Here is the start of my posts about our trip to Iquitos, Peru this last week. On Thursday, June 26th, Lance and I left to pick up Pastor Todd, Pastor Cristi, and Becca. We were on the road at 4:30am headed to Houston for our flight. It was such a fun ride. We were all so excited and couldn’t contain that excitement. We were the first ones from our church to arrive at the airport, and of course, we had to take an airport selfie!
The other half of our group made it in and we all boarded a flight to Peru, a trip that would change all of us in ways we never dreamed! We had a nice BIG plane and a wonderful flight, which was the part I was most nervous about. I really hate flying, but I think after this trip, I can actually say I like it better now. Still not my favorite, but I don’t hate it like I used to!
We had about 7 hours to wait from the time our flight from Houston landed in Lima until our flight out to Iquitos. I must admit, trying to sleep in an airport after you’ve been up for 24 hours isn’t in my top 10 list of favorite things to do, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I had my first experience of trying to order food in a different language (thankfully we had some help from someone in our group who knew a little Spanish), but it was still strange trying to get across that language barrier. Here’s a picture of me, Becca, and Katlyn trying to get some sleep in the airport.
We finally got our boarding passes and went down to the tiny section of the airport to wait for our flight. Lance and I fell asleep down there, and had Pastor Danny not slapped us to wake us up (it was a friendly slap), we would have missed boarding the plane! We got on that plane, which was very different than boarding an American plane. They took us by bus to the airway where our plane was waiting for us and we walked up steps on to the plane. It was exactly like how the movies portray famous people getting on and off the plane, except we had busses instead of limos! We did all the routine checks, safety discussions, etc, and the plane started to taxi to the airstrip. I was sitting at a window seat, the engines geared up for take off, but nothing happened. We just kept sitting and then the engines died down. I remember thinking, “Well, this isn’t a good sign,” and then fell asleep. I woke up to them announcing that we had to get off the plane. So we deboarded and went to wait in the terminal again. It wasn’t a long wait though because they took another plane that was supposed to fly out after us, unloaded it, and put us on it instead. We ended up being about 2 hours late getting to Iquitos, but boy were there some happy missionaries there waiting for us!
Once we made it to the mission, we had a small group meeting where we discussed the rest of the day’s events. It was about 1:00pm on Friday when we finally got there. We took a short nap, and then got to tour the current Jessica House (right now it only houses 2 women and 2 children, a missionary and his wife and daughter, and another missionary because they literally cannot hold anyone else. They are turning women and children away right now and it broke my heart. I’ll share more about that in a different post.) We also got to see the new Jessica House that they are currently building. Not only that, but we got to walk on to what will be the second floor of the Jessica House! It was so amazing to stand there with my eyes closed and dream of the women and children that would one day be living there receiving help.
They’re currently waiting for the funds to finish buying the cement to pour the floor. If they don’t get the funds quickly, they will have to tear out all of the boards that have been exposed to the weather (and are rotting) and replace all of it first, which is even more money. Please, please, please pray that the funds will start coming in for this project. If you’d like to be a part of giving specifically to the Jessica House, you can go to New Creation’s website to do so. Follow this link, go down until you see TRENT AND SHAWN ROLFZEN, and then click the GIVE link to THE JESSICA HOUSE. I will say that even $5 a month will help tremendously.
That night, we met the Safehouse guys for the first time. (I’ll share in a post later more about who these guys are and why they’re so special to me!) We split up into two groups and went to do street ministry. I have never seen people, especially men, so passionate and excited about worshipping Jesus and spreading his love to other people that they’ve never met before. This night was truly amazing! I wish I had some pictures from it to share with you, but I don’t. In our group, it was me, Lance, Calley, and Paige along with 3 missionaries and about 12 Safehouse guys. They played drums and worshipped… and since we didn’t know the language, we just clapped and smiled goofily like Americans! But we had a blast doing it! Then we split up and went down the street praying for people and talking to them. We met some former Safehouse guys and were able to pray for them. After being there, we went to what they call a wako, or drug hole. I think the name of the one we went to was Seccada (I have no idea how to spell some of these things!) We did the same drum and worship introduction to announce our presence and get the attention of the people around there. Then we stood there while one of the guys shared his testimony. A lady named Maria came up to where we were. I will share a post in and of itself about Maria, the Jessica House, and why they both mean so much to me! Just know for now that Maria impacted my life in a huge way, and she never said one thing to me. I cannot wait to share that story with you!
So this about sums up our first two days. They were busy, long, and sleepless, but so worth it all. I had no idea the things that God was going to do in my life over the next week being there, but oh my goodness, I’m so blessed to have been a part of it all! If you have any questions about anything in this post, please go to my contact page and send me a message! I would love to talk more with you!
*A lot of these pictures were taken by other people on the trip. I’m very thankful to them for allowing me to use these pictures to share our experience with you!