2 Years in Peru: Family Interview
The beginning of September marked two years since we moved to Peru. Two years ago, right before our move, we spent a very special week with Mark’s Uncle Larry and Aunt Mary Kay in Florida. Our beloved Uncle Larry recently passed on. Aunt Mary Kay (pictured with us) remains and continues to encourage us, as do countless family members and dear friends. Things change even as short periods of time pass by, yet our hope abounds, because our Lord is faithful. We moved to Peru because of this hope. We trust that this family interview will serve as a testimony and an encouragement to you…
What are some changes that are now normal about your life in Peru?
Caleb: It is now normal for me to be bitten by mosquitos.
Jacob: Waking up at 6:00 every day. Going to OANSA (AWANA) every week. Feeding our dog, Shadow.
Rachel: It is fun. It is listening. You are listening to the birds, the animals, and the crickets. I like the creation of God in the jungle.
Kristin: Not doing any business in town from 12:30-3 pm. Covering all of our food. Going to bed early & getting up early (12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness year-round).
Mark: The long and bumpy drive into town. The heat. Building extra time into our plans. Being aware and alert…constantly.
What have you learned about following God?
Caleb: I have learned that it is not easy to follow God.
Jacob: I learned that I should help the mission. I also learned you don’t love God just to get to heaven.
Rachel: I learned that I can do the right thing.
Kristin: I have learned that I can’t do anything – I need to ask God to help me do everything. I also have learned that he always blesses us more than we can imagine.
Mark: “Downward mobility” is a sanctifying journey into the depths of being and doing that only God’s grace can reach, for the sake of others and to glorify His name. His presence sustains our nearness to our neighbors in the way of blessing that Jesus proclaimed in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), and the commission that both Isaiah and Jesus received (Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:18-19).
How have you and your family changed and stayed the same?
Caleb: We have become more involved in our church in the second year than the first year. We still watch Penn State games [and the Olympics – guess what sport they are watching from the photo!].
Jacob: Our family has changed by helping “Kids Alive.” Our family hasn’t changed by having pizza night every Sunday.
Rachel: We stayed the same because God has helped us. We changed by learning.
Kristin: We’ve always liked to travel and visit different places, so it’s fun when we get to go to Lima or somewhere else. But we mainly stay home more now and watch a few favorite shows or movies together for fun. Now we have to go everywhere together – no kidsitters here, so any errand is a group effort!
Mark: The pressure has continued to shape our family’s “being.” Our “doing” surprises us and reflects God’s favor. The rewards of relationship continue, both as a family with others on the ground here in Peru, and among those who have sent us. One daily change seems to include a greater tolerance for ambiguity.
I am grateful that…please pray that…
Caleb: I am grateful that God is helping us not miss people that much, but we still miss people. Please pray that we learn Spanish better.
Jacob: I am grateful that we could live in the Perú; and pray for the Children’s Home.
Rachel: I am grateful that we can have lots of fun and play in the jungle. Please pray that we can stay safe and learn more Spanish.
Kristin: I am grateful that we have so many people cheering us on and caring about us, and that we have made so many good friends in Peru now, too. Please pray that our understanding of language and culture continues.
Mark: I am grateful for the ways our children are thriving alongside of our life and responsibilities here. Please pray that God’s favor remains on us for the sake of His kingdom.
A fun story about your life in Peru:
Caleb: In TEC [the Mission TEC Care Center’s campus where we live] there is a trail that goes to the back of TEC. One time with Jacob and our friends, we went under a barbed wire fence on the TEC trail, and we went deeper into the jungle. We saw parrots and spiders, etc. Then we got to really tall grass, and we came out on a road that was the main road. The next day our one friend was not with us, so we followed the road after the trail and found his house!
Jacob: One time Caleb and I and our friends went on a trail not a lot of people have seen before. And the trail led to a village!
Rachel: While I play on the playground, I play with my Peru friends a lot. One day I was playing with my friend. It was very fun. We played hide-and-go-seek, and we played tag. We ate mangos while we were watching the soccer game. Playing with friends is a good thing to do for God and friends. The end.
Kristin: One time we had to get something notarized, so we went to the notary, signed the document, went to the bank to pay the fee, and then returned with proof of payment. After waiting awhile, an employee escorted us to another office a few blocks away, which was closed, and a school-aged child was inside apparently home from school and playing on a computer. The employee printed something from the computer and then we signed an entry in the record book. After that she explained that we had to go to yet another office a few kilometers away to complete our transaction, and by the way, could we deliver an envelope full of other people’s documents while we’re there?
Mark: When I am teaching, I typically do not have problems being heard, especially when in smaller groups. In the past month, jungle downpours on metal roofs have made it hard to be heard, even just a few feet away from people, both at church teaching Adult Sunday School and at SAM Academy teaching high school bible class!
Jacob will play “Charlie Brown” and Rachel “Marcie” in the SAM Academy Elementary Christmas Play, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
After two years, may we express our deepest gratitude for your very real presence with us through prayers, love, and support. Our joy is stewarding our partnership for bearing much fruit to the glory of our Father (John 15:8)!
Let there be glory and honor and praises!
Mark, Kristin, Caleb, Jacob, and Rachel Coté
Missionaries of Discipleship and Development based in Pucallpa, Peru
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