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I am currently sitting on a porch in Lima, Peru, listening to sirens and honking horns outside, and my husband and his sister sing along to old school rap inside. We came down to Peru about a week ago, on New Year’s Eve, to not only meet our new nephew Simon for the first time, but also to get some family time in before we move to Nica. My sister-in-law and her family live here, as missionaries, and though they will be back to Oregon in July to visit, we will have basically just moved to Nicaragua, making meeting up impossible. So once we learned of Landon’s termination of employment at Harvest House being final on December 30th, I looked at flights, and through some generous frequent flier mile donations, we were able to make this trip happen. To be honest, ever since we paid off the little we owed on MRI school we had been saving to come visit, and the timing just worked out perfectly for us to be here now. It was a welcomed blessing that we are attempting to soak up as well as possible.
What I have found interesting is how much we care about the people we love here and how little we care about the place. Sure, Peru is a BEAUTIFUL country with amazing places to see and food to eat, but at the end of the day, it is just a place. It is just an experience. What has made this trip so special has not been the ancient ruins we explored or the beautiful vineyards we hiked through, but instead the loved ones we experienced those things with. What has made this trip incredible has been snuggling our five month old nephew and having him recognize us when we walk back into the room. It has been hearing from the living room “Aunt Jamie, do you want to play with me?”, as Elliott holds up his newest (and pretty darn cool) Lego creation. It has been tickling Ezra or getting a hug from him first thing in the morning. It has also been good, meaningful conversation with two of the people we respect and admire the most in our lives, and sharing with them about all the big and little things we are experiencing in our preparation to move. For me, also, it has been watching my husband be around his sister. The two of them grew up overseas together, and for much of their lives were each other’s best friend and biggest support system. They have a bond that is incredible to witness and something I hope for if Landon and I ever decide to have kids.
I’m reminded of a word Mr. Buzbee gave me when we were praying at Ms. Margarita’s house back in August. He was praying and told me to no longer call myself poor. That we are rich and I should no longer say that we are not. In the moment I felt like that was about finances. About raising support and the Lord providing for the things He has called us to. And it was. But I have realized that it was, and still is, also about the people we have in our lives. The close-knit family on both sides, the incredible friends who are like family, and the deep community we are honored to be a part of. These relationships and bonds make us rich. Make us more wealthy in the deep things than we could ever be with worldly treasures. Finances enable us to do the work set before us, but these relationships are what we treasure.