On the Road Again! - Daniel & Heather DeLand
Have you ever had that awkward “Dorothy” moment where you realized you weren’t in Kansas anymore?
Well, since being back in the States for over a month now I have had many. Like the first time I went to pay with my debit card (which I don’t do in Perú). In order to not look totally ignorant, I closely stalked the customer in front of me to watch their every debit card move while paying. The girl boldly stuck her debit card into the money eating machine and it looked simple enough. So with a faked look of confidence, I too stuck my debit card into the machine only to hear the clerk say, “Sir, you don’t have a chip in your card, swipe it please.” “Chip?” I thought, “What is a chip?” So I swiped it to hear the clerk once again chime in with “Sir, swipe it the other way!” That’s when I knew it was going to be a long day!
Yes, being back in the States is great, but it is also extremely uncomfortable at first. Little things like pumping gas (which we do not do in Perú) can be pretty intimidating with so many options (pay inside, outside with debit, outside with credit, do you want a receipt, a carwash, a coke and bag of Lays) and seeing 20 kinds of Oreos in the supermarket is downright overwhelming. Do we really need a birthday cake Oreo? We are enjoying our stay here, and it has been wonderful to spend time with family and catch up with friends.
Let me explain why we are back in the States for a few months.
Since 2003, Heather and I have had the privilege of being a part of La Molina Christian Schools in Lima, Perú. Over the years we have seen God’s transforming grace save and change many students and even whole families. Working at LMCS for over a decade even allowed us the opportunity to see some of these families mature in their faith in Christ and become active members in their church body. Many of the school’s graduates who we invested in are serving the Lord faithfully and we are humbled to have played a small part in all that God is doing in and through them. Although we are thankful for all that we learned while serving at LMCS and deeply love the ministry there, God has led us to change our ministry focus.
Through the years, as we have kept up with the school graduates, we have sensed a great need for ministering to the university students in Lima. God increased this burden as we have seen several university students flounder in life as they drudge down an apathetic road of self-indulgence without hope and without purpose. God has given us the desire to work with university students and young professionals through evangelism, discipleship, leadership training, small group Bible studies, community outreaches, and mission trips.
The fantastic thing is that we already have connections in all of the major universities due to our former LMCS graduates. One of our main goals would be to train and equip a core group of young people who could begin to lead these Bible studies on their own campus and get other university students connected into a local body of believers.
We came back to the States because we are searching for prayer and financial partners who would join with us in order to see a generation of godly university students rise up to impact locally and globally. Although we have never had full support all these years, LMCS supplemented much of our income by providing a place to live and plane tickets to and from the States, among other things. Since we are no longer serving with the school, our financial support is at 40%. Our return tickets to Lima are for October 15th and we are hitting the road to find people who would be willing to partner with us. We would ask you to prayerfully consider becoming a financial or prayer partner.
My Grandpa used to always sing, “Just can’t wait to get on the road again.” Although that is not our theme song, for the next month, we will be traveling through New York, Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa. If you would be interested in learning more about our new ministry and would like us to visit your home (if possible) please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to the faithful ones who have supported us all these years! We greatly appreciate it and look forward to more financial and prayer partners as we head back to Lima in October.
Daniel, Heather, Esther, and Joseph DeLand