Since the last blog we have said farewell to the year team. The farewell activities went well. The football match was cancelled in the end so a quiet Saturday was spent packing. Sunday included a meal with some of the team members families. It was good to have an opportunity to meet the parents and after the meal was had a bit of a closing ceremony.
I gave out team portraits which Dave Murphy had made before he went to Ireland. Also given out letters were of thanks to the parents for allowing their sons and daughters to come on the team, and also sent letters of thanks for their churches for sending them. Certificates were also presented to the team members for having participated in the team. These were all arranged by Dave before he left and much appreciated my the team members.
The rest of the afternoon was spent packing before attending a farewell service at the Ite church.
As soon as possible following the service the Peruvian members rushed to try and catch the last bus to Tacna. The Irish team members and I also headed to Tacna to catch the early morning flight on Monday to Lima. Thankfully everyone was able to make it to the airport on Monday morning, though the lack of sleep was evident. In the end seeing the Irish members board the plane probably helped them bring closure to this chapter of their lives. Please pray for me as I hope to visit the Peruvian team members next week to see how they are settling back into normal life again. I hope to carry out evaluations with them regarding the team. Pray that these would be useful in helping us plan for next years team.
Simon, Roberta and I obviously then headed on to Lima and spent most of the day there before their flight home that evening. We visited a souvenir market and Roberta particularly got very excited about some of her purchases for family and friends back home. Thankfully the day in Lima went well and they were able to catch their flight home without any major problems. Please pray for them as they seek to adapt back to life in Ireland. Some missionaries claim to have faced more culture shock going home than when they came to the mission field, so pray for them both.
The rest of the week was spent in Lima with the Roycroft's. This was a good opportunity for fun and fellowship. It's amazing to see how quickly Grace is growing up. The main purpose of the stay in Lima (apart from ensuring Simon and Roberta were allowed out of the country) was to conclude immigration procedures for Grace to ensure she didn't have to leave too. God was good and her paperwork was concluded without any difficulties in less than two hours.
I flew back to Tacna yesterday and then travelled on to Ilo. Please pray as I settle into life here again. Over the past few months I haven't been in Ilo longer than two weeks at a time and it's made it difficult to settle. Hopefully now I will have a chance to try and make a bit of a home here. Pray also as I start concentrating on preparations for the courses I hope to teach at the seminary. I hope to get into that once I get a few loose ends tied up.
Thanks once again for all your prayerful support and the words of encouragement I receive by internet comments, e-mail etc.