Wednesday, July 9, 2014

God among the volcanoes

Sorry for the long absence. Just know, I haven’t been idle. Since the Hubs death, I’ve been working hard to find my way. I want my life to matter and to continue what Gary and I started. Our hearts have always been mission focused. That focus has led us down many different paths through the years. The most recent path led me to Guatemala. I had the great privilege to work beside some amazing folks. Our group consisted of a medical team and a teaching team. However, we found ourselves crossing lines all the time. At an orphanage our doctors read to children. At a health post the teaching team passed out toothbrushes and toothpaste. We meshed beautifully and went where we were needed on any given day.
I was assigned to the teaching team. My job was to write puppet scripts, create a portable puppet screen and be ready to perform the skits for the girls in the orphanage. My puppet squad was fantastic. With the help of a translator, Esturado, the dragon, and little friends, Mita and Marco were able to show the benefits of trusting God in all circumstances, even if you happen to run across some giants along the way, like the shepherd boy, David; or find yourself in a scary predicament like the Apostle Peter and his gang when they were stranded on a boat during a fierce storm. It seems puppets translate in any language, right along with puppies or babies.
One day as I was helping at the health post, I was able to get a rousing game of Duck, Duck, Goose going among the myriad of children who were waiting in the long lines with their moms to see our doctors. I found out that giggles and a game of creative chase translate in any language as well.
I lost my heart to the girls in the orphanage. From ages eight to eighteen every girl had a heartache residing just behind those lovely, large almond eyes. Drug and alcohol abuse run rampant in Guatemala and has left many motherless and fatherless children in their wake. I found that smiles, hugs and kisses know no barriers and translates no matter your mother tongue. We sang and prayed together. We played games, colored pictures and shared stories. They welcomed us into their home and crawled up on our laps and reminded us how beautiful God intended us all to be.
Guatemala is a breathtaking country surrounded by volcanoes, rich soil and fertile farmland. But don’t let its beauty fool you—life there is rugged and unforgiving. Poverty, corruption, violence, poor education and the lack of good medical care are evils that taunt and torture those who are struggling to grasp at a life.
God is busy there kindling hope, comforting mourners, and shielding the courageous. The needs of His Guatemalan children are great. My one-week as a guest in their country did not change the world, or anyone’s world. But it did alter mine and begin to open me up further from the inside out. I went to give but of course, it was I who received the gifts. Dark eyes. Brown skin. Tight hugs. New friends. I saw Jesus weep in the orphanage. I witnessed His care in the damp, concrete hovel we called a clinic. I felt the cool of His hands from a hug from a little child who had no idea how old she was. 
 Yes, our God is big, and I am convinced He is most faithful to those whose heart-language translates His Name as Love. May God get the glory forever and ever. Amen.

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