The students boarded a Peruvian bus one last time to travel from our home, Casa Goshen, to Lima’s Jorge Chavez Airport. They checked in their luggage, received their boarding passes and posed for one last group photo. They received their last minute instructions — first go through security, then immigration, then, if you like chocolate, try the samples in the Britta store near your departure gate. Then we hugged and shared goodbyes and the students hopped on the escalator to ascend to the second floor departure area.
Our family has had a rare privilege: leading ten groups of students through the Study Service Term in Peru. There have been challenges, to be sure, but with the challenges have come opportunities and growth. Over the last several years our entire family, including our four children, have been blessed beyond measure by the opportunity to get to know some of the brightest, kindest and most adventurous college students on the planet. And we have been treated to incomparable hospitality and boundless grace by our Peruvian hosts: coordinators, assistants, guides, instructors, cooks, host families and new friends. We have explored together what it means to be Christ-centered — passionate learners, servant leaders, compassionate peacemakers and global citizens.