Friday, September 6, 2013

A Trifecta of Blessings

Three seems to be a significant number in my life right now. Tomorrow marks my three-year anniversary of living in Peru. I can't believe how fast those three years have gone!

During my time in Peru I've lived in three different places: a "casa de campo" in Lunahuana, an apartment in Miraflores, and an apartment in San Borja. I've seen three teammates come and go (and other teammates come that haven't gone). I've been back to the States three times. And now, I'm working on adding a third person to our little DiLiberto family. (He or she is due January 24, 2014.)

When I moved here, I never would have imagined the ways God would bless me in this season of my life. Some of those blessings happened in big and obvious ways, like finding a husband and becoming a mommy-to-be; but many of the ways God has blessed me are in smaller, subtler, and yet very significant ways. Through the eyes of a different culture and way of life, God has humbled me and given me a broader perspective. Through a language barrier, He's created in me a deep compassion and empathy for those who are forced to leave their country and learn a new culture and language. Through other missionaries, he's taught me about service, humility, and love.

There are so many other ways God is always working on me and being gracious toward me each and every day, no matter what season of life I'm in; but today I praise Him especially for all that has happened in the last three years in Peru. And isn't it so fitting that the author and provider of this trifecta of blessings is the Triune God himself; the everlasting Three in One, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. "Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" (Revelation 7:12)

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Catching Up

It has been WAY too long since I last posted, but as many of you know, it has been a busy past few months.  Here is what happened in a nutshell:

1) Things at the mission started getting really busy, and two of our missionaries left the field (one permanently and the other for a few months).
2) I got engaged to Anthony, a fellow missionary.
3) I went home for 3.5 weeks.
4) My brother got married in Kansas.
5) My fiance's sister got married in Arizona.
6) Anthony and I got married.
7) We had a two-week honeymoon in Colombia and Peru.

We are back at the mission now and excited about new and existing ministries.  I will be posting pictures from the last few months.  Thank you for your continued prayers.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's...
Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!"
Psalm 103:1-5, 22

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chitachay (Beloved Lamb)

I had the privilege of working with James Neuendorf, missionary in the Dominican Republic, while he filmed the movie Chitachay here in Peru.  James had visited this mission field several times in the past three years, and as a result of his visits, he came up with an idea for a movie based on the Bible story of Abraham and Isaac in Incan times.  He wrote the script and planned everything almost all by himself, and then came to Peru to film it.

The Incas practiced human sacrifice to appease their gods, and they frequently sacrificed children who were "pure" and "noble."  Some children grew up (until age 12 or 13) knowing that they would be a sacrifice.  A well-preserved mummy of one of these children was found in the 1990's, and they named her Juanita the Ice Princess.  She was so well preserved because she was frozen from the cold of the mountains in Arequipa.  James heard this story and decided to combine it with the story of God commanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.

James chose to film the movie in the Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru, because that's the area where Juanita was found and many of the child sacrifices took place. We were in Arequipa from January 26 until February 19.  I was there for the first and last weeks, and Anthony and Rosita were there at overlapping times to assist James.

On a research trip in October, James found a traditional-looking Incan house and a cave to use for filming.  If you look at the pictures I posted, you'll see us fixing up both places for the movie.  These two places are located about 45 minutes outside of the city of Arequipa, so we did a lot of traveling while we filmed.  Also, we filmed during the rainy season, so we often had to leave between 2-5 in the morning to film while it wasn't raining.

It was a wonderful experience for everyone despite the early mornings and the leaking hostel rooms when it rained.  I can't wait to see the final product!  James is currently editing it, and we'd like to show the premier in Lima the end of April.  We hope and pray that this will be an amazing witnessing tool first in Lima and then throughout all of Peru.  Anthony will be developing three Bible studies that go along with the movie, so we'd like to do repeated showings of the movie and the Bible studies in May, June, and July.  Please keep this whole project in your prayers!

Praise God for sending His only Son to be sacrificed so that no other human sacrifice is ever required!  "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." 1 Peter 1:18-19

January - February

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Ultimate Shock

Culture shock is an ever-present reality in my life.  One of the biggest things you have to get used to in another culture and language is feeling humbled.  Many of the things I grew up learning how to do are done completely differently in another culture.  First and foremost, there's the simple task of speaking (in another language).  Then there are things like eating schedules, different ways to clean a house, different ways to prepare meals, communicating in a less direct kind of way, learning to wait a little longer than you're used to, and the list goes on and on.  You start to feel a little incompetent at best and like a helpless child at worst.  

Yesterday I heard the verse Philippians 2:8 read at church: "And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."  This verse and the rest of Philippians 2 made me reflect on the culture shock Jesus had to deal with.  I can't even imagine.  At least when you move from one country to another, you're still living in a broken sinful world, and people generally act the same since we all have the same human nature.  But imagine living in the beauty of heaven in perfect harmony with everyone and having all divine powers and then coming to earth, being born in a stable, dealing with humans on a daily basis, and then being put to death by the very people you came to save!  Now THAT would be a real shock!

Praise Jesus that he loves us so much that he was willing to do it.  Praise him that "he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped" (Phil. 2:6).  Praise God that Jesus has been exalted so that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:9-10).

As Advent approaches, let us be mindful of how Jesus humbled himself and joined our sinful culture so he could save us.  Let us remember that "we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses" (Hebrews 4:15) -- even culture shock.

"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you my be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:17-19