By Gwen Brown
“Every family has a story. Welcome to ours.”
This simple and authenticated sign greets me every time I enter my friends’ home in Lima, Peru. It couldn’t be more beautiful or more true. Every person who is part of this family adds to the history and its richness. And everyone is welcome!
Jason and Becca moved to Lima over a year ago when our service work expanded from Cusco to Peru’s capital. They have since opened their home to our friends from Cusco, 10 Venezuelan refugees, and my huge-hearted gringo friends who come to serve!
Coming here feels like coming home. Thanks to the sentiment behind the sign, it feels that way to every. single. one who walks through the door. Every story is a miracle and every story somehow flows into the next as this tapestry of love is knitted together through hard circumstances and healing conversations. One of those miracles is a young single mom who walked 11 days to safety. Soon after arriving in Lima, Katherine delivered a premature, BEAUTIFUL miracle baby after fleeing an abusive relationship as well as the threats surrounding her in her country.
My plan was to spend a week or 10 days supporting the daily efforts by digging in with life coaching and just to help these ones who have been through so much to get a shot at a new and better life. Love has come to these people and because of it, they are loving one another in incredible ways. They help one another and live together like family. There is no caste system, no judgment, no divide—just looking after one another’s things and children as if they were their own. What happens in this house is truly a miracle! The love here is changing them and impacts me daily.
My kids at home think about the kids here. They make gifts for them and pray for them as they go to bed. These family’s stories have become interwoven with my family’s story which is why my 10-day trip has now become 3 weeks. Even though I’d like to be home with my kids as the holidays approach, I haven’t been able to leave. Honestly, I have had thoughts come about what I’m missing out on–like setting up our first Christmas tree as a family of 6 and enjoying some of the cozy “comforts” this time of year brings in our world.
But none of those things are as lasting as what’s happening here. These ones have lost so much, but their eyes are full of hope and promise instead of counting loss or looking back. They are why I’m spending my birthday south of the equator. And I couldn’t be happier about it.
I’d like to invite you to be a part of the story, too. It’s a good one and your life will be richer and fuller for it.
Join the story today by becoming a monthly donor. Also, check out Something New’s upcoming trips and plan a visit!