Hi, my name is Valerie, and I want to share the following experience.
Eight days – the amount of time I spent in Peru. Eight days was all it took for me to completely immerse myself within a new community, previously foreign to me. When I made the decision to join Peru Team 1 with OSLC, I knew I was going to make an impact on the people I met. However, I did not realize the massive impact they would have on me.
Peru Team 1 spent about seven months preparing for our mission trip. We fundraised, we read devotions, and we planned activities and lessons. Although we spent a significant amount of time prepping, we could not predict the impact this trip would have on us. When we arrived in Peru, the V4P team was incredibly welcoming. We were tired from traveling, so it was a blessing to be greeted by such warm, kind people.
The staff provided us with a tour of Peru the next day. It is a gorgeous country, and it was valuable to be introduced to the community and culture before interacting with the people of Las Lomas.
When I arrived at Las Lomas for the first time, I was excited and ready to share my faith and love with the community. I saw the joy of the kids as they ran to the school upon our arrival – their happiness was instantly contagious. The carefree way they interacted with each other and the staff of V4P was indescribable. I will never forget the sense of community Las Lomas had; it was so special and refreshing to be surrounded by loving Christians who shared their faith so openly.
The community embraced our team with immediate warmth. Every interaction I had on this mission trip was genuine and full of love – whether I was interacting with a child, a teenager, or an adult, God’s presence was undeniable. There was never a dull moment; when we weren’t in structured activities, we would simply hang out with the community for hours on end. It was beautiful to see new faces each day and be the reason behind a child’s smile.
I am incredibly grateful and moved to have had the chance to volunteer for such a noble cause. From playing yard games to worshipping with the people of Las Lomas, I hold every memory from Peru close to my heart. To see such love and be welcomed so warmly into the community was a blessing. My experiences within this country have truly inspired me and further ignited my faith.
~ Valerie Feld