Thursday, March 18, 2010

We're baaaaack....

Well, we've actually been back. I was just remembering that this time 2 weeks ago we were starting to wrap up our week in Rio Verde and head to Las cascadas de Tomasopo (Waterfalls of Tomasopo - an old sugar cane mill) then head to San Luis and prepare for our trip home to the States.
The week was absolutely unbelieveable! I can't believe all that happened, the Lord's protection and presence throughout the entire trip, and the teaching of the Lord. Jeremy and I shared a bit with the Ebenezer group last weekend during their Missions Conference, but we're really excited to share our trip with the First ARP group on April 21st at 6:30. If you're interested in knowing more details of the week, I invite you to come and listen - I promise I won't bore you, and I can also promise a good hearty meal at 5:45-6:30 if you'd like. We'd love to have more of our friends around! But just to give a brief summary and some thoughts from the week....
1- The Lord has not been slow in keeping his promises! While in high school I spent 4 solid years learning the beginnings of the Spanish language. Then I was guided to actually major in the language in college, spend a semester abroad in Spain, and had opportunities (although small and very few) to teach and tutor. Then, it just stopped. The last time I spoke consistently and fluently was about 8 years ago. Well, as soon as we landed, it all started coming back to me, and by Wednesday, I was helping to translate for our construction crew, ministering to young children and helping them with their crafts, then spending quality time with youth of Rio Verde, sharing why we had come to their city. I was beginning to talk like a native again. I was able to understand what was going on around me, what people were saying, and by the time we were flying out - I could apparently only speak Spanish in the air port. I couldn't understand a single word that the hispanics were saying in English, so they'd speak spanish, and all of the sudden, I knew what they were saying. I even had a somewhat funny time coming back to the states, continuing to speak Spanish, to clearly, Americans who only knew English. Through that, the Lord showed me that he still wants me to invest in those skills and wisdom that I so passionately learned a few years back. So now, I'm challenged to somehow involve myself in some type of ministry where I can communicate with the hispanics of Rock Hill. Be praying that the Lord would open a door for me to do that.

2-The Lord taught true patience. In every other mission trip I've participated on, I've been the planner, the chaperone, or a leader of sorts. However, this time, I wasn't the planner, nor the chaperone, and not even close to being the leader. Which was great for most of the time, but I have to admit there were some opportunities that I wanted to cease and take over. But the Lord was quick to teach me patience and to just enjoy the moments. I was also forced, this time, to take it easy. I've never had to "take it easy" before, so it was difficult at first, but the baby quickly reminded me that there was more to care for than just myself, so I was pretty laid back the entire trip. Unfortunately I did get a bit dehydrated on Wednesday, which made for a pretty rough Thursday, but the Lord was definitely gracious in nursing me back to health quickly. And in coming back, I realized the position I played (simply a team member) was one of the best I'd ever been before!

3 - The Lord provided relief and rejoicing. Since mom passed last year, I knew Dad was looking for something like this to do. When the opportunity came about, he wasn't the least bit hesitant to agree to serve on the 2010 Mexico team. I was so thrilled he was going to return to RioVerde (he went in 2002), and even more excited when the chance came for Jeremy and I to participate - as part of the team, but also as "spies" to scope out whether or not First ARP would be a part of a similar ministry. While we were there, the three of us didn't spend overly amounts of time together bonding, we did our own thing mostly. Dad and J did get to work together on the construction project, and we did walk downtown some, but it wasn't an overabundance of one another. But somehow, there was bonding going on, a rebuilding of sorts, and a togetherness that was so freeing. However, there were many times dad and I both wanted to call mom and share what we were doing. I started thinking how it may have been different if mom were still living: 1- Dad probably wouldn't have had the chance to go; 2 - mom would have been strongly against her youngest, pregnant daughter going; 3 - and even if dad went, she'd have a cow at all of the crazy things he did! We did get a good laugh out of some of those, and she was certainly missed. But we were grateful for that special time. And even though my sister wasn't physically with us, she was incredibly near to us while we were away. It was like we were all together.

4-I CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK! Of course, it will be at least some months after the baby is born, but we're excited to begin planning our next visit and week of missions with our new friends, Eric, Ginger and their two precious girls, Grace and Lydia. Who knows what the Lord has in store - maybe we'll find ourselves there permanently in the years to come.....

I'll add some pictures later when I have the file with me. You'll be amazed at the beauty - maybe you'll join us on our next venture!


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