Two of My Little Persons are in Science class with their Professor (a.k.a. My Beloved). My third Little Person is playing with her brother's truck that he gave her to play with this morning while he is in school! So I thought I would spend a few moments with you and a delicious cup of coffee!
You know, recently I talked about being normal (enough with the snickers of laughter, already!). There is something liberating about realizing you are normal. It relieves a whole mountain of pressure to know that you are normal - you are exactly who God created you to be, and that it is okay! Honestly, I think we missionaries struggle the most with feeling "normal." We feel bad because our "normal" is not the "normal" of main-stream Americans. Our kids don't grow up playing football (mine play soccer), going to Walmart or Taco Bell (one of my Little Persons was recently talking about going to Taco Bell!), or getting their driver's license the moment they turn 16! But they have their struggles and triumphs just like every other child - whether they live in America or not. We recently celebrated Martha losing her first tooth! On a recent field trip, we discovered that Ian has a wonderful sense of direction! Phebe tried to join in with us as we did the Pledges this morning before we started school. To be sure, we could hardly keep from laughing as she put her hand on her tummy instead of her heart, but let's give her some credit....she's only one and a half years old!
In honor of being normal, I have been thinking that I would like to share with you what is "normal" for us. To do so, I would like to start with where we live. We live in Iquitos, Peru, South America. Let me tell you about our city....
Almost 10 years ago, I was introduced to and fell in love with the city of Iquitos, though at the time, I had never been there nor had I any idea that one day God would let me live in Iquitos. You see, almost 10 years ago I began praying about a certain young man who was going to be a missionary to the Deaf in Peru. Since I already had assurance from the Lord that this young man would one day be my husband (I'll tell you that story sometime soon, don't worry!), I decided I had better start learning all I could about Peru. I was living in the Philippines at the time. I can still remember sitting at my computer, with a notebook in hand, writing furiously, and trying to learn all I could about the country that would one day be my home. It was during that time that I read about Iquitos. "The world's largest city inaccessible by road...accessible only by boat or plane." How it fired my imagination! I began to wonder about the people. Were there missionaries there? What was their religion? Did they have any Baptist churches there? What would it be like to live in such a place? I began to pray for the city of Iquitos along with that young man.....
Almost 10 years later....here I am, LIVING in Iquitos! Not visiting, not just passing through, but LIVING in the city of my prayers and dreams! Wow! Now let's be honest. Would I call Iquitos the most beautiful city on the planet? No. But to me it is beautiful, because this is where God has put me. He has given me one (of the many) of the desires of my heart - to live in Iquitos, and try to reach the people for Him! I find myself riding down the road with a goofy grin on my face when I think about the fact that I get to live here - a place most people only dream of visiting!
Iquitos sits on the convergence of three rivers: the Itaya, the Nanay, and the Amazon. We have military bases for all three branches of the Peruvian military: the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. Iquitos sits right in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. I read recently that Iquitos is the northernmost city in Peru. It is hot all year long - oh, how I love that little detail (I hate being cold!)! We have people from all over the world either living or visiting here! There is even a Jewish community here! We have all sorts of interesting things to see and do - like the Manatee Rescue Center, La Isla de los Monos (Monkey Island), the Iron House - just to name a few!
Since this is almost a ridiculously long post, next time I'll tell you some things that I have learned about the Amazon River!