WRITE: Update from Peru, Final (for now)–EXCESS
|Looking out from Casa de Paz
Excess. That describes what I brought to Peru. Knowing my visit would last two weeks and might not include access to laundry facilities, I packed plenty of clean clothes, jewelry, and three pairs of shoes. I had church clothes and casual clothes, two jackets, and, well—excess.
Excess. I didn’t think of the beautiful purse I carried, a gift from one of my daughters, as excess until I arrived in Trujillo. The missionary friend who met me has worked in Peru for more than a decade. The bag she carried matched mine in size, but its worn, faded fabric made me question its usefulness. Her battered van, emblazoned with Scripture verses and her ministry’s name and logo, made my aging Honda Odyssey seem like a luxury vehicle. And the laundry she washes out in her tiny bathroom made me wonder why I didn’t stick to a few pairs of jeans and four or five T-shirts.
Excess. Two weeks ago today, God spoke to my spirit at 4:30 in the morning as I landed in Lima. With the plane’s lights down and the skies still dark, most of my fellow passengers dozed. Not me. I all but bounced in my seat as I celebrated the God who was, by bringing me to Peru, fulfilling the desire of my heart. One of my first published projects has a strong connection to Peru. Three of my children as well as my husband have served on mission trips there. Now, I could experience Peru myself. “This is my excess,” God said, “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, KJV).
Excess. I see such a deep overflow in the life of my new friend, Avis Goodhart. The overflow of God’s Spirit through hers has birthed one ministry, three institutions, and countless stories of lives changed and hope renewed. Through years of choice and challenge, trial and triumph, God has brought her (as another new friend puts it), “Treasures in the Dust.”
One day, Avis and I hope to share those treasures in book form. For now, my job is to wave a tearful goodbye to Peru, return to the loving arms of my family, and get to work sorting and shaping the story of an ordinary life that accomplishes the extraordinary.
Life, and life more abundantly (John 10:10). That’s the best kind of excess.