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  • Amanda McKinney

Happy New Year!!

So, I have realized that I probably have one of the worst cases of procrastination in regards to keeping up decent communication with people. You may have noticed this as my last three posts during the last week and half are finally finishing my description of my Peru Trip back in July. Seeing as the Lord has called me to the Mission Field, I realize that I cannot continue in this depraved habit of hermit behavior. Therefore, although I am not one to typically make New Year’s Resolutions, I have decided to do so this year with one of the top ones being to improve drastically this procrastination problem. I have decided on a 12 step program that will hopefully cure me of this horrible disorder. My Support Group tells me that I just need to take one step at a time and I will be on the road to complete recovery! Each step is completed as I post at least one blog post each month for the next year…….here goes step one! :)

Since my trip back in July, God has done some absolutely amazing things to slowly guide my next steps towards serving in Peru. First, I researched The Refuge of Hope (ROH) in Pucallpa, Peru, that our director had told me about and really felt that I needed to learn more. So I emailed the U.S. POC, Maureen, for more information and if nothing else, to continue networking, and so much has just taken off from there. She has been an amazing encouragement and help as I felt God definitely guiding me to pursue working with ROH. Little by little God started putting pieces in place, structuring my next trip to Peru.

As I communicated with Maureen, I also was finally able to meet up with my pastor and go over what had happened in Peru and where I felt the Lord leading me. He and the Elders at my church have been amazing and are totally supportive. They have committed to being my sending church and I am not making any decisions solo anymore, but am making them collectively with my church’s guidance and approval. It’s so awesome to have a church that is literally like a family and who are so intimately concerned and supportive for making sure God is followed and glorified with whatever decisions we make! So, during my conversations with my Pastor, he recommended I make a skeletal outline of my Spiritual Gifts, My personality traits, what training I need as I work towards the goal of long-term service, possible places I may join in Peru, etc. This has been very helpful with organizing my thoughts and information I receive, etc. But through this I also realized that there needs to be a three- to four-step process I need to complete before I can transition somewhere to long-term service. Those steps are:

  1. Go to a language school for a specific timeframe to learn/refine my Spanish speaking skills.*

  2. Have a set time to learn Peruvian Sign Language(PSL)*

  3. Go back to Peru for a short trip (with an organization that I feel God leading me to possibly work with long-term since I know none of the places I have been to before are where I belong)*

  4. Figure out where I’m supposed to work long-term and do everything to transition there – long-term visa, figure out housing, raise monthly support, etc.

*Preferably doing #1, 2, & 3 consecutively accroding to listed order

So after this list above was figured out, God started answering/organizing different parts of this list. First, He confirmed that ROH was the organization I need to visit (#3). And through Maureen’s intermediary communication with ROH, a timeframe of two weeks to a month was decided as best, and we have since settled on me staying there for a month. I have also been given the opportunity to stay on campus at ROH so that I could have full exposure/interaction with everything that goes on there. Then, God decided to show off and set up #2 without me doing a thing or asking for it yet. In one of her discussions with the director of ROH, Maureen discussed and got approved the opportunity for me to be tutored by ROH’s deaf education teacher to learn Peruvian Sign Language during my month stay there. And on top of that, I will be able to shadow her in her classroom to get even more hands-on (literally-lol) experience with deaf education there and exposure to PSL. Could God have set that up any more perfectly?!?

So that is where I am now. I really feel that #4 will start to be figured out while I am at ROH and getting confirmation one way or another if that is indeed where God wants me to continue to serve. We are trying to figure out #1 right now. We are still not sure which language school God wants me to go to and for how long. We have a couple of different options, and I am just waiting to see how God is going to direct that. Once #1 is figured out, we will be able to figure out a little easier when I am supposed to go on my next trip. ROH has opened their doors for me whenever I feel the Lord leading me to go, so the Language School is the last major deciding piece. But my church is very actively pursuing and seeking God’s will with me, so I have no doubt everything will be figured out and decided in God’s perfect time.

As I sit back and look at all God has done for me in the past two years, I am amazed at how far He has brought me and exactly where He has brought me. Two years ago I would never have thought that I would be planning a trip to Peru, much less my SECOND trip! And with a goal of long-term service??? Wow, God is amazing….and there is not a single bone in my body that doubts that this is His will for me. Some days I ache with the desire to be back in Peru doing whatever it is the Lord has planned for me there. I know that there are a ton of obstacles, struggles, loneliness, fear, testing, etc. ahead for me, but the knowledge that I will be right smack in the middle of God’s will makes them seem less daunting. I cannot speak for how I will handle those situations when they happen, but right now they are no longer an area of great fear of the unknown for me. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in 2014!!!!!

#missions #deafministry #peru

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