Ashley Faulkner has been involved with Take the City for the past year. She studies Bible teaching at Emerging Leaders College and serves on the Hospitality team at theDoor. She has a huge heart to share the love of Jesus with the nations. Here is a glimpse of what God did on her first trip abroad with Take the City in January.
My heart could sing for days on end about how marvelous and beautiful Peru was. Not just the land, but the people and how rich the Father’s love was there.
Peru looks a lot different from America. In many ways, the people there don’t have as much. But in many ways, they are far richer than those in the States. The people there are rich in love and community. From the second I walked in to the Chavarry’s house, I felt nothing but loved. It was insane how a family that had never met me could take me in as one of their own almost instantly! There was one evening after an outreach that I started to get a fever and feel weak. Bryan’s family took to caring for me immediately, as if I was one of their children. His grandma rubbed oils all over me; his mom took my temperature. One after another, each of his family members made a point to check on my well-being. Despite the language barrier, their love was translated seamlessly. If I could choose but a few words to describe their hearts and how they made me feel, they would be: “They truly loved me well.”
At a morning prayer service, Amy and I felt the same word on our heart. Burden. These people felt that Jesus’s burden was heavy, and we sensed that freedom in Christ was something they needed to see. So, our mission became that: to release the freedom of Christ wherever we were. First, Amy and I released identity over sweet Laredo. Second, our whole team taught Bryan’s brother and best friend the power of laying hands and praying in faith for healing. Third, we taught the church what dancing before the Lord looks like as well as what life looks like unashamed and abandoned for Christ. All our team did was obey. The miracles didn’t come because of our words or our actions. But they came due to our willingness to set aside our own agenda and simply be a vessel for God to pour His love through. We walked as examples of what it looks like to live in freedom in Christ, and His freedom spilled over.
My Peru team and I didn’t come back with a “Jesus high”. We came back with a newfound wisdom about what missions truly looks like. We witnessed the move of God at the packed altar call on the last night through a lens that was all about giving to them and never about what we could receive. That was the most beautiful thing about Peru to me. I learned that I would lay down my spiritual walk with the Lord to see Laredo and the people of Peru captivated by God’s presence.
Peru was worth it. It was all worth it. Jesus was worth every second of being mentally drained, tired, and having stomach aches from big portions of food, struggling through the language barrier with very broken Spanish, and experiencing the demonic attacks on myself and my team while there. I would do it all over again for Him.
How GREAT is His love for Laredo, and how GREAT is His love for me! Jesus is so worthy of everything we have to offer and all that we don’t. Peru, you are so loved. So very and deeply loved.