I know I haven’t posted in a long time but I thought it prudent I blog one last time. It is my last full day in Arequipa, tomorrow we will all be boarding the planes and heading for Lima. I literally can not believe how fast the time has gone. When I look back at this experience I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this time and by the faithfulness of God.
I have had the opportunity to do a lot of really cool things this semester. I have learned spanish, I have gone to floating islands, I have seen ancient ruins, I have hiked canyons and volcanoes, I have learned salsa, I have swum in the ocean, I have tried new food, I have become a great negotiator, I have made new friendships and kept old ones, I have cried and I have laughed, I have been uncomfortable and also had abundant peace, and most of all I have grown. Through all of these amazing things, and through the times when things did not seem as amazing, God was there. God has shown me more this semester than ever, or perhaps simply my eyes were opened to it, but that he not only listens and answers prayer, but he truly does have plans to prosper and not to harm me.
There were times when I thought I might be in the wrong place, that I might be doing something wrong, I should do something different, that I was alone, but in every case God was there, he showed up and showed me that there is a purpose to everything: every event, every action and every interaction. I am able to leave this semester with the peace and knowledge that I had the experience God intended for me to have, and that is such a wonderful gift.
As this semester draws to a close I am left with such a mix of emotions. I could not be more excited to see my family and friends in the states; to share with them all I have learned and to hear and see what they have learned and how they have grown as well. But I am also left with sense of grief at leaving this place, the friends and my family here. This place that was once so strange has now been my home for months, these people my friends and family and who knows if we will ever see each other again. How do you say goodbye knowing that you probably will never see them again?
I guess I will see tomorrow. But one thing I know, this experience has forever impacted my life, and I will never forget the memories, sites, or people that shaped my past four months.
Thanks be to God