with what I have learned aside from what my parents have guided me to do. Tim Keller says “there in an inequitable distribution of both opportunities and good in this world. Therefor, if you have been assigned to the goods of this world by God and you don’t share them with others, it isn’t just stinginess, it is injustice. If a person has grasped God’s grace in his heart, he will do justice. If he doesn’t live justly, then he may say with his lips that he is grateful for God’s grace, but in his heart he is far from him.” So with the goods and opportunities God has put in my life I am to use them for his glory and do it because God saved me by grace and through faith. He is sovereign and he is faithful. As much as I feel so undeserving and want to just give away everything, I know God put them in my life for me to share with the naked, the hungry and the thirsty for his glory.
These are just a couple of the things that thankfully God has opened my eyes and softened my heart to. I am blessed. I will continue to be obedient to what he teaches and shows me. I am confident in the Lord. His timing and plan for me is perfect and beautiful. What a good good father I have. I have so many more things that God is going to teach me and I am so excited.
Trujillo is a city in coastal northwestern Peru and the capital of La Libertad Region. It is located on the banks of the Moche River, near its mouth at the Pacific Ocean, in the Valley of Moche.
This was a site of the great prehistoric Moche and Chimu cultures before the Inca conquest. expansion. It is the centre of the second most populous metropolitan area of Peru and most populous city of the North macroregion of the country.