But they say home is where the heart is. . . Well my heart is in a Guatemalan village 10,000 feet in the mountains. Does that make Guatemala home? Maybe I'm just a nomad. Lost and confused.
I returned from a 10 day trip to Guatemala. This was my second time and it was great. The first trip was life changing - the greatest trip of my life. This trip didn't disappoint. Still changed me. Still great! :)
There is something so special about your first time in a new place. The first time you meet the people there, taste the food, see the sights, get bit by the bugs. . .
HOWEVER, nothing can compare to returning to the same village and seeing the same children and people that I met last year. The second I stepped out of the van, my 9 year old friend, Ruth, RAN up to me and embraced me with all she had. You just can't describe those moments. It's moments like those that made this trip. Reconnecting with old friends. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the people you met a year earlier. All that was going through my mind was "they remember."
|My Ruth is the one in the light green jacket giggling to herself ;)|
We had a sermon in church today on James 1:27. "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." That's what we're doing in this village. THAT is what short term missions is all about.
If you read my posts from last year's trip or talked to me at all, you may remember that last year we laid the block for the church in the village. We built the first story. Finished all the block work. I was so excited to see how much further they had gotten in a year's time. I was saddened to see there was little to no progress on the church since our last day in the village last year. This also solidifies my belief that we are making an impact. WE are building this church in Guatemala. Literally building the church.
|Working hard on the re-bar|
I know that we made a difference being there. We made a difference in the village physically by building the church building. We made a difference in the church spiritually by helping build the church body and bringing believers to their community. We made a difference personally by continuing relationships that were made and built last year. Not only is this village being impacted, but so am I. I can't help but be impacted by their joy, excitement, and unconditional love for everyone around them. They have nothing but are more than content. They are so generous. I definitely learn from them each time I interact - language barriers don't stop love and joy. Some things are universal.
|Their smiles are more beautiful than anything I've seen.|
Their laughter is music to my ears.