It looks like I’m already at the final month mark of being in Guatemala. So much has happened since the last time I posted, so let me get you up to speed.
I’ve been spending most of my time at the Sponsorship ministry site. About mid-way through the semester, the Crown team and I left for a nearby town to work with a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in San Lucas. During those two weeks, we painted classrooms of two elementary schools. One of the schools is about an hour and a half drive to a remote town called Zapote. We rode in the bed of a truck on highways that switched to dirt roads with plenty of potholes, and crossed through 4 small rivers to get to the school. I will never complain about the speed bumps in Magdalena again. The kids were quite exciting to have us painting there, and did their fair share of distracting us at times, which was welcome during the hard work. By the end of each day, we were all covered in blue and white paint, wearing pretty much the same one or two outfits for both weeks. Vanity was non-existent. I really appreciated the change of pace from where we had been staying in Magdalena, as well as the opportunity it allowed for our team to bond with each other.
The last few weeks I have been back at my ministry site, in the office and out in the community. The school year has ended, so there were a couple graduations we attended. We made colorful cakes for one of the kindergarten graduations, and they loved it. We also went on two field trips to the zoo with two different kindergarten classes. We made animal headbands, and each were paired up with a little buddy for the day. Only one kid got sick on the bus ride, so that was a victory!
This last week in particular was a struggle for me. Feelings of inadequacy and failure creep their way in, and it takes God to show me that these thoughts are not from Him. I cannot say that I know exactly how God has been working in my heart, or even using me to minister to the people around me, but I think I will better understand my experience in Guatemala once I’ve had some time to process through it when I get back. Which is in a month. As long as this trip has felt at times, it has also gone very fast; a familiar dichotomy. One thing that I do know I have been learning about, is that for a long time now, not just in Guatemala, I have been very hesitant to love people. Whether friends, family, co-workers, or acquaintances, I’ve been fearful to love, at least to the extent that I believe God is desiring for me to love. Too often I weigh if this person is going to love me back, or if that person is going to stick around in my life long enough for it to be worth it for me to really give myself to her or him in love. But I’m realizing that God does not want us to love so selectively; to love only those who deserve it, because in truth, we all don’t deserve love. Love is not something to be deserved. It is the sacrificing of oneself for another. This opens myself up to be hurt, but isn’t that truly love? That’s what Jesus continues to do, every day.