Be ready for an absolute picture overload.
Haha now that you have been warned…here we go!
This trip was Live Original partnering with HelpOneNow. I went along for the ride and am so glad I did. HelpOneNow is a non-profit (in ways similar to Compassion or Samaritan’s Purse) and they are doing incredible, INCREDIBLE things. They’re partnered with a family down in Iquitos that has started a school with two locations, Kairos school, and they are in the middle of constructing Kairos village. This is a place where they will let children live who they save out of trafficking. Here they’ll learn different trades that will enable them to have jobs when they’re older. Kairos basically means, “In God’s timing.” How awesome?
Honestly I am still having a hard time processing Peru. There was laughing and there was crying, there was adventure and there was sickness, there was beauty and there was brokenness, there was love and there was hate. And it was kinda all mixed together a lot of the time. Like you would see them both together. It was confusing and beautiful at the same time. A lighter example- Machu Picchu was a great adventure and an incredible thing to experience, but with venturing there came the awful altitude sickness. On a heavier note- where we saw and heard children’s stories of neglect and mistreatment, you could also see how the family we were working with there was loving them and showing they cared.
Katarina was the OneSquad member chosen to come on the trip and she summed it up perfectly with this:
The work HelpOneNow is doing matters.
When you donate money, it matters.
We got to see the difference it made in kids’ lives.
A sum of money that may not sound significant to us can change the whole trajectory of someone’s life there.
And we actually got to see it.
We saw it on their faces.
We sat with one boy who was now getting to go to college and he was overwhelmed with thankfulness.
If you feel like you want to make a difference in the world and want to help others overseas, maybe go ahead and check out OneSquad. I think it’s a great place for young people to bond together and help out. So check that out here!
John Luke and I went straight to Peru from Hawaii. In the middle of our 2 red-eye flights, 2 nights in a row, I was honestly regretting saying yes to the trip haha, but now I can say the 2 red-eyes, the lack of sleep, the altitude sickness, and whatever sickness I’ve got now, was 100% worth it!
We spent our first few days in Iquitos where we met up with our friends who live there, Willie and Anna. Willie’s mother, Mercedes, and his father were the ones who started the schools, and now Willie is helping see his father’s dream come true. We spent the first day at the school playing games, making bracelets, dancing, and talking with the students. (I wanted to be 100% there with the kids, so I don’t have any picture from this.)
Iquitos was a neat place. It is right on the Amazon which is really cool and we got to ride around on motocars. There little scooters with a big seat attached and it feels like you’re playing real-life MarioKart mixed with the Amazing Race haha.
These pictures are from Belen. This is the poorest part of the city. People live there for free because they are actually living on the riverbed. This was low season, so where we were walking around, John Luke said they were riding in boats in January. Their houses are either on stilts or can float. They use the river for EVERYTHING. We took a short boat ride and could see people washing their clothes in it, washing their babies in it, and also little kids swimming in it. But it’s also where their waste goes. It was so dirty and so filthy, yet on that boat ride we saw so much beauty. It was actually one of the most impactful times for me.
These are grubs!! My stomach wasn’t too happy with me, so I could’t try one haha, but a lot of our group did! Korie described it as an old, soggy, boiled peanut. EW.
After spending time at Kairos village, which I already told you a bit about, we went to visit the Bora tribe in the Amazon jungle. Willie’s wife, Anna, actually grew up with these people since her parents were missionaries there so it was really neat! They danced for us and even pulled us in for a song!
We ended the day at an animal sanctuary. It was a place where they saved animals and rehabilitated them to put them back in the wild. This was super fun for all of us. Everyone was losing their minds getting to hold the sloths!!
Fun fact: my favorite Beanie Baby I had when I was little was a sloth ha! His name was Slow Poke and we had the same birthday.
Another fun fact: I used to search for pet monkeys for HOURS on the internet.
Obviously, I was having the time of my life at this animal place.
I got made SO much fun of for this picture. I was taking pictures of the little chickies thinking maybe it was their country bird or something. Peyton kindly pointed out the Boa sleeping behind them. I was making friends with HIS DINNER. Poor little Amazonian chickens.
Really thankful the Lord allowed me to go to Iquitos.
Really thankful for people like Willie, Anna, Mercedes, and their whole family.
Really thankful for HelpOneNow and all the good they are doing.