My Father and I went to Peru with Compassion International to see a child I have been sponsoring for 9+ years. It was an incredible trip. I came away with a renewed sense of awe, appreciation, and zeal for what Compassion is doing in Lima. I'll walk you through some signifiant moments for me:
The Compassion tour was 10 days but we went a few days early to see this wonder. It was truly the most beautiful place I have ever seen. There was a stillness like you feel before a play begins. Everyone was quiet and spoke just above a whisper. You feel the mountains leaning over you, staring at you; it's no surprise to me this was a place of worship.
Getting to spend 2 weeks just my Dad and I was amazing. The conversations we had on long train rides, late night walks around the mountain town, and in the compassion projects are going to remain in my memory as my favorite moments with my father.
We stayed in Cusco which was absolutely beautiful, but both of us were looking forward to joining the group and seeing our sponsored kids. This was a shot of a girl we saw next to the train station.
It was hard holding in balance that there is incredible beauty found in each face and neighborhood that reflects the image of God yet they were facing incredible poverty and injustice. I tried took photos of the former yet found that both realities were present in every moment.
We spent the week visiting different projects within Lima, returning daily to the outskirts of town where the projects were. We took little buggies through the narrow streets and steep cliffs.
Pastor Daniel (above) gave us a tour of the neighborhood one hot Thursday afternoon. He told us about the families that he took care of and brought us to the home of a lady named Esther and her daughters (below). They were shy but brought us into their home and told us their story. Esther works during the day and Daniel often watches the girls while she's away due to the father's absence. Esther's daughter Anjaly (second oldest) showed me her drawings from school and I looked on with wonder as she beamed with pride. Daniel mentioned that she didn't have a sponser yet; I got in contact with the compassion lead immediately and became her sponser within the hour.
At the end of the week Compassion brought Sherlock into the city and I got to meet my friend. We spent the whole day at the zoo; I brought him a Polaroid so we could take photos together for him to take back with him. It was an incredible afternoon.
I asked him every question I could think of, we had a translator thank goodness. He showed me pictures of his family, I showed him pictures of mine. Learned about his career ambitions and how to best pray for him. The afternoon went by much too quickly.
Just like that it was over. Sherlock went home with his father and I went home with mine. We took a flight out that night and was left to ponder and try and jot down everything that I'd learned. I hope this wasn't the last time I get to spend time with him, I don't expect it will be.
Thank you Dad for making this possible. It blew me away.