I (Amber) have always loved to travel and see new places. This past few months, I have be particularly blessed in being able to do just that. For those who don’t know, I’m pregnant. Due to the limited medical facilities in PNG, our mission requires that we leave PNG for the birth of the baby for both my safety as well as the safety of the child. In a strange twist of events, we ended up going through Australia, planning for the States, then ending up in Peru to have the baby.
It’s been a fun whirlwind of crazy answers to prayer that brought us here. It’s been an adventure traveling and seeing different people. While each culture was familiar to me, I’ve found myself hit with a bit of culture shock in each place. Each place is a little different with different norms and I found myself pausing to remember just how things are supposed to be done. John and I find ourselves many times discussing how we can “live in Rome as the Romans do.” I love holding his hand again (which isn’t culturally normal in PNG) as we walk around town, but found myself spending an embarrassingly long time at the grocery store trying to decide what to buy. Here, the market overwhelms me and I walk behind my sister as she expertly weaves in an out of stalls buying “dos soles” of this or “un kilo” of that. Our wet rubbish goes to the chickens instead of the pigs. I don’t know if John will get used to getting kissed on the cheek by strangers.
One thing we’ve been able to do in each place, though, is worship with other believers. It’s amazing when I think about the fact that in a few short months, we’ve been able to attend services with our missionary co-workers, in a national church in Port Moresby, our home church in the States, and a few churches here in Peru.
The service in each place was so different. In some, we made sure we showed up early so be sitting down ready to go when everything started. In others, the start time was more of a suggestion give or take 30 minutes. In some, I wore my best clothes (well, the ones I can currently fit into), whereas it was flip flops and a t-shirt in others. In some we blended in whereas the others we could be spotted from a mile away.
In each place, though, we were meeting with our brothers and sisters. In each place, it was a group of sinners saved by grace, worshipping the same God. Now, many thing separate us, but one day we will all bow together as one church, with one faith, one baptism with God being the Father of all.