We made it to Peru! (and other tales from 2013)

Friends, I’m writing to tell you the story about how we ended up going to Peru after all and about the new stuff coming with my work. Julissa and I have been  planning our trip for almost a year. We wanted to visit family and serve with some churches there. After waiting and waiting and waiting, we thought it wouldn’t be possible for us to go, mostly due to finances, but then something(s) really encouraging/miraculous began to happen. And it seemed possible all over again. For one, the plane tickets went down to a ridiculously low price ($299, round-trip, from  SF to Lima). Plus, though we had to make last minute arrangements and  shorten our stay, we were still able to participate in the ministries we  had planned to serve alongside. We arrived in Lima December 31st, 2013 and will return home February 5th, 2014.

In the midst of all this uncertainty about going to Peru, Julissa and I have been discerning a new direction with my work, preferably toward the free counseling/spiritual accompaniment ministry I’ve dreamt about for a long  time. Long story short, when we return from Peru, I’ll focus my time on working with the poor in that way. And I won’t be coming back to my current job. Our decision to leave was made a little easier because, after all was said and done, the management sort of changed their mind on letting me have the time off to go to Peru. Julissa and I had already been talking about me resigning if that happened. So, in the end, that’s what I did.

When we return, the plan is to start doing the free community-based counseling ministry more and more, while exploring my MFT licensure. I will also be looking into finding another job to cover our household expenses. I’ll be communicating more in the near future about the ministry itself and how we plan to develop it during my time off. We have some money from our tax return next year to help cover our expenses for a few months. In the end, we’re hoping to see deeper faith grow in us as I leave a paid job and embrace our economic weakness in the spirit of Jesus’ love: “you received without paying; give without pay.” (Matthew 10:8b)

Anyway, that’s the plan and a little of the back-story behind us going to Peru. It was very interesting how it all came about. The best part for me, looking back, is that Julissa and I were more united in the whole decision-making process. Not without minor disagreements and some arguments, too, but our friendship seems to have grown from making these choices together. And our intention to give more freely out of what we’ve been given seems to win over much of the hardness and unwillingness to listen that might have possessed us in the past. Our prayer has recently been for God to help us recognize where true oneness in love comes from. And now we see Him creating union within us and with each other. Thanks be to God.

Blessings on your journey and we’ll keep in touch while in Peru.


Jason & Julissa

“Behold, the Lord God comes with might”

“Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’  Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.  He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:9-11)

Thanks, Jim…