Thursday, March 17, 2016

Colombia # 20- Now What?

It was just a month ago today that we came home from Colombia. I can't believe it's been a month!
I haven't blogged so much in all my years of writing as I have post trip. That goes to show how much this trip meant to me.
 Writing has helped keep the people and the lessons fresh in my heart and mind. I am not through with writing about it, but the posts will likely slow down a little bit now. I will take a break for the next few days, as I have a race to run this weekend in Michigan, but the stories will still unfold through the next weeks, no doubt. 
 The lessons I learned are still being processed. The people are sitting very close to my heart. And the burdens of what they face every day cause humility and gratitude for me. 
 I miss my team members very much and "talk" with them (via text or email mostly) on a regular basis. I have been blessed with beautiful friendships through this team, answering prayer for for friends I have longed for since living here in Ohio. I wish they weren't an hour away, but I am thankful that they aren't states away! (Or a country away!) 
I miss the people of Colombia. They taught me about myself, they brought life to perspective, and they helped me see that life is so much bigger than what our small vision often is here in the USA. I am still very connected to them. 
This trip has borne new dreams in my heart, ones I have begun working towards, but they won't be out on the blog for a while, so you'll have to check back in periodically to see when I reveal those. I had sort of forgotten how to dream, or perhaps I just put my dreams on a shelf for a while, but Brisas brought the dreams back to life again, and I love that. 
 So, now what, you might ask? Does life just fall back into a normal pace or does life find some changes? Well, I will share with you that it's taken me nearly this whole month to find routine again. As much as I knew I needed to get back to the day to day life upon my return, I didn't want to. While I certainly wanted to be with my family and plug back into their lives, I also wanted to hold onto those lessons learned, those new truths embraced. Figuring out how to combine those together has proved to be a challenge. Hence, so much writing. Writing about Brisas is not only for you to understand a little piece of what we experienced, but it's also been able to help me digest all I saw and felt and experienced.
 A trip to a third world village should be life changing - and it was. But now what? When I experience something so grand without my family with me, it's a challenge to implement those eye-opening changes now being home with them. But, we do a lot of talking and although they are  tired of listening to my Colombian music (so I just put my headphones in now), they are taking in what I've shared, and they are interested in this little known way of life. I  think twice about what I'm spending or if I need it. It doesn't mean special purchases are never in order; I just evaluate much more if it's worthwhile.
 I can't stand throwing out food, after living in a place that struggles to have enough on a daily basis. My family has never been great about eating leftovers, but we are trying to adjust this. The kids and I are searching out projects in this area of people who have needs where we can contribute (like a homeless shelter or something along those lines.) And when we decide there is an item we no longer need, we are finding places to donate that where it can serve a purpose (like here). And, as the village in Brisas needs help with the feeding program and the clinic, as they are funded through the church and funds are not plentiful, we are trying to find ways to contribute towards that. I don't say all this to say Yay, me! I share this to say that this experience, my time in Brisas del Mar, was not simply a once a year moment and that's it. Going there has truly transformed the way I look at life. The way I see myself. And the depth of my relationship with God. He has shown me Himself in all new ways and the truth is, perhaps a lesson I'll share in a future post, He gave me genuine healing on this trip. And I simply cannot turn away from that. He's placed those lessons and these people in my path for a reason. And I am excited to see what He wants to do from here on out with this new found healing and excitement.
 I have been striving to give you a glimpse of the village, of the people, and of the life in Brisas, this little forgotten village that has taught me more than they will ever know. It's very hard to put into words at times, the depth of the experience. As I continue to process, continue to learn, I'll continue to blog and share stories.
 I thought maybe in this blog I would share a few of my favorite photos. Some of these you've already seen, some of them you have not. When browsing through photos, it's actually hard to pick favorites, because I love them all. Each and every one holds a moment captured in time that will forever serve as a picturesque memory for me. As  I continue to grow and learn and try to find a new normal of sorts here, I'll have more stories in the future. In the meantime, here are a few more snapshots of Colombia.

1 comment:

  1. Rachael, I love that you've brought principles and ideas from the trip home with you. Living mindfully and using what you've learned will be so important and valuable to your kids.

    Sidenote: I can't tell you HOW MUCH I love the new white & photo collages. Makes it SO EASY to read and pretty to look at. Great job, girl. You're wonderful!