Temporary Gates

By Cara Ward, an intern at the Casa del Buen Trato Hovde, a shelter for survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse.

Huanuco Cara Ward

Since I have come to Peru, my vocabulary has been significantly depleted due to my limited knowledge of the Spanish language. One word, however, that frequents my English vocabulary much more often than it used to is “experience.” Time is often measured “before,” “after,” and “during my experience here.” I have had the experience of eating alpaca. I have the experience of being woken up by an overly enthusiastic rooster outside my door at 6 AM every morning. I get to experience the amusing system of public transportation here in Huánuco. My exhaustive use of the word has me wondering if I value life in a sequential set of happenings.

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Forever Changed

By Kelley Spotnik, Journey Church Team 2013-2014

Tia and Kelley    

My first serving opportunity at the Casa del Buen Trato Hovde in Huánuco, Peru was in August, 2013. I co-lead a team of 10 from Journey Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; we had the privilege of building a roof over the laundry area and painting the bedrooms. We also participated in art class and enjoyed some dancing and volleyball with our new friends at the Hovde House. Each day our team and the residents had lunch together and engaged in some wonderful conversations as we worked on improving their home. The staff and residents are such a joy to be around. Continue reading “Forever Changed”

Reflections from a Short-Term Mission Trip

By Sashá Nícole García, Judson University, 2014

Sasha with an adolescent motherI was so nervous for this mission trip. The day before I had just graduated, and I had so many emotions going through my mind. I didn’t know if I was ready for the eight hour flight, but, looking back, I am glad I came on this trip. Being part of this trip has changed my view of God’s love tremendously. At times, being at the shelter was heart-wrenching as we heard about what some of the girls have gone through, but it was also so rewarding to be there and see the girls smile and have a positive outlook for their futures. Continue reading “Reflections from a Short-Term Mission Trip”

Hope in Hard Places

By Andrew Moment, Judson University Team, 2014

AndrewJudsonI went to Paz Y Esperanza in Huánuco with a team of 20 volunteers from the Chicago area.  From the minute I stepped inside the shelter, I felt welcomed and loved by all the women and girls in the shelter. I had honestly not expected that because of the history of many of the women and children. Soon enough, I was trying to communicate in pretty broken Spanish. I am pretty sure the girls were laughing at us, but they appreciated the attempt and seemed to enjoy our less than perfect Spanish.

Looking back at my time in the shelter, I realized I left with much more than I came with. I left seeing a shelter that is staffed by absolutely wonderful people who care about these women. I left with the memory of smiles that were so big and filled with so much hope, so that I could not help but smile back. As a team, we all left seeing the progress that Paz is making using their holistic approach. They are not only pursuing healing for the women, but they also seek justice. The biggest takeaway for our entire team is that no circumstances are too bad to still have hope. Jesus Christ meets everyone where they are at. The women at the shelter have had horrific things happen to them, but Paz is sharing the love of Jesus and letting them know that they are loved and cared about. Our whole team was incredibly challenged, and we admire the hard work that that each Paz y Esperanza worker is doing.

Shattered Illusions

By Kirsten Kohlstedt, Judson University Team 2014
Spa and Picture Day with the Girls on Mother's Day
Spa and Picture Day with the Girls on Mother’s Day
So anybody that even knows me a little probably knows that I’m a slight perfectionist. And by slight, I mean I’m pretty sure I was striving for perfection since the day I was born. This habit of striving for perfection permeates every aspect of my life. This is an impossible standard, though. Because of this reality, I have learned to “fake it till I make it.” I think I do this to prove to both others and myself that I am indeed “perfect.” Because if I can appear to be so, it’s close enough, right?

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Me llenó de tanta alegría

Por Carmen Coaquira Peralta, Andemos Latino 2014, La Casa del Buen Trato Hovde

ImageEl trabajar en el albergue con las beneficiarias me ayudó mucho en mi profesión pero pude integrar el área espiritual ya que con ellas pude fortalecer mi amor por el prójimo, por esa persona que necesita de uno.

Con las beneficiarias, realizamos diversas actividades en las que pude enseñarles habilidades que las tenía como encerradas en mi vida e incluso innecesarias, pero para ellas, era muy útil e incluso algunas las tomaran como profesión, y eso me llenó de tanta alegría que realmente Dios obra de una forma tan poderosa en nuestras vidas que sin Él, no somos nada.

Con las beneficiarias, aprendí algo muy importante: a pesar de todos los golpes que la vida te da, uno puede levantarse y seguir adelante con más ganas de vivir y agredecer a Dios por todo.