I would say this has been one of the longest weeks of my life, simply because I look at my team and where I am and can’t believe we just met a week ago. These people that feel like family, this place that feels like home has only been in my heart for one week.
I want to bring you into a picture of the beautiful community I’m in. This team, who I was so nervous to meet, believing my insecurities would take over and I would cower back in fear, welcomes everyone. Its accepting, intentional, loves above all, and challenges. When I would love to stay in my comfort zone and hide from hard relationships, I’m being challenged to be here, to know that this time will fly by and we only have right now to push into this community.
Next week will be our first full week. This week was sort of pieced together with orientations and settling in. The first day we we’re here our contact, Luis, wanted to take us to tour an old convent. It was hauntingly beautiful. He told stories of some of the practices between nuns and bishops and “naughty” nuns. Those rooms behind us are where the nuns would be locked in when they we’re “naughty.” After the tour we went to tour the hospital. It was much better than what I was expecting, remembering the one in Honduras that still gives me chills. This one is a non profit, non-government, so everything is donated. A good majority there are cerebral palsy patients, and that is who we will be working with. It was hard to see, but every patient is dignified and loved, it’s just hard to be faced with the space to question why. I know my team members who spent the rest of the week there had a hard time, good, but hard.
(One of my incredible leaders, Roni. We are so similar it’s scary, and she has changed me so much!)
The rest of the week I went to a coffee farm. Luis has a friend named Julio who is growing his coffee business and needed help. The first day we went with him, he wanted us to go to two of his friends houses to pray for them because they are sick. One has cancer in his foot, the other has an infection in his leg that makes it hard to walk. I have also been acting as translator for him because he doesn’t speak any English. When I heard I would be doing that, I was terrified. I didn’t think I could possibly do that with the Spanish I know, so I immediately began praying for strength. That God would give me the words and help me understand enough to do a good job. The Lord is so faithful and not only helped me, but gave me so much joy in doing it. I actually got to pray in Spanish for the two men. I’m so excited to continue to grow in my Spanish. There’s something so beautiful about connecting with someone in their own language, and being able to offer that connection to someone else.
Yesterday we got to walk around town and just spend more time growing with each other. Today, we’re going to Luis’s church! I can’t believe how different I feel in just a short week. In my relationship with God, in community, and just as me. I’m falling in love all over again with the Lord and learning more of what it looks like to truly walk with Him.
(The volcano outside our house!)
What a week!