I woke up at home this morning. I took sleeping meds last night so that I would really sleep. And sleep I did... thirteen hours. When I woke up it took a minute to realize I was really at home. I lay in bed for a while thinking about the last week and a half and processing the fact that I was safe and comfortable in my warm bed... and those we served in Guatemala were waking up to very different circumstances. The leaders of the trip had said in emails that there would be an adjustment period when we came home... they were right. I am feeling so much right now... more even than when we were there serving. As I look around at my home and the piles of stuff... so much stuff... I think of Manuela and Francesca and their sparse homes. I think of the look of pride on their faces as they shared their humble homes with us. Homes that were small and dusty, but filled with love and pride. Homes that contained little more than a few beds, a few changes of clothes, and some kitchen tools. What would they think if they were to see the excess of stuff in my home? I have an overwhelming urge to sell everything I can and do more to help the people of Guatemala. Surely I could raise enough to do something more than hand out medicine for a week. Not that that didn't make a difference, seeing the gratitude on the faces of the patients as we gave them their medicines and prayed with them will forever stay with me. But to think what a couple hundred dollars could do for them... support the clinic, buy more medicine, help someone learn to support their family... the possibilities are endless. Coming home and having nothing more impactful to do than make sure the laundry gets done is awfully anticlimactic. How do you go back to your comfortable, safe life when you know that there are people in the world for whom just surviving is a daily struggle? How do you enjoy your health and safety when you have seen children who are suffering for a lack of simple medicines? There were children that we saw at the clinics that we had to send away without the medicine they needed to be healthy because we had run out. Little babies who would continue to suffer because there wasn't enough medicine to go around. Oh sure, their parents can always go to the next clinic and hope there is enough medicine for their child this time... but what if there isn't? What if by the time there is enough it is too late?
My husband and I were talking about the trip and I told him I fully intend to go back. He asked if I wouldn’t want to go somewhere else, just to have the experience of going somewhere different. I wasn’t sure at the time why I would only want to go back to Guatemala… but I think it’s because I don’t feel done there. There is so much more to do there and I feel a part of it now. I went and served, yes. But I don’t feel like my job there is over. I feel like as long as there is more to do there I need to keep serving there. Not long term, I really feel like GOD is wanting me to stay on the path I am on into ministry, but I really think that I need to make serving His children there a part of my life in some way. I don’t think I will be able to rest if I simply go back to my life and forget that there is a way I can make life better… even just a little… for someone else.
There is so much more I am thinking and feeling and I can’t put words to it. I can’t even begin to process. I wonder how long it takes to feel like you are back where you belong and not feel like you are short changing those you left behind who need more than you were able to give in too short a time. All I know at this point is that I saw GOD's hand everywhere on this trip, from the smiles of the patients at the clinic, to the energy that sustained the team through long bus rides, long work days, cold showers, and unfamiliar surroundings. It really brought to life the verse "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"