Last Letter from Lima

Amazing friends & family,

Can you believe it? As of last month I have lived and worked in Lima, Peru for six incredible years and have completed my second contract with Word Made Flesh.  It seems like only a short time ago I was sharing with you all about my desire to come here and you were offering me your warmest support and encouragement.

I remember a cool nervous night in Omaha, a fresh & shiny college grad standing before the Word Made Flesh Board asking for their blessing to spend 2 years in Lima, Peru. 2 years became 3 and then 3 surprisingly became 6 and there were so many nights to remember in between. Nights on the streets of Lima, huddling close to friends. Nights in the cold altitude of Bolivia, sharing community with our sister field. Nights of laughter so rich and full, and other nights so pregnant with pain and weariness. There on the corner waiting, here on a bus visiting, then there again, soul-smiling, at the graduation of child who has grown beautiful and strong in spite of it all. In the ministry center, in the plaza, in the living room, and in the kitchen, always in the kitchen. I could never have imagined it if I tried.

As many of you already know, I will be returning to the States at the end of this month. One of the many incredible things about working here in community is that they are always encouraging its members to seek and understand more deeply their true self in Christ and as such how their vocation is related to that self. My time here has been exactly what I believe God intended it to be and it is with great joy and peace that I step towards the next horizon of who God created me to be, and the vocation that he continues to grow and develop in me.

It has truly been an honor and a privilege to live and serve alongside the Word Made Flesh Peru community. Over the years I have lived here I have seen some of the most intentional and beautiful acts of love and sacrifice on behalf of the vulnerable. I have had the pleasure of seeing the Peruvian community take charge of the ministry and become advocates for those cast out by society and have been incredibly blessed by the relationships that have developed in community with staff, volunteers and the youth we work with. I know that my life will never be the same for knowing them and that a part of my heart and my self will always be here with them. Love has shown me her face here and, although it is much different than I imagined it would be, I am ever grateful.

I have every intention of staying involved with the community here in Lima and I would encourage you all to do the same, as you feel led. The beautiful, difficult, important work continues! Prayer, financial support, words of encouragement, visits to the field, and sharing of resources are just the beginning of the ways you and I can continue to promote God’s vision here in Lima. If you want ideas please be in touch!

To give one specific and timely example:  the children in our educational assistance program are currently on summer vacation and will be gearing up to start classes at the end of this month. Our prayer and financial support assures that they can have another year of the education they deserve and brings them one step closer to breaking the cycles of poverty all around them.*

With all that said, what I most want to express is THANK YOU. This whole thing would never have been possible for me if it weren’t for you all. Your constant support, love, prayers, generous donations, words of encouragement and desire to walk alongside our community has been the fuel that moved me forward and empowered me to serve Jesus among the vulnerable peoples of Lima for the last 6 years. Thank you for believing in me and for believing in the work God is doing here in this great city. You all have also taught me much about what love is and what she looks like in the flesh. I will be ever grateful for your faith and partnership.

Thanks to you, my support account is healthy and has been able to sustain all my costs up until this point and will be able help with my relocation and debriefing. For those of you who have been donating via automatic monthly donation, thank you a million times over, those will be automatically stopped when my support account is closed in May.

Please pray for my community and me, as you feel led, during this time of transition. They have been such an incredible support to me and over the years have become my family away from family. The goodbyes and adjusting to life apart from each other will be difficult and will probably take some time. You can also pray for me as I continue to make decisions about the future – I am a mix of nerves, joy, sadness, and excitement – kind of a crazy combination ☺.

I look forward to seeing and touching base with many of you when I return to the States. I will be in the Des Moines area at first and then we’ll see. Feel free to email me at monica.ghali@gmail.com if you have any questions, or you want to know more, or you just want to say “hi” – the next month will be a bit full but I will try to respond as soon as I can!

So, in summary:

Thank you, thank you, thank you. It has been a joy sharing the journey with you. I look forward to many more adventures along the way! Let’s be in touch…

Much love & peace, Monica N. Ghali

*You can continue to give to the WMF Peru Community by denoting donations to the “Peru General Fund” to give specifically to the educational assistance program denote “Peru General Fund: Educational Assistance”. For online donations: https://portal.ftnirdc.com/Checkout