We have some news to share with everyone! For years Noe has been in communication with friends and contacts in Peru, and has been feeling nudged to return to help the community where he was born. If you don't already know, he was born in Ayacucho, Peru, right before the era of the Shining Path - a communist terrorist group that started in Ayacucho and then spread throughout many parts of Peru. His community was hit hard and it was very dangerous for Christians and Quechua Indians specifically. The Churches in Peru got together to help the members in Noe's congregation and flew them to northern Peru so they would be safer. It is a fascinating story if you haven't heard it - next time you see him, ask him to share it with you :) In total, almost 70,000 people were killed - half at the hands of the Shining path, a third at the hands of the Peruvian government and the rest were attributed to other miscellaneous groups. 7,500 were killed just in Ayacucho. Noe has felt a longing to return to his community to help the Quechua people and I have never lost my passion for wanting to teach and minister to the kids in Peru.
|Ayacucho is a short one hour flight from Lima and also not far from Cuzco.|
Why am I telling you all this? As if you haven't guessed already ;) After much prayer and discussion and more prayers and more discussion, we decided that the timing was finally right and that we will be returning to Peru at the end of the summer for one year.
|Plaza in Ayacucho|
Once we decided that this was a possibility, Noe called a contact of his in Ayacucho about a job possibility. In less than a week he had a job and job description! Definitely a confirmation of call. In addition, after making a few more phone calls, we felt that we would be able get enough support to get us started. This was also a blessing! He is going to be working with a non profit organization that focuses on literacy and education. It's called "puriyninchik" which is Quechua for "nuestro caminar" in Spanish and "our walk" in English. Noe explains the name in more detail:
"Puriyninchik is a Quechua word that reflects the Christian and intercultural journey in the Andes of Peru.
'Puriy' means to walk, to advance, to be in pilgrimage.
'Ninchik is a suffix that means our; but it also means equal, side by side, same accord and belonging.
So, putting all of this together it means, our pilgrimage, our journey together."
They are still working on a website but they do have a facebook page.
One of the things that has caught my eye with this organization is the "portable library" that they do 2-3 times a week throughout the city. They go to public parks and take their library. The children have a chance to read the books on their own and then someone reads a book to them and they do a short craft. You'll recognize the book below "Where the wild things are" and their origami of monsters :)
The teacher in me LOVES this :) I will most likely search for a job when I arrive that involves teaching prek or teaching English to young children. I am also hoping that my "teachers pay teachers" site continues to generate some extra money monthly that will supplement our income while we are there. As the non-profit is just starting, they will not be able to pay Noe enough to support the family so he will also be searching for other opportunities - like teaching in a university or college.
|The "Department" (like our State) is called Ayacucho, but there is also a city called Ayacucho.|
The children will get to experience Peruvian culture as well as learn the language as they will be studying part time in a local school and part time online in English. They have already started studying and playing duolingo :) Oh, and if you're wondering, yes, Gemma our puppy will be making the trip with us :) We are teaching her commands in spanish ;)
This will be a difficult transition for all of us because we love our Highland family so much. The kids are attached to the church, their schools and friends. So, although we are excited to follow God's calling to our "year of adventure" in Peru, we are very sad to be leaving Lancaster and Highland.
Noe's last day will be July 26 and the kids and I will stay until August 16. This will give him time to find us a house to rent, furnish it and get everything set up. We are very happy that we get one last summer with our Highland family - especially our mission trip to WV!
|A beautiful location in Ayacucho called "Aguas Turquesas" that we hope to visit while we're there!|
Thanks everyone for your love and support and for reading about the upcoming chapter in our lives! I plan to blog while we're there so if you want to see what we're doing, subscribe ;)
Laurie, Noe, Paul and Ella :)