It was October of 2012. I sat visiting with my brother, Ken, who was in the last stages of mesothelioma. “Promise me something,” he said.
“Of course.” (When your brother is dying, you would promise him the moon, if you could.)
“Promise me you’ll do something to help Sharron Hall and Abrigo Andino in Arequipa, Peru.
Sharron’s parents, and our parents, had been assigned to the same missionary post in Arequipa in the 1940s. Ken had always dreamed of opening an orphanage in Peru, as a memorial to our parents. When it looked like that was never going to materialize, he changed his focus to helping Sharron’s ministry. I had never met Sharron Hall, nor had I ever visited Abrigo Andino, (Shelter of the Andes, the homeless shelter she ran.) However, I felt morally obligated to fulfill my promise. Dear God, what have I done? I prayed. Please give me some direction. Soon I was sharing emails and phone calls with Sharron to get a little better acquainted.
In the meantime, I had been working on the manuscript of my book. The book is about my family’s missionary life in Peru, South America. It also includes my brother and sister-in-law’s amazing journey into the northern Andes Mountains to find our father’s grave site. About halfway through the book, as I sat at my computer writing, the plan fell into place. I would publish the book and donate all proceeds from the sale of the book to Abrigo Andino. I quickly communicated the idea in an email to Sharron, and she was thrilled. I felt relieved that I finally had a plan in place to fulfill my promise to my brother.
That was the year 2016. It was in May of that year my mother passed away. To say that my manuscript was bathed in tears, is an understatement. During these past several years the book has gone through several rounds of editing, pruning, scraping, cutting, revising, and re-calibrating. This has taken a good deal of patience, not only on my part, but especially for my editor, who is a dear friend. I am forever grateful for her expertise and advice.
I felt the need to write this blog to update many of you who have been curious, and asking about the status of my book. I am still waiting on the “green light.” I felt a pause and hold button, and wasn’t quite sure why, until recently. Earlier this year, I received an email from Sharron Hall. She was conveying to all the former MKs (missionary kids) from Peru, an invitation to attend the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Assemblies of God in Peru in October of 2019. Finally, I understood the delay. This was a trip I was destined to make, and I needed to make it before the publication of my book. It would give me the closure I needed. My departure date is scheduled for October 14th. I will fly to Lima, the capital, and city of my birth, and there I will meet Sharron Hall for the first time. We will spend several days in Lima for the celebration, along with other missionaries and missionary kids, as well as many national Peruvians who will have gathered from all over the country. What an awesome experience that will be!
After the celebration, I will fly to Arequipa with Sharron and visit Abrigo Andino. I will spend a week getting a first-hand look at a ministry my brother had such a desire to help. I can only imagine the excitement my family would feel to make this journey with me. They had such a passion and love for Peru. It will be my great honor to go and represent them, and be their ambassador. Once I return from my journey, I will feel I have come “full circle” and it will be time to launch a book!