Because I had originally bought my return trip from Lima, I had to return back there from Andahuaylas – budget airlines like Spirit don’t deal kindly with itinerary changes. I flew into Lima early on the morning of Wednesday, June 18th. But my flight out of the country didn’t leave until that evening, so I met my Pastor Mario (from Korea) one more time before I left. I found it rather fitting that he was both the first person and the last person I saw on my trip. I’m not really entirely sure why, other than the fact that he is Peruvian, and is part of the reason I thought about coming to Peru in the first place.
I left my backpack in a locker at the airport, and then he took me to the city center and we spent most of the day there together. Had lunch at a wonderful historic old restaurant – Zamantha made such a mess, it was awesome. We saw a diplomatic convoy arrive at the presidential palace, which was really cool. Such pomp and circumstance! For all of the times I’ve said that I dislike Lima, I have to admit…historic Lima is pretty incredible. The architecture alone makes it worth the visit. We went on a city bus tour that enabled me to see much more of the city than I would have on my own, or even if Mario was just driving me around. We also went inside a few buildings – my favorite was the catacombs under the grand old church. There were flocks of birds swarming the courtyard of that church outside, which would have make for a very quaint painting, but was kinda creepy in real life. I guess it matched well with the catacombs underneath it…
But the entire day definitely has strong undercurrents of sadness in it for me. Without looking for it or even expecting it, I was realizing that Peru, like so many other places, had stolen my heart. Except Peru did it even more forcefully, and in even less time than other places had. I know that I’ve said this before…but there’s something special about Peru. I can’t quite put my finger on it, other than to say that I knew that God was with me there – it was obvious, and it was incredible.
So as I boarded the plane to head back stateside, I decided to try a different tactic to avoid reverse culture shock on my return. If the thing I loved most about Peru was the fact that I could see God there…why not try to do the same in my day-to-day life in Atlanta? Get away from the hustle and bustle, and take time to see God working all around me. He is no less sovereign and no less loving at home than He is abroad. It is just easier for us to get comfortable and miss His provision when we’re at home. I challenge all of you to do the same – make a conscious decision to look for the ways that God is working in and guiding your life. Ask Him to show them to you. You may be surprised by what you find.
The diplomatic procession:
The birds that I mentioned in the cathedral courtyard:
Views from my last Lima bus tour: