Living in Community

I’d like to try and paint a picture of where I live here in Iquitos. And in that hopefully show a bit of what it means to live in community here in Peru. Something that has definitely been a new experience for me!

We live on what we lovingly call a church “compound”. The 7 of us 40/40 missionary girls share one room. Our personal “space” includes our bed and our small wardrobe to hold our clothes and personal things. The boys share a room that is attached to ours. Immediately next to our room to the right there is a 2 story house. On the bottom story lives the District Superintendent and his wife and there 5 children who range in age from 2 month old twins to a 16 year old son. Above them lives our cluster support parents from the States as well and their 3 kids ranging in age from almost 2 to 6 years old. If you walk out of our room and walk straight across our “yard” (big enough to be a soccer field) there is another smaller house. In this house lives the pastor of the church here, along with his wife and their 4-year-old son.

None of these houses or our room has glass on our windows. So everything is essentially open all the time. Things like “peace” and “quiet” don’t really exist in my world anymore. It’s also nearly impossible to go to bed early or sleep in for that matter. To say there is a “lack of privacy” would be an understatement.

At the same time life is never boring. There is always something going on when we are home from work… Someone to talk to and hang out with. Everyone’s doors are always open for guests to enter and hang out and chat. People are constantly borrowing and lending things, cooking for each other’s kids, or just sitting around laughing or discussing life.

I personally wouldn’t mind having some privacy every once in awhile, but the majority of the time I really do love living in this community setting. I think us North Americans could learn a lot from how willing people are to help each other out in Peru. How often neighbors and family share what they really don’t have. It’s a beautiful Christ-like way to live.

Of course on the mornings like today, our only day off, when I’m woken up at 8:00am by blasting Spanish worship music coming from the Superintendent’s house, all of these positive thoughts aren’t usually the first to pop into my head. But as I’m sitting here reflecting on this now, I know I’m going to miss this when I finish here in 14 months and move back to the States.