Peru: Goodbye to people I grew to love

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My neighbor, Michael, asked me what I liked most about Curahuasi. I thought a little bit before giving my answer. It was our last day in Peru. I had a lot of things on my mind as we walked the city’s streets. 

joy brown130Joy Brown“What I like the most about Curahuasi is the people,” I said. Michael smiled, and we continue walking.

Curahuasi is a very special place. It feels like home. It was really difficult to say goodbye to the people—wonderful people with a humble heart.

During our last two weeks in Peru as we worked more in construction, I wanted to get to know the people more. I asked God for strength, so I would not be too tired to meet and listen to people. 

Even when we had weekends off and could go to other places, I always prayed we could stay at Curahuasi. Sundays were so precious, as we went to church, saw our friends and enjoyed fellowship.

‘Why did you bring me to Curahuasi?’

To be honest, many nights, I went outside, looked at the sky and talked to God. I always asked him: “What do you want me to do? Why did you bring me to Curahuasi?”

It’s not that I regretted being in Peru. It’s not because I didn’t had something to do. I just wanted to know if I was missing something. 

At the end of this trip, I got some answers. The people from Curahuasi showed me a lot of things of my life that were pure vanity. The people from Peru helped me more than I helped them. Their lives are beautiful songs of redemption—something I need so much, that everyone needs so much. 

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I had a hard time believing that I could be a new creation, a hard time believing that my past didn’t matter any more. For a long time, I thought I had no remedy. It is crazy, because as believers, we know, there’s redemption. But we do not always truly believe it. We doubt so much. We question if we can really change. Well, we can’t, but God can.

The people of Curahuasi have surrendered to God. They have thrown themselves into God’s arms. Many people want a Savior, but not everyone wants a Lord. Many people want to be helped, but when it comes to serving and letting go their own desires and their own will, it becomes very difficult. I realize that there were a lot of areas in my life where I just wanted Jesus as my Savior, but I was not honoring him as Lord.

‘My dreams are not mine anymore’

The last day in Peru, we had breakfast with Michael. He is a chef, and I asked him if his dream was to have his own restaurant. He looked at me, and he said: “As a chef, that is one of my dreams. But as a Christian, I have other things in mind. My dreams are not mine anymore. I want what God wants.” 

I liked his answer, but I felt a little scared. Can I say the same thing? 

The last night in Curahuasi, I went to a soccer game. The guys from the church we attended in Curahuasi played other Christian guys from other churches. I drank tea and felt the cold wind, thinking about all the people I met in Peru. I thought about the dreams of my missionary friends—dreams that God has put in their hearts. I prayed that God will do his will in every person. God is so good and faithful.

Some people asked us when we will go back to Curahuasi. I want to return soon. I hugged my new friends and family in Christ. Please pray for all the people of Curahuasi and of Peru. Please pray for my friends.

I will miss Peru

I will always be grateful for the time I spent in Peru. I will miss translating. I will miss telling Bible stories to kids. I will miss my neighbors and babysitting for the ladies’ Bible study. I will miss teaching English and Spanish and a lot of other things.

If I we don’t see each other at Curahuasi, we will see each other in heaven.

My joy is complete. 

Joy Brown, a student at the University of Texas at El Paso, served in Peru with Go Now Missions.

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