If you’ve been reading the blog the last week or so, you know that Zach & Rachel Peters were part of a team who did ministry in Portugal and Spain associated with the St. James Way (or Camino de Santiago). Cross-cultural experiences have a lasting impact on people, and continue to teach them lessons for years to come. Rachel is still learning as she reflects on her trip to Ireland with Grace Student Ministries in 2009. But the Camino trip was Zach’s first time outside of the U.S. – which, in and of itself can have a large impact on someone.
Below, Zach and Rachel share some tidbits of what they learned through this experience. Please pray for them – and for all those who Grace Church sends out – as they process their experiences and apply the lessons learned to their daily lives!
- It was amazing to see that God’s creation doesn’t just exist in our own little world
- Seeing Abel’s (a Portuguese national who does ministry on the St. James Way) trust in God could be overwhelming; “It’s okay” was a phrase we heard almost too often
- It was crazy to see how far people walk in search of something spiritual
- The scenery was nothing short of a miracle
- The Camino is such a huge metaphor for life. The baggage we carry, how much we really need to survive, the simplicity of friendship, the necessity of getting out of bed each morning (despite the blisters and exhaustion), and the fact that we just have to “keep walking” to get anywhere are just a few examples of the undeniable parallels to “normal” life.
- So many people that I met were searching for “something more,” whether they would admit it out loud or not. Our group was able to speak truth into their lives in a small way because we already have the assurance of our future through Christ. We were able to share meals, conversations, and lots of miles with many different people. Please join me in praying for a few of these “seekers” that I was able to meet: Kay and John (Ireland); Kate and Daniel (USA); Colin, Haley, Alejandro, and Alexis (USA); Fabian (Germany); Bev and her sisters (Canada)
- It was incredible to be able to experience life outside of my normal comfort zone. God is SO big, and I am frequently too focused on the back roads of Lancaster County to acknowledge it.