Sad Goodbyes and Happy Hellos

The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions for us. We’ve experienced the sadness of leaving our beloved Peru, yet the excitement of being reunited with our families. We left Peru at the end of March, and since have spent a week at home and are currently living at BMS’s International Mission Centre in preparation for tour.

Three weeks before we left, the summer holidays at Bethel Christian School came to an end, so we spent our remaining time being teaching assistants in the kindergarten and first grade class. We found it very tiring, but loved spending time in their classes, as they were all so cute!

Our last day at school was very emotional, as we had to say goodbye to all the kids we’d been teaching since October. An assembly was organised for us, where many tears were shed, but it was the perfect opportunity to say goodbye to each one of the kids and celebrate what we had achieved during our time there. The school has such a sense of joy about it, which we will all miss.
We also had our last Spanish class, after which we received certificates! We struggled a lot with Spanish during our first few months in Peru, so it was a moment of pride looking back on all we had learnt. We also said a very emotional goodbye to our wonderful Spanish teacher Raquel and her family, who were a large part of our time in Peru, as they were so welcoming and encouraging.
On our last Saturday, we said goodbye to the kids at the Pilares kids group we helped at on Saturdays. Because it was our last week, we were asked if we could run the whole session. It seemed to be a success and we celebrated afterwards in true Peruvian style – with lots of food! We also attended our last youth group meeting, which ended in true Team Peru style – embarrassing ourselves with our lack of volleyball skills!
Sunday was our last service at Bethel Church, which was definitely one of the hardest goodbyes and a lot of tears were shed, as we feel we are now part of their family. They organised an amazing lunch for us after church and some of the youth girls even wrote a song for us! We feel so blessed to have been part of such a welcoming and loving church during our six months overseas.
One of the girls from youth also made us a video of our time here, which had us in floods of tears! We’d love it if you could take a look:
Our last goodbyes were at the airport to our wonderful supervisors and host family. We are so thankful for all that they have done for us, even before we came to Peru. Our supervisors, Daniel and Regiane, organised all the work we did and have been a massive support during our time in Peru. We cannot express how grateful we are to David and Marilyn and their family, who not only welcomed us into their home, but truly made us feel part of their family.
After spending just over a week at home, we returned to the BMS International Mission Centre in Birmingham. Since being here, we have been reunited with the other teams, have started to plan for tour, and visited Catshill Baptist Church, our training church, over the weekend. It was a busy weekend involving chatting to members of the church, helping at a coffee morning, doing the Sunday sermon, going bowling (don’t ask Bethan about the result!), as well as a radio interview with the minister this Wednesday. We are so grateful to everyone at Catshill for all the support they have given us since September and it was a pleasure to spend time in their community.
  • Thank God that we returned home from Peru safely
  • For our projects in Peru, in particular Bethel School and the Pilares kids group
  • For energy, as we begin our eight week church tour on Monday
6 replies
  1. Dor Plummer says:

    Love this latest blog and all the great photos – especially this last one of Team Peru. Giving thanks you’re all back and praying for continuing safety and blessing as you head off on tour. Really looking forward to your visit to us!!

  2. Elaine McKibben says:

    Wow! What a positive and encouraging and HAPPY blog. There is so much bad news about what is going on in our world so it is so refreshing to hear all God has been doing with Team Peru and the lovely Christian family who have welcomed you in. Life changing experiences indeed. God bless you as you spread His love on tour! See you in May! Ex

  3. Pete H says:

    Great blog post as always. Looking forward to hearing all the news from the next part of your adventure. Particularly like Bethan’s sweatshirt in one of the photos – looks familiar!

  4. JO JONES says:

    Fabulous! I’m sure we are still yet to hear things that you have forgotten. I can see & hear such a change in you Marika, what an incredible experience and still yet more to come in the UK.
    I pray that you will all keep Peru and it’s culture in your hearts forever and share that wonderful kind and generous hospitality with us all.
    Looking forward to welcoming you to Dawlish/Teignmouth.

    • Marika says:

      There is so much more to share! I don’t think we’ll ever be finished. Impossible to let Peru go from our hearts, just hope you could experience it too one day! See you soon – well, soon compared to 6 months! X

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