"My life got twist-turned upside down... and I'd like to take a minute just sit right there..."
Wow. I never thought I'd be saying this... I might not being going to Peru. Don't hold your breath on this post, because I have a feeling it might be a long one.
So yesterday the President of our rotary district (Carter) e-mailed me. This is what I received after I arrived home from working out yesterday....
Luke and Kirsten
I have very distressing news for you. Peru has no one to send us at this time and not accepting students.
We have few alternatives: Thailand (for sure); Philippines (probably) Bolivia (maybe) Brazil (who knows)
Let me know ASAP
Hmm. not exactly the letter you want to receive after reading through countless travel books, dreaming about a single country, and hearing that you are 90% for sure going to that country's capital. Yup, the news was... well exactly what you think it would be, devastating.
So, instantly my life went from simple to chaotic. I e-mailed Carter in desperation trying to at least secure a spot in a Spanish speaking country (Bolivia). He immediately started to contact the district in Bolivia to see if that was an option.
In the meantime, my whole body went nauseous. I cried. I mean embarrassingly enough, I actually cried over a country I have never been to. I told my sister it literally felt like my bride had ran off and gotten married a day before our wedding... to someone else.
I tried to think of why Peru would change it's mind so suddenly... My mind immediately went to the controversies over their new elected president. I thought maybe it wasn't safe. But after emailing my exchange studen friends from Peru, they couldn't see why that would have been an issue.
This is where I took matters into my own hands. Although Carter may have said their was no chance to get into Peru, I still wanted to try. So, I emailed my good friend Carolina (from Peru) and asked her if there was any way she could just tell her rotary club there about me and my situation.
Chaos erupted. Carolina couldn't even believe what I was saying... she said she had been telling her club about me all year and they were excited to have me. Somehow she was able to contact her rotary president, who then contacted Carter. He proposed a deal. (The reason no U.S. exchange students were being allowed into Peru was due to the fact that this past year Visas for Peruvian exchange students had been denied by the U.S. Government, so the exchange students were sent to Canada.) The deal was this: I go to Peru this year only if a Peruvian was allowed into our district next year. The catch is this... and exchange is one student for one student. That means that since it is too late this year for Peru to send out another exchange student, they will equal out the balance next year. Unfortunately, that means that I have to get a club to agree to bring in an exchange student next year, but not send one out... which could never happen.
As of right now, I am awaiting the Quincy Rotary Club's response to this situation. If it takes to long, and it is a no, it might become too late to go even to Bolivia. This means I could potentially be going to Thailand. Who know... except God.
This all goes to say, my life is going crazy right now. I had enough to think about just getting ready to go to L.A. next Saturday for my agent auditions; but I know that God is in control. Whatever is happening at this very moment is so easy to get angry at. But then again it is also just as easy to see how "in it" God is. He could literally choose to send me to any country in the world. Maybe I was meant to be somewhere else. Though it might be completely out of my mind to go to Thailand, maybe that is exactly where God is wanting me to be.
All I know, is it is out of my hands. So I encourage you, if there is something in your life right now that you have no control of... embrace it. Love chaos. Love difference. Love to be surprised. God has a plan. You might have spent your whole life up to this point focused on one thing only for Him to lead you to something totally different. But just trust.
Sometimes, surrender is the only option...