Peru: “Change of Pace + Change of Place= Change of Perspective!”

Posted: June 22, 2010 by kylejackson10 in Uncategorized

8 days in Peru, 4 Hiking the Inca Trail to the city of Machu Picchu with one of my favorite author’s, Mark Batterson (In a Pit with a lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase & Primal) is one of the highlights of my life! Me, My father-in-law and 20 other men backpacked through Peru on what was one of the hardest physical challenges of my life to end up at 1 of the 7 Wonders of the World!

The Theme for the week was, “Change of Pace + Change of Place= Change of Perspective.” I found this to be so true. When you are out of the daily grind of whatever it is you do, in God’s creation, your life can change dramatically!  The 1st 2 days we were in Cusco, Peru climatizing at 11,000 ft above sea level. I could not even take 10 steps without breathing hard! We went white water rafting on day 2 to get out and get some exercise.

Day 3 started our hike. We had porters with us to carry 1/2 of our weight (25lbs) the other 25 lbs we carried on us. I have never seen scenery like Peru. We were surrounded by mountain ranges the entire trip. Snow caps in front of us as we climbed…Amazing! Day one was a 6 hour hike that was tough but was nothing compared to days 2 & 3. Day 4 we reached our destination of Maccu Picchu. Camping at night in a tent with your father-in-law was a cool experience! We got the opportunity to know each other on a deeper level. (Listening to him fire people in his sleep was pretty funny too.) Each night we would circle our chairs up in the cold and Mark would lead us in a devotional. It was so surreal to be sitting with someone you follow and has influence on your life. Mark was so down to Earth and easy to talk to. He really was just “one of the guys.”


DAY 1: Our porters and cooks would fly by us on the trail with 1/2 of our weight and another 25-30 pounds of food, tents, tables, gas tanks….(yes grill gas tanks!) and other items needed for the trip. They would beat us to the lunch camp by an hour, set everything up, have food waiting for us and would smile and cheer us in. They did this for lunch and the final camping spot of the night for 4 days! We woke up every morning at 5:30AM to hot tea at our tent and breakfast made! They were amazing!

As I related this back to life I thought of how God has gone before us and prepared a place for us. He sent his son to die for us so the burden (weight) could be lifted off our shoulders. He is always a step ahead of us and knows exactly what he has planned for me and you. “For I know the plans I have for you…” And even though we make God wait sometimes to get through our own selfish ambitions he is always there smiling and cheering us in! 

Day 2: Hardest part of the hike. 5 hours of straight up and straight down. 14,000 ft above sea level! It was hard to breath but what a feeling of accomplishment when we were finished. “One foot in front of the other” was kind of the theme for the day. What I learned on day 2 was crucial. As we were hiking I heard someone say, “don’t forget to look up every once and awhile.” The hike was on trails of nothing but huge rocks, we were going straight up and straight down so my head was looking at my feet most of the day.

2 things happened to me on that day. First, I realized that if we don’t take a second to look up during our busy days, weeks, months or years life will pass us right by. We will miss what God puts right in our path so to speak because we never took the time to look up. Secondly, I realized I had not turned around to see how far we had come since that morning. As I turned and looked some 5,000 ft below me from where we had started the day at 9,000 ft I had a huge awakening. I have heard my whole life “Don’t look back at the past…only look ahead to the future!” I know you can not change the past, but I think we should look back, see where we came from and see how far we have come since then. The only way to learn from your past is to stare back at it and see how far you have come to this point in your life. Looking back on day two, 2-3 hours into our hike made me realize how far I have come in my life. How the pains and struggles have gotten me where I am today.

Day 3: Another tough day of constant uphill climbing followed by a long downhill hike to finish the day. We switched scenery a little going into the jungle a little. I spent much of the morning hike with Mark Batterson talking about “Competitiveness.” I caught up with Mark on the trail and asked him, “How do you take away the competitive nature you have for sports so it does not hurt you in ministry?” (Mark played college basketball) Mark answered it exactly how I needed to hear it. He said, “Kyle, years ago I asked God to crucify my competitiveness because I thought it would hurt me in ministry. After praying I heard God tell me, ‘Mark, don’t pray that I will take your competitive spirit away. Pray that I INTENSIFY it for your use in ministry to take on the world you live in and you will use it to conquer the world for me.’ ” 

WOW! I have such a competitive nature. I hate to lose. In High School I was not the most liked individual. I played football, basketball and baseball and I played as if every game was my last. I hate to lose! Knowing God can intensify that gift of competitiveness to further his kingdom excites me!

Day 4: The last day of the hike ended up at the city of Maccu Picchu, 1 of the 7 Wonders of the World. It was amazing as we came to the sun gate and looked down onto the city. It was one of the easier days of the hike. Although the site was amazing all I could think about was how hard the last 4 days had been. I did nothing leading up to the hike to prepare myself for the physical challenge it would bring. On day 4 when we got to our final destination I could not even fully enjoy it because of how sore and tired I was. 

I heard God tell me, “Kyle, prepare now for what the future holds for you.” There are opportunities that people have to turn down all the time because they were not ready when God presents them with their dream. Whether it is financially, spiritually, mentally, physically or character issues, you have to be prepared so you can enjoy the opportunity God has planned for you!

Overall, what an amazing trip! I will never be the same. I will be a better man of God, husband, friend, co-worker, son, son-in-law, brother & leader because of this experience!


  1. Mark Pyles says:

    Sounds like an awesome trip! I’d love to do something like that sometime. You should come to the DR and climb Pico Duarte sometime. Nothing like Peru, I’m sure, but still the highest point in the Caribbean!

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