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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Imagine...

...a not-quite-five year old little Quechua boy, hiding behind his mother's legs as she answers the knock at the door. On the other side stand two tall figures, members of the terrorist group "the shining path", looking for his father.  If his father goes with them, he would be forced to kill and forced to denounce God. If he doesn't, he'll be killed himself. By God's grace, he wasn't home.
...a five year old, walking with his family to visit friends, and the trip taking longer than they thought. When finally arriving they find their friends murdered.
...this family fleeing for their lives - protected by the church - being flown to safety to another part of Peru. Flown to a remote area where there was nothing but woods.

....a new community, fittingly called Peace and Hope,  being built by hand - homes, a church, a one- room schoolhouse. No electricity, no running water.
...a now seven-year old boy, going to school for the first time - dirt floor, crude desks, very little supplies.
...the seven-year old boy loving to learn even at a young age - getting the top grades so that he won the prize- a book. A book that he would study the next year, but which he read over and over during the summer before the school year even started.
...being on the receiving end of missionaries - coming to your village to help, work and spread Gods love.

...this child and his four younger siblings - now the first in their family to finish elementary school.
...a middle school boy, timid, an outsider, being sent on his own to "the city" to continue his education.

...the proud feelings his parents must have felt to watch all five of their children continue on to be the first to graduate high school.

...the sacrifices these parents and younger siblings made - sometimes having hardly any food to put on the table - to make sure their eldest son could attend the teaching college.
...the elation, hope and thankfulness of this young boy - now a man - when he secured his first job as a teacher in the Annie Soper Christian School.

...the confusion this young man, who was entrenched with and so proud of his Peruvian culture, felt as he fell in love with an American...an outsider.


...being thrown into a culture you know nothing about - not the habits, language or laws.

...having the guts to not only learn the language, but learn it well enough to study in graduate school.
...this young, Quechua boy growing up and becoming ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian church.
...organizing and leading mission trips to your town, where you used to live and work.
...this refugee, fearing once for his life and for the lives of his family, becoming not only (along with his siblings), the first to graduate Elementary school and high school, but the first to graduate college, graduate school and now getting a doctorate in ministry.

Your life, Noe, is a story of hope and an example of Gods great love for us - if we listen, trust and obey God's call for us, amazing things can happen. The last 13 years with you have inspired and touched me in so many ways. Thank you for being my husband, a servant of God and a wonderful father to our children. I couldn't be prouder.