We'd hit the ground running and hadn't really stopped since arriving in Peru.

Friday morning our team took the morning to recuperate while Pastor Adam and his team headed out to speak at a church.

The hotel owner was gracious enough to offer Christina and I a freshly picked starfruit from the tree. It was my first time eating one and I was super delighted as I had been craving some Peruvian fruit the whole time I was there! It was tart and tangy, and ever so juicy.

Chilling by the pool sounded so appealing, especially listening to every one chat and have a great time. But so much had transpired in the days that had passed and I was afraid I would forget all the things on my heart, so I isolated myself from the group to look for a quiet place to reflect and journal. I started off on the walkway of our hotel, next to Christina, whom I envied in her mosquito net hammock! But the bugs were a bit of an issue. I moved towards her other side in an open area, but the trees above left me with images of spiders and creepy crawling things dropping in to visit me ... I felt like Goldie Locks moving around trying to find a spot that was "just right." But third time was a charm, I made my home in the center of the soccer field on the back of the property.
Aside from the peace and quiet I had to reflect (with the exception of all sorts of beautiful bird calls), the center circle of the field blessed me as it brought to mind a quote Priscilla Shirer shared in her Gideon study of an evangelist who would stand on the outskirts of a place he was about to enter and draw a circle around himself with chalk. And he would stretch out his hands towards the city and pray "Lord, bring revival to this city, but let the revival start in this circle, let it start with me." That was the cry of my own heart. I wanted to be transformed and never the same, to go DEEPER.

After every one had time to rest, we gathered together as a team to discuss the events of the night prior and make peace. Just as we were wrapping up Pastor Adam returned with news of our free day excursion the next day, and also with lunch.

My one regret from the whole trip is that I stayed behind from the prison ministry. Our team was unsure if they would be visiting a men's or women's prison; some had seen documentaries on what third-world prisons were like, and we were unsure what the spiritual culture would be like. I respected Christina's opinion that it may be best for me to stay behind. There was the perfectionist in me that wanted to complete every task before me, the selfish part of me that wanted every experience, and the fearful side of me that knows I am naive and sensitive.

While those that were going to the prison rushed to eat lunch, the rest of us staying behind scrambled to put together hygiene gift bags for the inmates since we hadn't done that earlier in the morning.

I had to fight off tears when the team returned from ministry at the women's prison and I heard how lovely the time with the ladies was. Some of the team shared testimonies, some for the first time let their guards down and shared in detail the parts they'd previously kept to themselves. The women were in tears, and Christina busted out to have a dance party with them. I can't lie, I was feeling sorry for myself for missing out on such an incredible opportunity, especially when I came to learn that our devotion for the day was titled "No Fear! Facing Our Fears With Courage!" Which I clearly hadn't done. 
On a positive note, having the day to rest did allow me to journal and spend time with the Lord even if it came at the cost of isolating myself.


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