Leading up to my time in going to Colombia a year ago, I had been spending much time in prayer over the trip. I had absolutely no idea what God wanted me to learn or what to do with it, but I was willing and open. I came home with a perspective so difficult to explain to those around me. Upon my time there, due to some of the prayer I had been praying leading up to the trip, God opened my eyes to something I still ask Him about some days. He led me to go back to school. I had once had the desire to get my degree in Spanish and become a translator as a career. When I was there, I remembered how much I love the language and helping others by being able to speak it. And so I came home and started my journey back to school - to get my degree in Spanish, finally. There are too many things He did in my heart during that time. But as the team just left this week to go back, it has been fresh in my spirit again. And here is some awesome news... I get to go back in June!!! I will be traveling once again to Brisas del Mar, Colombia in June. (14-21). If you are interested in knowing how you can help me, please feel free to send an email to me.
In the meantime, I share an excerpt from my journal last year as I went into the village of Brisas del Mar and was transformed in so many ways.
"My heart was not fully prepared for this day. I had no idea exactly what was going to unfold. We saw so many areas of what to us are run-down houses, but to them are home. Bunched together, thatched roofs, mud sides and people sitting outside in almost every bungalow. We are spoiled with our cars and homes and every day needs. My heart strings are being pulled on already.
I felt at home from the very first moment, welcomed with open arms. I adore the children.
Their feet are dusty and dirty, but their smiles are bright and nothing else shows. They are rearranging my perspective every second I am with them.
As we were able to help the clinic by providing a few supplies, I was once again so humbled. They have nothing and every thing is a gift. Again, what I find as every day life I take for granted and don't even realize it.
They do an amazing job communicating to us,
Shovels and picks and wheelbarrows- things we rarely find ourselves using anymore- are what they know to get a task done. There is no complaining, no wishing... only hands eager to work alongside us, happy for us to be in their small village. Again, the kids with no shoes, but full of laughter and smiles.
I came to serve and somehow I am finding myself being served. It's an unreal experience and one I never want to let go of. I wish time could stop for just a moment... and perhaps it is. As I try to capture these experience in words, I pray that I will forever hold them close in my heart and take them home with me.
As much as we are working, I don't even feel tired because my heart is so full. More full than it has been in ages. It's being touched in areas I forgot even were a part of me. Perhaps I will feel the exhaustion at some point, but I don't want to miss a moment of what God is doing here in Brisas. The moments are few and sleep can come later.
I got a small cut on my arm today and my blisters on my hands are breaking open, but I don't care. I haven't felt this happy in a long time. Ironic- when minimized to almost nothing, one finds some of the most joy. Living in the moment, instead of buried in technology. Learning to laugh at myself as the kids laugh at my attempts to speak with them. Serving others instead of being so involved in my own pursuits. This is what life is about. I don't worry about how I look or what's going on... I'm just being me.
In the dusty days of our construction, dirt gets caked on the skin, and a little water goes a long way. So many every day things we experience that are taken for granted. What the people of Brisas are teaching me is something I'm not even sure I can explain to myself, let alone others. Today, a little boy sat next to me in church, grabbed my hand, and smiled up at me. He held my hand most of the church service.
Tears fall easily at this point, unashamedly. I am forever changed because of my time here in Brisas and I pray that the Lord will allow me to return. But as I go home, I hope that I can carry on these lessons I have embraced. "