"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being ROOTED and grounded in LOVE, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the LOVE of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

~Ephesians 3:14-21

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Address in Peru

Hello Everyone- 
Some of you have asked for our address in Peru...we have posted it below. We are not sure how long it will take a letter to get here. We think US regular mail will work, but we are not sure on the number of stamps.

Address in Peru:

Asociacion Civil Villa Milagro
Atencion: Sr. Sean Heath
Apartado 219
Cajamarca, Peru

*We have also included our address in the CONTACT US tab located at the top of our blog!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday Walk to Church

As we walked to church today...we were reminded again of how fortunate we are to be here and to serve along our brothers and sisters here in this beautiful city. Step by step we looked around and felt His Presence and stood in awe of the magnificent beauty that sat below the heavens and the sky. Just days ago, we remember the easiness of our days as we prepared for Sunday mornings for church back in the States. Rushing to our vehicle and never really taking the time to notice the new day God had given us. This very moment we cherish every step and the time it takes to meet and fellowship with other believers. So thankful for the church and to have a place to worship and praise our Heavenly Father. Everyday we are reminded of God's promise - that I will be with you always...every step of the way.

"...and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:20b

How quickly life will pass us all by...for no one knows the hour that they will take their last breath here on this earth.

"Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-" - Mark 13:35

Unfortunately, we quickly let our day to day struggles, worries, and little (unimportant) things get in our way of spending time with Him and sharing His love and grace with others. Sean and I continue to look back on most of our lives...missed opportunities...and living day by day for us. God, please open our eyes and help us to follow You...wherever You may lead. Lord, help us to take one day at a time to do Your will. Please God, help hearts around us to be open to loving and following You. Lord, help us to not hold any prejudices or pride as You teach us to love our new brothers and sisters. In Your Name we pray, Amen.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lookout...LEgAci PERU

I am thinking now...there may be a new stylist in town (and she does not work at LEgAci Salon in Statesville)...lookout LEgAci PERU! After an hour of tears, scissor cuts on the my fingers, and jumping into a cold shower (we have solar heating and it has rained for the last 2 days), we made it through our first home away from home haircuts. I had to hear numerous times that "Nana" and Aunt Casie do not cut it this way or lots of complaints that hair was in their mouth. I will have to say that the boys look better and- don't worry- River's hair still sticks straight up with gel. (Photos taken by the kids!)

Sean was the brave one to go first!

I can feel the LOVE!


River...extra caution to keep his style!


Not sure why my cooking is not working out...crunchy rice, hard beans...HELP! (this is even a packaged deal)
I wonder if this is why I always get stuck with only bringing the drinks or told "just show up" at the
family gatherings back in North Carolina?

Sean to the RESCUE...sorry Autumn - you are going to have to learn this from Aunt Cheryl when she comes to visit!
(Autumn's apron made with love made by her Nana)

Snapshots of Living in Peru

Teaching Autumn how to wash clothes!

I am not going to lie...it takes the whole family to get all of our laundry done. So much for lifting weights. We have discovered that towels weigh A LOT when wet. Sean and the boys are the "spin mode" on my new washer!

Kids were amazed at the little girl leading the donkey!

We found a soccer field on one of our walks...overtaken today by a herd of sheep!

A friend of ours on staff at Villa Milagro painted Autumn's nails...she loved her little flowers!

Photo at church Wednesday night with Gleny (far left) and Vivian (far right). Most mornings, Gleny, Anita (not pictured), and I  meet at 5AM to run/walk as they teach me Spanish and show me around Cajamarca. We usually have to cross over small creeks, early morning cow milkings, and they protect me from all the dogs. Gleny and Anita are also teaching me how to cook and where to buy food. Vivian is amazing with kids and our kids love playing with her. She helps and lives with the other missionary family (The Kervin's). They all have been very helpful as we continue to learn about the culture and live in this new area!

Not pictured (for a reason) by Crissy
*Got my first possible bug (or spider) bite on my eye while I was sleeping. I woke up with a swollen eye (not camera worthy...trust me) and all I could think about was something crawling on my face while I slept. My nephew, Stone, told me the day before on Skype about how many spiders an average person will eat over their life time. We joked and said that we probably need to double that for Peru after seeing so many around the house. (Then I woke up the next morning with the bite...thanks Stone for "jinxing" me!)

Friday, January 27, 2012

TRIALS by Sarah Young 01.25.12

This morning I woke up and I read a devotion by Sarah Young from her Jesus Calling Devotional Bible. As I read each line, I felt God speaking to me as I sat there and thought about all my mini "trials" that have crossed my path since being here. After really reflecting on her writing, I realized that my trials really were not even trials at all. I have become so accustomed to daily "stress" and over the years have found myself dwelling on the negatives of every situation. I am not sure why this is...but as I looked closer at God's Word in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, and the writings of Paul NKJ version with added (New Living Translation), which says, "For our light affliction (present troubles are small), which is but for a moment (won't last very long), is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (last forever), while we do not look at the things which are seen (so don't look at the troubles we can see now), but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary (will soon be gone), but the things which are not seen are eternal (last forever)."

As I look back over the last few months as we were preparing to come to Peru and the last week and a half living here, most of the things that I worried about at the time, ended up not being that big of deal anyway. In fact, some days I find myself overloaded with stress and worry (okay maybe lots of day), but if I look back I cannot even remember those little things. Sarah's devotion shared, "if you shrug them off immediately and return your focus to Me (God), you will walk through your days with lighter steps and a joyful heart. When serious problems come your way, you will have more reserves for dealing with them You will not have squandered your energy on petty problems. You may even reach the point where you can agree with the apostle Paul that all your problems are light and momentary, compared with the eternal glory being achieved by them."

Dear Lord, give me Your eyes and help me see things from Your perspective, not from mine or the world's. Help me to focus on You daily and enjoy the relationships I have with my friends and family (cherish every moment with the kids you have given me for such a short period of time). No matter what circumstances or trials I may face, help me to stop and draw close to You to better understand what You may be teaching me or why You may be putting certain individuals or situations in my path. Dear Lord, help me to see the bigger picture and realize that the very moment that may be overwhelming, may be an open opportunity to share your love with others. Lord, help me to rely on Your strength. "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

Visting a New Church in the Mountains 01.24.12

Tonight our friend, Celso, from Villa Milagro, asked us if we would like to visit a new church up in the mountains. We did not realize it at the time, but after talking to him more about this new church we found out that he is also the Pastor of the church. Celso told us that when it rains, it makes it difficult to drive to this church because of the dirt roads curving up steep mountain ledges. So when rain began to fall late in the afternoon, I was not sure I wanted to venture out. Sean and I waited to hear from him and Selso told us "no problem" and off we went driving through the city to get to the mountain road. I was so thankful for the extra body heat in the van which made the windows quickly fog up. This made it very difficult to see (which was a blessing) because I can only imagine as Selso drove around each curve how steep the drop off must have been. At one point the road was so steep that the van couldn't continue, so several of us jumped out, walked up the steep hill and jumped back in when the van could continue. For the kids, they thought that was so cool (for a mom...lots of prayer).

When we made it to the top we had climbed nearly 4000 vertical feet in 9 kilometers. We stepped out to an amazing view overlooking the city of Cajamarca. So many beautiful lights lit up the sky. We stepped into the small church which consisted of four walls, one light, no heat and air, and a dirt floor. There were probably about 18 people all together counting our family (normally we were told there would be more...but the rain makes it very difficult for many to walk and attend).

As the service began, Sean and I were amazed at the overall expression of worship and praise. It was so beautiful...such a small room but all together singing as loud as possible, hands lifted praising our Lord Jesus Christ. Many times in prayer, the families did not care about the dirty floor or getting their clothes messed up, they just knelt down in prayer thanking God for all their many blessings. So much joy and love, fellowshipping together, and so thankful for this small room to come and worship their Lord. I think being there touched our hearts far more than they will ever know. Selso preached out of John 10:7-21 (Jesus the Good Shepherd). My favorite part of this passage was is verse 14 and 15 which says, "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep". For the Peruvian people, they remember their history and being ruled by Incan rulers. They have never met a King that was willing to lay down His life for them... until now. Standing there in that room, nothing else in the world mattered but fellowshipping with other believers and giving Glory and Honor to our Lord Jesus...nothing in this world is more important than knowing and serving Him.

As many of you know, Sean and I have spent most of our lives pursuing the American Dream. In fact, many times we would look for churches over the years to attend or visit based off of what all they had to offer to us. How entertained would our kids be or how comfortable would this or that church make us as we attended the services two times a week. Being here tonight, and seeing many with so little and the danger and sacrifices they made to walk miles to this church, continues to humble us. Thank you God for reminding our family that worshipping You can happen anywhere, even in a cold, wet, poorly lit room with just a few believers. Praise God!

"And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." - Acts 2:42-47

Inside the New Church

Beautiful Family

Little Girl in Church


Celso and Sean

Our Family with Celso's Family!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seeing Norman 01.22.12

I wanted to send this post separate from the power outage. Something very special happened on Sunday at church after the morning worship service. As I turned to walk out...I spotted him...NORMAN (otherwise known as LIMBO because he was so flexible every-time he played this game at Bible School). I know many of you may not know who this little boy is, but he really CHANGED my life. I hope the NC Team Members who came with me this past year will have a chance to read this. Our team helped with a Vacation Bible School this time last year. Once Bible School was over and we saw the children for the last time, I dreamed that night that I was telling Norman who Jesus was and I was using the EvangeCube. (Side note...prior to leaving the States with my luggage bags ready to go, my son, Lake, asked me to also pack the EvangeCube and share it with a little boy in Peru). To be quiet honest, we were so busy with Bible School all week that I did not even think to show Norman or any other children this specific cube which demonstrates how you can know Christ as your Lord and Savior and how He loved us all so much that He paid the price for all of us by giving up His very life on the CROSS. 

I remember telling the team members that I could not leave Peru without finding out where he lives and being obedient to what I felt God was asking me to do. That morning our team went around the room and prayed for him (one by one). I remember praying to God at night and even telling Him that I would stay here till I found him even if it meant more time away from my own children back in the States. I asked Carlos, a missionary at Villa Milagro, to help me find him and after several days of walking from home to home...we finally found where Norman lived. A little boy named David took us to his home and his mother answered and asked us to come back tomorrow because Norman was in school. The next day, Carlos and I shared with Norman who Jesus was and that day Norman made a decision to accept Christ as His Savior and to follow Him. I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. Norman's sister was also sitting with us on the couch in their home and she also made a decision to trust and believe in Jesus Christ. What an answered prayer! 

Before I left Norman's home, I told Norman that he was very special and that he needed to be a strong Godly leader among his friends and family. I asked Norman to share with his friends who Jesus was and with the help of Carlos translating, we walked through how to use the EvangeCube. I left him this cube and told him that one day I would be back and that I hoped he would attend Monte Sion Church. I also told him that I wanted to bring my son, Lake, to meet him since Lake had encouraged me to take this cube with me. 

So when I turned around this Sunday, and our eyes met, tears flowed from my eyes. We hugged and he pointed to his sister, and his mom...and even his dad was there. As Norman and I walked out, Lake was returning from the children's service and once he reached us...I finally had an opportunity to introduce them. Thank you Lord for this blessing and for bringing Norman back into my life...Lord I pray that our family will be obedient to you always and that you would use our life to bring glory to you!

"I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." - Luke 15:7

January 2011 Vacation Bible School at Monte Sion Church

January 2011 - Finally found Norman...and his sister!

January 2011 - Norman and his family (Carlos is on the far right)!

First Day With No Power 01.21.12 (Sunday Service)

Thankfully we knew this power outage was coming. The Villa Milagro Team let us know yesterday that the power would go out around 7am. We knew there would be lots to do to prepare for church today and make sure that we would all be ready and dressed in time to walk to church. We woke up today at 5am (showers the night before) and got breakfast made and clothes ironed. We are still living out of our luggage, but after a short period of digging and looking through several of them we managed to find all the kids clothes and shoes. Once the light started flickering, we moved the plastic ice containers from the freezer and put them on the food and told the kids to not open the refrigerator door.

We are set for church and grabbed our items needed to do our first walk as a family to Monte Sion Church (church started by Villa Milagro). The kids loved the 20-25 minute walk. All along the dirt road, the kids saw many exciting things. The view of the mountains was amazing! We were greeted by numerous dogs just wandering down the road, sheep, and pigs. We had to cross a small creek and jump from rock to rock (praying that we would not fall in and wet our shoes). Lots of cars and buses passed by us driving really close to us as if we were not even there. We walked with some of our friends from Villa Milagro and as we walked they taught us some Spanish by pointing to things along the way and told us the Spanish name. The church is very beautiful with lots of wood in the main sanctuary area. Sunday School classes are held in the school class rooms behind the church. I stayed with Autumn in her class. There were about 7 little girls her age and they all were so precious. Autumn was very shy but soon starting to warm up to others. It is amazing what some crayons and coloring pages will do to help make little girls leave their mommy's lap. Not a word was spoken by any of the girls, but they shared crayons and you could see each one of them looking to each other papers to see how others were doing and what colors they used. 

We found that resources are few for the teachers. It broke my heart to see only tiny broken crayons (some difficult to even hold) and no lessons to use. The teacher used traced paper that someone had traced coloring pages with to share and pass out to the kids. The kids wanted me to color with them. As I colored I tried to figure out a way to let them see or hear about God's Word. I brought my Spanish Bible and started to write John 3:16 (in Spanish) on the girls papers. I am not sure if this helped or not, but I wanted to at least attempt to teach them about God's love. 

We are praying for more resources for teaching. I remember being at home and if a crayon would barely break (we would consider it useless), but here you use them until they are almost nubs. This was our first time at the church and we are not sure of all the needs, but hopefully we will continue to see areas where we may be able to help.

The worship service was amazing. Lots of singing and praying and we were able to gather that the sermon was on the blind man (Matthew 9:27-31). We could not understand the message but one thing we could see was the overall passion and love for Jesus from the church members. It was so beautiful! 

After church, we walked back home. The lighting in the house from the windows made it possible to see. We had filled up water bottles early in the morning, so we had plenty of water. By the early evening, the power was back on and we were able to cook a meal before venturing out to church again for the evening service. 

Today was truly a day of giving thanks and rest!

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." - Exodus 20:8

Monte Sion Church (you can see the church with the steeple on top and iron gated entrance)!

I tried below to capture the street that leads to the church...I am so sorry for the bouncy video 
(we will try to get better:)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cleaning and Laundry 01.21.2012

Today we are working on cleaning the house and unpacking the luggage to get settled. We have been staying on the farm in the dorms until the house was ready and able to move in. The staff at Villa Milagro have been amazing with helping us get settled and providing meals until we move into our home. We are so thankful for them as they help us learn where to shop for groceries and how to get around town. Our laundry was piling up. Sean captured me using our new laundry system - washing by hand- with the help of the kids. I will have to admit...it was not as bad as I thought. I do not know how well the clothes are getting clean - but when it was all said and done- I actually enjoyed being outside spending time with the kids. The sun is very hot here and we noticed after today that sun-screen will be needed daily. It rains in the afternoons here and gets cool in the evenings. We usually wake up to a cooler morning (in the 60s) and then 75 degrees during the day. It is summer time here (opposite from the States). The kids are still adjusting to the bathroom rules of no toilet paper in the toilet...(this may take some time for me to adjust as well - anybody have any extra scented candles???) Cooking meals and washing dishes by hand takes extra time. Thank you Cheryl for my cookbook...still struggling a little with the rice (is it supposed to be crunchy?). We found out that tomorrow (Sunday) that the power is going to be shut off from 7am to 4-5pm all over Cajamarca. I was worried about food- but Sean and I made frozen plastic water containers to lay in the food to hopefully help the food tomorrow from spoiling. More details soon on our first power outage.

Final Destination - Cajamarca, Peru 01.20.12

We arrived in Cajamarca this morning at 8am. It was so great to be back and see so many familiar faces. After breakfast, we went to see the house we are renting. The house was such a blessing when we first saw arrived. It was bigger than what we thought it would be from seeing it from pictures that were sent to us prior to arriving. There were so many items we thought we were going to have to purchase but we found out once we walked in that the owner left many items in the house for us to use. Most of the furniture has been provided (except for beds). There are two bedrooms and a large living room. We prayed about a place to have small bible studies and the large living area will be a perfect place for worship and fellowship. There is a well on the property and we have a filter so we will be able to drink from our home and carry filtered water to the bathrooms to brush our teeth. Villa Milagro is letting us borrow 2 sets of bunk beds for the kids - and the kids are very excited about sleeping in the same room. The yard is perfect for the future soccer field and the outside of the house has a patio area where we will hopefully be able to have bible studies to teach them about Jesus and after practice serve the youth fresh fruit. The house does not have heat or air...but with lots of blankets we should be fine.

Thank you God for this blessing - please use our lives everyday that we may glorify you and abide in your will. Keep us humble so we may bring HONOR to your NAME"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:19

The kids were very excited about having two new dogs that came from the house (Luna and Tenoche). They are old dogs but the kids fell in love right from the beginning. After figuring out the few items that were needed for the house, Sean and Celso (a friend from Villa Milagro) set up beds and then soon afterwards Celso took me to the city area to find groceries and house items. This was quiet a journey because there is no one stop Wal-mart. One of the biggest differences I saw was having less choices (which may be a good thing) in the stores compared to what is in the States. Also items are packaged smaller. I realized how spoiled our family has been in America by having the extra large cereal boxes. I can see River and Sailor now in the morning finishing one box in a setting with the smaller boxes here:) Riding through town reminds me of a roller-coaster with cars honking, swerving from lane to lane, and people walking everywhere as if they are care-free about a car coming head on right towards them. My heart was racing the whole time but everyone in the car seemed like this was normal. (Just going to take some getting used to). We are going to clean the house tomorrow and unpack the luggage (very thankful it ALL arrived). We also wanted to thank you all for your prayers for safe arrival to Peru. (By the way, Autumn is so cute...she keeps calling Peru - "Pu" and it makes everyone smile).
Our House (Villa Milagro Minstry Farm is in walking distance right behind our house)

Tenoche (the dog) - the kids are now calling him "Papa"because of his gray bearded face!

The yard where the soccer field will be...the kids are practicing (the boys are leaving Autumn out)!

One More Day in Lima 01.19.2012

The kids for the first time got to see the Pacific Ocean. Lima has very beautiful beaches with lots of cliffs and surfers. We did not see any sandy beaches...just lots and lots of rocks. We had to climb several hundred stairs down and up to see this beautiful scenery (but it was so worth the walk).

Today our bus ride leaving for Cajamarca was fast approaching. At 4pm we boarded a double decker bus to take a 14-15 hour bus ride (climbing from sea level to 8500 feet) to our final destination. We were not sure at first if we would be able to sleep, but once we got on we found that the seats would recline and for the most part the ride was during the night (so the hours past quickly). When we finally arrived the next morning (after MANY curvy roads) we were greeted by our friends from Villa Milagro and we all got in a van and headed to the farm.

Surfers in Lima

First Time For Kids Seeing The Pacific!

Lots of Stairs!

Lake so excited to see this LEGO store!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Experiencing LIMA 01.18.2012

Hello Everyone! It is so good to have access to a computer again. I have been journaling on paper and wanted to update you all...

Lima is a beautiful city. We are staying in a hotel while we are trying to get our religious VISAs. Sounds of car horns fill the air day and night. The kids are amazed at the drivers and challenge to cross the street. Sean and I usually grab two sets of hands and wait to see how the locals cross - slowly we started to figure it out. Autumn keeps asking why everything is in Spanish and we try to explain that this is the main language here (she still looks confused). We are creatures of habit. When it comes to meals the first place we ate was McDonald's (we were told that Cajamarca does not have McDonald's, so we thought we would give the kids an experience that knew from home). Sean and I are looking forward to less processed foods...but I have to admit...seeing a McDonald's makes it feel like home.

We had our first shopping experience! We are living out of our bags while we are here in Lima and unfortunately we only brought heavy winter clothes. The kids are miserable so we wanted to find a tee-shirt for the kids and flip-flops. What an experience...all I tried to focus on (as a bargain shopper) were "sale signs"- Sean just laughed because he knew that I wanted to find bargains but my communication barrier would be a problem. After and hour of searching we finally found shirts and shoes with the help of Sean's Spanish 101. I tried to ask where to pay for the items and the woman acted like she understood and took my whole family to the changing rooms (I have a long way to go:)

We crashed for hours in the afternoon. We all have had no sleep and the kids could hardly stand up after all the traveling.

Dinner was having Domino's in the hotel room as we all piled up on the beds to see a Spanish version of Disney on TV. The kids did not seem to mind as they sipped on their first Coca-Cola in Peru. We were told to stay away from the ice in our drinks. By 9pm we were all fast asleep.

Creatures of Habit...Loving McDonald's in Lima

First Peruvian Coca-Cola...2.5 Liters- the kids were bouncing off the wall in the hotel!

Showing off their new summer gear...no more "winter" clothes!

Dinner in the Hotel in Lima!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Traveling to Peru 01.17.2012

We finally made it to Peru and thought we would share with you some of the exciting things and favorite memories as we begin this new journey of faith and life living in Peru. God was with us each step of the way and in times where we thought there was no hope - God was faithful!

"You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail." - Proverbs 19:21

Highlights of Traveling to Lima

-Set alarm for 5:30am to travel to Raleigh, NC airport (River was the first one up...and was dressed and ready before we made it to the coffee pot). Also not much sleep- finally finished packing and re-packing last few bags at 2:30am the night before.
-Pulled out of the drive-way at 7:30am with 15 in the church van (my dad driving us all) which included all the cousins who stayed out of school to help take us to the airport. The kids called this there "party van" and loved to ask "are we there yet".
-Once we arrived at the airport- we were greeted first by our friends the Karriker's- who came to meet us and help us with the luggage and watching after the kids. (Sharon also made us amazing homemade cupcakes...THANK YOU all so much for all your help!)
-A very nice gentlemen at the curbside who worked for American Airlines helped us with our luggage. He helped way all the bags and we quickly realized the "over weight" issue on 2 of the 15 bags. We thought initnally that we would pay for 2 overweight bags thinking that there was not weight limit on those- but he informed us of the price of the additional luggage (totalling $1100).  Hearing that number made our mouths drop- he said he would see what he could do to help find a solution. He mentioned first class and said that they get 3 free checked bags and a meal served. He first said that he needed to check for availablity (he looked shocked and said that there are exactly 6 seats left). We quickly booked them and the overall fee to upgrade and to cover all luggage (and a free meal for 6) was $540 (a savings of $560). THANK you God for this blessing. He hugged us and told us to always be obidient and to do good work for the Lord. (AMAZING)
Ready to Depart - RDU Airport

-Saying good-bye is never easy...we knew this day was coming- but we had no idea how hard this would be to say good-bye for 11 months for our family and seeing the kids say good-bye to their cousins and grandparents. I just kept praying for strength. As we walked away- I bet we all turned around and waved good-bye 10 more times (I loved seeing them when I turned around knowing that they were still there).
-Security went fairly smoothly. We had or blue "Operation Inasmuch" shirts on and this opened the door for questions about the ministry and our faith in God. One older man told me that his granddaughter did mission work and shared stories of her faith.
-I managed to drop the camera in the security line- I assumed it was fine- but soon realized that I had cracked my display screen and no picture shows. (I could have cried because I had this camera for years) Thankfully a good friend of ours dropped by with a phone/camera the day before our flight and said that a good friend named Nancy donated it to hopefully be able to use in Peru. Josh- please tell Nancy how AWESOME this was to have a back up camera.  This will be our only camera now if the other one cannot be fixed. THANK YOU NANCY for helping us capture this journey!
-Many individuals prior to boarding the flight approached us on our shirts and wanting to know more about the mission- we even met another missionary just through her seeing the blue shirt. It was amazing to see how God worked on hearts to stop and find out more.
-We felt out of place initially and we were not sure how happy the crew was to see all the kids in first class. But they soon warmed up and thankfully the kids had a blast. By the end of the flight - one stewardess even made us a care package filled with warm cookies and nuts for our next flight. (What a blessing!)
-Lake actually ventured out and ate new foods on the plane...afterwards he mentioned that he thought it tasted like "caviar" (too cute...he has no idea what caviar taste like:)
-Autumn crying about not having her pink blanket (I feel AWFUL as a mom...how could I forget this...her tears finally stopped once she saw snacks coming on the plane:(
-Hustle and bustle to next flight...after we got off the flight I realized that I left the broken camera on the plane and Sean had to wait for everyone to exit to go get it. This put us way behnd...I think God is trying to teach me something with this camera.
-We ended up being last in line- but a stewardess came up and told us to ask for LUIS and she told us that she had called him to help us (we are not kidding to say that she was an angel...she had no idea who we were and that we were needing help!)
-Full flight but Luis with help from others found 2 hidden closets that they were able to store the oversized computer and guitar.
-On the flight- things went smooth...I finally closed my eyes for a nap and was woken up by the WORST turbulence ever...I mean I grabbed Sean and my kids beside me and thought the plane was going down...my heart was racing...I mean I am still struggling with this FLIGHT FEAR I have always had...(You can imagine how Sean thought I was crazy.)
-Landing in Lima...going through customs and immigration was an adventure to say the least...2 1/2 hours later we made it through...long lines, all the luggage, and the Heath's all dressed in winter clothes (with no air in the airport and it being summertime....we were so glad to make it to the hotel and met our new friend from Villa Milagro who has helped us tremendously).
-Final note: going to bed around 2:30am...we loved the toilet sign...do not put your toilet paper in the toilet or (W.C)...imagine doing this with 4 kids...new way of life is beginning!
Posted in the Bathrooms:)

Last Minute Details

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6

This verse has really helped Sean and I as we were days away from flying to South America. God has been faithful in so many ways as worked long days and nights preparing for our family to leave the country. Times when our energy was depleted or unknowns to leaving the States were discovered - God always made a way through his word or people to push us another day.

The encouraging emails, calls, visits, stopping in to help our family with the last minute details...we could have not done this alone. Thank you God for never giving up on us or leaving us stranded when there seemed to be no solution. Thank you God for the individuals you put in our path that helped teach us to depend on you - DAILY and in everything we do.

And when we were just hours away from departure after many nights of little sleep...and in the wee hours of the night packing bags one more time to sort through the necessities...we want to thank you all for the encouraging calls, facebook, text, and visits to let us know that you were praying for us. Thank you to our family and friends who dropped everything to help us finish all the "last minute details".

May God Bless You All!

Hearts for Missions

What and adventure this month has been for our family. We are so thankful for friends and family and the love that has been shown to help encourage and support our family as we approach our departure date.

So thankful for our friends at South River Baptist Church and the Upper Room for encouraging the youth to focus on  CHRIST and missions.  For 24 hours - youth in the area came together at the Upper Room to fellowship with other youth and give up all "technology" for 24 hours. It was amazing to see God at work as Terry and Cherilyn Davis & Andrew and Emily Ponder worked many hours to help host this event. Words cannot express our special this all night "worship" was for our family. Thank you to all youth who participated and for all the individual and corporate donations to help support the ministry in Peru. Thank you also to all the staff at the Upper Room, 3 Days Leave Band, Josh Bunton with special music from a friend with an AMAZING talent on the electric guitar and to Brian Burgess with his incredible bible study. Really appreciate EVERYONE!

Thank you Beulah Baptist and all of the "MANCODE" group for the barbecue fundraiser. You guys mean a lot to our family...words cannot express how much Sean will miss meeting with you guys on Monday nights as strengthen your faith and walk with God with other fellow believers. Thank you to all our church family and so many others in the community who helped support this event and share in this DELICIOUS BARBECUE.

Thank you all to all our supporters  and for the send off commissioning service that our church family had for us. This really meant a lot to our family and please know that you all will be missed. We hope and pray that you will continue pray for all the orphans, adults, and youth in the Cajamarca, Peru area for their hearts to be open to hearing the GOOD NEWS. Pray that our family will be "flexible" and open to where God continues to lead us each and every day.

May God Bless You All!