Monday, July 28, 2008

Wrapping it all up

We've been back from Guatemala for a week now. Frankly the past week was awful! The kids were all having a tough week, and I was SICK! It's hard to keep up with our life when I am well, and having me sick all week was hard on everyone! I ended up at Urgent Care on Friday evening. As I figured, all they could tell me was that it was viral and to wait it out. Today I am finally feeling human again. As I eluded to in an earlier post I had times this past week where I wondered if it was all worth it! Well I can say with confidence that IT WAS WORTH IT! I can't imagine not having had the experience that we did!
What I most hoped for from this trip was to truly experience the culture and people of Guatemala. The wonderful thing about a mission/work trip vs. a vacation is that you have the opportunity to interact with the people in their real lives. I LOVED being with the people. What I learn from them is that "things" don't bring happiness. Did I know this before? YES! But it's one of those lessons we learn over and over and at different levels. I was very struck by the sense of community at the elementary school. The place seemed to be always filled with music and laughing. The kids were so willing to work right along side of us and they worked HARD and were enjoying themselves! They don't have a lot compared to what we have, as far as possessions go, but they are CONTENT! How I long to live in a place of being consistently CONTENT!
Space in general seems so different there - personal space, home space, etc. It's all smaller - hmmm...maybe that's why their relationships seem deeper, more cherished, more prioritized. I am still processing this aspect too!
Some things that have come out of our time there -
Chris and I both feel that we'd like to try to go to Guatemala at least every other year. We see this as a long-term relationship - an on-going partnership between our family and this beautiful country. We still don't know what that will look like - at what point can we start taking the kids? Will we always do missions? Will we partner with one organization? We are still sorting through that part of it.
I am inspired and motivated to improve my Spanish skills and to have the kids learn Spanish. I was able to speak enough to communicate, but not enough to converse. I feel that I missed out on some great relational time with the students & teachers at the school and with the "mamas" at the orphanage. I am working on getting Becca started on some Spanish classes for this fall.
My heart and mind were full as the plane lifted off in Guatemala. I asked the man sitting next to me if he was from "here" or "there" - his response was "both". I have tears even now when I realize how strongly God has bound my heart to that place and how I want that to be the answer I would give as well.

Below is a 3-minute video I put together of our time there. If you have read all the posts, you pretty much have it all. I did this mainly for our church famiy, so they could see the impact of their gifts and donations!

1 comment:

Emily said...

Laura I so understand how you feel about being connected, wanting to cont. to go there, and being "from" both. Oh, how I'd love to sit down & talk with you over coffee. We seem to have so much in common.