Friday, July 30, 2010


As I sat down at the house last night, with the intentions of typing up a new blog I couldn't help but become completely overwhelmed.  How in the world am I supposed to be able to capture in words all the things I saw just in this short time period of a week?  How can you really portray to people the relationships you develop, the heartache you feel, or the abounding love and hospitality that is shown each and every day from the people in the world who have the least?  

This week, I met a one month old premature baby named Valerie whose 18 year old mother abandoned her and she is so malnourished that she barely weighs 2 pounds... and yet she is surviving in one of the dirtiest, poorest places in the world only through the love of God, the power of prayers, and the unselfishness of a wonderful women within the community who has agreed to love her as her own.

This week my heart was broken by a 13 year old boy named Francis who needs attention so badly that he resorts to treating women in the community with a huge amount of disrespect.  What's even more disheartening is that he is encouraged by the men in his community to do so.  

This week, I held a mother's hand as we prayed over her 3 year old son who spends most of his time being terribly sick.  This child, Wilme had to have colostomy surgery at a young age and needs to be taken to the capital (which is about 4 hours away) every couple of months to receive medical treatment.  If you met this kid, you would never guess he spent more of his days being sick... joy radiates from him... and its through his sickness that his mother, Tika, came to Christ.

This week, I sat on the sidewalk with a man named Migueso who just one week ago believed that this life that we have now is all the exists, that all our hope lies in our life here on earth and that there is nothing to live for past that.  Just yesterday, as we said our goodbyes, this wonderful old man told us that even though we might not see him again here on earth, that we will see him one day in heaven.

This week, I hugged on children and watched them cry as we told them our final goodbyes.  Goodbyes, and not See You Laters.  It was in that moment that through foggy eyes I was reminded that my purpose in temporary, and while these beautiful children of Guachupita are no longer under my love and protection, they are cared for by a loving God who can do much greater things than me anyway.

So... that's my week, in words.  Overwhelming, rejoiceful, and heartbreaking all at the same time.  Each and everyday I experience a love and compassion that I will never be able to forget.  It's a wild ride, no doubt, but one I am glad I took the time to stand in line for.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Today, I had a little dose of reality.  
As I sat outside of a small, blue house at the back end of Guachupita, I tried to internalize all that surrounded me.  As crazy as it may sound, the more times I return to this place, the more I dull myself to the poverty that exists here.  I forget that living in a house of tin walls in not normal.  I forget that life without electricity or living water is not normal.   I forget that children running around half naked in the dirtiest area of the country is not normal.
As I sat there and took in the brokenness around me, all I could think was "this is reality."  There are days when I long so desperately for the comforts of home, days when I want to break free from this oppression and the desperation that is all around, days that all I want is to be back home, back in the realm of reality... and then I realize, for them, this is home.  This is their place of solitude, their place of comfort... for them, this is reality.
We all know poverty exists, right?  But do we ever actually understand what it means to live within that poverty?  Do we understand that many of the children that grow up in these cultures don't know that what they have isn't enough?  Are we able to comprehend the fact that this is not just temporary, that day in and day out for these people this is LIFE?
My heart was broken once again today for the people here, mostly because I realize that in just 7 days from now I will pack up my stuff and move on, traveling around the world and eventually returning to my reality, back to my home... and the people here, they may never have the opportunity to move on, they may never be able to escape this reality.  

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Letting Go

It's still very hard for me to comprehend the fact the lifestyle that I am living now is one that I am going to be experiencing each and every day for the next 11 months.  I'm not going to lie... it's ridiculously overwhelming from time to time.  These past two weeks have felt more like two months, and therefore 11 months seems like a lifetime.  I have moments where I so much miss the comforts of home, I have mornings when I wake up and all I would really like to do is jump on a plane ride back home... 
...and then God gracefully reminds me that my purpose in life is so much greater than just who I am.  That it's time to grow up, to look beyond myself, and realize that a life simply catered to my own needs was never really an option.  God created each of us with intricate details, with plan, and with a purpose... and it was never a purpose of spending a life chasing after our own desires, that's a purpose we created all on our own.
So, every morning I throw in the towel... I give up, I let go, I give in.  
If you know me at all, you can only imagine how this kind of attitude completely clashes with my relentless stubbornness.   Many days, it just feels like am giving up control, that I am losing my independence, that I am having to just lay down and let someone else win... and oh, how it hurts.
But the pain is humbling.  The pain is rewarding.  And the pain is purposeful.  The pain is a reminder that I can't ever do this on my own.  The pain means that just like the people of Guachupita, I myself still very much need the Healer.