Peru 2016

2016-03-16 10.24.04Over spring break I had the opportunity to travel to Peru with several other Baptist Student Union members—Kayt Fowler, Zane Kloeckl, Brandon Karnath, Janay McElderry, Dylan Livingston,  Farewell, and my pastor Mark Arbaugh.  The goal of this trip was to serve the Peruvian people in providing some medical assistance, English lessons, and to share the Good News of Christ.  This trip we were able to partner with one of the local churches in Lima–Iglesia Bíblica Maranga–in order to put on a medical clinic in the impoverished area of Pachacutec in the capitol city of Lima.  We were able to bring medical and other hygienic supplies provided by St. James hospital, donations from the congregation of Park Street Baptist church, and others.  Our team, members of the Lima church, and two other American volunteers were able to provide a number of services at the clinic such as blood pressure readings, dental health, foot washing, basic check-ups, and free gift bags (soap, shampoo, conditioner, mosquito replant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste).  It was amazing to be able to help bring some healing to both the body, mind, and soul.  The level of poverty that I witnessed while in Pachacutec was mind-blowing, and has definitely made me realize how blessed I am to live in the United States and have the possessions and opportunities that I often take for granted—clean drinking water and hot showers are not universal.   


In evenings we had the opportunity to teach English classes at the Lima church.  We offered three different levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced based on the amount of English they had mastered.  I had the privilege of teaching the basic class, where my high school Spanish classes definitely came in handy.  This was my second time to Peru, and while I am by no means completely fluent in Spanish, it was once again very beneficial to continue to learn the language better through the immersion in the Peruvian culture.  While there, we stayed with host families from the local church.  Living with a family for the time we were there was amazing.  They showed us the best places to eat, were our own local tour guides, taught us more about their culture and language, and really became like a second family.  


The Peruvian people, especially those in the congregation of the Iglesia Bíblica Maranga, were incredibly warm and hospitable.  They gave generously out of the little that they had—my host mom and dad gave up their bed for me to have one! I believe that we were able to mutually encourage each other in our Christian faith through conversations, service, and many wonderful experiences together.  Although at times the language barrier can be daunting, traveling to places such as this has truly made me realize that humanity is much bigger than culture.  My time in Peru this spring break impacted how I think, love, and act in ways that influence how I live every day.  I am studying biochemistry at Montana Tech, with the goal of becoming a Physician’s Assistant who is able to go on similar medical mission trips.  Seeing the need for basic medical care on this trip re-vitalized me to finish out the rest of the semester and my education to become a P.A.





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