As we were sitting in our Bible study- of all the American volunteers- on Monday night that questions arose while looking in 1 Peter. AS Christians we are called to be set apart. People of the world should see us and know that we have something that they don't and that it is worth having. It should be evident in our daily lives that we love and follow Christ from our every day tasks to our jobs to our families and in our ministries. So as this question was stated I wrote it down in my Bible and began to really think about what sets me apart in Peru. Sure I am different from the Peruanos because I am an Americana, and I am different from the surfers as far as my purpose here ( and they are about the only other white people to be accounted for), but is it evident to them and fellow believers that I am here serving Christ as He has called me?
Certain store owners now know me because I am only tall American women who frequents their businesses, and others like the couple who own the ice cream shop know me because we generally come with a large group of kids in tow. When people in own see me with a small group of kids they ask if they are my kids, or nieces and nephews, or my cousins; I tell them they are my friends Many pople ask me what I am doing in Peru and how long I will be here. ONe man in a bus station even thanked me for being here and helping his country and their children, after I responded to his question. Many of you have even told me how proud you are of me as you chose to support me and help send me on my way. (May thanks for the support and love and blessings always!)
But what sets me apart? There are many people who join the Peace Corps and do the same thing I am, and people who as humanitarians give their lives and dedicate their finances to work with orphans around the world, and impoverished communities. But I am called to be set apart. I am not here as a humanitarian, I am here as a Child of God, a follower of Christ, a missionary. People should notice my good works and wonder why I am doing this. If they ever ask I will let them know I am here because God called me here and I am doing my best to obey and follow in the footsteps of Christ.
I want to be a light in this city, in the lives of these children. I want to be Christ to these people. That is my goal, I want them to see Christ in me through my everyday actions and through my love. I want these kids to know that this is the love of Christ flowing through me, and that they can also have this love in their lives. I want my love, Christ's love to set me apart. Because His love has so much more to offer than my own and His love is what save us.
One thing I really want to do to teach these kids about this love, is to translate my Bible studies that I have done with campers past. Especially for the older girls. It is so important for young impressionable girls to see how God loves us, and how precious we are to Him, before the world tells them differently. I want them to learn how to be in love with our Savior.
I want to be set apart, and I want the world to know it. I want Pacasmayo to see that I am different, and I have something they ay not have. And I want all of you to know that I am different, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is by the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew and then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed- a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written 'The righteous will live by faith' " (Romans 1:16-17).
So what sets us apart from the world? What sets you apart from your coworkers, your classmates?
"Dear friends, I urge you to as foreigners and exiles to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us."
1 Peter 2:11-12