This last week 1/2 or so has been amazing!! Sorry for not posting sooner...
Last Tuesday a group of 35ish individuals mostly from Northern Virginia(weird, huh? lol) arrived at El Refugio and they spent a week doing VBS, Construction Work, Painting, etc. It was awesome having them here and I got to interact with them a bit during the week and was able to interpret their presentations whenever deaf students/individuals were present. I had a ton a fun with them here. It is really quiet now that they are gone.... :)
Then, on Friday, June 13, right in the middle of their stay here, God decided to give me the answer I have been asking Him for for over 2 years! Friday morning I was having my quiet time. I've been reading through the epistles and I was up to Colossians 3. God gave me my answer when I got to Colossians 3:23-24 - "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." I've had peace with everything since I arrived, but when I read that, I received a peace even more amazing than I was already experiencing and I knew, that yes, The Refuge of Hope is where God wants me. And then in the afternoon, there was a double rainbow in the sky and I felt so blessed as if it was a commemoration of the promise God had fulfilled that morning. Now to figure out the details of moving/living here!!! :)
I'm very excited to continue to see what God is going to do while I'm here. He is already orchestrating what my role here would probably look like. I will probably be more of a "communication facilitator." Pastor Victor from the first day kept telling me they have a really big need for Interpreters, but I didn't quite understand what he meant until school started. There are no interpreters for the Deaf kids and Deaf Teacher here for any of the group activities during the day or when the deaf kids are included in the regular classrooms. They have a morning assembly in the church every day, and I have been interpreting that for the deaf kids/teacher. I have also been interpreting the church services for the deaf kids that live here. They usually just sit in church and do nothing because there aren't any interpreters. As I mentioned before , I have also been able to interpret the activities/presentations the visiting group did during the week. And I totally see possibilities with training others to be interpreters as well. There are already a few individuals who have an interest in learning Sign Language and are taking classes with the Deaf instructor here after school. I've joined with them to practice my spanish and learn what signs here are different than ASL. :)
So my first week and a half here has been awesome and tomorrow will commence an entirely different type of adventure! There is no school from tomorrow until next Wednesday because a bunch of the teachers are leaving tomorrow for a trip to Contamana, Peru until Tuesday....and I'm going with them! I have nothing else to do, so I figured, why not join them? Apparently every year different schools try to meet up and have sports competitions with the teachers. I have informed them very clearly that I will be of no use to their volleyball and futbol(not american futbol) teams, but I will be of whatever other use I can offer. But it will be very interesting because to get to Contamana, we are going on an 8 hour boat ride up the Ucayali River tomorrow. And the trip back on Tuesday will be 10-11 hours because we will be going against the tide. I'm going to try and remember to take lots of photos and post them when I get back!
Thank You all sooo much for continuing to pray for me! Now that God has given me the confirmation that He wants me here, now I need direction for where should I look to possibly live when I move here and anything else I might need to know! Please pray:
-That God will give me direction for details concerning living here
-For safe travels to and from Contamana for all the teachers going
-For continued good health
I cannot express my gratitude and appreciation clearly enough!!!! I Love You all sooo much and am blessed that you are all with me in the Journey. :)
The Ucayali River from the shores of Pucallpa(or as the Pucallpinos call it "The Laguna")