Monday, May 29, 2017

Journey to Colombia...Trip 2

As I sit and enjoy the luxuries found in my every day life, like the internet or hot shower or my washing machine... my mind is turning to the fact that in just 2 weeks I will once again be on a plane to Colombia.
 The beautiful Brisas del Mar.
   A forgotten village, tucked away near the Caribbean Sea.
A people eager for us to come, ready to welcome us off our bus with open arms.
 I have tears just thinking about the journey I am about to dive into once again.

 The experience of preparing to go back to this small village is such a different journey from my first visit there. In the months leading up to my first trip, I had a spiral of thoughts and emotions and prayers answered and a heart prepared. This journey has been different, but I am confident that God has plans nonetheless.

 The season leading up to this trip has been a frenzied one. Between work travel, hosting my own 5K and winding up my first year of school, the planning of this trip and the preparation has been different. Not bad, just different.

 The next 2 weeks I have details to arrange for schedules of my kids while I am away, last minute items to buy to make sure I am prepared for this trip, and moments to soak in with the family before heading off and away for 8 days without them.
 But most importantly, the next 2 weeks will involve a lot of prayer and quiet time. Working to sit still in the presence of the Lord so He can truly prepare my heart.
 I should always be doing that, but some seasons I am not so successful at sitting still.
 I think that is part of why this journey is different. I have not sat still very well. Not intentionally, but really just because life was busy and full. But sitting still can be uncomfortable for someone like me. When my mind "rests" or isn't busy preparing for the next thing, the thoughts can be a little overwhelming. But I need to declutter my head and heart because I know that God is preparing me for something beautiful. I sense it, even if with uncertainty.

 I was clueless about how He would work on me during my last time in Brisas. I had no idea the overwhelming sense of His presence and peace I would feel. This time, I am sure there will be that, but I am clueless again as to what He will show me.
 3 weeks from now (roughly) I imagine I will be sitting here typing out words, trying to explain to you all what the experience was like. I will probably look back at this post and say ... "aha, so that was what God was preparing me for."
 But right now, I sip my coffee and let the breeze tickle my skin and push the hair around my ears. I let the sun grace my body and listen to the birds sing happily near me, and I am prayerful that my heart and eyes will be open to the next thing He has in store for me.

 Since going to Colombia a little over a year ago, I have endeavored back into school to obtain my Spanish degree. I have been able to connect deeper and build on the relationships I developed with people during that time - both people in Colombia and my teammates here in Ohio. Those people have become a part of my journey, too, part of my growth.
 I learned more about myself from that trip and have learned to carry that into my every day being. I have grown stronger, even if I have to fight some days to remember that. It's difficult to imagine what this leg of the journey might teach me. But every day I am growing more excited about the trip.

 Our team consists of 4 members I traveled with last February; 2 teenage girls, who I am excited to watch experience this time;  A couple I am growing to love already, just in our brief interactions; And a woman who has lost her husband in the last year, from whom I know I can learn. Each person will fit a piece of the puzzle of this leg of the journey.
 I am looking forward to meeting Juan, our in country translator, whom I have never met yet. The village has a new pastor, who I am told is vibrant and fun. And I can't wait to embrace my old friends in Colombia, Tia, Yuleida, Paola and all the teens in the village.
 I am nervous, once again, about teaching the youth lesson. I am hopeful that my Spanish won't be too rusty, seeing as how I still don't get to actually speak it much. I am worried about my family as I travel away from them. But I am mostly so grateful to once again get to embrace this cultural, God-given experience.
 The journey leading up to this trip has had its bumps, but it's had its blessings, too. I look forward to chronicling those the best that I can in the weeks to come, so that perhaps you can feel you are a part of this journey with me, too.

 God is so good. All the time. Whether I acknowledge it always or not, He really is. I can hardly believe the time to go to Colombia again is almost here, but I am eagerly anticipating what will unfold. And I can't wait to share with all of you what those things will be.
  T minus 15 days..... and counting.

   In the meantime, I work to be still and listen to His voice and ask Him to prepare my heart for this time. And share with you all in the process the lessons and memories with it.
 One day at a time....

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