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Hey y'all!

Welcome to SwansonPonATime! We are a young missionary couple in Peru, and this is our space to share our journey with you! ...Enjoy! 

Defining Comfort

Defining Comfort

Hey y’all! I know it’s been a while since I have written a blog and I know many of you have been wondering how I am doing.

When we decided to create this blog, God put it on my heart to write about the good bad and ugliness of our journey as missionaries. I am now finding that writing about the bad and ugly is quite a challenge.

Transitioning here to Peru has been…difficult to say the least and I had to realize that I needed to take some time to get adjusted before I shared how I was doing with everyone. But I am ready now to let y’all in on how the last 4 months in Peru has gone.

The first month in Peru we lived in a guesthouse in Cusco while in language school. After the newness and vacation period wore off, culture shock hit… HARD! Everything was different, we walked everywhere and its always cold in Cusco. We couldn’t (still can’t) flush our toilet paper down the toilet, and hardly anyone speaks English!! The feeling of isolation and doubt crept over me: I became very afraid that I may not be able to do this for the rest of my life and I wondered if this missionary dream had been mine or my husbands? I missed home, I missed the ministry I did back in the states, shoot I missed driving in Houston traffic, lol. And to top it all off I felt so far away from God, which really upset me because I thought coming here I’d be closer than ever to Him, and now here I am in another country feeling so lost and alone.

After a month of language school, we move to Curahuasi, which is the town we will be living at for the remainder of our time here. I felt a bit more at home in this town, partially because it’s more permanent, partially because there are more Americans (so I could actually communicate with people), and partially because it’s warm lol.

In Curahuasi, I continued learning Spanish with a teacher at the local school and also made friends with the American women in town. We made a Wednesday morning get together, where we talk about what’s going on in our lives and share bible verses that are on our hearts.

As months went by, my Spanish improved enough to take a moto taxi, get by at the market, and ask “tiene carne en el almuerzo?” lol. But it’s still not enough for me to do what I would love here, which is to disciple high school and young adult Peruvian women. 

I often struggle with the fact that I am in a developing country full of ministry opportunities, but mostly hanging with English speaking women. I struggle with feeling like I am not doing enough.

On one hand, I realize that the American ladies I am doing life with did not have a community that met and spoke English before and because of my free schedule I am able to create that for them. In a way, I am serving those who are serving the Peruvians. But then on the other hand sometimes I feel like what am I doing? If I wanted to hang out with Americans all day I could’ve stayed in Houston where at least I was doing what I really had a passion for.

I’d spend many nights in bed, Julian snoring away, asking God what did I even do today? What is my purpose here? Am I settling? Am I not doing enough? Why aren’t You speaking to me like You used to? And why is this so hard and uncomfortable? Where are You?  

I felt like I needed to really try to dive into Jesus and see if that would change my restlessness. I love my bible You Version app and how they have different bible plans and also how you can also follow friends and see what they’re reading. A friend of mine was doing a plan called “When God Doesn’t Make Sense” and this really hit me. In this plan it talks about the definition of comfort, how the word comes from two Latin word parts, com-, which basically means “together with,” and fortis, which means “strong or strength.”

When we hear the word comfort or comforter today, we think of a pain-barrier but that’s not the original meaning of the word.

When God says He will comfort us, it doesn’t mean He will take away our pain or doesn’t always make life easier for us, or even distract us with a big bowl of ice cream. But it is His promise that He will be with us, and give us HIS STRENGTH to endure.

And since reading that, this is what I am holding onto!

To be honest with you guys, I wish I could say I have it all figured out now in Peru. But I don’t. What I do know is that God is with me, He is comforting me, and will sustain me through it all. I know I am here for 2 years, and will continue to press on learning Spanish, getting involved as best as I can, and trusting that God has not brought me here for nothing.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated at this time, I also hope that you all are encouraged, that this life it’s not about having it all figured out, and that walking with God doesn’t always mean we are walking this smiley perfect path. But it’s rocky and tough and not the prettiest. But He does promise to be with us and to be our strength through it all. And I’ll take that. Will you?

“May Your unfailing love be my comfort according to Your promise to your servant” –Psalm 119-76

Much Love, 

Devyn

 

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